The Return of Titi

Thierry Henry is back at Arsenal.

The legend — and I don’t use that word lightly, even if I once jokingly referred to Emmanuel Eboue in the same way — has signed a short-term loan deal to help our squad cover their arses while Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh duck off to Africa.

It’s unreal, isn’t it? As much love as he has for Arsenal and as much as I have stated I would love to see him manage the club one day, I never considered he’d pull on a red and white playing shirt again.

Not that I’m not loving it, of course.

Sentimental idealisations aside, I think it’s actually a fairly sensible move to bring in an experienced striker to take the burden of Robin van Persie and provide us with some quality off the bench.

Henry’s blistering pace may have slowed over the last few years but his instinctual knack for finding the back of the net has not, as the following video shows.

Not to mention the man is an absolute legend in the eyes of the fans, a legend of the game in general and a hero in the eyes of certain squad members. As such, his presence will also be felt around the club.

Henry’s little adventure kicks off in the FA Cup against Leeds United tonight, a match that Wenger has confirmed he will start. Judging from comments from the manager it will be a rather mixed side.

I’m looking forward to it and not just because of Titi’s return.

Spread the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.



  1. love the idea of TH back,lets not lose site of the fact we need substantial investment,we have little or no vision,,simple to see if RVP picks up an injury we are in the brown stuff as i do not for the life of me where our goals will come from,we now do not attract the big names of epl never mind about europe,if we dont start to show some real anbition we will be just another Ajax or everton, WE ARE one of the richest clubs in th uk and europe in real terms,so why do we not invest,i am a great supporter of AW but why is he not insisting on investment,David Dein was a bigger loss to our club than nasri and toure put together,we need him and red and white holdings to return and save our club,as soon as possible ,the present board are taking record bonuses,why?we,ve done nothing other than CL runs,sorry my fellow lovers of all AFC, we are facing a dilema,you need to face it and make your feelings felt by writing to the board members[look on the net for all their names] and to AW at 125 drayton park,together we are strong ,devided we are useless,COME ON YOU ARSENAL

  2. A legend returns. And that video compilation really does show he still has it. He’ll probably just petrify defenders with his aura and his stare. Great to have him back. Though I don’t agree with the entire comment by graeme, I do agree that we should look to buy another player at this point. A striker who can maybe play wide would be my preference. IF I’m being really greedy I’d want an attacking mid too, who can help us create more chances.

    Andrew, I don’t think Henry will start. Wenger just said he will play. With Chamakh avaliable today (he is right?) I think Henry will be on the bench and will probably come on with 20 mins to go or something like that.

  3. Thierry Henry may be old but he will be still better than recent strikers who are missing numerous goal scoring chances. Good & effctive striking means a good defense also.

  4. Signing Thierry Henry was the most pointless thing that Wenger could have done. Why not resign Robert Pires as well or Freddie Ljungberg ? Or perhaps persuade Lee Dixon the leave the BBC and pull on his boots once more ? This is “ambition” for Wenger – or should I rephrase that to “ambition on the cheap” – Arsenal lack ambition and a manager and board who put profit before success. Arsenal are the laughing stock of Europe and nothing more than a supplier club….

  5. No doubt henry has been a legend but I do not see him changing fortunes of the gunners. He is not the same player and such previous signing like sol campbell failed to make any impact on the team’s overall performance. The team needs several top class players and the present lot is simply not good enough to bring in trophies. When a team cannot relegation threatened clubs blackburn, fulham and other lesser lights then it should be prepared for another barren year.

