Exclusive

Back Again?

By George Walker

Will Thierry Rise Once More?

Rumours that TH14 will return for a second January loan are swirling about and I fear that this time, the move may not work as planned.

Can it be as good again?

Thierry Henry was, is and always will be my one and only footballing idol. His every touch beamed with pure class and he was a pacy, skilful, precise, infallible goal-scoring machine. He is without any doubt the best player I have seen wear the famous red and white of The Arsenal. He provided me with one of the best moments of my recent Arsenal-supporting life, where I was fortunate enough to be only 3 rows back in the away end, when he netted the late winner at Sunderland, causing utter pandemonium for an utter genius. Understandably, ‘utter genius’ is also the way I would describe Le Boss’ inspired move to bring him back last January. But as far as I am concerned, bringing him back again would be anything but.

TH14 is regarded by most Gooners as the best player in Arsenal’s modern history, and most crucially a fan favourite. His status as a pure club legend was only reinforced by his fairytale return and immortalization in bronze outside the Grove. And after all the great moments Thierry has given us as Arsenal fans, I could not bear to see an older and ultimately less capable Thierry, returning and struggling to fulfil these memories, ever so slightly tainting his legendary status.

I believe his impact on the team, on and off the field would also be less potent than last season; as I simply cannot believe such perfectly scripted moments can ever be repeated. Would the story of Cinderella maintain its affect if the story was extended, so that she visited a second ball, with the same events occurring? The lift he seemed to give to the dressing room and all associated with the club last year was priceless, but surely the same impact would not be created with the same players and supporters in a similar situation?

How much he would actually add to the squad is also questionable. With Olivier Giroud currently leading the line exceptionally well, and with us possessing many talented wide players such as Theo, The Ox and Podolski, there is no way Thierry would make the starting XI. Having said this, there is no doubt that he is miles better than our current backup strikers who are currently Chamakh and Eboue-in-a-wig Gervinho (if he plays out of position). We do need reinforcements up front, but Thierry would only be a short term-fix and would not solve the issue. To solve this weakness in the squad we would be better to either a) grant Theo his long awaited move to the centre and sign another out-and-out winger or b) Sign a great prospect such as Wilfried Zaha, who would be willing to bide his time behind Giroud in the pecking order, whilst fine tuning his game and being able to operate as an impact sub or offer a good alternative to the Frenchman.

So please Thierry, we Gooners all loved your fairytale return last year. But please don’t tarnish those fond memories by attempting to repeat the same trick twice.

27th November 2012

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User Comment and Reaction

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Der Projekt ist Kaput  16:40pm 27th Nov 2012

Thierry was brilliant in a team of brilliant players. But for me (first Arsenal game watched in 1968)the best ever player to grace our kit was that football God Dennis Bergkamp. Still, we've now got Chamakh and Gervinho, so here's looking forward to my first day in football... - Post No. 31275


Rob  16:52pm 27th Nov 2012

This will be the final straw. If Wenger tries to bring him back again - and goes for the sticking plaster option - it will be proof that he - Wenger - has finally gone loopy-lu. We need some real quality which will be a long term option, both up front and in mid field. - Post No. 31276


Greenwich Gooner  16:58pm 27th Nov 2012

Wenger knows a thing or two about great Arsenal legends "tainting their legendary status". I expect TH back on lucrative loan fee, able to play as a sub only, and no Huntelaar, who is available but will most likely go somewhere else eg Juventus (if they qualify for CL knock out stage). Mate is a Palace fan and says Zaha is promising in a yoofful sort of way but totally overhyped, so tread warily before replacing Theo (who's only 23: people forget that) and who seems to be clicking with Giroud. And if the rumours are true about Downing, I will go mental. This could be the last time in the CL knock out stages for some time, so Wenger needs to strengthen the squad in January for a change as next summer the club may be less attractive to really good players. Problem is Wenger continues to believe that this squad is good enough. I would like Sagna and Theo's contracts sorted out, but feel we are likely to lose both of them. So depressing, but so familiar. - Post No. 31277


maguiresbridge gooner  18:04pm 27th Nov 2012

George rumors or not i would say there's more than a good chance we'll see him back.Especially now with all not so rosy in the garden of arsene it would be a classic piece of PR.I agree can he have the same impact as last time apart from selling more shirts.I doubt he would make the starting line up but like you say he couldn't be any worse than some of the back up we already have but i'm sure arsene will find room for one of his favorites.TH will always be welcomed back of course regardless, by all of us and is certainly a firm fans favorite although some who idolise DB might disagree on the best player to ever wear the shirt. - Post No. 31279


