Geoff has had his blog holiday form signed off… so you’ll have the pleasure of a Pedro lock down for a few days!
First thing to touch on is our joint devastation that Cesc is out for the season. He’s broken his fibula and will miss all our games and maybe the World Cup. I’m gutted because he has been our player of the season, but not too concerned because I have a lot of enthusiasm for the more pacey Samir Nasri in the centre of the park. His ability to dribble and his desire to prove himself as a centre midfielder could be what we need to drive us through the next few weeks.
Not to be outdone, William Gallas and Andrey Arshavin have also added themselves to our ever growing sick list. Both out for three weeks. That really does put us up that well known creek without any form of paddle. I said at the start of the season, the biggest problem we’ll have is if Vermaelen or Gallas pick up an injury. We’ve got Sol as back up, but he can’t play more than two in a week and Barca’s pace could be too much for him. So, now, because of bad planning we’ll have to drop Song into defence. Yep, drop one of your most consistent performers into a position that is alien to him (70% of people put the two Barca goals on him).
I’m not too fussed about Andrey. He’s a superb player, but Theo looked great the other night and if push comes to shove, we could always do something crazy… you know… play Carlos Vela!
Ok, so yesterday I touched on my disappointment that we all gave Thierry a rapturous standing ovation mid-way through one of the most important games of our post-Highbury history.
That didn’t mean my love for him had waned. Would anyone else in our previous history get such a welcome? I very much doubt it.
The Mirror had an article about the lack of love Ian Wright gets nowadays.
Where do supporters stand?
Ian Wright was one of the most explosive strikers in his prime. He was fast, he could score long range efforts, he could knock them in with his head and he could sniff out a chance from anywhere. Not just that, he was a massive, massive character for the club and until recently, he was our all time record goal scorer. He won plenty of trophies as well, even bagging himself a Premiership late on in his career. He left the club in a bit of a sulk, unhappy Wenger decided not to field him in the 98′ cup final and went on to score goals for Celtic, West Ham and Burnley. He eventually retired citing injury.
That my friends is where it all went wrong. At first, I could stomach Wrighty as the fun figure in the match of the day studio. He was vibrant, honest and a laugh. Then he decided there were bigger fish to fry. He upped sticks and took a job that you only succeed in if you’re outrageous and inflammatory… yep, he took up a spot next to Adrian Durham on the drive time Talksport show along with a position as a writer (Talker with a ghost writer) with the Sun.
He was now paid for spouting controversy. His Sun articles could only go one way… anti-Arsenal. He was constantly telling the media Arsenal weren’t good enough, he thought Spurs would beat us to a top 4 place… he was pretty much ready to say anything to shift papers. No way to treat a club that loved you and supported you. Minor celebrity when you’re already minted is an excess in my opinion and although I’ll love him forever for his contribution to the club, I can’t forgive him for how he’s treated us after.
You can say he’s only giving his opinion but I listened to his Talksport show and read some of his articles in the Sun. He wasn’t being honest, he was towing the company line and putting opinions out there to rile the public. Paul Merson, Ray Parlour, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Alan Smith and Martin Keown have all carved out a reasonable media careers without falling foul of the Arsenal fans. If they say something negative about Arsenal, you know they’re at pains to say it.Wrighty sold his Arsenal soul for a chat show on Channel 5.
Still, if you want to get to the top in media, you don’t do it through balance and perspective. You have to be as unreasonable as possible. It’s done wonders for Stan Collymore, Jason Cundy and Alan Brazil.
Then we move onto Thierry Henry. He arrived for a club record fee way back in 2000. He was a direct replacement for Anelka and he came with much promise. France’s top scorer in 98′, a player that destroyed United as an 18 year old, we had high hopes. When he started playing he had the pace, the tricks but no finishing.
According to a friend who used to play for Arsenal, Adam’s and co used to rip him to pieces during shooting practice because he was so, so bad. Undeterred Thierry worked on his game after training and the dividends soon paid… and boy did they pay! In only a few season he transformed himself from iffy winger to world class front man.
He was the best player on the planet by a mile and his goals helped us land two Premierships and plenty of cups. He left us as the top goal scorer after a messy divorce. He went to Barcelona and has never stopped heaping praise on us since. He even did the unthinkable, came to watch Arsenal and rolled out onto the pitch to an ovation… whilst contracted to another club!
Just to cement his legend further, he even said he didn’t want to play against us this week. Then when he came on, he didn’t play with any real drive! The guy has got it bad for Arsenal and he always will do.
If you were to be cynical, you could say it’s all a bit transparent. If he loved the club so badly, why didn’t he stay and help us through the tough years? Why was he so keen to take 10mill off a struggling club for one seasons work? Why, when he was here, did he not encourage more? His sulky behaviour and his death stares on the pitch were a major hindrance. If he’d stayed on one more season and we’d had his experience in the squad. Could we perhaps have one more Premiership under our belts?
It’s all well talking about your love once you’ve left, but isn’t the sign of a truly special relationship in the act of support when one party is in trouble, you go to them to help?
So, the question I put to you is this morning is…
Who is the bigger legend in your eyes and why?
It’ll be great to read people’s thoughts from all nationalities and all age groups!
See you in the comments!
P.S. If you haven’t had a look at the Le Grove range of t-shirts, check out the designs at Tatty and purchase yourself one! Follow us on twitter: @legrove and join our facebook fanpage at this address – facebook.com/legrove