Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

Thierry Henry’s take on a top four finish and Coquelin pledges his future

Many Gooners where shocked in the summer of 2007 when Thierry Henry left the club to join FC Barcelona. Unlike some other Gunners, Henry had paid his dues to Arsenal and many fans were filled with thanks and praises for his undying service to Arsenal.

Roughly five years later, this same Thierry Henry received a through pass from the impressive Alex Song to slot in Arsenal’s winner against Leeds using his trademark “R2” finish.

Henry will remain at Arsenal for six weeks or so but his presence will be a massive plus for everyone concerned at Arsenal. The fact that he’s a key figurehead off the pitch has been nothing short of sensational yet he has picked up where he left off with a classy finish to add his Arsenal goal tally to 227.

Arsenal is currently fifth place and is within touching distance of the teams vying for Champions League places but Henry believes that Arsenal can still end up there:

“We obviously don’t want to drop out of [the top four] positions. There’s going to be a hell of a competition this year to be in them.”

“But I do think this team does have what it takes to finish in the top four, particularly if you think about the way the team has come back from the beginning of the season. I know that people want more, and I can assure you that the players want more.”

“[Targeting a place in the top four is] not what you want to see as an Arsenal fan and, trust me, as an Arsenal player also. But the team is slowly getting into form. The season is still long, anything can happen.”

Arsene Wenger and his men are approaching the business end of the season and with the emergence of Tottenham Hotspurs and potential banana skins like Liverpool and Newcastle, there’ll be no room for error.

Arsenal didn’t begin 2012 well with that stinging defeat at Craven Cottage but the tail end of 2011 was very encouraging to say the least. Arsene Wenger did extremely well to rally his troops from a dismal 17th place in August to where they are at the moment.

Just like how a disappointing 1-0 win over Swansea at the Emirates sparked a revival in September, a win against the same outfit in the Liberty Stadium will definitely put Chelsea under some much needed pressure.

There’s also the issue of a revenge mission against Manchester United on the 22nd but I simply hope for three points at the end of the ref’s whistle. They smashed in eight past Wenger’s men in August but they had only three points to show for it.

It’s true that the pride of the players and fans became battered but we still picked ourselves us and moved forward. At least, we didn’t close our website temporarily like Feyernoord, after they lost 10-0 to PSV Eindhoven.

The next six weeks will be massively important to Arsenal, as Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle visit the Emirates while there’ll be a tricky trip to Anfield.

Francis Coquelin is a player that grew from the youth ranks and he had a fair share of first team action in FC Lorient last season. With Alex Song’s status as the Number One holding midfielder and the rise of Emmanuel Frimpong, the Coq’s chances of first team action has been limited.

Frimpong’s red card against Liverpool paved the way for the youngster and like Wojciech Szczesny, he made his league debut in Old Trafford and he was hugely impressive.

The Carling Cup was used as a breeding ground for Coquelin and he rapidly improved with each passing game. Injuries in the defense made the holding midfielder to showcase his versatility and he had put very good shifts in both full back positions.

He recently pledged his future to the club by signing a long-term deal:

It’s a very big club and I’ve always wanted to succeed here. I’m getting games, I’m training with great players and working with great staff.

I wish Coquelin a speedy recovery from his hamstring injury and I hope that Arsene Wenger would do well to tackle the club’s full-back crisis. The Mirror reports that Arsenal had a loan bid rejected for Lyon’s Aly Cissokho. They say that they want a permanent offer.

In other transfer news, Luke Freeman completed a permanent move to League One side Stevenage and Vito Mannone joined Championship outfit Hull City on loan.

This clearly means that if another player invokes the spirit of Dani Alves and ruptures Wojciech Szczesny’s finger tendons, Arsenal will be stuck with Lukasz Fabianski…and Manuel Almunia.



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