Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Starting Henry would be a gamble, would it be worth the risk?

Posted by James Dall on 6, March 2007

Very little fresh and news for me to discuss, only two stories really.

The first story is about the fact PSV have lost two defenders for this game. Obviously that is good for us however the list of players that are unavailable for us far outweighs theirs.

The debate most people seem to be having is whether Thierry Henry will play. He had the following to say –

I think I made a mistake at the beginning of the season when I played while not fully fit after the World Cup. I guess I am paying for that now. I always knew this would be a difficult season for me physically, but I did not expect to have so many niggling injuries. After the Middlesbrough game I thought I was back to my best, but then that kick on the foot I got there set me back.

We all know he is rated 50/50 and I for one presume Wenger will not risk him, however I do have a doubt in the back of my mind. Arsene wants to win the competition badly, he wants to progress desperately. Therefore I think Arsene might be willing to risk our best player. The problem for me is that we have witnessed the Thierry carrying an injury and he is not great. Would playing an unfit Thierry really pay off? Does Arsene risk losing Henry long term? Baptista and Adebayor, as mentioned yesterday, certainly are more than capable in my opinion. It is in the hands of the manager…

For me I would go with the following team –

Baptista, Adebayor

Ljungberg, Fagregas, Denilson, Hleb

Clichy, Gilberto, Toure, Gallas


No Rosicky is a pain in the arse, although if Freddie can replicate the energy and movement he provided us with on the weekend I think he could be very important. From what I am aware Hoyte and Eboue are unavailable through injury. This means we have three real options at right back – Gallas, Toure and Djourou. As we need to attack I do not think it will be wise to go with Djourou, he will not offer too much going forward. With Gallas early on in the season we saw him bomb down the left on countless occasions so I am convinced he can replicate that once again. Toure could play there but for me Arsene will slot him a long side Gilberto. Gilberto at centre back is a clever addition I feel. He is good on the ball and gives us sensible distribution. Toure undoubtedly will go on a surge now and then which means Gilberto can sit and cover. With Gilberto at centre back this enables us to stick with Fabregas and Denilson in midfield. Both who are hard workers and have a fantastic range of passing. Denilson for me is more creative than Gilberto hence me going with him in the centre of midfield. Hleb is a definite starter. We need to see him reproduce his form that we witnessed early on in the season. Or say against Bolton in the FA Cup game. With his outstanding dribbling, if he is his game he can certainly be a key player for us. Diaby is of course an option, he has looked so impressive when he has played but for me he might be a late sub, the same goes for Aliadiere/Walcott. Up top Adebayor will be full of running, especially as he has been rested for a while due to his suspension. If Baptista has his shooting boots on he could be a m player for us.

So there you have it. I guess I am likely to think over my decision on the starting line-up during the day so it may have changed by tomorrow. I am eager to observe your ideas on the comments.

See you tomorrow.


5 Responses to “Starting Henry would be a gamble, would it be worth the risk?”

  1. steve said

    If Hoyte and Eboue are both out I would go with Djourou in the right back berth. It worked well at Bolton and would free up Gallas and Gilberto to play in their best positions.

  2. Liberty said

    I personally would start with Diaby ahead of Denilson……..he has more physical precsence and is equally good. He sniffs at goal more often as well and besides denilson and fabregas are some what similar inthere style of play. We need that Viera-esque figure in the center of the pack. As for the rest of the line up, i would agree with u for now.

  3. steve said

    Shame we haven’t got Gilbert back.

  4. jang_goat said

    i think my team line up is :-
    hleb walcott
    diaby denilson fabregas

    clichy gallas toure djourou


    this is line up at carling cup..the midfield has came alive like this..just we need is the finishers… please give your comments

  5. lc said

    Yes, you are right, but this is the team I would have gone with.


    Toure- Gilberto-Gallas- Clichy.

    Hleb- Denilson- Fabregas.

    Aliadiere- Baptista- Adebayor. 4-3-3.

    We are secure at the back. Just play these three forward like against Bolton and PSV will be forced to make mistakes (dangerous free kick, or penalty by putting them under pression).
    After possibly being ahead by 3 or 2 nil, AW could reverse to 4-5-1.




    I expect us to go through if AW goes with this formation.
    I know he won’t play Toure at right-back, but we would be much secure if he did it. I don’t think Djourou look that comfortable at right-back. He’s been stalking on his opponent reither than attacking the ball when he(opponent) is receiving it.

    We should win by 3-0.

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