Arsenal 125 today! – Thierry Henry tear jerker – Where Tony Adams was + Everton Preview

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125 today (well, for celebrations purposes at least). You old fart. Jeez, I remember when you were 110. Seems like an age ago. My how you’ve grown up. Remember that tiny little stadium you had for your first home? My how you’ve grown up. There have been some good times. Yep, the Invincibles year was pretty amazing. That game against Liverpool, you remember, with Michael Thomas. The Cup Winners Cup… Your first Premiership title. It hasn’t all been plain sailing. It never is. We’ve had to watch some of the people you’re not too keen on do well. We’ve had a few nasty holidays, that one in Paris was a bit of a gut wrencher and the day trip to Wembley wasn’t the best… but we still love you the same.

Here’s to the next 125 years!

Yesterday saw the worst kept secret in football unveiled. 3 statues of Arsenal legends were unveiled. Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry have been immortalised in bronze for the rest of time. Tony Adams is striking the pose from that game against Everton. Truly one of my favourite moments as an Arsenal fan ever. It was pretty much the first title win I’d ever been absolutely engrossed in from start to finish. To win it like that was perfect. The celebration was legendary. Now it’s captured forever. He sadly wasn’t in attendance yesterday, but Alan Smith took time out to speak to the great man on the train to Romania here.

The Thierry Henry statue was maybe a slightly more contentious choice. No doubt the guy is the greatest goal scorer in our history, but it seems a bit strange to immortalise a 34 year who is still playing in the game. He’s a legend, I love him dearly, but like a few others, I can’t help but think Dennis Bergkamp is the guy who kick started this next-gen Arsenal thing. Everything turned on its head when he joined. He was the superstar signing we’d all craved. He was a technical genius on the ball and after he joined, we never put a season ticket on general sale again.

Anyway, Thierry is still one of my heroes. He was a genius on and off the ball. He took expectations so high that a half chance was deemed a great chance if he was involved. He made the impossible possible and he electrified the fans. A once in a generation player. A genius. It was very sweet to see how emotional he still gets about the club. Shedding tears of for girls though Thierry. Girls and John Terrys.

Herbert Chapman was also revealed. A manager of a generation and a true visionary. From floodlights to hooped socks to naming the station after the club… to personal branding. The guy had it all. Not to mention titles to boot. I think it’s always hard, particularly for the younger generation to tap into the history of the club. It’s well worth doing so to truly appreciate the intelligence and forward thinking of that man.

I think today will be a very emotional day for a lot of fans. It’s a massive land mark and to look at where we are now as a club compared to even ten years ago is quite amazing. We’re now established as an elite football team forever. We have amazing infrastructure, superb training facilities and a world class stadium. Teams like Spurs now have to risk their future to catch up with us. Things might not be perfect on the pitch, but we’re in amazing shape for the future regardless.

Team news…

‘The present is very important for us, we are in the middle of a season where every point is important now.’

Absolutely bang on the money there. Today needs to be about focus on the task ahead. Everton are a very good team with some very good players. We know they have a terrific work rate and that David Moyes is one of the best managers in the business. We can’t afford to go into the game in relaxed party mode. We need to continue our league form and we need to make sure we don’t lose ground on the teams ahead of us. I have a feeling there will be a wobble from City and United this month. If we can capitalise on that, we could be in a superb position come January.

We have major problems in defence still. Andre Santos looks set to be sidelined for longer than the initial 3 weeks put forward. That’s a bit of a gutter as he’d started to find his feet and he has often been key to starting attacking moves for us. The boss seems to think the back line will consist of 4 centre backs today. So that mans he’ll be putting Vermaelen in at left back and moving Koscielny and Mertesacker into the middle with JD at right back. Probably a better move than slipping Miquel or Yennaris into the side.

Our French centre back has to be super aware today. JD has a habit of forgetting which sport he’s playing, so the chances are he’ll be letting players slip in behind him all day, Baines in particular needs to be watched. Mertesacker doesn’t have the recovery pace to deal with those type of mistakes, so super vigilance and robust performance has to be on the cards for the in form Koscielny.

In midfield, it’ll be the rested trio of Alex Song, Ramsey and Arteta. It’ll be an emotional day for our Spaniard. He spent many a year in the Everton midfield where he built a fantastic reputation.

