Youngsters fly high as noble Henry praises Arsenal

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Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the season with another fine victory over Newcastle United in the third round of the Carling Cup.

As expected, Arsene Wenger played a virtual second-string lineup but that did not stop his side posting a surprisingly impressive 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal had the bulk of the possession and chances but had to wait until the 83rd minute for their first goal, when Armand Traore crossed from left for Nicklas Bendtner to head home. They survived a late scare when Philippe Senderos had to clear an Obafemi Martins shot off the line before Denilson smashed home a second from the edge of the area in the 89th minute to seal the win.

Despite the fact that I did not get to see the match, I couldn’t help but be impressed with result and apparent performance. It may have been shaky at times but a 2-0 victory over one of the better sides in the Premiership despite the fact that not one first-choice player was chosen is nothing short of remarkable. Seriously, despite the claims from opposition and the media that Arsenal lack depth I don’t think their is any other club in the Premiership who could play a second-choice team and get that kind of result.

Bendtner scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal against NewcastleSpecial mentions should go to Nicklas Bendtner, who scored his first competitive goal for the club; Lukasz Fabianski, who appeared to have an excellent debut in goals; and Alexandre Song and Senderos, who formed  a central-defensive partnership that limited the Newcastle attack to just five efforts on goal. Despite some suggestions that Senderos and Song are two of the weaker links in the Arsenal squad, a clean sheet and a sensational clearance of the line by the Swiss defender at the death really says it all about their performance.

It was also great to see Lassana Diarra (who, Wenger later revealed, only cost the club £2 million) grab his first start and Denilson get the second with another thunderbolt of a goal. You could count the number of long-range goals that Arsenal scored last season on one hand but with Denilson’s goal added to the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas’ little collection it seems that the boys have really learnt how to shoot this time around. Indeed, I’ve seen Denilson try his luck from range many times in his short career with the club and have never been overly impressed. All I can say is that I’m glad he hasn’t given up. Unsurprisingly, manager Arsene Wenger was absolutely delighted with the performance of his side, going as far to say that any of the players who started the game could slot into the first team with ease.

“All of them, for me all of them can play on a regular basis in the first team. We have a small group but [one] of very good quality, and very young.”

The result suggests you can’t really argue with that. I have to admit, I had my doubts about this one but all the evidence points to the strong possibility that the club is set for another excellent run in the Carling Cup, despite Wenger’s insistance on using the competition to give the younger players their chance to play.

Henry has more in common with players like RonaldinhoA matter of status?

In other news, ex-club captain Thierry Henry has praised the current Arsenal team for their impressive performances of late. Henry made comments about his old team’s flying start to the season and suggested that he was not surprised with the quality of their results so far. 

“It is their generation. It is their Arsenal now and it is up to them to win stuff and with the team they have, I do not know why they wouldn’t.”

I think these are noble words from Henry. A lot of people gave him stick over the way that he left the club but when he mentions “their generation” I think I can finally understand why he felt he had to leave Arsenal. When Cesc Fabregas spoke about Henry’s influence on the team recently, he painted the picture of a player who intimidated his teammates due to his reputation and status, rather than his behaviour.

“Henry intimidated us. He is a great player but it was not easy to play alongside him. We were a bit inhibited – dependent on everything that he wanted to do.”

There is no doubting that Henry was a great player and a good man. As such, I find it hard to believe that he behaved poorly in the dressing room. What I can believe is that Henry got to a stage where, even as the captain of the club, he found it difficult to fit in with the other Arsenal players. In a club of up-and-coming youngsters he was the one established superstar, a social dilemma that may have been more difficult to deal with than it probably sounds. The younger players will have grouped together in ways that a man ten years older may have struggled to and I think it’s understandable that he seeked out an environment at Barcelona where the bulk of his teammates were not only closer to his age, but closer to his status as well.

So on a day when Arsenal’s youngsters pulled off a great result against a decent Newcastle United side I think it’s worth remembering the contribution of Henry and admiring the positive comments he has made about his old club.

What do you think?

Have your say the win over Newcastle or Thierry Henry by leaving a comment.


25 thoughts on “Youngsters fly high as noble Henry praises Arsenal

  1. Another win at West Ham coming Saturday is going to confirm we are going to challenge and will be the strongest contender for this season title. Come on Young Gunners…. You can do it!

    Togonator (Adebayor) the top scorer and Fab4 the player of the year.

  2. Very positive thinking 🙂 Although Adebayor has started well I don’t think he’ll finish as the top scorer. Fabregas for the Player of the Year is another matter entirely; if he keeps up this form there is no way he could be denied! West Ham will be a very tough match. Did anyone manage to see the Newcastle tie?

