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Titi Not Bothered About Performances

Thierry Henry says he couldn't care less if Arsenal don't play long as they keep getting points.

Arsenal have had to get scrappy a few times this season in order to get anything from games, and it's paid off.

It may not be the Arsenal way but when so many youngsters are coming through sometimes the senior players have to roll thier sleves up, pick the youngstes up and take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Arsenal came from behind for the 11th time at home this season to beat Wigan 2-1 thanks to 2 late goals. One siz (Fitz Hall)put the ball in the back of his own net on 82 minutes before Tomas Rosicky was nearly decapitated in the process of heading home Baptista's poweful cross on 85 minutes.

But the Arsenal captain doesn't care: "Once again we came back into the game with desire, passion and commitment.

"We`ve got hammered sometimes for playing good football and not winning games. At the moment we are coming back into games when maybe we are not playing the best that we can play but who cares? We are getting points.

"Trust me, we are not going 1-0 down on purpose and I am sure there were people who thought this was the day [we`d lose at The Grove].

"We were joking about it at the end, saying we have to stop being 1-0 down. Like at Middlesbrough, we went up a gear when we had been 1-0 down and only playing with 10 men.

"But somehow we always manage to get back into it and that`s why I feel this team is growing. Two years ago I remember being behind against some teams and we did not find the resources to come back."

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 12 2007

Time: 1:58PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think it was obvious by his performance that he is n't bothered about performances.
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12/02/2007 14:15:00

hatespur - have to agree, he needs his spark back, thought he had found it after his winter rest but seems to have dwindled
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12/02/2007 14:48:00

I'm not sure what it is. I never mind players having a bad game if they look like they are trying, but when Tel doesn't chase balls and put his foot in he is leaving himself open to critisism.
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12/02/2007 14:58:00

I agree with his point...with this team playing two games a week for God knows how long, being in four competitions and being decimated once again by injuries, I don't really care how we get our results at the moment. I've noticed that we've been playing the long ball game a lot more in the last couple games (played it quite a bit against Man U as well), and unlike before it seems to be a little more effective now. Nothing wrong with a healthy mix of beauty and ugly ball...something we're gonna need in two days, even with the new pitch they installed at the Reebok.
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12/02/2007 15:01:00

Thing is right, noone but Henry knows his limitations, would you rather we came out like the clappers for the first half hour (a la Sp*rs in the CC) like the ending of a Benny Hill episode, only to tire in the final half hour? and invite teams onto us, Henry has been a pro a hell of a long time and knows that you have to pace yourself over the ninety, therefore some of the 50/50 balls he will use judgement on and decide to wait for a better opportunity like a 70/30 in which to deploy his energy reserves, yeah its frustrating for us as fans but if that enegy thats been checked is used to sprint and bang in an 85th then so be it I'm not making excuses but if he ran round like a schoolkid then knackered himself for the last stretch critics would appear saying hes past it and too old.
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12/02/2007 15:17:00

Quite right Thierry. The result is everything!
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12/02/2007 15:17:00

yes sir mr. nik. I agree in full. I think this is where the criticism of his allegedly slack performance should end. We got three points with him being 'lazy'? Great.
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12/02/2007 15:32:00

Speaking of performances...anyone watch man utd vs charlton? supposedly Song played really well. To quote Padrew: "While Alexandre is not our player he has come into the fold and his spirit fitted in with all the other lads, which bodes well for the future. He probably won't like me saying this being an Arsenal man, but he could have worn a Manchester United shirt at Old Trafford and not looked out of place." Maybe there might be a future at Arsenal for him after all if he continues performing at that level.
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12/02/2007 15:33:00

I'm not sure exactly what it is. I would suggest a few possibilities. 1) He's still suffering from an exhaustingly long season 2) He's no longer able to make as many runs as he did when he was 26 3) He looks like he's put on some weight 4) We have a very heavy fixture list coming up, and he's saving himself somewhat 5) He doesn't have quite the pace he once did, thus is having more difficulty making runs in behind the defence 6) Players aren't spotting him quickly enough, so he doesn't bother making the runs 7) We're playing more long ball on purpose, so he doesn't drop deep as often He wasn't "defending from the front," but he actually made quite a few runs that just didn't come off due to sloppy passes in the build-up. I do care how they play, but considering that we didn't play particularly well and still have several regulars out injured, I'm ecstatic we won. I'm just afraid it's going to catch up to us.
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12/02/2007 15:38:00

This is something that we fans have been crying out for a while now - the odd scrappy ugly win. The good thing is that arsene has a pulse on these things and has done something abt it. Plan B is working now. Good point Titi makes that this sort of comeback was more difficult 2 yrs back with a more experienced team. The kids seem to be showing more toughness, all bodes well for the future.
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12/02/2007 15:40:00