“Mikel has adjusted very well and he has the mental level to be at this Club. We watched him many times before he got his cruciate injury [a few years ago]. It took him a while to get back to his normal level. Now, he is back to normal.”

It took Mikel a few months to adjust to the Arsenal midfield as well. I don’t think any of us were sure what position he’d take up, but he seems to play a few yards in front of Alex Song and he dominates possession from there. I love his attitude, if he didn’t have the stereotypical Spanish looks, you’d mistake him for a British player out on the pitch. He has a fantastic range of passing (90% success rate) and he mucks in both ends.

Up top, I’d imagine it’s going to be G.R.W combination. We’ll be looking for Robin to contribute at least one goal to the game and hopefully the other two can continue their impressive form with at least a goal and an assist each. I think having two proper wide players this year has really benefitted us. Theo looks the most comfortable he has in his whole career on the wing and Gervinho, despite a few flaws with his control is a very exciting player. It’s such a shame he’ll be off to the ACN.

If you’re interested to know how Everton are going to play, may I recommend this excellent Everton blog for all the insight you’ll need.

Remember to head down early if you want to see what Arsenal are doing for the day. Sounds like legends and marching bands are the serving suggestion for the afternoon.

Follow @LeGrove

Right, I’m off to book Arsenal a pink limousine and stripper for later on this evening, have a ripping day everyone and enjoy the 125th celebrations!


650 Responses to “Arsenal 125 today! – Thierry Henry tear jerker – Where Tony Adams was + Everton Preview”

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  1. Pedro

    Morning guys! I forgot to say… one of the designers from my work is going to build the new Le Grove. He’s a pretty talented guy… and he works 15 yards from me… so hopefully he’ll knock together something amazing.

  2. SUGA3

    Thierry is an absolute ledge, please bring him back even for a month Arsene, he may shame the Chamakhs into putting some effort in!

    Thierry Henry,Thierry Henry!!!
    Thierry Henry,Thierry Henry!!!

    ‘Helen, that Frenchman is out there again’ 😆

  3. Josip Skoblar

    Interesting choice. Chapman: fine, but then 2 players from the Invicibles. No one from the great 1971 team. Liam Brady could have been a good compromise choice. A man who remained devoted to the club after his playing career.

  4. kwik fit

    Today is the Helen Chamberlain appreciation society day.
    We will be having an annual outing yes outing in Torquay
    She’s my gezzer bird guys keep your hand’s in your pocket!! 🙂

  5. SUGA3

    the choice of statues may not satisfy the purists, but it is good from the global effect perspective:

    – a great innovator of a manager from the past
    – the most successful skipper, and quite a character to boot
    – the top goal scorer

  6. AJ

    Yes, Henry deserves it, but they should have included Bergkamp.
    Frimpong is going to be so great, you will see a statue of him within 3 years from now.

  7. Justus

    Wonderful to see how emotional Henry is about our club. He is a true legend and now an amazing fan. So sad that Tony Adams would not come to the unveiling giving a feeble excuse. Our greatest ever Captain is no longer Mr Arsenal and seems rather nuts these days.

  8. AJ

    Yep, I think we can win, no 4 goal margin but maybe a 2-1, 2-0, 3-1. Everton are very organized defensively. We may have probles breaking through them.

  9. Sabeel

    tremendous post, Love our club….

    our boys 2day owe us a 7-0 win, C`mon…i just hope all the players feel as much passion abt the club…like RVP..

    if the passion is dere, we can win anything…C`mon

  10. SUGA3

    I’m staying at home, short of cash after a brace of car repairs in the space of two weeks…

    not like I was not thinking of changing the car in the spring, she lives and feels my unfaithful thoughts 😆

  11. Albo

    Ha. Pedro we must be a similar age, because that 1998 campaign is similar for me. I remember the Graham league wins as a kid, but was 18 by 1998 and was the first one I’d properly appreciated as an adult. I can still hear the roared ‘would you BELIEVE IIIT’ as if it was yesterday. Without question one of my favourite Arsenal memories of all time 🙂

  12. Rohan

    Can’t not win today.
    Legends in the stands.
    Reckon RvP and Arsene will get the team firing for this one. everton have been poor both offensively and defensively.
    As long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, it should be reasonably comfortable I guess.

