The Ravens Won’t Leave The Tower

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Clearly, if you have the best striker in Europe – let’s be honest here – then he’s going to be the subject of speculation regarding a move, regardless of whether he goes blue in the face claiming he’d never leave.

And that’s the situation we’ve got with Thierry, who’s been linked on and off with Barcelona, and now Real Madrid. I’m not sweating over this one. I mean, I’ve been linked with doing some DIY for the entire duration of the summer, and it hasn’t happened yet. What is more, I can confirm that any rumours of me performing home improvements are so wide of the mark as to be laughable. It’s just press rumours.

Besides, if Thierry was to be sold against his will, it would be akin to the ravens leaving the Tower of London. The highbury monarchy would fall. There’s one thing being linked with a move if a player actually wants to leave, but a crown jewel player being sold against his will – well it just doesn’t happen at Arsenal.

But if you think about it, it’s a clever way of tapping up without doing it illegally – let a potential target know you’re interested by feeding some ex-club official or other random semi-official figure some juicy soundbites, and release them to the press. That way, Mr T Henry would know Real Madrid are interested in him, but a meeting in a top London hotel between all interested parties, with all the predictable results, need not be arranged.

And finally, I was just wondering the other day what the money men at Arsenal, Man U and Everton must really think about the financial reality of Liverpool’s (justified) inclusion in the Champions League. Whichever way you look at it, if all five English sides get to the group stages, then we’ll be out of pocket by a not inconsiderable sum of cash – several million pounds, possibly. This might not bother the Russians, but it’s a lot of cash for us.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 67 Comments

  1. Nick

    yeah apparently the tv money is already secured for the four english clubs that should be there!

  2. Lee.

    TH I’d be gob smacked if he ever left, but stranger thing have happened.
    Yep the Liverpool thing could be a problem in the long run, but can you actually see Everton progressing passed the firs stage, I recon that they would be demoted by Xmas if they put too much emphasis on the CH.
    I have recently been on Manchesteronline “northern baiting” re their plight.
    But I have to say the more I think about this story (Glazier), I can’t help wondering “IF” we may be in the exact same position in a few years time ourselves, when you think of the potential revenues we are going to be producing. If the land deal come off???

  3. bongo et al.

    Lets hope the stories are true. And that Henry will be SOLD
    Lets look at the picture as as a whole.
    35-40 million for a 28 year old centre forward is a good price.
    Henry -exceptional talent he is. Is starting to have the typical wear and tear injuries .
    He is now being sometimes nullified by the top euro opposition. i,e . his left sided darting runs.
    He is also a tad too arrogant- and styfling the potential of JAR. VP, JA et al.
    Anyway. Liverpool got rid of owen- and won the Euro Cup.
    PSV sold Robben, Kesman and Rommedahl and improved all round.
    There is an art of buying players and there is an art of selling.
    In my opinion if the money was right. . get shot.
    My name is Bongo et al.

  4. Adam

    shutup u tw@

  5. Lee.

    Thought I had better say, I understand we are not a PLC so it would not be an easy target. But if the right bid was tabled who knows?

  6. Dark Gunner

    Absolute bollocks…. There is NO WAY we should sell Thierry. He’s the crown jewel, plus his presence in the team attracts players.

    Shut it!

  7. vivb

    TH is the best footballer in the world, I’d rather have him than Ronaldinho.

    Both Madrid and Barcelona have political problems at the moment, Laporta already has been quoted as saying TH will be too old next season so he has to move now. I guess one of the reasons for Real buying Owen was to use as a bargaining tool to secure TH or Van N this close season.

    They have both sniffed around AW as well, I think he has resisted the chance to go to Spain because of the interferrence the Presidents have on team selection.

    I think though if we fail in the Champions League this season TH might think about moving. He will be able to negotiate a lucrative 4-5 year contract. If he stays at arsenal he will come up against the 30 year contract barrier.

  8. halfNice

    Bongo’s just looking for a reaction. I’m not going to give him one. (the fool!).