William  18:13pm 27th Nov 2012

I love TH14 the greatest player i have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt but bringing him back would be nothing more a Wenger/Gazidis gimmick.Last season he could just about play 20 mins.I want us to sign a Huntelaar not a player to shut up the disenters at the Soulless bowl and sell a few more shirt.Its call scraping the barrel Wenger style. - Post No. 31280


GooneRed  19:15pm 27th Nov 2012

Take it you never saw Bergkamp play then.. even though they were in the same team!! - Post No. 31281


jj  20:00pm 27th Nov 2012

I love the guy but we don't need another stop gap.We need a top class striker who we can build a team around for the next three years. - Post No. 31282


Angry & Frustrated  20:16pm 27th Nov 2012

I hope Henry has the sense to turn Wenger down, if he is offered another temporary stint. It's bad enough having a manager who was once idolized by all severely damaging his reputation, (that what's left of it) and now outstaying his welcome. So please Thiery I want to always remember you in your exceptional pomp, not as a shadow of your former self who is being used simply as a tool to deflect attention away from how poor the club is today, compared to when you were part of the invincibles. Regrettably though I think it will happen, and as someone else has pointed out already, he will be the only striker who comes in. Arsene in this instance does know, yet he will still be happy to sullen the reputation of a true Arsenal great, just as he has destroyed his own, simply to deflect attention away from himself! Shameful if it does transpire, in more ways than one. - Post No. 31283


lee afc  20:18pm 27th Nov 2012

TH14 takes the pressure of Arsene Wenger, the fans get up for it when he makes an appearance, relieves the pressure on the board and so on. Take nothing away from TH, absolute genius, but the whole scenrio smacks of publicity stunt number 117 or whatever number we are up to. - Post No. 31284


Colin  20:40pm 27th Nov 2012

This has become the norm now under Wenger.He brought back Sol and Lehmann in recent years.Bring back a legend shut the fans up.Why sign Berbatov for £5m when we can get Henry for free? oh i forgot OGL didnt know he was up for sale.A PR stunt too far - Post No. 31285


Gooner1711  20:57pm 27th Nov 2012

Simple. No thank you. - Post No. 31286


1971 Gooner  22:09pm 27th Nov 2012

Dennis was in my view our greatest player ever, but Henry was the most enjoyable to watch. It will be desperately sad if he comes back again. Not because he may tarnish his reputation but because of the reminder of how good we were when he was in his pomp. I have the 2003/04 DVD gathering dust in the house. It's too painful to watch. We were so good then it hurts to see this poor excuse for an Arsenal team out there now. I've seen worse Arsenal sides featuring the likes of Rostron, Hawley, Price, Young, Caesar (sorry to remind you) and others but not by much. - Post No. 31288


David the Price is Ian Wright Wright Wright  22:15pm 27th Nov 2012

TH14 is a legend. His presence looms large at our club. My immortal though is DB10. Check out Bergkamp 'iceman' on youtube-a lovely eulogy. I must add Ian Wright Wright Wright to my list. What an all round finisher supreme. Liam Brady also was idolised from the 'tick tock tick tock end' and rightly so. - Post No. 31289


Ernie  22:32pm 27th Nov 2012

Whether we like it or not its going to happen.Stubborn Wenger will make sure it will.While Henry is at the club it takes the flack away from Wenger.Its a damage limitation signing from Wenger.And the press will spin it as a great move.IT ISNT. Its desperation - Post No. 31290


