Gunners Lose their Ammo
Arsenal, who finished a disappointing fourth in the English Premiership for the second successive season, are resigned to losing their talismanic marksman Thierry Henry to Spanish soccer club Barcelona for £16 m. The irony was heavy as Barcelona is the club Arsenal lost to in Paris in the Champion’s League final last year. And 38 super ammo this amazing transfer came only one year after Barcelona had to give up their chase for Henry when he signed a new four-year contract with Arsenal.
To be fair, Henry, who averaged twenty-plus goals per season, had been generally disappointed with Arsenal’s inability to compete financially with Chelsea and Manchester United despite moving to a much larger stadium last year. In addition, he was understandably upset with his mentor Arsene Wenger’s failure to renew his current deal, which is due to expire at the end of the forthcoming season. Wenger first groomed him 15 years ago when they worked together at AS Monaco – yes, it is that hard to say goodbye.
Although he has vowed not to walk away from the Emirates Stadium before then, he has avoided making any commitment beyond that. This had proved to be the last straw for Henry after the dressing room atmosphere had deteriorated when influential Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein was acrimoniously ousted from the boardroom for aiding an American tycoon to soak up Gunner shares, presumably a soft approach for a takeover. Well, it appears that even soccer superstars have their own anxiety scares and require some form of a security blanket. Bonne chance, Monsieur Henry!