  6. Hola all, Hola drew,
    Thanks for the fresh posting as we head into the FA cup competition.
    I think it’s fun to have Henry back I dare say he is at least as great a threat to score as Chamahk or Arshavin. I guess Leeds may not be the biggest test but they are the one that is directly in front of us so I hope the squad is focused and ready to GO,Go,Go!
    Sure would be nice to see J.Y.Park in the side since we bought him and he hsn.t looked too bad the few times we’ve seen him.
    @rehan siddiqui Always good to get your ever-upbeat analysis. Are you sure WE won’t get relegated? Just kidding, Neil Warnock told me to say that.
    (Just before they shit-canned his miserable ass).
    Which reminds me… Happy New Years Neil!
    On to the game at hand, Come On You Gunners!!!! 🙂

  7. Congragulations, he is back but very much like to believe that either heads or tail [whether he performs well or not] we lose, for 2 reasons, 1- we are living in past time paradise and apart from RVP we cannot produce top scorers, 2- when the king of the turf goes, what next, for injury sake please buy young or older quality strikers that will stay throughout the season and not a VIP.

  8. Great video. We were there for the MLS all-star game v. ManUre. Titi looked like he belonged, if anything may have tried to do too much. Certainly will fill in adequately for Chamakh or Arshavin. Gervinho will be gone almost a month, and for the last two matches, Walcott may as well have been playing for the other side. Last year we really needed back line help and didn’t sign anyone. This year it is not so bad with Sagna due back soon. A quality forward we can keep for a few seasons would be a good idea, but I hear Podolski doesn’t even want to come!? Le Boss may be not the best tactical manager, but he knows talent. Think we’re okay in midfield once Jack is back. Rammer needs a rest, and little Mozart is still okay in a pinch. AOC and Park need more playing time, would like to see them today or at Swansea next Sunday.
    Happy New Year to all and C’mon You Gooners!

  9. One nil to the Arsenal!

    But in what a spectacular, storybook fashion, saving a rubbish match (particularly the 1st half). Wenger said it well, quote from the website:

    on a ‘dreamlike’ goal…
    “Yes, it was a little bit of a dream, because it was a story about football you would tell some young children. Unfortunately it is not often like that in our game, but sometimes it happens.”

    It happened!

    Also, it looks like behind every classic goal there’s a Song. There was that sublime pass for van Persie’s wonder goal in the Everton match last month, and now this.

  10. I’m a realist. He’s here for less than a quarter of our season, he’s 35 years old, and he huffed and puffed his through his minutes today. He’s lost loads of pace, and he’s as mercurial and temperamental as ever.

    Which is exactly why he’s so great. Despite the obvious vagaries of his age and stage, he continues to ooze class and like all great champions, lifts all those around him. While everyone else in red and white misfired or could not find any direction or ideas in the final third, his touch proved once again to be sure and clinical.

    Yes, I ordered the # 12 shirt a few days ago, and I’m going to savour the next few weeks. Thank you Henry, please keep it coming.

    Titi est magnifique!

  11. Wow,
    Was that theater of dreams or what?
    He’s a lot slower and has a beard but he is still unmistakably Henry.
    I don’t know what else I expected. 😉

  12. What a goal! What a man! What a legend! Now we need a statue of him with a beard. [To the other strikers: that’s how you score a goal.]

  13. I haven’t yelled like that for an Arsenal goal since Arsh’s second against Barca. Feel good moment of the season – and even on the guardian website loads of neutrals saying how great a moment it was.

    But can he do it on a wet Tuesday in Stoke as the saying goes…?

    Who cares, it was priceless.

    But what to do about Chamakh? From what I saw we had moments of good play but too often the final pass went astray and for all our shots we never looked that threatening. Although we had Squillaci and a clean sheet – never saw that coming!

    Oh yeah and our fifth choice left back got crocked. Nobody will be willing to put their hand up for that position!

  14. @Terry
    I’d like to deputize gunnerboss as our next left back.
    Well G.B., whaddaya say? 🙂

  15. so where are all the doubters/haters that posted at the top of this forum? that was just brilliant stuff the man. how was that for not being “the hero”?

