Wonderful goal and wonderful memories
By Simon Rose
But what happens when Henry goes back?
Only Thierry Henry can put the real into surreal. As the second half meandered last night, I became convinced that we would win 1-0 and that Henry would score. It just had to be. The goal and the celebrations were emotional gold dust. Arsenal fans around the world must today be gazing into mid-air with a warm glow. But Henryís triumphant return does not erase the bottom line for Arsenal in this January transfer window: as things currently stand, what do we do in attack if Robin van Persie gets a season-ending injury after Henry returns to New York?
There is no getting away from the fact that Arsenal must sign a further striker, at least until the end of the season. Arsene Wenger has said that he doesnít want to sign someone on a three or four-year contract now. Fine, we donít need to. Letís deal with this season first. It is totally understandable that Arsenal would want a striker that is not cup-tied for the Champions League and it is true that this does limit options. But Ė and I have said this several times Ė the world is full of footballers. There are huge options around the world of strikers who could join Arsenal on loan for the rest of the season.
Come closer to home and the Premier League is full of strikers that have not played in European action this season. You could pin-point the second-best striker at most Premier League clubs, perfectly good strikers who can finish off moves and eventually agree a deal for someone. You could go to the same clubs and ask about their best striker too. Then when they say no, you ask about their second-best striker. You might get some surprise answers about their first-choice striker too. Ask the question. There are quality players out there.
There is no doubt about it, Arsenal cannot entrust the rest of this season on a) pure hope that van Persie doesnít get injured, or b) that Henry, Chamakh and Park can hold the fort. Henry will return to the States before the beginning of March. Chamakh is not currently working out and Park is yet to be given much chance. Have we been waiting on giving Chamakh all the chances and now Park will see the light of day? His non-appearances have been intriguing at the very least.
We love Thierry Henry and we loved his goal against Leeds but it is a good thing that he scored last night as frankly nobody else looked like scoring. Chamakh had a big chance to impress but he didnít take it. He failed to show the energy needed to make runs and to get into goalscoring positions. I donít know if Chamakh was conserving his energy for his international commitments but if the match was an audition for a prolonged Arsenal career, he failed it. Park didnít get on, but Henry was a striker substitution. If Henry now starts some matches, Park will surely be the number one substitute striker option. If Henry is on the bench, Park is likely to stay there.
Thierryís return is mad and thrilling but he will leave before March and we must cater now for beyond that stage. Henry may well start some matches but we also must use this transfer window to ward against potential injury to him too, not just van Persie. Given the expectation of his goal against Leeds, we must be wary of Henry starting too many matches, otherwise I can foresee him overdoing things, perhaps running a ball down and injuring a hamstring.
Henry will need to judge his own level of involvement, or if he over-applies himself he could be an over-enthusiastic accident waiting to happen. The rest of the whole campaign will be an accident waiting to happen though if we do not sign an additional striker at least until the end of the season
10th January 2012
User Comment and Reaction
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Jeff 14:45pm 10th Jan 2012
What happens when Henry goes?RVP will get injured.And we are left will Chamakh and Park.But our profits will be good.So not all bad news - Post No. 18502
maguiresbridge gooner 16:43pm 10th Jan 2012
Your right simon we definitely need another striker along with one or two other additions as i said in reply to the editors piece if it wasn't for henry we would be facing a very tricky replay at elland road would loved to have seen what henry would have done with some of the chances arshavin and co had last night was any even on target henry got us out of jail last night against a poor team if henry hits form now and starts scoring and i sure hope he does that will probably be it like you asked what happens when henry goes back? well its back to square one relying on rvp. - Post No. 18506
CanadaGooner 16:54pm 10th Jan 2012