    It’s wrong that we should be paying for Liverpool’s CL. I’m happy they’re defending their title, but why should we pay for it – just because we did better than them in the premiership? You can’t punish teams for doing well. Or if they’re punishing us for not winning the CL ourselves, then ALL teams should pay for them – including those ludicrous little teams in Wales and Moldova and Whereverstan.

  9. Alan

    Bongo et al, sure you’re not a Chelsea fan?

  10. joseph

    Bongo you must be a man u dare are to tell us to sell TH,pliz Mr Bongo plan some thing else but not that i will be happy.we want to make our sqaurd very strong by buying strong players and your are telling as to sell the jewel of arsenal,for get it pliz.Pliz gooners lets not give any support for that idear.

  11. Scotty

    No way should talent like Henry be sold. Arsenal do not have the luxury of being able to let their best players go. If they sell him who would they replace him with? The younger boys are not yet even close to his standard and it would be unfair to rely on them or even Bergkamp to fill the gap. Henry is not just a goal machine, he creates as many and even on a bad day can make the difference between winning the game. Money may be important to the club but at the expense of one best players in Europe? Plus, why would anyone want to take the step down to playing in a mickey mouse, racist, two-bit league when you could stay and play for a class act!!!!!

  12. CheDDar

    Bongo Mate ur chatting out of ur ass……sell thierry are u mad..we should bring in quality players to play round him not sell the main man…me personally i think we should sell freddy and bring in a skillful right sided midfielder or giv bentley a chance i think his a huge talent……Wot Do u lot think…?

  13. bongo et al.

    joeseph, half nice et al.

    Would Arsenal be a better team/squad with say.
    SWP, Baptiste and Ramos ( both Seville) and 2 other Wenger gems he could find with TH’ s money.
    Face reality.
    If he was 24 then selling him would not make sense.
    But at the end of the next season and after a tiring WC CAMPAIGN. The thoroughbread will be on his knees.
    I concur he is brilliant but he/has played too many games.
    His achilles is going.
    Selling him (if the price is large) is sensible not stupid.
    Because players – perform so frequently the days of them playing over 30 years are gone. Bergkamp ,apart, because he does not rely on his pace.

    Get shot. And regenerate.
    I bet You Man You would like to have sold the horse for big money when they had a chance. Now he is a liabilty.

    Bongo et al

  14. simon talker

    Agree with you on some points Bongo – TH14 can be annoying with his arm waving etc at Jose etc, but as to seeling the best forward player in the world…………… thats just crazy! We are also a little bit predictable when Henry is playing and that we do play with a different verve when he isn’t. That’s not to say that the latter is better.

    Go and join the other controversial morons on Arsenal, wtf?

  15. vivb

    As I understand it the CL TV money is split 40% top Chelsea, 30% for Arsenal as group qualifiers. The remaining 30% will be split 2 or 3 ways depending on whether Man Utd, Everton or Liverpool qualify.

    The suspicion is that Liverpool will be “shock horror” drawn against Liverpool in the last qualifying round. Therefore ensuring only 4 english teams are in the group stages. I guess most broadcaster’s don’t want 3 teams playing on a Champions League night.

    Interesting how many games Liverpool will end up playing next season including a trip to Japan at Christmas. Surely it will undermine any Premiership push.

  16. bongo et al.

    Simon Talker et al,

    I probably know more about the gunners than you lot put together.(I HAVE FOLLOWED THEM FOR 3 SEASONS)
    Questions for m’learned amigoes.

    Why do the brilliant French team constantly under perform in the big tournos?
    Did you see TH reaction to the penalty shoot-out in the fa cup final. And what do you think?
    Is he a big girls blouse?
    What price would be a good price for a 28 year old centre forward?
    Or regardless you just would not contemplate selling him?


  17. Amin

    no, i have a feeling that uefa will eliminate this problem by pairing evrton with liverpool in the 3rd rounds.

  18. halfNice

    Bongo I apologise for calling you a fool. I thought you were just trying to wind us up. However your idea is still foolish. Bergkamp is in his late 30s and even tho he’s not as good as he used to be he’s still a handful. TH14 will still be effective for years to come.