  16. @Robin, signing Henry was the most pointless thing Wenger did.I would have agreed with you hadn’t i heard and seen that goal. He is invaluable and i was all full of tears of joy for his moment.He saved us a rematch which was symbolic of last season when we had a pile of rematches with mediocre teams yet the sqaudwas already squeezed to the born. I didnt watch the match but again when will Chamakh ever regain his confidence.He still couldnt prove himself.He never looks a top four striker material and the earlier Wenger conceds his ego thta the guy is crap the esaier it is to sell him and we buy other better players. On a serious note we need to reintroduce two strikers again sincebot Persie and Henry have created havoc on opposition defenders in the past.Remember FC Porto being pounded for dead at the Emirates . We need to sign a defender as earlier as possible before the United game as we must win that encounter if we are to stand any chances of top four and to avenge the humiliation.

  17. It’s gotta be said that Henry showed how badly our strikers (aside from VP) miss that true strikers touch. Chamakh/Walcott and co. just don’t have that killer instinct . Gervihno is an exception, though often isolated on the wing, and VP is beginning to be boarded up by defenses and/or being asked to carry too much creative gravity…

  18. @ Robi …..I am not suprised at your comments,it shows that you are not an Arsenal fan,and that you do not know jack about football.Henry has been practicing with the team for the past few weeks and you could have trusted the manager even for a second ,considering he has been in charge of those sections and had kept an eye on Titi.
    we desprately needed cover for Gevinho ang chamakh.the most logical thing would have been to take such a trusted hand to deputize for few weeks.we had nothing to loose by doing that….but no….bow heads will always critizise people even when they have nothing to offer…..Did watch that GOAAAAAAAL.
    That is a strikers…..goal…..that is TH in action,he may have lost loads of pace,but what he has lost in pace ,he will always compensatewith his finishing….fault that.

  19. Good to see the magic man back . What a goal . Pace is impermanent but class is.Our young boy Walcott should learn this from him.Chamberlan is the right choice after Gervinho. I think it is important for arsene to relive arshavin .He is struggling mentally and physically . Let’s leave him from the club .

    Chamakh seems to be a support player more than striker.During league games he seems to be too weak physically, and lacks power and confidence to shoot .

    Time for Arsene to revive his striking department with the departure of Chamakh and Arshavin, and time for a successful eduardo style player.

    Henry showed the difference what a quality player gives you in front.

  20. Now that he is back…I hope players like Theo can learn from him. It was a great goal yesterday no doubt but how much can d young guys learn from him.

    Henry is a legend.

  21. what a finish By henry, really brings back those old Highbury days of old. chamakh looks really in the dog house with his confidence, Can a player go
    bad so quickly??? I think not, he wasn’t that good in first place to be frank.
    So it begs the question why only sign henry alone???? why not someone else???? there must be someone out there who can fit the bill, but we only buy cheap. This makes the park buy even more crazy, am totally lost at it. A win is a win and we march on, i hope we continue to improve…………………

  22. What a goal, what a man……….

    Even if we lost, I just wanted him to score and he did……………….yeah

    @leftcoast: I would gladly deputize at LB.

    Are we now seeing the real Chamakh? Laying up passes for any midfielder in sight? Can he shoot? Henry has no pace, but can finish…..Chamakh cant run, but what makes him completely toothless is his never shoot attitude….Did you guys see the miss from two yards(referee blew, but)?

    Can we now see that a foolish manager actually PLAYED his best left back in a MEANINGLESS match? How many players has that singular move cost us? For us to also loose our best defender because of this mistake makes me completely livid……

  23. I can’t help but feel sorry for the people grumbling about what we lack and what ‘lack of ambition’ it shows to sign Henry. I’m all for being realistic (and optimistic) but moments like this are few and far between. This goes beyond optimism.. It’s like a dream. Of course Henry (or anybody else for that matter) is not going to be ‘the saviour’. Of course it’ll help to have some new players. But if you can’t just enjoy a moment like that, there is something wrong with you. I mean what’s the point? I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything in the world. It’s been two days and I’m still smiling. Thank you Thierry for giving us that exhilarating instant. An absolute legend.