Simon, RVP getting injured isnt the issue here - he wont score in every game regardless. Liverpool spent 60million or so on Suarez and Carroll and they aint getting bagfuls of goals for it. it's a tricky business and confidence, regular play and motivation comes into it. I cant think of an out-and-out striker available in the January window that Arsenal would be able to buy. What Wenger needs to do is decide which players he wants to play week in week out in the premiership and stick with them and perhaps a little motivation from the 6 weeks Henry's here will help. The alternative is to go out there like liverpool and chelsea did with suarez, carroll and torres, spend millions and fare no better than we're doing now. I have no doubt that if they get to play consistently (and get an arm around their shoulder 'arry style) gervinho, chamakh and ramsay will start scoring. Walcott is the only lost cause, he cant get any better, he's just not a striker period. - Post No. 18508
Dan h 17:45pm 10th Jan 2012
We could do with a few more goals from midfield to take the pressure off RVP.TH coming back will also just on reputation alone make opponents wary it could open up space for others.Canada Gooner i agree with regards strikers coming in & hitting the ground running it's not easy.Torres & Carroll look devoid of confidence but to me Suarez would have been a fantastic player for us his movement alone would have fitted into our system.We seem to be linked with another player called Suarez that plays for Anderlecht but it seems that may just be a rumour for the summer & not this window Argentinian striker that can also play out wide. - Post No. 18510
CT Gooner 21:06pm 10th Jan 2012
Must say I'm not too sure how our new temporary #12 will be in the premiership, he looked slow and almost as chubby as Santos, even through those Rose coloured glasses we were all wearing! But come on Canada, if Theo's not good enough (which I agree with, especially watching AOC performance last night) why do you think Chamakh is? I remember him scoring a few goals when RVP was hurt , but that's when we had midfielders capable of opening up defenses with superb passing and give and gos, I don't see him being able to create for himself like RVP. - Post No. 18515
CanadaGooner 22:25pm 10th Jan 2012
2CT Gooner: I agree that Chamakh wont be able to create for himself, but then, my previous comments (last week) were that our defence isnt as bad as people make out, what we need is a strong midfield and a finisher (plus RVP) - so, if we get a good passer of the ball as you rightly stated above (similar to when we had Fab), Chamakh can definitely score. The problem with Theo has nothing to do with the quality of the service he receives, he wasnt scoring when Fab was laying it on a plate and he wont be scoring regardless of who lays it on a plate for him - he's simply a very poor finisher (and lacks confidence in front of goal), if we get a second out-and-out finisher, walcott can have a role for sure (as an overlapping winger, which he's not so bad at). - Post No. 18519
Jeff M 23:13pm 10th Jan 2012
I can certainly think of a proven striker that's available, would be the right price, is not cup tied for the CL and loves the club...Mr Thierry Henry. Why not? Offer the Red Bulls a decent fee, sign him for two years (Dennis played until 37) with the promise of a coaching role at the end of it. Go on Arsene you know it makes sense! - Post No. 18522
Colonel Mustard 9:47am 11th Jan 2012
God, I thought it was tragic Henry scored. Wegner has lost his way so bad this is what we are reduced to, celebrating like children that Henry has bleesed us again because of Wegners inept management. Henrys false humility grates anyways. always had. genius yes but this PR stunt better not be the limit of Wegners and Gazidis ambition for january. but they are ambitionless anyways. - Post No. 18531
Gee 12:42pm 11th Jan 2012
The way things stand, we are set to announce another enormous profit of around £35m later this year. We made a profit on transfers in the summer plus we are due around £25m cash from some extra property developments on queensland road. All this will make the bank balance unbelievably healthy, but that isn't going to earn us points for 4th place or higher. The squad as it stands is fully deserving of its 5th place in the league, 2 points behind Chelsea. After tonight it could be confirmed that 4th is now a 3-horse race between us, Chelsea and Liverpool as Spurs could be 9 points clear of us by 10pm. I am still fully convinced that the bungled dealings in the summer are at the root of where we are right now. And we have also not learned the lessons from this as we are still looking at elasto-plast cheap signings when we have £50m in the kitty. Mark my words if we finish lower than 4th Wenger and the Board can have no complaints as they have created the environment we are in... - Post No. 18533
Van de Ed 22:09pm 11th Jan 2012
Besides the odd addition of a player or 2 in key areas, these players are in desperate need of more coaching etc. Our play from set pieces leaves a lot to be desired. We can't score from corners & freekicks but concede a lot from set plays against us. Our strikers/midfielders can't shoot accurately from outside the box (bar Arteta, only once all season so far) to save their lives but screamers from long range have been our undoing too often recently! Need I continue...Le Boss is living on borrowed time!!! - Post No. 18548