Back when I started Soccerlens, the second article I wrote was about Thierry Henry and his contract wrangle with Arsenal.
Looking at where Arsenal are at right now, and how Thierry Henry has been this year, I think we should step back and think again about what happened before this year’s Champions League final.
Henry was being courted by Barcelona, and he had admitted to not being certain about staying or leaving. In the end Arsenal convinced him with a fantastic pay-package and Henry’s loyalty to the club, plus the promise of leading Arsenal at a new stadium and being part of a rebuilt team kept him around.
It’s cruel, but I think he got it wrong (just like Vieira should have been sold in the summer of 2004, and Ruud should have been sold in the summer of 2005). There are two ways to look at it – one, that Henry knew about Wenger’s plans for the club, but that they haven’t worked out so far, so it’s more ‘tough luck’ than anything else.
Two, even with everything going picture-perfect, Henry’s status at Arsenal had already peaked, and short of leading them to a Champions League title (which didn’t happen) there’s not much more that he could have accomplished.
Henry, at the end of last season, needed to take his career to the next level. He thought he could do it Arsenal, but I said it then, and I’m saying it again, he made a mistake.
I don’t know if he’d leave next summer or not – but he probably should. He’s still got a few years to play, but Arsenal aren’t going to help him win the Champions League, and he wants that more than anything else.
What do you guys think?