Spare Me the Sappy Stuff, We Have Matches To Win

Much has been written and speculated about the outcome of the Champions League tie against Barcelona. I like Cesc’s approach best. He’s very calm about it. It’s just another game.

But is it, really? Thierry Henry has stated that he “doesn’t want to play Arsenal.” That is a testament to his bond with The World’s Greatest Club and the affection he shares with Gooners all over the world.

But on closer analysis, was that a good thing to say so categorically and so publically? The little man inside my head who always seems to have a theory (or two) on why things are what they are, has got me wondering if Henry hasn’t purposely planted a seed in Pep’s head. He certainly hasn’t been in top form this season. Granted, he did set up Leo Messi brilliantly on a couple occasions recently but Guardiola’s first choice he has not been.

Whatever the reason he hasn’t been in the manager’s good graces, saying that he doesn’t want to play against Arsenal can’t help his chances for selection. Ok, maybe it should be taken in the context of who is saying it and why he has said it. I get that. And maybe he really would be a professional and score a hat-trick if it presented itself. That’s a sick thought but not an impossible feat. What I’ve been swirling around in my head is if he has purposely made the statement in order to cause doubt in Guardiola’s mind about his commitment.

I’m disappointed if he has done that yet I do sympathize, in a way. We all feel a strong sense of kinship with our former striker. When he says things like he’d never play for Scum or that he can’t stomach playing against us, he endears himself even more to our club and supporters.

I salute you Mr. Thierry Henry. Your contributions to Arsenal FC and to football (South Africa notwithstanding) have been many and you’ve deserved what’s been generally a fantastic ride at Barcelona. Let’s be clear however, step on the pitch against us and all is forgotten for at least 180 minutes.

We have ambitions that sentiment will not derail.

Keep the Faith!

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