Written by Mean Lean on Saturday, 16 June 2007 21:44
The whole Henry thing is sounding alot more unlike a 'rumour' as the days go on. We hear that Arsene Wenger is in Paris speaking to Barcelona about a possible sell of our club captain and record goal scorer. Sounds scary doesn't it?
There is also talk of Samuel Eto'o moving in the opposite direction if any deal was to be done. Which I think has to be a must. Arsene knows that he would have to replace Thierry with quality and not youth. Even Arsene wouldn't be that stubborn.
So would you have reasonably happy if we swapped or exchanged Henry for Eto'o?
My answer to that would have to be yes. As I have said many times, I would not swap a fit, happy, committed Henry for anyone in the world. And the signs are that he isn't fit wasn't committed and has opened his mouth publicly about being unhappy about Dein leaving the club.
Its all speculation at the moment, and nothing is true until its done but I thought I would do a little player comparison and how each player benefits the team.
THIERRY HENRY is a better individual player. Technically he is superior to any striker in world football, his vision and link up play is fantastic. The trouble is we haven't seen the real Henry for a couple of seasons now, since Bergkamp retired and Pires left the club Henry hasn't been himself and it seemed like he changed his role in the team.
Thierry used to play on the shoulder of the last defender and Dennis, Bobby, Patrick etc would slide him in and he was unstoppable. The last couple seasons Henry would drop off and take the ball off the feet of his teammates leaving no one upfront. This was very apparent in the 4-5-1 in the season when we got to the CL final. It caused our team problems in alot of Premier League away matches.
Thierry is 29 years old and will be 30 in August. Have we seen his best years? Will his body decline from now on? These are all the questions that I'm sure Arsene has asked himself.
SAMUEL ETO'O is an 26 year old, explosive striker who loves scoring goals. The Cameron international signed from Real Mallorca in 2004. He has a wonderful strike rate, and has notched up 61 goals in 87 matches for the Catalan giants. Eto'o is instinctive, he likes to shoot and would be just the type of striker that Arsenal could do with.
The one downside with Eto'o is that he has tendency to be outspoken as we witnessed last year against his manager and teammate Ronaldinho. We already have one outspoken player in Gallas, would another upset the dressing room? Who knows. I would take the gamble.
Arsene has spoken of the possibility of using 4-3-3 with a natural wide man. Eto'o has experience in this formation as the central player of the three. With Ryan Babel linked to joining us I could see a rather tasty looking front three of Babel Eto'o Van Persie all interchanging, all capable of scoring and creating.
This formation would allow us to play our current 'wide' players in their favourite positions. Hleb, Rosicky and Diaby would all excel in central positions.
I think Henry is a better all round player than Eto'o. But I think Eto'o would fit into our side very well as he is what we have missed, an Ian Wright type who is good on the ball and would keep our side playing the football that we are used to but who also has the selfish streak who lives to score goals. Eto'o also has youth on his side. Henry has probably peaked already and Eto'o could get even better. Its taken me a little while to except that Henry would leave. And now I am beginning to think that a swap deal would be more beneficial to our club.
And as sick as this sounds, it would be nice to watch what Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho could do together on the pitch. Come on, you know you were thinking that.
If Thierry Henry leaves I will shed a tear in my mind. He has been the best player that I have ever seen at Arsenal and that is saying something with the likes of Bergkamp, Vieira and Limpar (Loved that guy) but it won't be the end for Arsenal football club