It was a case of will he won't he before the game and luckily he did. Yes our club captain and star striker was back in the famous red and white instead of his black coat that he wore in the stands while he was out with his 'injury'
Henry was due to come back against Liverpool in the FA cup but injuries to Adebayor, Walcott and Baptista forced Wenger to play his trump card.
First half I thought Henry started the game very slowly and was not in the game very much. What I found very interesting was the fact that everything wasn't going through the gifted Frenchman. And I don't think this was accidental.
What was more evident than anything else was that we saw the Thierry of old, I don't mean the pace, skills or vision I mean the happy smiling Henry. I don't remember seeing that since he had his mates Pires, Vieira and Bergkamp at the club.
It made me think about Henry's sudden absence from the squad. I don't really buy the whole neck injury malarkey. I believe that Wenger had two reasons to leave him out. Firstly Thierry Henry's performances were well below the level that he has produced in previous seasons. Having a long world cup and a short pre season along with the various niggles he picked up probably went some way to contribute to his form. So a rest would only be beneficial. The second reason for Thierry's 'rest' could be a way of getting the team to trust each other without relying on our star striker. In his absence the likes of Van Persie and Adebayor have grown into senior strikers instead of Henry's partner.
This I thought was clearly evident against Charlton. I don't remember Henry having very much me the ball in the first 15 minutes of the game. Where as previously it was always a case of if Arsenal were in charge of the game then Henry would be the man with the most possession. This didn't seem to be the case against Charlton. Wenger wants Arsenal not to rely so much on Henry. And I think we could soon to relying on Robin Van Persie just as much.
He was in great form once again. I think this is due to his positioning on the pitch.
Wenger seems to have moved him to the right hand side of the pitch. I have been bewildered during many of our 4-5-1 games with Van Persie on the left of the 5. And he just could not impose himself on the game. Van Persie isn't going to burst past the full back and although he has fantastic delivery his early crosses are wasted as we rarely have players in the box. We are now seeing the International quality Van Persie instead of a player of just promise.
Robin has improved his team play in recent weeks and has a good relationship with Cesc Fabregas on the pitch. And from the right he gets to cut inside and use that venomous left foot as he did twice against Blackburn and again artistically away to Watford. He took his two goals very well. I always feel very confident when he steps up to take a penalty and he struck it with so much power that no keeper would have saved it. His second goal reminded me of his mentor Dennis Bergkamp. A delightfully disguised chip over Scott Carson. I still have a few doubts about Henry and Robin playing as a partnership but if they can go on like that, then, I'll gladly enjoy being proved wrong.