I have been fortunate enough to witness some really true greats play for The Arsenal.The likes of Charlie Nicholas,Tony Adams,David Seaman, Ian Wright, Patrick Vieira,Marc Overmars,Dennis Bergkamp,Robert Pires, Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and of course The King,Thierry Henry.
This list is by no means exhaustive but more selective. I have not just chosen this list of players because they were not only the greatest to grace Highbury/The Emirates and English and European football itself, but because they brought 2 others things that we’d a pleasure to see last night:
1. Henry got the Emirates crowd excited once more. I think we’ve all been in hibernation since the day he left first time round (bar a few great moments). You could hear and sense the buzz of excitement all night.We took this for granted from 1997 to 2006 but it was so great to see it and beat it again. Remember this wasn’t a league decider or cup semi- it was the 3rd round of the FA Cup- the buzz was because everyone wanted to see Henry, a world class superstar and an Arsenal hero.
I was on the train to work yesterday morning and a Spurs friend of mine was so excited to see the Leeds game. I thought it must be because he was looking forward to see a giant killing. But no, he was genuinely excited to watch Henry. Enough said.
2. The awe by his presence on the pitch. He made the Leeds defence think twice before any challenge. That is what all those players did in my list above,they made the opposition really think and sometimes very worried. This current Arsenal team (bar RVP) are very predictable, Theo my case in point. Gone has our excitement for him because we know 9 times out of 10 his end product will be poor. We have turned our attention to the Ox and Jack for our next great British hopes.
I wish Arsene took more note of these points- The Emirates needs a lift and brining in truly world class players or those with exceptional potential will get our pulses racing again,every game. More importantly if you pay big money you get big time players- those that can change a game.
The King did just that and I know that the day he returns to New York will signal a return to The Emirates doldrums whether he is a great hit or not.
Up The Gunners!