Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday June 22 2007
'You wont win anything with kids.' Those were the words famously spoken by one Alan Hansen before Manchester united stormed to a league championship.
I am as shocked as every other Arsenal fan that Henry has seemingly moved to Barcelona after 3 years of speculation, but all is not lost.
I'd like to refer you to Tim Stillman's series of articles exploring the ability and potential of some of Arsenal's young guns.
Now, I'm not saying that Arsenal can or will win the Premiership next season, but Arsenal are far from a spent force.
A sense of panic seems to have set in already that Arsenal will loose their grip on their Champions League place, but those people couldn't be more wrong.
Arsenal will miss Henry, there is no doubt about that. it doesn't matter who you sign, when you sell a player like Henry, you miss them.
However, look at Manchester United. They sold Van Nistlerooy last summer. A man who has scored countless goals for them over the last few years. What happened at the end of the following season? They won the Premiership.
Now, as I said, Arsenal will miss Thierry (if he has indeed signed for Barca), but look at some of the players Arsenal have in waiting.
Van Persie. Without a doubt he is one of the most exciting young players in world football. It's been said by several of his team mates that he is the most skilful player at Arsenal. He has shown in the season just past that he has a lethal finish on him as well as aerial power, and a lethal left peg. He can score 25 goals in a season.
Adebayor. This young man has been compared to Kanu by many-a-pundit, but someone on our forum came up with a far better comparison earlier in the year - Drogba. He never stops working for the team, great power, prepared to run a people, he's a complete pest for defenders and shows a great touch for a big man. He'll score more and more as he matures.
Fabregas. He's the daddy at Arsenal now. The sale of Henry seems to condem Arsenal to another season of transition, and it'll be the final step towards building the next generation around this young man. He has everything other than goals in his locker. With a bit more luck he will get many more goals next season and he's not one to shy away from a challenge. He'll step up and take a lot of responsibility next season.
Theo Walcott. The similarities between Thierry and this boy are unbelievable. With a bit more work we will see a fantastic striker. He suffered from a shoulder injury most of last season and Wenger himself said that after the injury we only saw 50% of what walcott can do.
Denilson. '50% Rosicky, 50% Gilberto,' the words of Arsene Wenger. He showed last season that he has the skill in his locker, a bite in the tackle and an eye for a pass. He has already ran Spurs' midfield ragged, and contributed greatly in his 2 appearances against Chelsea this season. He'll be a force in midfield for years to come.
Diaby. This boy needs no introduction. He has already bossed Chelsea's superstars, tore Zokora a new hole, and showed a versatility that the last midfielder Arsenal had in this mould (Vieira) didn't. He's played on both wings, in a holding midfield role, an attacking midfield role and as a second striker.
I could go on with players like Bendtder, Vela, Djourou, Clichy, Hoyte and Traore but I think you all know what these players are about.
Instead I want to look at something that most of us know, but don't want to accept - that Arsenal's current players play better individually when Henry is not on the pitch.
When Henry is playing there is immense pressure on players to do things his way. Pass the ball when he wants it, run where he wants and play to his strengths.
When he isn't playing players like Cesc Fabregas, Van Persie and Adebayor play with a freedom they don't otherwise have.
That said, we will miss him and we will have to replace him somehow.
Date:Friday June 22 2007
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