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Henry needs Arsenal as much as they need him

I’m sick of this, every website I go to has Henry ditching Arsenal to go to some other club which is supposedly at the top of European football and is just that one elusive striker away from going undefeated in their league and on their way to some sort of triple crown. I can’t believe the balls of clubs like Barcelona, AC Milan and Real Madrid for openly declaring interest in a player who is committed in writing for four years at a club which although hasn’t won any silverware over the last two seasons, is still one of the top clubs in Europe. So when Samuel Eto’o openly calls out for an Henry partnership I can’t help but feel that he thinks Barcelona is closer to winning Europe than Arsenal is, last time I checked Arsenal and Barcelona were knocked out at the exact same stage in the Champions League. If it weren’t for an offside goal and an undeserved red-card it would be Arsenal holding the European title instead of trying to hang on to their star player.

The general feeling in the air is that Arsenal don’t deserve Henry and that he’s wasting his time in London instead of racking up cups at some other club. This thinking is not only naive and stupid but also an insult to Arsenal who are made to look as if though they’re in a complete rebuilding phase instead of competing for titles. A fourth place team in the Premier League can take on any opposition in Spain, Italy or Germany and have the money behind them. If Henry does leave Arsenal for a club in another country, he won’t be leaving Arsenal because Arsenal are a struggling team, he would be leaving because he wants to play in an easier league where you don’t have to be that good to win it all. Whether he or anybody else consciously knows this is another story.

I can’t understand why those Spanish clubs feel they have a natural right to signing a Spanish player who plays in England, most recently Fabregas and earlier the ever homesick Jose Antonio Reyes. Instead of just buying talent which has been developed elsewhere they should try building a system from the ground up and see how far it gets them. Unfortunately in today’s football the power of money has started to make-up whatever a club lacks in organization, player development and coaching. Chelsea and Real Madrid are prime examples of this trend while Arsenal lie on the opposite end of the spectrum, something that isn’t nearly as respected and talked about.

There isn’t an Arsenal fan that would like to see Henry be sold and if there is they’re having way too much faith in Adebayor and whoever we get instead of Reyes. Hold on, I still believe that even if Henry leaves we’re still going to be in the top four in the Premiership barring any length injuries (like RVP), it’s just that we won’t have a chance of winning the league or Europe, because to achieve something of that magnitude you have to have a player who can singlehandedly win you games where the rest of the squad is struggling. Henry is that type of player and it is for that reason that I want him to stay. Maybe in a few years, Fabregas/RVP can be those types of players but right now they’re not ready and we need to buy some time.

TH14 has a great point about building teams around younger players:

“Winning is very difficult, you don’t just arrive there. I was not, and am still not, a finished product, but I certainly wasn’t a finished product at 20.”

You can’t argue with the man there because he’s obviously referring to players like Fabregas, Denilson and Diaby who might be good right now but won’t find out if they’re great till much later on. Here’s a man who’s used to playing with the likes of Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp and is now expecting to produce the same results playing alongside Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor. I can see why he might want out, he’s not getting any younger and the team isn’t going to go undefeated for a season overnight. But what he should take into account is that Arsenal had an injury and suspension plagued season and still managed to easily finish in fourth place while doing the double over Manchester United and had leads against Chelsea only to let them steal a point.

If Henry thinks switching to Spain will guarantee him a Champions League title he’s mistaken. He has as good a chance at winning the Champions League with Arsenal as he has with AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona or what-have-you. So Thierry, lets stop being delusional and accept the challenge of playing for Arsenal and winning it for the club, the manager and the fans that made you what you are today.