  3. Don’t forget about the African Cup of Nations, that’s Ade, Kolo and Eboue out, so talk of winning the league and Ade being top scorer is a bit premature. (Also Liverpool have Torres banging them in if Fat Raffa actually bothers to play him in the league.) 🙂

  4. That reminds me of something sneaky that Pete Gill wrote on the Winners & Losers column for F365 last weekend. Something along the lines of the African Cup of Nations in January. The way that Bendtner is going I think Adebayor can be replaced and Eboue is no certain starter. Even then, remember we will have Djourou back. We’ll see how it goes…

  5. I tried to post some interesting articles about Usmanov and the take over on the Guardian website but they didn’t go through. Go look and see what PHW and Keith Elderman have to say. )

  6. Fellow Gooners,
    I just saw the highlights on was wonderful.As a fan I have never and will never say we will win a match or beat anyone. Westham worthy to note is a strong side.They have a tradition of building players like us. Note that they have the best academy in England for groming players.I am so scared of that match because WH did the doulble over us last season.The only thing I know about this aresnal team is that they fear no one and are more purposeful. I will not comment on who might be top scorer or PFA because the season is just 7 games old. Lets not be carried away as Adebayor said let us take it one game at a time. Remember Cashley Cole said Chelsea will be unbeaten this season and they got spanked 2-0 by Aston Villa the next two days. We still have Aston Villa, Reading, Everton, Blackburn, Boro, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Disunited etc. Lets not get cocky lads.

  7. Ah, a new design. It’s been a long time since i got access to net and read this blog. Good to see you trying some changes.
    We have made a great start and the coming one against WH will be very important.
    And it’s great to see our second choice team whip Fat Sam’s sorry Arse.

  8. ColonelMarquand – Apologies for the link blockage. I have it controlled so that noone can post more than one link – stops spamming. I’ll approve that comment for you now…

  9. Diarra is exactly what Arsenal need a player who loves the physical challenges and can help us in away games at Bolton and Blackburn,team who like to bully us.For the next 5 years our midfield will be showered with great young talents.
    Our first choice 11 is,
    Van persie
    (Arsenal 4 – West Ham 1)

  10. Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

    Line up


    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Hleb fabregas Gilberto Diaby

    Ade ba yor** RVP

    Man of the match – Adebayor to score 2 goals

  11. It is almost sad to hear Henry’s words like that. Not in a bad way, but you know – in a sentimental way. He was such a big part of the club over the last 10 years, and I think its really great that he would come out and speak so positively of a team that is exceeding everyone’s expectations. If Arsenal win the league this season, you would think it would be the sweetest of all their achievements during Wenger’s custodianship.

  12. I agree. I found it quite sad as well. When you read one of the comments that Emmanuel Adebayor made in a recent interview you get the same impression. Check it out here. The one quote in particular I’m referring to is:

    “Thierry was very important for the team and the club. He was carrying all the pressure on his shoulders when the team wasn’t playing well, although he wasn’t responsible for it he was the one that was criticised. And he was OK with that. He didn’t complain.”

  13. im not sure about gilberto, i stilll think it will be flamini in that position arsenal kenya! but all the same a win for us will do a lot of good to the players and put a lot of fear in steau bucharest!

  14. I think AW will choose to play flamini alongside Fab in the centre of the park. A very tricky opponent, for us anyway, haven’t beaten WH in 3 league games, its getting worrying. I like to think 3-0 win but you just don’t know what west ham can do. They can be bad and we win easily but they can be great and beat us, there is no telling.

  15. I think West Ham are going to trouble us this week. However, I also thought that about Newcastle in the Carling Cup and it didn’t prove to be true. I think Jay is right in mentioning West Ham’s unpredictability – that may be a bigger factor than our own ability.

  16. am positive WH is going down this week.let theboyz kip kicking and wekip cheering.AW is the man.with Fab and the defence tight ,who can stop us..

  17. i guess both spanish fry and marc are correct it night be tough and at worst i believe with the way our bois are playing now, we’ll get a draw and it might be easy and everthing will go our way and they get thumped 4 or 3 nil so u can neva tell but you cant just help but feel that westham are in big trouble with the way we are playing at the moment dont be suprised if arsenal’s annual 7nil trashing comes up this weekend, we want revenge on westham, we will take their blood!! Go Gunners!!

  18. I think the 1st goal of the game is crucial. If we score our defense will tighten as they have not as much pressure on them and our attack will enjoy the feeling and go for me. But if we concede the 1st goal, memories of previous years might come flooding back and stop us. Hope it is 7-0 tho. haha!

  19. There is a thing going round my school. It is “who do you think you most play football like from the football club you support?” I’d like to hear your answers. I take it its all going to be arsenal players tho. haha

  20. Well, it would’ve been Freddie Ljungberg in the past but now he’s gone it’s difficult to say. Probably Tomas Rosicky. Although if I could pick from any club my teammates would say I play like a (very average) Lionel Messi. Anyone else?

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