    You never improve your team by selling your best player to your competition. simple as that.

  19. CheDDar

    Listen with Thierry we ve got a better chance of winning the champions league…and i think the season coming could jst be our season with a few additions and hopefully been injury free we could finally bring the champions league trophy home….i think the seson coming could be a very importent campaign for a number of player them been freddy,pires,viera
    which are all in there prime……….also it ll be dennis ‘s last season
    we should have a solid defence with the emergance of phillip sendros

    Reyes could blow up …having Settled down after a tough season and with Van persie more mature things are looking up…jst have to see who we get
    and hoping they settle in straight away……….one more thing lauren ‘s a concern specially after the fa cup…….he got terrorised left right and center……

  20. gooner76

    Henry should not be sold regardless of picking up wear and tear injuries, I suppose you think Pascal Cygan is a good player!!

    What you say about tapping up is correct, Real Madrid have long used their media arm or should I say Marca newspaper and Guilleme BalaGAY on Sky Sports to let their interest in players be down and t unsettle players by saying club officials are in talks etc when there is no truth whatsoever If the Powers that be are serious in their posturing to clean up football deals this is an area that should also be looked at.

  21. vivb

    Bongo, have you seen TH play in the flesh, have you seen his pace his close control, is there a greater sight in world football. He topped the goals scored and assists list last season as well as being the first player ever to win the golden boot two seasons in succession, this despite missing the last 4 games.

    The question for AW is finding a suitable striker to play with him and provide us with an alternative way of playing i.e. a more direct needing physical presence.

    France won both the World and European Championship in the last 10 years hardly underperforming. I suggest poor management and injuries are just as relevent to subsequent failures. Englands record is hardly any better. Look at Spain’s record. Using your theory we should fill our side with Germans.

    Why opt for players unproven in the Premiership, Reyes has shown how hard it is to adjust. Spanish players are always more likely to head back to Real or Barca once they’ve made their name (There is a bias against playing ex pat players in Spain’s national team).

  22. vince

    You cannot win trophies buy selling your best players, Arsenal are a better team with TH, not without him. Can you imagine chavski with TH rather than emille dogba!! does not bare thinking about plus, what sort of message does it send out, we would rather make some money than win trophies, bollocks to that!

    Bongo, if you are serious, I can see your reasoning but remember, we sell TH and buy others we can still only field eleven players and Henry just happens to be one of the best players in the world right now so we would be weakening our team.

    What you are saying is: When Real, Barca, Juve, AC or chavski come knocking we just roll over and sell, bollocks to that!

  23. bongo et al.

    Vince et al.

    I am afraid you are talking drivel.
    ‘You do not win trophies by selling your best players’. Nonsense. You have to sell players to IMPROVE.

    Two things to add:
    You sell when it suits.(optimum price)
    you do not sell to rivals (chelsea)
    and with the proceeds you buy younger, hungrier players.
    Football has always been like that.
    Not selling Viera was a mistake and so will be not selling TH.
    my name is bongo et al

  24. bongo et al.

    Vince et al.

    I am afraid you are talking drivel.
    ‘You do not win trophies by selling your best players’. Nonsense. You have to sell players to IMPROVE.

    Two things to add:
    You sell when it suits.(optimum price)
    you do not sell to rivals (chelsea)
    and with the proceeds you buy younger, hungrier players.
    Football has always been like that.
    Not selling Viera was a mistake and so will be not selling TH.
    my name is bongo et al

  25. Rachel

    HAHAHA Let’s all laugh at Bongo! This person is not a gooner and if he was he certainly wouldn’t be daft enough to say he thinks we shud sell TH14.
    What a load of nonsense, maybe this man “has how to talk shit” lessons from Peter Kenyon lol.

    Thierry will be 28 in Aug and so I would say he is in his prime for a footballer.
    Please Bongo do not try to tell me that you know more about Arsenal then most of us in this forum bcoz quite honestly, you have already shown that you do not!

  26. bongo et al.

    To rachael,
    For one moment let us imagine you have the onerous responsibility of being Chief Executive of our beloved club.
    what price would be acceptable to prise away TH?
    Or for that matter any player?