Big Andy  23:07pm 27th Nov 2012

I think it's a brilliant idea to bring back TH14. After all, he's a legend and our best-ever player. While we are at it we should also bring back Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, David O'Leary, Liam Brady, Pat Jennings, Frank McClintock... - Post No. 31291


Rocky RIP  0:39am 28th Nov 2012

I know this isn't the point of the post, but since others are commenting, for me, it's Dennis. I love TH14, no question, astonishing skill, but on his day the most talented, naturally gifted footballer we've ever had was Dennis Bergkamp. Can anyone name a player with a better first touch? To have them both in the same side, complementing each other perfectly, was a gift from above. The best and second best we've ever had. - Post No. 31293


Tony Evans  8:21am 28th Nov 2012

I can see it happening - Wenger has no shame and would be willing to use Henry (or anything else) to deflect attention from himself and his failings. I see Sagna and Walcott have been left out of the 2013 calendar but that doesn't mean they are leaving, according to Wenger. Of course not Arsene I believe everything you say and would not dare to question you - after all what do I know as a mere fan! - Post No. 31294


Wenger signs another 4 year contract  8:43am 28th Nov 2012

The greatest ever Gooner coming back to save Wengers bacon again.I love Thierry but this is just stupid.£70m to spend and we bring in a player on a 6 game loan.Huntelaar a real goalscorer is available Wenger you clown.Dont come out in february and say you didnt know he was available like Berbatov - Post No. 31295


Graham Simons  8:44am 28th Nov 2012

I used to think Dennis was the better player but frighteningly both players made a century of Arsenal goals in the same season and I think Thierry still got there first. The goal he scored against Leeds actually made me cry as I stood there in the North bank - just wasn't expecting it at all. But this season we simply have to address the real problem. I don't think it's a coincedence that the cupboard has been bare since Paddy left - we need a driving force in midfield and we need to take the armband away from Vermaelen then maybe his form will return. So new manager, new captain and new Paddy please - let's stop papering over the Chamakhs (don't know he said that but I nicked it and like it). - Post No. 31296


Barry  9:16am 28th Nov 2012

What a joke. No thanks. WAS a great player, now on retirement pension in the MLS. Says it all really. Arsenal need a top class striker but instead, Wenger will be cheap and egotistical by signing TH to deflect attention form his shocking management. TH14 was not a genius move last season as the deluded author suggests. What did he TH14 do? Scored a tap-in v Sunderland, a tap-in v Blackburn with the score already at 6-1...what else? Erm...was involved in our 4-0 humiliation in San Siro when he spent 45 mins unable to run. Was involved as a sub, again, when Swansea humiliated us last year. Sorry he cannot run anymore, just doesn't have the legs. And yet Wenger will bring him back a year older?! Wtf. You need long-term solutions. The club has sold the best striker in the league to Fergie. Sitting on a £70 mil cash reserve AND anew shirt sponsorship deal to boost cash. And what does this clueless unambitious manager do? Turns to a former Arsenal legend who is on retirement in the US. Pathetic lack of ambition, but then again that is what you come to expect of the trophyless Wenger. - Post No. 31297


Upstart  9:19am 28th Nov 2012

Bring him back - he's better than Chamakh! - Post No. 31298


Martin  9:38am 28th Nov 2012

You can see the photo opportunity now Diaby Rosicky and Henry together with Wenger and Inspector Clueless saying they are like 3 new signings.Henry struggled to play 20 mins last season a year on that will be more like 10 mins his legs have gone.But on the upside we can sell a few more shirts to those who are still guillible. - Post No. 31300


Ron  9:56am 28th Nov 2012

Can someone please tell me what Henry actually did last time and what made whatever he did a 'fairytale'? - Post No. 31302


