Why Thierry Henry Must Go Now

By John Nicholson

It’s a given in football that you don’t sell your best player. To sell your best player usually indicates that the club is going down the toilet, is desperate for cash or the player concerned has been caught with some swollen part of his anatomy in the managers daughters ‘downstairs bits’.

Selling your best player sounds like madness, I know. But madness, along with encouraging me to run through the streets with my underwear on my head shouting “pixies are chasing me” has never stopped me from thinking anything, which is why Arsenal should sell Thierry Henry. Now.

When I say something as radical as this, a team of paramedics usually turns up at my gaff and injects me with a strong sedative, but before they arrive, hear me out. It all makes sense. Honest.

After Arsenal’s superb battling performance at Stamford Bridge without a lot of first team players and in particular without Henry it showed me clearly what I’d been thinking all season.

Arsenal have played better this season without TH having won at Old Trafford and coming within a few minutes of beating Chelsea.

His presence inhibits other younger players, especially Adebayor and van Persie who have to play a subservient role to his lordship and are clearly in his considerable shadow. When he’s not there they both play like they’ve had the shackles removed.

Arsenal’s highly skilled but over-fussy game has been created by and to accommodate TH. When he doesn’t play they are more direct and aggressive and more effective. They also seem to have much more bottle. His prissy, poutyness rubs off on the rest of the team and they seem to feel sorry for themselves too often.

He’s a bad choice of captain. Only given the position to get him to sign a new contract, it was the worse thing Wenger could have done. He doesn’t handle pressure well, is known to go missing in big games throughout his whole career, and being captain has just fed his ego. All these things are to the detriment of Arsenal.

They’d get a load of money if they sell him to Barcelona now, and given the club is strapped for cash after building the new stadium, that money could massively strengthen the whole of the first team which would give them a much better chance of winning the Premiership next season.

He thinks he’s bigger than the club and has been indulged to believe that. His comments about the club matching his ambitions show how he thinks of himself. Everything about Arsenal has to be about him. He’s recently said he’ll be at Arsenal for the rest of his career — well that’s just so arrogant — what if the club don’t want you any longer Terry eh? It’s not your choice to make to stay at the club.

It is never a good thing to have any player who thinks he’s bigger than the club. Henry is a prima donna and sets a bad example.

He also advertised Renault cars, which are rubbish. I am shallow enough to hold that against him.

He’s past his best at 30 years old in August 2007. Strikers wear out quicker than anyone else and fast players are always injury prone as they age. His best days are behind him. By keeping him Arsenal are just hanging on to his past glories. It’s over, forget him and as Stevie ‘guitar’ Miller once recommended (no not that thing about being a Space Cowboy) take the money and run.

John Nicholson is the author of the exceedingly good “Footy Rocks” book (available now from his web site), and a veteran columnist for Football365. Nicholson resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.


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