  24. @shard i disagree. The fact that Henry, aged 34, can come back and immediately go to #2 in the striking pecking orders basically sums up what I am trying to say. Personally, I believe we need an injection of players, and we’re one Van Persie injury away of being very average. It’s a risk that a club like ours shouldn’t take. The reason that Man City have Aguero, Ballotelli, Dzeko and Tevez is because they need options. If Aguero gets injured, then there needs to be someone who can come in a do a job. Arsene needs to invest in a striker, in a proper player. Theoretically, he should have significant funds available considering our budgets and then sales of players.

    People say that the game has changed a lot over the past 20 years or so. The reality is the game has changed a hell of a lot over the past seven seasons or so. It is no coincidence that three players from the Invincible season have come back over the past few seasons, and every single time their commitment to the cause has stood out like a sore thumb for me. Thierry and his celebrations on Monday night, Sol fighting like a warrior in a loss at WHL a couple of seasons back, and Mad Jens getting heated with defenders at Blackpool last spring, were all reminders for me that, not that long ago, we did have players that were willing to fight for the cause. They, in my eyes, simply wanted it more than the current bunch of players we have managed to assemble.

    Is this an Arsenal-specific problem or a wider change in players’ attitudes as their wages have spiralled out of any sort of control in recent seasons? For me the answer would probably have to be more of the latter. All we can do as supporters is remember the attitude and spirit of King Henry the next time a Na$ri or an Adebayor leaves us for more pound notes elsewhere.

  25. Are we just blind or just got bad memory?wenger was desperate to buy the last minute buys but who really made an impression on the fans and points board?. Wenger should be entering the market and buying & searching for new players also getting rid of crap
    No good for us
    Arshavin,where is the russian interest to take him back?
    Chamakh,nope no one has any interest in him!
    Squalluci,1-0 he played in but no one lift a finger to say is he available!
    Bendtner,sunderland is making the media for the right reasons but is bendtner part of making that happen?
    Denilson,unhear of!might be coming back becoz of loan deal same fate with bendtner.
    Average players
    Djourou,I would sub him the minute I saw him!whether he got send off or not
    Ramsey,works but extreme wasteful,wouldnt be in my arsenal 11
    Walcott,if you getting paid to be a professional player then you have no excuses for been more than wasteful with passing & striking
    I am just writing on behalf of all arsenal fans that been treated like fools.

  26. Completely back the last two comments.

    Still sweet to see The King score again, miss Vermaelen and Santos(he was getting better with every game) so much

  27. I agree the team has lacked prfofessionalism and commitment over the last few years but I don’t think the manager is to blame. Some thing like wanting it bad can’t be coached or at any rate should not have to be. Henry, (like Sol and Crazy Jens) will make a positive difference just because he wants it bad. The same can be said for Arteta,Mertesacker,Song and Ramsey. I feel bad for Chamakh because I think he cares but has lost all hope. But Arshavin, I just don’t know. Admittedly he hustled hard in our FA cup tie with Leeds but how often in the last 10 months can you honestly say that?
    I’m not sure who coach Wenger has his eye on for this transfer window but I hope the guy has grit and above all desire.

  28. @ leftcoastgooner
    Mate i agree with some of what you said but then who should we blame?????
    the players???? YES!!!! BUT the manager as well and more then most.

    Wenger has total control on transfers which you don’t get in many clubs, so when you are afforded these luxuries you should do better, I think wenger has taken this for granted.

