Tag Archives: Thierry Henry

Saturation of Statues Spoil the Significance

Arsenal have recently been running a poll about what 1970’s legend’s name should be engraved on a bench that will go outside the stadium.

This led to a reopening of a debate as to who should be next when it comes to statues outside the ground.

As you are probably aware, currently there are 4 statues around the ground. Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Following the bench naming, there has been a lot of talk about who should be next. GC had his opinion:

This led to an afternoon long debate in a WhatsApp group as to who should be next. GC was adamant that it should be Rocky and Wrighty. A few disagreed, a few put forward other suggestions.

Now with being too disrespectful, I questions why Rocky should have a statue. Why not Paul Merson or Ray Parlour? Two players who were at Arsenal longer, won and contributed more.

Why not Robert Pires? He might not have been home grown but he actually ended up playing more games than Rocky.

GC was adamant, Rocky should be next. And this where the issue now arises.

Everyone has their own legends. Icons. Greats.

Now if you look into it, the majority of these will be from their adolescence. When they were a late teen or early 20s. When they were growing up and have an idol, a role model, was a thing. When they were going week in, week out, before they had other priorities like families.

Ask someone what music they love, I bet they usually say it was the music of their youth. That current bands were not the same. They were inferior. Nothing will beat The Who, Weller, Oasis or Arctic Monkeys, depending on what era you are from.

Football is the same.

And this is where the problem is when it comes to statues.

GC will ask for Rocky, as he is the icon of that generation. Someone older will be asking for Liam Brady, Charlie George or Frank McLintock. An even older generation (possibly no longer with us) would ask for Clif Bastin or Alex James. Someone my generation already has their hero, Tony Adams.

Ask a 14 year old in 8 years time who they want and they might say Alexis Sanchez.

We all have different ideas on who should be the next statue.

What is the criteria? Is it objective? Is it subjective? Is a player who played for us 7 years deserving of a statue? How about David O’Leary? Our record appearance holder?

If someone breaks Thierry Henry’s goal scoring record, do they automatically get one? It really is a minefield.

Herbert Chapman is perhaps the most important man in Arsenal’s history. He deserves his. Adams as our greatest ever player and most successful captain, he is Mr Arsenal and fully deserving. Likewise Henry, our top scorer, and perhaps the best player most of us have ever seen.

We then get to Dennis Bergkamp. What is the reasoning behind him having a statue? Yes, he was a great player, a modern day great, but was he any more deserving then Bastin, James, Brady or Rocky? I honestly do not know.

Outside of statues, Geordie Armstrong has a pitch at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground named in his memory. Should he be in the hat for a statue? What about Kenny Sansom?

Then we come to Rocky himself.

The Hale end Academy in Walthamstow has already named after Rocastle. The David Rocastle indoor centre  was opened up in August 2006. So Rocky already has an honour within Arsenal, and taking into account he was an academy graduate, it is a very touching one.

Now this is not to say Rocky, Armstrong, Brady, Bastin or anyone else is not deserving on an honour, or are more deserving than others in the list. It is simply a show of how problematic it can be if you open up a discussion on who should be next to get a statue.

And if you leave it in the hands of fans to decide, it will be even worse. We all remember the Gunners Greatest Players list. It was horrendous. Marc Overmars above Rocky, Sylvian Wiltord above Geordie Armstrong, Anelka above Ted Drake (another who is in the statue hat) and Kanu above Alan Smith.

We can not be trusted to make a decision.

I am of the simple opinion that no one should be next. That the more statues you have, the less value each one has. That if you accept what everyone wants, you will end up with 100 statues all around the ground.

There is one statue that does need to go up, however. Or when I say a statue, I mean a bust. George Graham deserves his place next to Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger.

Keenos

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Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal

French central midfielder Francis Coquelin has claimed first dibs on Theo Walcott’s number 14 jersey next season if the Englishman leaves the club. Coquelin believes he is the heir apparent for the shirt number made famous by club legend Thierry Henry.

ZZZZZZZZZ

That is a load of rubbish, and the headline itself probably got a load of your knickers in a twist.

I also hear that Mohamed Elneny wants to wear number the number 1 shirt in 2018/19 and Hector Bellerin wants to wear a Petr Cech style hat with his top knot sticking out.

So rumours surfaced earlier in the week that Mesut Ozil would only stay at Arsenal if he was given the number 10 shirt. This is literally a made up story for RTs and hits. As fake as my Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal headline on this blog.

