Henry arrives in Barcelona

Henry arrives in Barcelona

Henry has arrived in Barcelona to sign a four-year dealThe penultimate nail in Henry’s Arsenal coffin

Outgoing Arsenal captain Thierry Henry has arrived in Barcelona to put the finishing touches on his £16million move to the Spanish club. Henry is expected to undergo a medical within the next day and if all goes well he will put the final nail in the Arsenal coffin and sign a four year contract with Barcelona. His unveiling will no doubt be greeted with as much excitement by Barcelona supporters as disappointment and frustration from Arsenal fans who are still trying to come to terms with Henry’s exit and what it means for the future of their club. 

I must say that I am still one of them and – as a result – have deliberately chosen to take my time in giving my opinion of the transfer. I’m happy to say that I’m not the only one who thinks this a good idea. As I said yesterday, I am currently working on an article that will be available either later today or tomorrow about where Arsenal should go from here and I do not want my thoughts clouded by emotions that have been created by the manner of Henry’s exit. In the meantime, you can read a thorough article on the subject by Goal.com to keep you occupied or watch Henry’s Top 50 goals in yesterday’s post.

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Babel was outstanding in Holland’s U21 UEFA Championship winBabel performance gives Arsenal fans hope

In more positive news, Arsenal target and Ajax forward Ryan Babel produced an exceptional performance in Holland’s 4-1 victory over Serbio & Montenegro in the UEFA U21 Championship Final. Babel tore apart the Serbian defence time and time again to finish with a goal and two assists in a Man of the Match performance that was only blotted by a missed penalty kick midway through the second half.

In the wake of Henry’s departure it would be foolish to predict that Babel could adequately replace the Frenchman at this stage but his performance will surely encourage Arsene Wenger to step up his interest in the Ajax forward. Whilst Babel’s performance against England in the semi-final was less than remarkable I commented that he did have one more chance to impress Wenger and on the biggest stage of all he absolutely took it.

His finish for the his first goal was absolutely deadly and his run and pass to set up Holland’s third goal was pure class. After Henry’s exit there is a real need for Arsenal to sign a striker and Babel has provided a timely reminder that – at least in the long term – he could be the answer.

What do you think?

Voice your thoughts on Thierry Henry or Ryan Babel by leaving a comment.

17 Responses to “Henry arrives in Barcelona”

  1. darragh
    June 25, 2007 at 5:40 am #

    I am so sad. 🙁

  2. Spanish Fry
    June 25, 2007 at 5:42 am #

    Darragh – I know. And Henry looks so happy 🙁 Also Darragh, what do you think of Ryan Babel? I haven’t heard your thoughts on him yet…

  3. GunnerShabz
    June 25, 2007 at 7:08 am #

    well i mention this many times id be happy if we did a double swoop on ajax signing klass-jan huntelaar and ryan babel for like £18-20m i think it would be worth it.

    ryan babel has got some “henry” in him and huntelaar has got “van nistelrooy” in him.

    so it would make sense if they both came we have a dutch forward line up. wenger will buy babel use him wide and then convert him into a striker.

    there was some stories that wenger may go for the dutch 4-3-3 with van persie on the right, get babel on the left with huntelaar in the middle.

    in midfield rosicky, gilberto, fabregas

    that would be solid and defend as a 4-5-1… or maybe he will get anelka in the central striker position. we have options we just need to go out there and get them.

    i cant see owen, tevez or martins coming i dont think wenger is interested.

    its either going to be huntelaar, babel, anelka, maybe fernando torres if reyes is involved but again i cant see it, trezequet is an option and florent malouda could be but depends on the price

  4. Pete
    June 25, 2007 at 8:45 am #

    Babel was excellent in the final, which surprised me as I hadn’t been completely convinced by him up to that point.

    With Henry, I will be watching Barcelona with interest next season because every way I think about it, I cannot see how their strikers can play together. It’s not just that there are too many of them, it’s that they tend towards the same areas of the field. Rijkaard has a job on his hands, although it’s a problem most managers would love.

    I’m just looking forward to hearing Wenger speak now.

  5. Spanish Fry
    June 25, 2007 at 8:49 am #

    I think that Barcelona will have no problem accommodating Henry. I personally believe that Eto’o will leave for Milan and it will be a Ronaldinho-Henry-Messi combination up front.

  6. Pete
    June 25, 2007 at 8:53 am #

    That would be a frightening prospect, as all three players are roamers – imagine being an opposition manager and trying to figure out how to stop them.

    I agree that one probably has to leave, Ronald won’t, and there’s no way they’ll let Messi go, so Eto’o is the only option, but for whatever reason he keeps insisting he’s staying. It’ll be interesting to see.

  7. Spanish Fry
    June 25, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    Totally. The gap is there at AC Milan though and I just think he’ll fill it. Much of his talk has been about how excited he would be playing with Henry but I don’t think he would pass up a chance to be top dog at a club like AC Milan.

  8. Pete
    June 25, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    Makes sense. One thing’s for sure – if none of them leave this summer, someone will get the hump at not being first choice next season. And not one of them has the lack of ego required to cope with that.

    I see a test of Rijkaard’s man management coming up, as well as tactical nous. If he passes, Barca could absolutely fly next season.

  9. Spanish Fry
    June 25, 2007 at 12:07 pm #

    I agree with you – Barcelona could be absolutely dominant next season.

  10. Spanish Fry
    June 25, 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    Also just letting you know you can find my feature article on Thierry Henry’s departure on the home page. Thanks.

  11. FRANCISCO (PACHO)
    July 3, 2007 at 3:35 am #

    I THINK THIS DAY WAS COMING.. HENRY PLAYED HIS TIME, HE DID HIS BEST, BUT I THINK HE JUST GOT TIRE, HE GOT TIRED OF THE TEAM. AND THE COACH.. BUT IT IS SAD.. BECAUSE HE LOOK GOOD PLAYING IN ARCENAL.. BUT THIS DAY HAD TO COME.. SORRY ARCENAL YOU LOST A GOOD PLAYER..

    by– FRANCISCO H

  12. Anonymous
    July 6, 2007 at 10:22 pm #

    fuckin cryers

  13. hip hop
    July 7, 2007 at 6:02 pm #

    TT is headed to BARCA YEAH!!!

    BABEL to ARsenal would be a good move for le gunners

  14. david ibuuri
    May 27, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    We can win the trophy with the youthful team

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Talk Soccer - June 25, 2007

    Henry arrives in Barcelona…

    His unveiling will no doubt be greeted with as much excitement by Barcelona supporters as disappointment and frustration from Arsenal fans who are still trying to come to terms with Henry’s exit and what it means for the future of their club….

  2. Arsenal FC Blog » Henry's exit to give Arsenal a fresh start - June 25, 2007

    […] the possible ways that the club will account for his absence in the short- and long-term future. I apologised in my previous post for failing to write an article giving my opinions on Henry’s exit but the truth is that if […]

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