Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's a funny old game

After a couple of years of dithering Thierry has finally taken his leave of Arsenal FC. Firstly I would like to wish him all the best in the future. As a football fan I approve of a move to another football club that tries to play football as it is meant to be played. In Barcelona he has found a team that will suit his style of play. Secondly I thank him for all of the wonderful goals and memories he has served up to Arsenal fans and all football fans over the last 8 seasons of Premier League football. I do not believe there is another player who has been as consistently wonderful on the pitch over such a sustained period of time.

I'm not sure about all the bollix surrounding his departure. There was a lot of shite talk about him being upset by the departure of David Dein from Arsenal. He has also suggested that Arsene Wenger, his long-standing mentor may not be at Arsenal for much longer. Whatever the case I don't believe he has to justify his reason for leaving. He gave his all when at Arsenal and I'm pretty sure the majority of Arsenal fans wish him well. As with Patrick Viera, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars there comes a time when it's as good for the club as for the player that they move on elsewhere. When its done with grace and little enmity it suits all concerned. Sometimes the moves work out for the players, sometimes they don't. Let's wait and see what happens with Thierry.

Thierry was up there in my top three Arsenal players. He lay ahead of Ian Wright but never overtook Dennis Bergkamp in my estimation. Dennis 'Iceman' Bergkamp's contribution to Arsenal was second to none (except for the not flying bit). His commitment to the very end of his professional career will not be replicated by another Arsenal player for many years to come. Thierry for all his talk of committing to Arsenal for the rest of his career seemed to lose some focus last season when he was out injured. He acknowledged this time last year that he was nearing the end of his career. The truth be told he is most likely past his footballing prime and he obviously has to keep one eye on the future. He has been peddling himself as a clothes horse in the last couple of years even though he's an exceptionally well paid footballer. I didn't mind a few car advertisements at the start but it became farcical in the last year as his face and name started to be attached to various other bits and pieces. I'm wearing an item of clothing by one of the fashion labels he has chosen to endorse. It shares the same initials as the man himself. To all intents and purposes, my item of clothing looks the part but on closer inspection I note that it's made in China. As with footballers words, the reality of something is often far removed from the original proposition.

The moment footballers start to think about anything other than football, they've lost an essential part of their make-up. If you have a full-time job that pays well and gives you a lifestyle that is beyond 99% of the world, why do you want to take on a part-time job, or two part-time jobs, or three.......etc. It doesn't really make sense to me. Anyway, I'm pretty sure Thierry doesn't give a shite about what I think about his career in or out of football. He'll be paid handsomely at Barcelona and will no doubt pick up a few more endorsements after this high profile move. Good luck to him. It's now down to Mr Wenger to try and put some spark back into the Arsenal team. Who knows who he'll sign. I'm pretty confident that a fully fit Van Persie, an imperious Fabregas and a more confident Walcott can fill much of the void left by Henry. And in a couple of years time when they move on somewhere else it will all start again. It's a funny old game.

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