Henry has 2 main strengths, he can set up goals if hes got a runner and he can convert goals if he has a supplier - so when the midfield isnt so strong, henry isnt so strong, it is rare that he creates his own goals (real madrid in the champions league...) his partnership with Van P is tough on him because van p is a 1 man scoring machine, not really a team player, pirez and freddy no longer making those runs means henry has more defenders to think about than he use to - and less people to pass to - rosicky hleb and fab will come good in the final 3rd and when they do Henry will be back to his best, time off during the summer wont do any harm either
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12/02/2007 15:43:00

There are other factors...Henry plays a lot more as a lone striker than he did a couple years ago, and that means he's using a lot more energy just to get into space, let alone get a ball and do something meaningful with it. And he's also not getting any younger. I think what should happen in the future if we're gonna play more 4-5-1's is that Henry should play out on the wing, and Adebayor becomes the lone striker threat. I think the latter is a lot more effective in the penalty area, while Henry can still produce magic on the wing and outside the box. I'd even consider using Henry on the wing in a 4-4-2. Not sure if Wenger will ever make that change though...he might just sell him off if he thinks he can't be a perennial goal poaching threat.
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12/02/2007 15:57:00

bang on NIKO, you're right about the skipper. but sum ppl will never appreciate wt he gives and does for the team, and only look at the down side and criticise him..
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12/02/2007 16:30:00

very lucky yesterday, i thought wigan at least deserved a point
green giant 12
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12/02/2007 16:31:00

THREE POINTS !... finally it all comes down to 3 points we may play `UGLY` football add win 2-1 (wigan) or play r asses off n get draw 2-2 (portsmouth) prefer da `ugly` way of playin n get 3 points... r defensive problems shud end once we get gallas bak(so hopfully we will be able 2 keep clean sheets...) 4 henry ..i thnk u need 2 relax,,, he has scored quite a few goals since cumin bak...and is still a threat...give him lil time...he still has da hunger to win (his goal celebration against wigan proved that) b4 da world cup he was heavily critised bout not being as effective 4 france as he is 4 arsenal...(He shut all of da critics wit sum gr8 football 4 france)...his lack of form will be playing on his head n will be bak 2 his best....!!TRUSt KING TITI....
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12/02/2007 17:05:00

just 4 da record in da last 5 premiership games he has scored 4 a cracker against liverpool(fa cup)
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12/02/2007 17:17:00

Since he came back from injury I have seen Titi.....Make a lung bursting run at some ridiculous MPH in the north of England, against top opposition, in the cold, barge an England defender of the ball and score a goal.............I have seen him leading his troops with ten men against tough opposition and score a goal from a move he started from his own half...........I have seen him unselfishly give a penalty to RVP.........I have seen him give us our best moment in our new home...........I have seen him defending a freekick against boro and the miraculously appear in their box to score an equaliser when again we had 10 men. This is not the effort of a man who cant be arsed. Yesterday he was off the pace, he played 90 minutes in midweek for his country and being an impact player that would affect him more than any other player in our team. Football is a game of opinions and I respect that but for me most of the criticism he is recieving is unwarranted.
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12/02/2007 17:19:00

iceman10 i totally agree with u ...very well put da man is a legend !!!!!!!
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12/02/2007 17:40:00

Spot on Iceman. What do some of you expect. The first game after the boring internationals is always a let down. Lets take the points and move on to the next lot up north then Blackburn at home - can't wait.
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12/02/2007 17:41:00

Some people seem too be abusing Henry a little bit. His recent performance as cool too me. 4 goals in 5 games. Brings some spirit too the team too.
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12/02/2007 18:02:00

about the 80th minute i started thinking, our first loss at the emirates and 3 pts lost to liverpool, then i started to try and find the positives and the only one i could come up with was that wigan would be 3 pts nearer to spuds and the presure they would have being closer to the relegation battle !!! haha, then 2 goals later and i was thinking about 1 more game and 3rd place ! oh how the prem is such a topsy turvy place !
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12/02/2007 18:35:00

Iceman for president
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12/02/2007 18:57:00

People can dress it up any way they like, Henry was lazy yesterday and this is becoming a frequent pattern. Kolo Toure and Gilberto have played many more games than TH this season and both put in considerably more effort. Gilberto is a year older and p,layed ninety minutes in the week and his effort never dropped. Picking out isolated incidents is all very well, but his performance at Boro was lazy save for the goal, I didn't see fatigue, I saw a lack of effort. I can understand him being tired, but he just did not look interested, simple as that. That is the fact and no statistics will change that. Once a game TH makes a lung bursting run to get back and defend, but doesn't do it for the rest of the game. It looked to me yesterday that Baptista and Walcott were breaking a neck to set him up, but he wasn't interested in running onto a through ball.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 19:11:00

OK, first of all defenders / defensive midfielders don't get as tired as strikers. Secondly, Gliberto's international was at the emirates. Finally, even if Henry could've tried a bit harder, i'd prefer a good player trying 75% once in a while than a crap player on my team. If beast & theo gave him proper passes he would have surley scored.
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12/02/2007 20:00:00

