Date:Wednesday December 6 2006
Arsène Wenger has dismissed suggestions of changing his club captain. Thierry Henry currently holds to armband but, with the French striker out injured, Gilberto has taken over temporarily.
The Brazilian will be leading the side out for the next few weeks but, Wenger confirmed, normal service will be resume when the forward is fit
"No no," he said ahead of the Porto. "Thierry will be the captain. At the moment he gets a lot of stick that he does not deserve. What he has done for the Club is tremendous and he will again do a lot of tremendous things for us. But Gilberto comes in for him and I am sure he will do well for the team.
"He is a quiet type but he is a strong leader - much stronger than people expect him to be. He stands up. In fairness he is not a penalty taker but the way he took them on Saturday really takes something. That tells you a lot about his character."
For me since Henry is a vital part of Arsenal and no one will say that he hasn't given us dedication over the years and loves Arsenal through and through, but you have to be a realist. He played for his country in the World Cup, he plays football sometimes twice a week and trains 5-6 a week in the mornings. And we hear from Le Boss he is tired. He is paid over £100,000 a week to do this and can't manage it according to his manager, we then hear that he is carrying an injury and is not fully fit, but we been hearing that story since August.
We then hear from the Henry camp that he wants to be playing every game and gets frustrated when he doesn't, that he must listen more to his body.
I understand the getting old thing, that you can't do what you did at 20 as you can when your 30 of over, but i wouldn't call a proffessional football a tiring job. I left my house at 5:30 am on monday and got home at 8:30pm having driven 400 miles and had numerous meetings all day, and boy was I tired. I would like to see half these footballers do what the general public do and see how we feel.
Henry is important as club captain, he is vocal and intelligent, but is it having an effort on his game ? I sense sometimes that when he doesn't feel right or doesn't seem up for a game, it passes through the rest of the team and rubs off on them. If the armband was passed to another player would Henry act or play differently ? I think Wenger is right in keeping the armband with Henry, because the message of him not doing so would be more dangerous and have a much bigger effect long term on the benefit of the team.
I just wish that instead of 'tired' they coud use injured, leave him out for 4 weeks and let the kids get on with it. whatever the problem is, I am sure it will come out sooner or later, but the team needs focus on tonight with Henry and not listen to idle gossip until facts are facts from the horses mouth.
Article submitted by PUREGOLD
Date:Wednesday December 6 2006
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