So – Klose is off to Bayern.
Henry is off to Barcelona.
I don’t quite know why, but these two headlines got me worked up. The thing is – I just don’t get why they’re leaving. On top of that, I don’t get how both players seem to have had the feeling that they had the undeniable right to leave.
Take Klose, for example. He’s played a mediocre season, by his standards. He excelled at the World Cup (I, for one, remember chanting his name with glee many-a-time last June). He was injured, he got a bit lazy, he didn’t do well for Bremen. If he had been in form, I’m certain Bremen would’ve won the title and most probably the UEFA Cup too.
Anyway. He had a bad season. Instead of keeping his head down and working hard to have a better 2007/2008 campaign with Bremen, who stuck by him through this season (I cannot remember one single criticism directed towards him in the media uttered by the manager), he kept whinging and whining from April onwards that he wanted to go to Bayern. He had a “secret” meeting with Bayern officials 48 hours (!) before the UEFA Cup semi-final against Espanyol.
Take Henry. He was injured for a large part of the season. He didn’t exactly prove himself this year. Instead of playing for at least another season of his contract (which went until 2011!), he kept whining. He decided that Dein leaving was enough to make him want to go to Barcelona. I simply do not buy it. Even if he has “close ties” with the family. If Arsenal, the fans, the stadium, were truly “in his heart”, he wouldn’t have left. No question.
Why did they feel like they had the right to go? They had contracts. They didn’t play brilliantly recently. Not wanting to use a cliché here but…just shut up and play.
Now the elementary question though – why did they even want to leave? At the moment, it’s arguable whether Bayern is a better club that Bremen. They’ve spent big, but the new team is unproven. Klose will face stiff competition – Podolski, Toni, Makaay, even Schlaudraff if he becomes a fan favourite. And they’re playing in the UEFA Cup next season.
Arsenal didn’t do that well this season, but they’re a young team with future, with Henry being the absolute superstar at the Emirates. Henry will face some of the best forwards in Europe (save Rooney and van Nistelrooy, perhaps) in Barcelona – Messi, Eto’o, Ronaldinho. He’s 30 soon, does he really want to fight for a first-team place after being the big man with the Gunners for so long?
I repeat – I just don’t get it. If anyone has any explanations, pray tell.