Let me assert to that LD, as you say - you - saw lack of effort and not fatigue. So did a few others here. Me personally, it was not the case. I saw at least 3 or 4 misplaced through passes by Julio, only 1 good ball by Theo all night (that sitter by TH)... As far as the comparisons between the players, it all depends on the individuals. Flam is the player at Arsenal with most stamina, he could probably play 2 games more than anyone else and still outrun or outwork anyone, but that is not the point. I just feel there is enough negative hype already, and there is no need to create more of it especially after we've collected 3 points.
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13/02/2007 00:56:00

I agree with you G4L,and remember King Henry will come good once again if not this season but next season. His love for Arsenal is everything!
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13/02/2007 06:39:00

I just think he deserves the benefit of the doubt based on his efforts the last few weeks.
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13/02/2007 07:33:00

Look, this is a forum and therefore open to opinion. I love Henry and I think he is the best player on the planet. If some of you want to wear rosey coloured specs all the time then fine. The fact remains that in some of his performances he hasn't looked interested. I never critisise or moan whilst I am at games, but it is a democracy and I am entitled to express my opinion on here if I think in some matches he hasn't put the effort in. If we hadn't turned round the result on Sunday many would have agreed. Anyone who was there this weekend would know that there were many occassions he wasn't chasing the ball down or doing anything to lift the team (he is captain after all).
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13/02/2007 08:17:00

hatespur I agree. Everyone has one. And at least myself, I appreciate and respect every gooner's opinion, especially those who go to the games every week. But why do you think that the people who think opposite from you are wearing rosey coloured specs? It is the same as me saying you are wearing the dark coloured ones, right? And we could go in circles 4ever. To you he has looked disinterested, to me that is too harsh. For you he didn't chase enough, for me he was pacing himself. You didn't see him do anything to lift the team, I saw him encourage, applaud the efforts, and talk to the rest much more than he's done it before. I agree sometimes he goes missing in games, but there are so many reasons why that could happen, we can speculate forever. Some of the posters immediately choose the worst possible - he is not interested, or lazy. Well I find it difficult to agree with that. In his many years at Arsenal, he's gone missing in some games, but he was never in the center of attention as he is now (the captain thing). And the talk about democracy, etc. is obsolete. You have my respect.
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13/02/2007 11:01:00

the teams playing style is changing due to cesc, and the players coming in thomas helb and players who hold on to the ball not the the one touch charge them, press them high up and release henry stuff we know. henry has to fit into that system where everyone is involved and anyone could just be the one scoring. if you notice there are times the game goes by him which would never have occurred in the past. he had to sit it out and watch from the stands to appreciate the game and the players and know what is required of him.
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13/02/2007 11:52:00

hatespur/G4L - good stuff. differences of opinion and well expressed. Everyone agrees that his performances are down this season, relatively. But the reasons attributed to that are disturbing, like a lack of effort, or disinterest. I'm one of those who'd like to give him the benefit of doubt for a while, before judging his motives.
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13/02/2007 16:03:00

I think both sides have a point. Maybe, it is a big MAYBE titi looks like he is lazy, but if you notice most of the late goals come from him. maybe he is not dominating the entire match, he turns up for a couple of minutes...but what minutes those are..some blinders and contenders for Goal of the week/month/season. I saw him putting everything @ CL final, what happened? Barca scored a brace in the last few min. Why was that? Probably if henry paced himself a little more maybe we could have added one more and seal off the final. So really this season he is paying back with late goals from us..trying to finish strongly. Did you notice how he looked tired sitting on his haunches after the game. Maybe he is tired. Maybe he is not scoring the hatricks like he used to. for that it was a different kind of team where he was the major scorer/creator of goals. now that job is with Fab/Rosicky. G4L you mentioned the compilation of TH14 over 9 yrs. You cannot expect that to be done every game. The league is a marathon and not a one off final like CL so you dominate every min of every match, you would burn out in a couple of years (my worry abt Fab4 really - but that is for another time). It is a team game with 11 players and occasionally you would want the team to carry you when you dont turn up. But even when henry doesn't turn up he does exactly what needs to be done to finish matches off. Esp on big occasions.
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13/02/2007 16:19:00

in that respect I think He is turning into Berkampish mode.
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13/02/2007 16:21:00

Maybe we need a stock goal scoring machine to develop to take his place of the old like Beast/Ade/RvP/Walcott
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13/02/2007 17:10:00

Well we will see just how much of a difference Henry makes to the teams performance in the match against Bolton as he and Lehmann will be rested. Which i believe is the right move by Wenger. He should start Adebayor and Aliadiere.
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14/02/2007 03:18:00

I think the problem is that out midfielders rarely score. Gilberto, the defensive midfielder, scored by far the most, the rest are on par with the likes of Kolo. That causes defenders to work differently against us, giving Henry less space. They don't have to worry about anybody but him. Fab, Hleb, and Tommy have to start scoring 15 goals a season like Pires, Freddie and Viera used to.
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14/02/2007 06:43:00


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