Cloggs  10:13am 28th Nov 2012

Let's bring back LEGEND DB10! As our new manager... - Post No. 31303


Gary  10:41am 28th Nov 2012

@Ron Henry scored the last minute winner at Sunderland without that we won not be in the CL.It was his last kick ever in an Arsenal shirt.Thats why it is a fairytale - Post No. 31305


maguiresbridge gooner  11:35am 28th Nov 2012

Big Andy you forgot charlie george. - Post No. 31307


Brigham  12:15pm 28th Nov 2012

I have no doubt Wenger will make this happen, if only to deflect the current amount of flak he is receiving. Will it work out well? I doubt it very much and I can only envisage TH playing a very small cameo part in the New Year. As for the greatest in the shirt, I am with many others on here and afar, Dennis Bergkamp for me all day long, the man was a genius and the best I ever saw play at Highbury in an Arsenal shirt - EVER! - Post No. 31308


Farnborough Gooner  12:49pm 28th Nov 2012

Liam Brady is still the best I have seen with Dennis Bergkamp a close second. - Post No. 31312


Jack  14:04pm 28th Nov 2012

I cannot see why Thierry would want to come back. Especially with all the Wenger out fan boy glory hunters we have following The Arsenal these days. Myself and the Reverend (another pro Wenger writer on this site.Will be laughing at all the sheep when they come trudging past our local on their pathetic Black scarf hooligan and reprobates march. - Post No. 31315


Peter Wain  14:08pm 28th Nov 2012

Sorry but its a smoke screem Resigning TH is great but young top quality players are what our season ticket prices warrant. Also sorry but my father told me Alex James was the greatest player he has ever seen and as he was comparing him with Best and Pele he must have been the best Arsenal player by a country mile. - Post No. 31316


DvbrisG  14:21pm 28th Nov 2012

So most Gooners see Thierry as the best Arsenal player of all time, do they? Don't get me wrong, Thierry is The King. But only Dennis can be The Greatest. Personally I always see it as a sign of a JCL or a bandwagon jumper when I see TH14 thought of as better than Bergkamp. In terms of him coming back again I am all for it. - Post No. 31318


Ron  14:27pm 28th Nov 2012

Guys, as we seem to be debating players ..... Joe Baker. A better striker than Henry Bergy or Wrighty in my view. Over 100 goals in about 140 odd matches (accuracy?). Scored for fun in the mid 60s when defenders kicked the proverbial out of forwards and when there were genuinly about 7 or 8 teams challenging for title. Moreover he played in an utterly rubbish Arsenal team, who couldnt defend against a runny nose (nothing much changes). Mad days. Tottenham were kings of North London, that how rarified Joe's Arsenal were!!Waht happens? Arsenal sold him to Forest for the first decent price they were offered. Nothing changes! To you young lads on here - Arsenal havent changed much, theyve just got greedier and now dress in glitzy clothes and live in a more fancy environment. Ask your Dads nd Unc's about the Club and more so, ask them about Joe Baker. My only real hero. Hope that youre resting in peace Joe and not watching Gervinho and Santos too much!! - Post No. 31320


Rocky RIP  14:45pm 28th Nov 2012

Ron - On his grand return, Henry scored against Leeds with practically his first touch after coming on as a sub. His last kick was a vital last minute match winner away at Sunderland. If that doesn't represent a fairytale return, then they don't exist and romance is dead. - Post No. 31321


D  15:39pm 28th Nov 2012

Dennis Bergkamp for me all day long, the man was a genius and the best I ever saw play for the Arsenal. Agree with Cloggs LEGEND DB10! As our new manager - Post No. 31322


Angry & Frustrated  15:54pm 28th Nov 2012

Re the best player ever. I struggle to chose between DB10, TH14 and Liam Brady. If I had to opt for one then DB10 would be my choice. We were just lucky that we had two of those above playing in the same team for 6 years. An honorary mention should also go to Ian Wright, and of course the famous back 5 unit, although I realize they can't count in this category. - Post No. 31323


Terry Tibbs  16:12pm 28th Nov 2012

DB10 and Henry played in good teams.Chippy Brady and Wrighty played in bad teams and virtually carried them.Would love to see DB and TH play in front of a midfield of Jensen Hillier and McGoldrick like Wrighty did - Post No. 31325


