Well, Peter Hill-Wood spoke yesterday and the first thing he had to say was that the club had made a contract offer to Thierry Henry. He said “We’ve made him an offer which is probably as good an offer as anybody in this country – maybe other than Chelsea – would make. It’s for five years. Arsene Wenger thinks he’s physically capable of playing for another five years.”
Some people might accuse the board of certain things but they have moved swiftly and decisively in this matter. They might also question the need to make it public but if Thierry can come out with stuff about how the club have to match his ambition then surely the club can say we’ve made a player a fantastic offer. It looks like it’s now up to Thierry so let the nail biting begin. Apart from the contract the Chairman also put into words what a lot of Arsenal fans have been thinking about certain players in the squad, saying “What we’ve got is two or three players who are probably a year from not being good enough in the Champions League. Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell. Whether they have lost a yard of pace I don’t know.”
I think we do know. Sol looks enormous and in my opinion Senderos is suffering alongside him. As pointed out elsewhere they both like the play on the left hand side of the defence but the senior man doesn’t seem to be helping his younger partner. I think when Kolo gets back, and gets a bit of a rest, we should play him and Senderos in Sol’s position. They were rock solid at the back end of last season and while Philippe is certainly not reaching the same level of performance as he did last season he’s undergoing a steep learning curve and I believe we need to stick with him. People forget Tony Adams went through the same thing – although at least he had good senior partners like David O’Leary who helped him grow and mature as a player and not one who is dragging him down with him – and even John Terry was prone to mistakes, own goals and poor positioning up until a couple of seasons ago. A good player will learn from the tough times and I think Senderos will do that because of his talent and his attitude.
Le Bob is certainly not worth a 2 year deal and Freddie is probably the one I’d be most inclined to hold on to even though we have Walcott earmarked for the right hand side. Still, it was interesting to hear it said out loud and if the feeling is these players need to be replaced then the summer could well be an interesting one.
In team news ahead of Bolton we’re a bit threadbare. Campbell was supposed to be rested but now it seems Gilberto is out with a calf injury so he’s back in the squad. Lauren and Thierry are definitely out with hamstring problems and Cesc is suspended. There’s no Ashley Cole or Pascal Cygan either so the left back choice is going to be an interesting one. I suggest we bring back Kenny Sansom on a pay as you play deal. His girth means it would take any player about 40 seconds to get round him on either side and even Sol Campbell should be able to get across to cover in that time.
Anyway, it’s Friday. Then day when beer after work is the only polite thing to do. Not a lot else going on so I’ll toddle off to work. Till tomorrow.