  27. simon talker


    You’re a cunt.

    Stop being a cock and fuck off.

    Apologies for the bad language to everybody else, but pricks like this one should piss off.

    FYI Bongo – Been going to the Arse for 23 years. Through years of unattractive football to what we have today. I have never seen such natural talent as Henrys and he has to be one of the best, if not the best player to don an arsenal shirt in the time that I have been supporting them.

    Stop being a nob.

  28. Bob

    Selling an established international of the caliber of TH14 only makes sense IF you can a) get far more money for him than he is worth and b) replace him with real quality.
    A penny less than 50 million and Arsenal would be getting robbed blind, and just who exactly could replace him?
    For all their limitless funds, Chelski haven’t managed to land a top striker as of yet. In fact, with everyone aware of their bulging wallet, they had to pay serious money for a average player like Drogba. With a well-publicised 50 million in our pockets, we would be in the same boat.
    The only players who could do a similar job for Arsenal would be the likes of Adriano and Ronaldinho… both of whom would command similar fees, even IF their clubs could be persuaded to sell…. and then what would be the point? Why ‘swap’ the best player in the world who is settled and proven in the premiership, for a (albeit slightly younger) player who will no doubt require a lengthy period of adjustment?

    This isn’t Championship Manager you know.

  29. bongo et al.

    Dear Simon,

    No one is disputing the elegance and grace of TH.
    And in my many years of supporting AFC he is the best athlete/footballer I have seen .

    But he is starting to pick up injuries- and what with the demands of modern footy. And with a gruelling World Cup campaign looming. All i was suggesting/opinionating that if a substanial bid came in for the maestro.
    We could replenish the team with younger, maybe hungrier talent.
    Swp, Robinho, torres, etc, etc.
    And a sure way of not returning to the old bad days- is to advocate a policy I have mentioned.
    we do not want an Ian Wright situation- where he oustays his welcome and we can not get no monies for him (700k?)- and he becomes detrimental to the club.
    Do not take things personal old chap – (u should no better after 23 years)

  30. Farnborough Gunner

    Bongo – saying you know more about Arsenal than the rest of us is arrogant, especially as you then go on to say you have only followed them for 3 years.

    Can’t you just accept that most or all other people on this forum disagree with your point and stop trying to flog a dead horse?

    Your list of examples of clubs that have sold to improve contains some factual errors, for instance:
    3. Arsenal won the double with Anelka, Overmars & Petit; the unbeaten season and subsequent double came some time later (but before you started following Arsenal).
    6. ManU have not won the league since selling Beckham (about the same period of time that you have followed Arsenal – just coincidence?).

  31. Rachel

    Thierry Henry is one of many players that I consider as being a major part of our campaigning season, Bongo. You are entitled to your opinion but saying to sell the best striker in the world is ridiculous.

    Thierry Henry had most assits and most goals of the season, and for many seasons, he has been extremly consistant.
    In Europe he has won/shared the Golden shoe award in consecutive seasons and u say we shud sell him, we are fighting for a Champions League 1st ever win and to regain the League yet you think we should get rid of our prolific Goalscorer? Well all I can say is thank god Arsene Wenger don’t think like you.

  32. Farnborough Gunner

    The “buy low, sell high” tactic is the right approach for clubs desparate for cash, maybe to patch up a very weak squad, or so lacking in ambition that when they realise they have a special player on their books they see pound signs rather than trophies.

    But no other good players would want to join such a club.

    This is about ambition and expectation of the club. Arsenal have ambition and see TH14 and the rest of our world class players as the basis for a real & continued challenge for the top trophies – PL & CL. We need a few more like them, not a few less.

  33. bongo et al.

    To Rachel,

    Hand on heart do you think we can win the Champions league with TH in the team.
    I do not.
    lets face facts.
    Top teams? rumbled us. They know the way we play.
    We need a new style of play- with or without TH.?
    Apart from Dennis- what striker can gel with TH.
    He can not play With Reyes and he can not play with Tresequet (france).
    We will never win the Champions league with TH. not because he is shite but because the tactic of him gliding down the left wing is obsolete.
    Get real
    Bongo et al

  34. Rachel

    You are the one who needs to get real mate, did we win the Champs League b4 Thierry come along? Did we even get in the champs league this often before Wenger come along oh but wait of course, you wouldn’t know anything about that would you?