  13. Albo

    Josip – re Brady I think in fairness they were clearly trying to avoid people still working or the club. Brady will no doubt be honoured when he retires. Wenger likewise…

  14. kwik fit

    Everton are not to be underestimated guys. Our emirates faithful must be at full trottle and the players must be like a team possessed with motivation and verve. An yes Chamakh must be well Chamakh…..

  15. Sabeel

    i am just petrified,terrified,scared becos JD is gonna play…its like 12 vs our 10 boys now….

    the trend after invinvibles is..normally teams who r on a bad run get a good result against us…

  16. kwik fit

    Adams and Henry yes I totally agree but Champman where did that come from? The guy was a complete disaster. Terry Neill should never have signed him. The missus wasn’t bad though! 😉

  17. Latest Football News

    Congrats to us. I think the spirit of the Anniversary will see us winning today. Our major problem will be the right side of the defence.

    I can’t imagine how Djuorou will perform against a very fast Baines and Per that would have supported him is extremely slower.

    However, they can only do much if Walcot and Gervinho give them the chance. I suspect they will be too busy defending than thinking of attacking.

    3-1. ( Walcot, RVP and Song/Ramsey ).

  18. Ricky


    I’ve been having difficulty getting on the blog after 3-4o’clock on my iPhone..

    Works perfect before that but for some strange reason it fails to work after a certain time no matter where I am.

    Anyone else having this problem?

  19. Wavy

    Frank McLintock or Liam Brady or Gus Caesar????…………..

    The list is endless 100’s and 100’s of statue deserving great players have passed through the marble halls. Sadly they can’t all be preserved in bronze.

    I wonder who they will commission for the 150th?

    Today’s score:

    Arsenal 3 Everton 1 (Djourou error leads to Baines goal)

  20. Ricky

    That was supposed to read – Arsenal: for my birthday I would like 3 points please.

    Bloody iPhone!

    Thanks tho suga mate.. I’m an August baby.. 8/8/81 is my bdate which is why wrighty was my fave player as a kid. 🙂

  21. Bade

    The day od our 125’s anniversary, combined with the amazing Adams statue from a timeless moments against Everton, when we’re playing Everton today…. Well we have to win this one.

    Even Everton players will realise we have to win, and I think it’s going to be a football fest on the pitch today …..

  22. Ricky

    Thats right rohan, I seem to be having the exact same problem..

    Might have to switch over to the full site after a certain number of comments………

  23. SUGA3

    Tony Adam’s magic,

    He’s got a magic knob

    And when he saw Caprice,

    He stuck it in her gob,

    He stuck up her fanny,

    He stuck it up her bum,

    And when he went down Shite Hart Lane

    He f*cked Glenn Hoddle’s mum.

    haha 😆

  24. jon

    the henry statue isnt contentious for me

    the greatest and most exciting football player i have seen in the flesh.

    doesnt look that much like him tho haha

  25. alan b'stard M P

    Hi all

    Will RvP get a little closer today

    Robin van Persie has scored 32 Premier League goals in 2011. Only Alan Shearer (36 in 1995) and Thierry Henry (34 in 2004) have scored more in a calendar year.

    2 to catch Henry

  26. GunnerPete

    Happy birthday my club….I was seven in 1949 when my Dad (a Chelsea man) took me and half of Muswell Hill to Highbury for the first time. I will always remember seeing the lads in Red & White running out beside the blue of Chelsea, and I fell in love right then. It broke his heart because his aim was for all his sons and family to be ‘pensioners’…thankfully, quality turned our heads, and all he had done was to create 8 new Gunners and one new Blue. We also won 1-0 with our new signing 36 year old Tommy Lawton scoring the winner. I have followed since then and suffered all those barren years with a few good days in between until 1970/1972. And again when George G, came back. Now we have the greatest of them all Arsene Wenger, and Ive seen a hell of a lot of them.
    Keep the faith you young Gunners and support properly the whole set up. I will still be nervous as hell today as I am before every AFC game.

  27. kwik fit

    Robinho what a waste of talent. A little bit like Pascal Chimbonda . The guys who have all the talent in the world but upstairs they don’t give one fock .

