Arsenal’s Ghost Signings – Part Four

The latest musings of Spanish Fry

Casper the Friendly GhostLooking solely at the results and performances from this season it would be easy to conclude that it is essential for Arsenal to dip into the transfer market and make a number of big signings. What this conclusion doesn’t incorporate is the fact that – without spending a cent – Arsenal will be making a significant number of ghost signings in the summer. I of course refer to the players who have spent large amounts of the season injured and – should they return to fitness – will seem like new signings for the club. I thought it would be good to take a look at the players whose seasons have been severely hampered by injury and investigate the effect that their prospective returns could have on Arsenal’s 2007-2008 season.

Henry will want to be celebrating on the field next seasonGhost Signing #4 – Thierry Henry

The equation is simple; take Thierry Henry out of the Arsenal starting line-up and they are a lesser side than with him in it. This is not a criticism of the other players at manager Arsene Wenger’s disposal but an honest assessment of how important a fit Henry is to Arsenal’s side. The same could be said of Kaka at AC Milan, Samuel Eto’o at Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United and Didier Drogba at Chelsea. There are some players that are absolutely essential to a team’s chances of success and Thierry Henry is one of them.

For all the defensive problems that Arsenal had this year the fact is that if Henry had been fit for the majority of the season then a great deal of pressure would have been removed from the club’s defence. As it was, with Arsenal’s replacement strikers continually wasting chances that Henry and striker partner Robin van Persie would no doubt have finished, the likes of Gallas, Toure and Senderos were put under far too much strain.

Arsene Wenger’s view has always been that the best form of defence is attack and Arsenal’s inability to bury the multitude of chances that came their way meant that many games were far tighter than they should have been. It is no coincidence that Manchester United’s defence – which contributed three players to the PFA Team of the Season – looked unstoppable this season because Ronaldo and friends took the pressure off them.

Henry is the heartbeat of Arsenal’s young squadThe heart of Arsenal

The importance of Henry’s return next season cannot be underestimated. His awesome speed, ball control and finishing has seen him score over 24 Premiership goals every season for the five years before 2006-07. This season, despite playing only 17 games he still managed 10 goals. But what must also be stressed is that Henry’s return will also transform the team on a psychological level. When in full flight Henry is the swaggering symbol of a young Arsenal side that has lacked belief and confidence this season.

When the English Premier League returns in August Thierry Henry will have had a full five months of rest and recovery – something that the man himself has said he has desperately needed to get back to his best. Given Henry’s astounding career thus far you’d be a silly man to ignore him.

Read Part One, Part Two & Part Three of ‘Arsenal’s Ghost Signings’

Read previous columns by Spanish Fry here



  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Check Arsenal’s results this season when Henry didn’t play. They wouldn’t seem to back up your theory of “take Thierry Henry out of the Arsenal starting line-up and they are a lesser side than with him in it”.

  3. Spanish fry,
    this is the first time ive been on your site and im quite impressed with it i must say. totally agree with your theory about taking thierry out of the team and we are less of a threat, ok he never hit top form this season when he did play but if he had played all / most of the season injury free we would of been in a far better position. add to that the fact we’ve had no RVP either and it starts to get easier to understand why we had such a poor season.

  4. this is the first time i have been to this site, so therefore feel it is important to inform ppl that i am a funny person, also quite handsome & have been going steady with tubes for 4 mths now.

    that will be all.

  5. Wow, I almost feel like I’m cheating on Gunnerblog by posting here. Great site Spanish Fry, the sort I’d like to produce if I had any talent or motivation..

  6. Thanks – but don’t let me take you away from GilbertoSilver’s excellent work on Gunnerblog. Go back there – now.

    You’ll get me in trouble… 🙁

  7. hey Spanish fly mate, tip for you. you need to register yourself with Newsnow. you’ll get millions of hits and comments, without Newsnow a blog is nothing.

  8. Gazzap – Thanks for the advice. However, I am waiting on confirmation from NewsNow. Applications for services like these take time. They said to give it a month and that was only 2-3 weeks ago. Fingers crossed.

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