    As a team at the moment we do not play well in Europe that is true but come on, that is not just TH’s fault.

    Ok so just as an aside, even if we sold TH14 the money we got for him wouldn’t all go into the kitty you know. We do have a cpl hundred million stadium about, that needs paying for. So which player will join us when we have just shown that our team ambition is not as important as the money?

  35. bongo et al.

    its a shame.
    we seem to live in the cult of the individual.
    ARSENAL is bigger than any player.
    Top teams have found a way of playing against us.
    we have not beat the mancs for 8 competive games
    we failed to beat Chelsea
    we struggled again in Europe -especially in an easy group stage.
    it seems you rather AFC be like Newcastle – where one player runs the show. Analyse their results and you will find they score more goals when a certain Mr. Shearer is not playing?
    Team ethic should be the goal not pandering to PV and TH.
    Dennis Bergkamp is the player we should salute. It is his selflessness that we should strive for every Arsenal player to obtain.
    The more I am hearing about TH- maybe A. COLE was right about certain cliques.
    I know we would see a marked improvement in the precocious Reyes if TH did not treat him with such surliness.

  36. vince

    Bongo et al…sorry just bongo! Please stop talking crap! I reckon you’re just having a laugh…..NOBODY in their right mind, if they are serious about winning trophies would sell a player like TH14 unless they were hard up. We hang on to the best AND improve the current squad, not sell our best.

    We are all entitked to our opinion but some opinions are just bloody stupid!

    Was this you? I was in the chip shop near the ground before our unbeaten seasons game against Liverpool. There was a bloke in the line behind me saying exactly what you are saying…..we won the game 4-2 with help from a TH14 hatrick, without him we may not have won that game.

    He makes the difference!

  37. vivb

    I understand Bongo’s point but I don’t agree with it.

    At Arsenal it’s not the chief exec’s decision it’s AW’s.

    AW wanted Vieira to stay and ultimately he did. I don’t criticise PV for wanting to move on how many foreign players will spend the bulk of their careers at one club. We got a poor season from him but I think he will be better next season.

    The problem is we play one way but I believe AW will alter this in the next season. last season we got 83 points which was our second highest total ever, if it wasn’t for 20 minutes of madness in Munich we would have played Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final. The FA Cup final showed the impotance of TH to the side. Forlan was the top Spanish striker last season what makes you think Torres would be any more successful than him in the premiership. TH all time premiership stats of 137 goal at 0.67 goals per game speak for themselves. Who can you guarantee can repeat this. Man Utd spent £48m on strikers last season and scored 58 league goals, messing with a proven formula is dangerous.

    The aim has got to be to add to the existing squad not break it up, Van Persie/Reyes/Bentley/Quincey/Smith/Lupoli will all improve over the next 3 years, while Aliadiere is probably on his way. The difficulty is buying new players is you are taking a risk look at our other forwards Wiltord remains our record transfer but think of other forwards Kanu, Suker, Chris Weah, Jeffers, Boamorte etc.

    Ultimately it’s AW’s team and it’s up to him to decide if he is happy for players to leave or not.

  38. RotorGoat

    I think 39 posts is a record.

  39. halfNice

    Well, here’s 40, RotorG

  40. Rachel

    Right well your last comment certainly shows you know little about Arsenal, firstly the Newcastle situation is totally diff. Do you see Shearer scoring 30 odd goals a season and winning Golden shoe and boot awards anymore?? NO!!
    Second How can you say that TH14 is selfish when he has the highest assists in the League?
    Third Ash Cole was supposed to have said about the Cliques to Kenyon, it was Kenyon who mentioned it at the hearing not Cole, Cole has denied ever saying anything like that.