Markymark  18:39pm 28th Nov 2012

As suggested, watched the Bergkamp Iceman on you tube, what memories to bring back, My best ever player in an Arsenal shirt, greaty skill, but took no **** either, he could be pretty spitefull ! Players around him, Pires, Henrty Parlour, Vieria, Petit, Cambell, Laren, Henry,the great names were all there, makes you realise how low WENGER has let the standards drop, how many of todays squad would have got a game then, methinks a big fat ZERO, goodby Wenger, thanks for the ( old ) memories ! - Post No. 31330


maguiresbridge gooner  19:11pm 28th Nov 2012

Markymark spot on, some of the squad players of today might have got a contract in the laundry room washing their shirts if they were lucky. - Post No. 31331


Beam me up scotty  22:11pm 28th Nov 2012

Henry ? im sooooo excited. not. sell theo buy Thierry. hmmm. bon idee. perhaps the fans wont notice. lets face it arsenal fans are pretty dumb. i was also thinking of bringing sylvestre back and selling Gibbs for £15m. hmmm. exiciting prospect n'est-ce pa ? - Post No. 31332


USGOONER  23:02pm 28th Nov 2012

BEST PLAYER ? DID YOU SHUT YOUR EYES WHEN DB PLAYED , DIFFERENT CLASS AND THE BEST AND MOST TALENTED PLAYER EVER TO WEAR AN ARSENAL SHIRT - Post No. 31333


THE RIGHT REVEREND CHARMLEY GERVAISE  23:34pm 28th Nov 2012

I thought we did ok this evening.When you play against peasant northern opposition you have to have to have your wits about you.Playing Swansea saturday don't care much for the Welsh worse than Romanists. - Post No. 31334


Luke Hearn  0:33am 29th Nov 2012

I think you've missed the point here, George. I agree that we need a long-term replacement for RvP (and let's be clear - Giroud is a replacement for Chamakh not Giroud - he's a major upgrade but still a similar player), but it's not really for his on-field impact that we need him. The run we went on when he arrived last year was nothing to do with his talent, it was to do with inspiration. The atmosphere at that Leeds game was unreal, and that cannot fail to bring out the best in players. He won't score 10 goals. He won't even create 10 goals. He might get one or two, he might make no actual on-field impact at all. But, in the same way that the Doctor inspires people at Torchwood, or even that God inspires people in their everyday lives. He is not a great player any more. he wasn't last season. That is not the point. - Post No. 31336


QuartzGooner  2:45am 29th Nov 2012

Fully in favour of a loan return. Covers for Gervinho's absence at the ACN. Henry has enough to offer off the bench to make it worth it, especially if Arshavin goes in January. But we still should buy a permanent striker in addition. - Post No. 31338


Radfordkennedy  9:57am 29th Nov 2012

And while were at it id like Peter Storey back as well as John Radford and Kenny Sansom.Personally i think TH14 will be at the Emirates in a coaching role pretty soon anyway and i wouldnt be surprised to see him in the dugout alongside DB10. - Post No. 31340


HowardL  10:25am 29th Nov 2012

Thierry will fit nicely into the vacated No 14 shirt when our latest disillusioned star departs in January. Love the guy but I think I'll give up... - Post No. 31342


billthered  15:53pm 29th Nov 2012

Anyone with a passion for the club is welcome as far as I'm concerned,that is where we missed a trick in not bringing PV4 back before Citeh,he is the best cause while he was in the side I thought we would never be beaten well not without a fight anyway. - Post No. 31366


Moscow Gooner  15:06pm 30th Nov 2012

Best player ever in an Arsenal shirt? Impossible to judge and a little pointless to debate. Bastin, Hapgood, Drake (seven in one afternoon against Villa), James all contenders - but played pre TV and in an age where defenders were allowed to kick the opposition off the park. Clear however that Chapman remains the best Arsenal manager of all time. And please let TH14 rest in peace - his return last year WAS memorable; this year it would just be very sad. - Post No. 31421


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