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Saturday 7 January 2006

Transfer Window Coup To End All Coups

When I received a call about 8pm this evening, I was careful not to let myself get too carried away. After all, over the years plenty of such "scoops" have proved to be bum steers. But as I tried to temper my excitement during dinner at my Ma's, while at the same time texting all and sundry Gooner across the globe, I thought I detected some logic to the most delicious media story we've read all season.

Obviously there could be no doubt that Thierry Henry has been considering his future for much of this season, but I wouldn't mind betting that, at a time when the Arsenal would most benefit from such a major boost, Arsène has made a concerted effort to appeal to Titi's loyalty and convinced him to make up his mind.

The cynic in me can't help but wonder if it's no coincidence that Henry has pledged his allegiance to the Arsenal as we enter the transfer window. Perhaps this assurance of the greatest signing we all could have wished for, is going to take the pressure off Wenger to waste the club's money in the January sales, by plugging the obvious gaps in our squad with the sort of nearly men who tend to be transfer listed at this time in the season.

Amidst all the players that clubs are trying to offload from their exorbitant wage bills, basically because they're not doing the business and from the multitude of names mentioned in all the other gossip mongering despatches I've read, I've only noted one with proven Premiership experience, who might be capable of coming in and doing an instantaneous job, by perhaps adding the sort of grit to our midfield which enables us to turn games around. However Thomas Gravesen would hardly be top of my personal 'most wanted' list. He just happens to be one of the few players who's signing doesn't appear as improbable as my preferred choices. Gravesen wouldn't exactly feature in a game of fantasy football when compared to the likes of Messi, Kaka, Terry and Ballack.

Nevertheless, even before this evening's gob smacking good news, it had occurred to me that according to Le Prof's strict principles of only buying players who are better than those he already has, he might choose to remain inactive in the transfer window, rather than act in haste and repent at leisure. Alternatively perhaps Thierry made his mind up after Arsène sat him down and enlightened him with exact details about how he's about to spend this £50 million transfer budget he's supposed to have at his disposal and we are about to discover that the Arsenal are intent on matching Henry's ambitions with some major buys (now that would be a surprise!).

Although how on earth can Arsène top the revelations that Titi's staying and who knows, hopefully the huge gloomy cloud of uncertainty about Henry's future which has been hanging so heavy about the Gunners, has now been removed and we might at long last return to playing the sort of carefree footie which means we no longer have to concern ourselves with our inability to turn games around. Not if we start winning again consistently.

Life is a helluva long time in the ephemeral world of the mercenary beast of the modern game and while I can't stop smiling as I read and re-read the quotes attributed to Thierry in which he pledges his future to the Arsenal cause for the entire length of his career, I think it would be naive to assume this is gospel.

For the moment I am just over the moon that the most breathtaking player I've ever had the privilege to witness isn't going anywhere this summer. Although I must admit we can't afford to suffer season after season, ruined by the sort of uncertainty, which plagued us with Paddy's enduring saga

Yet as much as I would love it, it's hard to imagine Thierry remaining with us until the point where the law of diminishing returns begins to apply to his value due to his age. If we weren't Gooners, we'd all consider Henry downright stupid, if he didn't cash in at least once on his value as one of the world's greatest.

Thierry's arrival at THOF wouldn't have been exactly lucrative by today's standards. considering he came to us as a relative unknown and to be honest, in light of the incredible entertainment he's provided, we could hardly begrudge him a big pay day while still at his peak. Especially when Titi's proven himself to be a consummate "mensch" by putting the Arsenal and le gaffer's cause before his own selfish interests in this instance.

Shame he didn't do it five months back. But I ain't complaining when his selflessness is such an unbelievably pleasant surprise in this day and age. True Thierry might have little to lose. As one of the top three players in the world, at his age the effect upon his value of another season or so at the Arsenal is only likely to be marginal. What's more, for all we know Thierry might have been persuaded to remain at the club primarily for commercial reasons, rather than footballing ones, as I imagine our board has been absolutely bricking themselves about arriving at our vast new arena next August, with no star turn to entertain all those megabucks corporate box holders.

Meanwhile I don't happen to give a monkeys's about all the whys and wherefores and am just offering "big respek" to Titi for sending me to bed tonight to indulge in footballing wet dreams about all those awe inspiring feats of amazement we have to come.

Now let’s see if Thierry’s oath of allegiance has the desired effect. We should certainly discover to what extent we’ve suffered this season up until now, as a result of his vacillating. Hopefully not only will Titi begin doing the business again, but the whole team will benefit from a renewed impetus. It’s perhaps expecting a bit much, but wouldn’t it be brilliant if, from tomorrow’s encounter against Cardiff, we are reborn as the Invincibles and begin to build the momentum, which carries us right through an unbeatable second half of the season.

As they say, if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big!


Anonymous said...

I very much hope this is true. But why would he choose to make this announcement in the Sun?

Bern said...

My guess would be that once he made his mind up and it had been decided he'd announce it, doubtless it was just a case of his agent deciding who was going to cross his hand with the most silver, as to how they'd go about releasing this exciting news

Not that it makes it any more legitimate these days, as The Times has just become the toffs' Sun since the two are sister papers. But as a result the quotes are repeated in The Times.

Personally I very much doubt Thierry gave it a second thought, which paper would get the story. Besides these days, with the apparent flexibility they now all have with the later editions, you can rest assured that if it's in the first editions of the Sun and the Times, any story worth it's salt will be repeated in the second edition of the Mirror etc. etc,

Anonymous said...

Thierry Henry has a contract with THE SUN

Anonymous said...

Has Henry signed on the dotted line ?If not we have to wait and see.My gps told me not to take things for granted unless it is 100% odds on and not 99.99%