  28. kwik fit

    Guys Chimbonda had it all . You name it he could do it but something happened . The guy for some reason decided not to share his talent and went on a different path. So sad.

  29. fanboy


    AYJ says:
    We now have an Henry and Adams bronze
    statue… does that mean we can also have a
    Squillaci and Almunia Pinata????

  30. goonermart

    agree with Josip Skoblar re the statues, seems to have missed a generation, but aleast we have the older players on the murals around the stadium.

    Very nice to see the emotion from Henry. Hope he comes back.

    Reckon it might be a tough game today. one nil to the Arsenal maybe.

  31. SUGA3

    I would play:

    Koz Merts TV Miquel

    Miquel is the most capable of the young defenders, if Song and TV are told to look out for him a bit, it should work…

  32. Foreheadinho

    I sense a big performance today. I think we will be up for it and poor Everton are going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 5+ goals for Arsenal is my tip…

  33. IvoryGoonz

    Pedro/Ricky/Rohan: had same trouble couple times, not related to time, though can confirm I had the same 500 internal server error around the time I last posted last night, but it’s not linked to being on laptop or not, as this happened while I was on my home pc…..

  34. Foreheadinho

    Everton will try to press and cut down our passing lanes but we will be good enough to get through them. RVP coming deep as they press to pick up the ball leaves space behind him and drags defenders out of position, Ramsey, Gerv and Theo can exploit that. We are due a penalty at home, surely someone will cut Gervino down in the box at some stage soon while he is considering his options….

  35. wtf wanker

    I want to to see how fabregas plays in the el classico will be great to watch!! I think he could score!!

  36. BOOZY

    lets hope rvp can survive this december, this is usually the period we lose him for long periods, and if we can get at least 3 wins this month then we can talk about fighting for the title.

  37. Foreheadinho

    A good X-mas period will set us up nicely. It should see us firmly in the top 4 and ready to strengthen the squad and chase hard for trophies. A lot of hard work to do for the team over the next 3 weeks and for the management to clear and build the squad.

  38. Leedsgunner

    I am glad that Adams is getting a statute — in my mind he is the greatest captain the club ever had. Grit, character and courage he had it abundance and he shared all the above through to the team. I also agree Dennis would have been a fitting choice after Chapman and Adams… I suspect TH14 was probably a Wenger choice…

    COYG, let’s get a win today!

  39. IvoryGoonz

    Jon: vb is right in my opinion. He’s there to defend his players.
    Neville should only be commenting Man U games anyway.
    Besides, Neville didn’t start the playstation jokes I think you’d have to ask Merse about it, talking about Chamakh and Park …

  40. argooner

    Happy birthday from Arkansas……although i grew up in new Zealand and as a kid followed spurs i went to my first live match at Highbury…April 19….1991…pretty eventful day…standing in terrace was magic…..been gooner ever since!

  41. Joppa Road

    Morning all,

    Happy Bday Arsenal. On side note Helen Chamberlain is not only fit but looks quite dirty too.

    Any links for today’s game please gooners?

    Much love


  42. NiXsKiX

    The fate of todays match will be decided based on who is next to JD in defence… If its Mert… Trouble…. If it is Kos.. maybe…

  43. IvoryGoonz

    Thomas Vermaelen will line up on the left side of defence for the visit of Everton to Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

    With Andre Santos out with an ankle problem, Vermaelen will be left to demonstrate his versatility for Arsène Wenger’s side.

    Johan Djourou is the only change from the Premier League victory over Wigan last weekend and is expected to feature at right-back alongside Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

    Mikel Arteta will start against his former side at the heart of midfield, continuing once more with Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey.

    Gervinho and Theo Walcott will look to provide for Robin van Persie.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie

    Substitutes: Almunia, Miquel, Frimpong, Benayoun, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh.

  44. argooner

    happy birthday from Arkansas. ..I grew up in New Zealand and was originally a spurs fan…but went to my first ever game at Highbury April 15 1989…remember standing at goal end hearing from fans around about what was happening at hillsborgh. .What a day to start being a gunner! Look forward to bringing my 4 yr old son to Emirates soon to get another gooner going!

  45. Foreheadinho

    JD should be fine, PR would have worked with him tracking players and I think it will be Vermaelan who is given the permission to push forward further. TV has experience playing at left back and should be solid.