    Dennis Bergkamp is a fantastic player but if he was 28 and we were being offered money for him, you’d be saying the exact thing.
    I know TH14 isn’t the only player at Arsenal but he is someone who the team, manager, a majority of fans respect.
    We have a player for each position on the field and each one is vital in his role, we are not a one man team but to get rid of one of ya best striker’s is pathetic.
    You have your opinion and I’ll have mine, you are as Farnborough Gunner says ” Flogging a dead horse.”

  41. bongo et al.

    Thanks vivb, i have taking a right coating today.

    I accept that the consensus is to keep TH.
    I would just like you and my monday afternoon comrades to digest this scenario.
    AFC have no major funds(like most other clubs by the way).
    option 1).
    Keep TH.
    option 2) WITH THE TH MONIES
    Have SWP, Ramos, Robinho and a rejuvenated and more confident REyes
    for next season.
    Most people will say both but that is not possible.
    My other thinking is TH and PV have been brilliant servants for Afc and enriched us with the skill. LIke everyone they some times need a new challenge .
    Cant seem them being up for Wigan away?

  42. halfNice

    Was anyone here on the queue to buy one of the flats by Ashburton Grove? You pay £400,000 and you get a free season ticket. Can’t say fairer than that.

  43. edmondy

    Pah. Bongo you are a fool. You are a prime example of the sort of arrogant new fan that comes with success.

    Return to your Champ Manager and let the rest of us support the team.

    Football is about more than just winning trophies and making money. Thierry is a gooner and so am I, that’s all there is to it for me.

  44. Rachel

    Well said Edmondy!

  45. bongo et al.

    To Rachel,

    I have supported AFC for more than 3 years.
    I failed in my attempts to be ironic.
    I have supported AFC for more than 20 years.
    I know that you know -YOUR STUFF.
    I Should not have used the Cole And French cliques issue
    As it came from that paragon of virtue and ultimate red devil kenyon. Suffice to say -the tinkering of the French legion in our midst would not neccessarily be a bad thing.
    We should meet up?

  46. uncle fester

    the problem as i see it is that to win in europe you need to play a more agricultural approach not the fancy stuff the only reason to sell TH 14 would be if we could find a better striker which apart from Shevchenko or Adriano there is nobody comparable,personally i would like to see the Arse win the CL any which way they can it really does not matter in the end because nobody remembers how you play they just remember the winners does any one else care how its won just as long as its won because to win it shuts all the press know alls up once and for all.This annual Madrid bull gets on my tits the Arse should put out a statement to say to them all HE IS NOT FOR SALE PISS OFF! i hope we make a couple of buys not whole sale changes as i think we will see the team change big time in the next 2 years.

  47. Rachel

    Bongo – Yes I do know my stuff, I pride myself on knowing about football. I have previously taken lots of stick mostly when I was younger. Being a solitary female football fan at my school, my point was put across with lots of frustration.
    Luckily there are now many more female footy fans and it is not such a difficult task to prove how much you love and care for your team without having to fancy one of the players.

    I will never understand the point of selling any top class players (unless they want to go) when these players are the same one’s that have made so much possible. In the 70’s each time we won a title we seemed to sell off our best players, like George Graham to United after 71 or Liam Brady then we would be in the middle table again.

    I personally do not want this to start repeating itself, I am pleased Wenger has say over what goes on with players otherwise who knows what would happen.

  48. bongo et al.

    we must get SWP.
    we can not let him go to Chelsea.
    He will win us the Champions League and title.
    It is his destiny.
    his energy, class and enthusiasm will permeate throughout the squad and crowd- and lead us to new glories
    his loyalty will be a magnet for all our young gunners coming through the ranks.

  49. Rachel

    After what his father said Bongo, I cannot see SWP coming to Arsenal.
    If he does I doubt it will be in this transfer window.

  50. bongo et al.

    what did he say?
    Are you talking about our Ian Wright(step father??)
    He has to come to AFC- it will be a massive cock -up if we do not get him.
    Three fold.
    1.Bad Pr- letting a brilliant english young player through the net
    2.Commercially he is Gold.
    3.He is the most exciting brave dribbler I have ever seen.

    We have to Get him!

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