Firstly, I’ll stick my neck out and say I think Henry wants to sign a new contract.
However, his decision to postpone talks has nothing to do with him, to quote his own words, wanting to “concentrate on [his] football” and everything to do with making Arsenal think a bit about strengthening the squad.
Let’s face it, his working week has enough free hours â€“ and he has enough able advisers, I donâ€™t doubt â€“ that contract talks would not realistically make any dent in his concentration levels.
So it’s not about that at all. He wants to see what we do this season, who we sign in January, etc etc, before he signs a new deal. If he doesn’t like what he sees then, or next summer, then he’s in a terrific bargaining position. He’ll be Arsenal’s top scorer of all time then too â€“ so he’d owe us nothing.
And if you take off your Gooner blinkers and look at his position from that of an outsider, you can’t really blame him. He wants us to compete with the moneybags Russians (as much as that is possible â€“ but that’s another argument). This summer, he’s seen us lose Vieira and Edu and only bring one main replacement in.
The only thing I would say is that postponing talks â€“ so openly, in his captain’s column â€“ does not send out the right message to his team-mates, who are already playing a seemingly impossible game of catch-up in the league. In a way, I’d rather he’d bluffed a bit – said he’d start them soon – than been so honest.
In other news, there is no other news. Internationals resume this week, which means we can all hibernate.