Firstly, I would be surprised if Ozil signing a new contract hinges on the shirt he is going to wear.

Players are motivated by 3 things:

    1. Money
  • Success
  • Love of the club

 

Now we can get rid of number 3. Ozil is motivated by money and success. And probably more money than anything else.

I imagine Ozil would wear Joe Willock’s number 69 (wah-hey!) if we were to pay him £300k a week.

It really is a non-story. People coming out and saying Jack does not deserve to lose his jersey and others saying Jack is always injured, give it to Ozil if it means he stays.

Why does it matter what number you wear? Whether it be William Gallas in 10, Abou Diaby in 2, Or Ozil in 11. It is just a name and a number.

Bring back the days where everyone wore 1-11 without the names on the back. But the marketing and sales boys would not have this. Getting a name and number is just to generate money for the club with idiot adults who still buy club shirts with a name and number on the back.

Ozil should be playing for Arsenal because he wants to be at the club, not because of the number on the back of the shirt.

And if he really is demanding the number 10 shirt to stay, he knows where the door is.

The number on the back of the shirt is not important. The performances on the pitch are.

Keenos

How do The Invincibles and Class of 2017 compare?

Yesterday Arsene Wenger cam out and claimed his current crop of forwards was the best options he has had in his 2 decades at the club, surpassing the invicibles:

“Certainly numbers-wise and quality-wise together [they are the best],” Wenger said ahead of today’s clash with struggling Watford.

“We had never so many players who could perform and score goals – certainly never.

“Dennis and Thierry had the quality but we did not have a large number. We had Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires as well so it was not bad.”

Many have used this of further proof that Arsene Wenger is a deluded old man who has gone senile. It is further quotes to prove that he now looks at the current set up through rose tinted glasses.

Arsenal’s current forward options are: Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil & Lucas Perez. How can these compare to Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Kanu and Sylvain Wiltord. The invincibles.

Well the statistics do make for interesting reading:

Invincibles v Class of 2017

goals-in-order

So the Invincibles scored a goal every 2.96 games. Whilst the Class of 2017 are a goal every 3.01 games. Almost nothing in it. We are talking about a 5 minute difference. But of course, it disproves Arsene Wenger’s point. The Invincibles were superior goal scorers, but only just. And probably not by as much as people think.

For me there are main differences between the two groups of players is top end quality. The Invincibles had Thierry Henry.

Henry is by far and away the most clinical player out of the 12 players and the primary reason that the Invincibles scored more than the Class of 2017.

A minor reason is Dennis Bergkamp against Mesut Ozil. Bergkamp was much more of a striker than Mesut Ozil. Scored more goals.

Henry better than Giroud, Bergkamp better than Ozil. When you combine all 12 players into a single long list, it makes equally as interesting reading.

Long List

long-list

This list further proves that Henry was superior to every other player. Our greatest goal scorer of all time. But the next two on the list are interesting. Both from the Class of 2017. This shows that whilst the Invincibles were heavily reliant on goals from Henry, the Class of 2017 has two goal scoring options.

Lucas Perez has to kind of be disregarded as he has played so few games to make a true judgement.

You then have the next 5. Pires, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Welbeck & Walcott. Very similar games to goal ratio.

So the Invincibles had the best goal scorer, but the Class of 2017 had the better options.

Player v Player

side-by-sideA last comparison is just seeing players per their position.

Again, this highlights the importance of Henry and Bergkamp. Henry is vastly superior to Giroud. Bergkamp better than Ozil. This is not exactly ground breaking news.

On the left hand side, Sanchez out scores Pires, which again is not exactly surprising. Sanchez is better than Pires.

The right hand side of the midfield might surprise you. Walcott is more dangerous than Ljungberg.

Wiltord and Welbeck are both hardworking strikers who also cover the wide positions. Wiltord had played a lot more than Welbeck, but their record is identical.

Lastly we have Perez v Kanu. Not similar in style, but they are the lost ones left. Kanu on his day was a game changer, but was extremely inconsistent. A scorer of great goals, rather than a great goal scorer.

 

I think it is wrong to compare the Invincibles to the Class of 2017. The Invincibles won league titles, and went unbeaten. Add in a lot of FA Cups. Whilst the current crop have just those 2 FA Cups to show for their efforts. But the comparison does make interesting reading, and the difference is not as much as you would think.

The difference is Bergkamp and Henry.

Keenos

Note: I know I spelt Wiltord’s name wrong in the pretty pictures