    While i agree that professionalism and commitment should be your personal responsibility if the you lack both then the club should move you on, not hope and pray after 4 & 5 years that you change.
    And that’s the point we put up with average players who lack commitment and a whole host of other qualities for far too long.
    If i sign a players @19 by 24 that players should be top class or world class that is enough time, football is short business, not 28 and 27 as wenger seems to think, the economics in that is wrong wrong wrong. Why would i buy a player at 20 and wait till he’s 27 or 28 to be a world class player total madness in modern football.
    A prime example of this is theo walcott I read all over the blogs that some people say lay off him he’s still only 22 or he’s young and i agree that he’s young interms of age but BUT footballing wise is an oldman competing in his 6th season at arsenal.
    Now walcott has improve some but his progress has been too slow he should be far advance in his development and i can add a whole host of names to which arsenal have wasted time and resources on, and that can only be blamed on one man and one man alone.
    Henry is only here for a wile when he leaves its back to square one and hopeing players perform rather saying perform or else. henry goal was great BUT it just papers over the fact that we struggled to beat leeds!! leeds!! on our own patch, that says a lot, and i know some would say leeds knock MAU out last time well i’ll tell you this MAU can afford to go 5 years without another trophy because they have a stock pile them in recent seasons, not arsenal, its been too long.
    spurs are for real this time as you saw what they did to everton and chelsea will buy players so 4th place looks very interesting.

  29. @kel
    I agree that we keep players too long in the hope that they will eventually pan out. Bendtner, Eboue and my own past pet Denilson are standouts in that regard. But can we afford to prune away all the shakey limbs?
    Who will take $18million Arshavin off us? Already Martin O’Neil has said he’s done with NB52 and Denilson is on the bench in Sao Paulo his own hometown!
    What about Walcott, sometimes he’s terrific sometimes he’s lost I’m not sure it’s even about football in his case simply the inability to stay focused on whatever the task is. Still, can we afford to move him and to whom?
    We need not many but a few really good players but from past experience I can’t see it unless some relatively unknown nugget drops right into our laps and I do mean on the cheap.
    Another thing I have to agree with you on. I watched the Hots****s game and they beat the Toffees with relative ease. I know fortunes change and the may have a ragged spell of form but we will have to score much more regularly through out the rest of the year to catch them. Oh’s to hope the thing that dies hardest. COYG!!!!

  30. stevethegunner

    What part do you disagree with? If you read my post and earlier posts I do say I’d like a striker who can also play wide, and if possible also an attacking Mid. Realistically getting those players along with a Premier League quality LB on loan in January is going to be tough. Your comparison with ManCity’s strike force is absurd. They have Adebayor on their books as well. It makes no difference to them. We on the other hand operate within a budget. We cannot have another player of Van Persie’s quality sitting on the bench. Which player who is that good will want to come in and play second fiddle anyway, even presuming we can get one of that quality? We should look to improve but we should also have realistic expectations.

    What has changed from an Arsenal perspective is that earlier we had only ManU to contend with who had (much) bigger resources than ours. Now we have 3 billionaire funded clubs, and other clubs doing their best impersonation of Leeds and following the path to self destruction competing with us. The Invincibles were great, but even then Vieira was wanting to leave for years. Henry did leave eventually. Edu didn’t stay. All of them sought either more money or more glory elsewhere. If we had ManCity back then and they offered us 100m for Thierry along with wages of 250-300 k a week, would we really have been able to keep him? I have my doubts.

    Yes we need some more creativity and definitely better finishing. But we have, despite some disappointing results, maintained the same distance from the top as we had after our horror start. That deserves credit. We have also in that run had numerous penalties not given. That isn’t excuse making, that is fact. The team has fought hard. However I do agree we should look to add to our squad right now.

  31. We need a striker ASAP cause we all know that VAn Persie has been injured every season he has been a gunner. We should sell Arshavin, Chamak, they are a waste of wages. The current team is not good enough to finish in the top 4 IMO , we risk losing 30 million euros if we don’t … How fast RVP will request to leave if we are not in the champions league next year.
    It is not all about money but being aggressive letting go of players who are not productive. Van der VArt cost less than 10 million pounds. It is about being ambitious and resourceful. I am sure we could find a creative midfielder in ARgentina or BRazil….

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