By Tony Attwood
Sometimes the gods are with you. My season ticket seat is to the right of the North Bank goal, upper tier. A perfect panoramic view except that it means that goals at the Clock End are little bit harder to see because at the distance of about 150 yards, perspective goes, and can’t always see at once if the ball is heading into the net or back up the pitch.
But such a sacrifice is worth it if Arsenal score six up your end in the second half, and you have a perfect view of every one.
Was I nervous at 3-3? You bet. Was I stunned at 7-3? Beyond doubt.
Last time we got 7 I was about as far from the action as it is possible to get – Melbourne, Australia. This time I found myself in exactly the right place.
After the game Arsène Wenger said Theo was definitively not leaving in January. So I should hope. It wasn’t just that Theo was good, he was better than Thierry Henry when he first arrived at Arsenal (age 23, as I and everyone else pointed out yesterday), and I sat in the upper tier of the North Bank, Highbury, with my pal Roger and showed my deep understanding of football by demanding, “What is the point of a centre forward who plays on the left wing?”
I got it in the end, and yesterday I got it again after the 23 year old Theo was far better than anything Henry did in Year One of his reign. Vieira apparently said in that first season that Henry couldn’t hit the clock, let alone the goal. But Wenger (unhampered in those days by a hyperactive AAA) carried on playing him.
Theo’s had six years under Wenger before becoming a terrific centre forward, which makes an interesting comparison.
Thierry had five years at Monaco, playing 105 times and scoring 20. A momentary sojourn with Juventus (16 games in fact) and then he came to Arsenal and a reunion with Mr Wenger.
But here’s a fact. The media is packed solid with people saying that Arsenal not playing Theo down the middle until now shows the stupidity and obstinacy of the manager. Which is pretty much the same stupidity and and obstinacy that he showed with Henry I guess. The comparison between the two is fascinating.
As for the future, Thierry Henry stayed seven seasons at Arsenal and played 254 times – and he stayed, until he was a fading star, because he loved Wenger and loved the club. Barcelona bought him and ended up paying £250,000 a game for him – as I’ve reported so many times before that you’ll be sick of the fact by now, but I still think it shows that by and large (not always but by and large) Mr Wenger knows when it is time to let someone go.
- Goal fest at the Emirates.
- Ref Review: Anthony Taylor – Reading Vs Arsenal (2 – 5) [17/12/2012]
- At last: football. Arsenal v the men the Sir F-word hates
- Bowing for the mighty and powerful
- Ref Review: Lee Mason – Aston Villa Vs Arsenal (0 – 0) [24/11/2012]
- Ref Review: Howard Webb – Arsenal Vs Tottenham Hotspur (5 – 2) [17/11/2012]
- Referees in the PL: How are they doing their job? – Part 2
- Referees in the PL: How are they doing (and time for MOTD commentators to learn the rules)
- What can we do about wages
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- For the parent who really wants to know what is really going on in schools
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- Parent News – what is going on in schools these days?
- The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed way to stay fit
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP