Henry starting to believe Arsenal CAN win BPL title

In the same week that the Arsenal and France international striker Olivier Giroud spoke again about the comments made by his predecessor for club and country towards the end of last season, Thierry Henry has healed the rift between the two forwards even further.

I do not know whether Henry had his words about Giroud and Arsenal’s need to sign a top quality striker in mind when he spoke to Sky Sports about his thoughts on how the Premier League title race will shape up in the coming months. However, the former Gunner seems to have a lot more faith in our chances of lifting the trophy in May than he did before.

Henry expects it to be a really hard fought season at the top and he expects the Gunners to be there or thereabouts at the end. So with Arsene Wenger having added no new front men to the Arsenal squad, thus far at least, I would have to assume that Henry no longer harbours such doubts about our lack of firepower.

Henry said, “Have a look at the competition now to win the league. It is very, very, very difficult, so I expect everyone is going to challenge them, everyone is going to try to make sure they can win the title.

“Because if I said to you: ‘City cannot have the same season again, Arsenal cannot stay another year without winning the league, United won’t accept not winning the league two years in a row’ – that does not go down too well over there. What about Liverpool? So I expect everyone to challenge them.

“You would like to point at the usual subjects – United, Arsenal and City – but who would have said Liverpool a year ago would have nearly won the league? No one saw that coming.

“So you always have a surprise and you don’t know when that is going to happen and maybe it is going to be a team that is going to surprise the other teams next season. But you would like to think it will be the same kind of top four.”

Giroud, who was really not happy when he first heard Henry’s comments on the Arsenal striker situation, has also said that he now understands what his fellow Frenchman was trying to say, that the club needs options up front and cannot win the title with just Giroud, as explained by a report in The Mirror.

Giroud said, “The main thing is not to have any doubt when you miss a chance or miss a game, it can happen sometimes.

“The best thing is to forget about the comment straight away, keep the head up and not let it affect your qualities. I know Thierry and I knew what he meant.

“If I see him we will have a conversation between two men. I’m not angry against him, but it’s true that I didn’t understand at first.

“But I think he reacted about his words and explained them more. I’m not going to be upset about that. I’m sleeping well and as long as my family is OK, that’s the main thing. So it doesn’t affect me much.”

So have Arsenal got enough firepower with Giroud, Walcott, Akpom, Alexis and Welbeck?

Tags Giroud


  1. Erm, I watched the interview and Henry wasn’t singling us out to say we’ll win the league. He was referring to the title race, alluding to the idea that it will be much closer this year in his opinion.

    He talked about how Chelsea ran away with it last year and said there would be 5 title contenders this year. He said pretty much the same thing about all the top 4 teams and also included Liverpool as contenders

    1. Not really anything to go by though.. This early in the window I doubt we’ll see any bold predictions other than the usual Chelsea were the standout, it’s theirs to lose and others to catch-up.
      It will be refreshing though having a much improved ‘spine’ that will be a lot harder for pundits (cough, Carragher!!!!) to criticize. Cech, actually having three good to great CB options for the first time in about eight seasons, Coquelin, Cazorla and a much improved Ozil in MF.
      There will obviously be the criticisms of Giroud and a back-up for Coquelin, but still, it’ll be refreshing only having one position in our starting XI scrutinized!!

      1. I understand your view but I think the general consensus is that our spine hasn’t really improved. We got Cech a great buy regardless but I think in relation to that spine a GK was the lowest of the list of priorities. Which while not calling into question that specific purchase, questions the lack of any subsequent others.

        I don’t think pundits will change anything in their criticism as bar 1 new addition the team hasn’t changed from a squad basis and for a club that is expected to be challenging for trophies everywhere our squad is lacking in genuine quality depth as well as key starting positions.

        If anything pundits this time around will be more vocal and critical if we don’t win the league as we have a solid squad in need of few improvements to challenge.

        1. Ok. Well I strongly disagree.
          CB – we paid the price for not having adequate cover. throwing Chambers straight in the deep end and monreal at CB having NEVER played there in his life was pitiful. Gabriel has had a half season to adjust now and develop and understanding with Mertz and Kos. He’s quality and only going to get better. CB cover is essential.
          Coquelin – Duh!! Made the position his own.
          Cech – You are drastically undervaluing.
          With adequate defensive cover and the addition of Coquelin, our first 19 games we conceded 23 goals, second 19, 13 goals. We went from a mid-table defensive record to the best in the league.
          Then there’s Ozil and Cazorla… Both were 100x more efficient playing centrally together and not having any of their talents somewhat sacrificed on the wings. World-class. In terms of chance creation, Hazard and Fab were the benchmark first half of the season, second half it was all Ozil and Cazorla.
          I’m not suggesting cover/competition with Coquelin and a striker wouldn’t do a world of good. But I was evaluating last season and this window’s current improvements and Gab, Cech, Coquelin and getting the best from Ozil and Cazorla is a massive, massive improvement on our spine.

          1. While I have no problem with everything you said, I do not agree with you that playing Chambers or Monreal at CB was the reason we lost points. As a matter of fact they played better than the natural CB in that position. Per improved significantly when Kos was back, which could point to the fact that having a defensive pairing that was not familiar with each other cost us points. On that basis even if we had acquired Gabriel at the start of the season we would have had same problems. Second, our attacking players were not doing enough to stop long balls from being sent into our defensive third from opposition half. Our defensive output always improved whenever we defended as a team. In a nutshell, even with the Chelsea CB pairing we would have suffered as long as we did not defend as a team.

        2. Actually I replied way too constructively… In what world is Cech, Gabriel and Coquelin not a huge f@#king improvement!?

      2. I thought you found the right tone. Cautious optimism in recognition of Arsenal’s quality and improvements…. yet you highlight some questionable areas as well (DM depth and Striker quality). I can’t find anything wrong with that analysis.

        1. Haha maybe so… I just re-read the original and the ‘I think the general consensus is that our spine hasn’t really improved’ comment really irked me!
          We’re Arsenal.. We play seriously attacking football, and scoring goals isn’t really a problem. I think everyone sets the invincible’s as the benchmark, that defence was seriously, seriously good. ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ was the benchmark not ‘3-1.’ And it’s losses to the other contenders which sets us back so far previously, not leaving with points shared. Mourinho gets so much praise, and the big games throughout the season, rightly so. Against the top teams winning home games is a must, and then don’t let them take any more than a point off you on the road.
          Sorry, I’m rambling on this thread… But IMO the undoubted improvement on our defence and spine being swept under as ‘hasn’t really improved’ I find astonishing.

          1. I know he says our spine hasnt improved even though we’ve upgraded a position along the spine. HA!

          2. That’s perfectly fine if you disagree, you’re entitled to your opinion and I respect it. Firstly your postulation that it’s losses to contenders that set us back is incorrect.

            We had an atrocious away record vs the top half, not top 4 alone, top half. We won 2 away games vs teams 1st through 11. We drew at United, contenders sure, lost to Chelsea, eventual champions, but we also lost to Stoke, Southampton, Swansea home and away and Tottenham drawing to Everton and Liverpool. We failed to beat any of the top 5 at home mustering 2 points from 12. The fact of the matter is we generally did poor vs any decent opposition away from home, contenders or not. Away from home vs teams in the top 11 we got 9 points from 30. That is atrocious.

            You might feel Chelsea/Mourinho get too much praise for big games but by comparison Chelsea got by comparison 20 points from 30 vs teams 1 through 11. More importantly they lost once vs that opposition, we lost 5 times. Dislike Mourinho as a person sure but those results speak for themselves.

            Your assertion that we play seriously attacking football is all good and well but how did that translate vs good opposition? We scored goal vs Swansea, none vs Chelsea or United, 1 vs Tottenham, 2 vs Liverpool, 2 vs City. Yet we still had a poor point return away from home. Vs that top 5 we only ever scored more than 1 goal once, was shut out once. We might net big figures against small teams but vs actual strong opposition we wilt.

            You might say but we only scored a small amount less than Chelsea but by our own tokens we say Chelsea are a defensive team so it’s no excuse.

            As for the major section of your argument you fail to see how anyone questions our improvement with our spine?

            Again I ask how did that translate for us against good opposition? Let’s analyze our results since Coquelin returned on the 12th of December, we lost to Southampton 2 – 0, Spurs 2 – 1, Swansea 2 – 1, Held to a 2 – 2 draw at Anfield, 0 – 0 draw vs Chelsea who played half the match without a striker, 1 – 1 draw at United, loss to Monaco, 2 – 1 win at the Etihad.

            Coquelin had 19 Premier League appearances since his return from loan, 3 as subs. Paulista had 4 appearances in the EPL.

            So you please explain how our new spine improved anything?

            1. Ok. A more concise comment than I expected!
              Though your argument does drift between the entirety of last season and the second half.
              I wasn’t slating Mourinho, quite the opposite, I was saying that praise for his record and mentality versus the top opposition is due.
              Chelsea’s record was 20 from 30 second half. Ours was 17 from 30. One win is hardly insurmountable if they are the benchmark. (which they are)
              The only teams we failed to score against over the entire season in the league were Chelsea twice, Swansea, Sunderland and Southampton. 5 games out of 38. So no, I stand by that it was the other end which let us down.
              Yes, we had some bad results over both halves of the season. But I’ll refer back to my original reasoning for improvement. 13 goals conceded over the course of 19 games. The only time we conceded more than once was vs Southampton when Szcez had an absolute howler. Coquelin was a key part of this, and though Gabriel didn’t play a major part, I’m sure you can agree if Mertz or Kos had been hit with an injury you would have felt a lot more secure having him as back-up instead of Chambers or Monreal?? The fact that he’s had an extra half of a season to adjust, train and develop an understanding with his team-mates is also a massive plus.

          3. This time last season, we had just about signed an injured Ospine, we were not also sure if we could really rely on Szczesny, we had Chambers as our only CB cover, no DM, Walcott was still injured, two key players in Ozil and Mert could not join us for pre-season, we were not sure how much Sanchez would adapt to the PL, perhaps we should compare that to where we are right now and see how much of a better place we are in now. Should we sign a striker? Why not? But I maintain if he is not in the same stature as Suarez, Ibra or Aguero who can single handedly drag us over the line like RVP did, we are just gambling around and maybe an expensive gamble too, we have players of our own we can gamble on , if in doubt, put Walcott and Lacazette on the market and let’s who get’s snapped up first. Who says Akpom couldn’t do an Anelka? Young stiker taking the league by storm. We discount Welbeck, the same guy that stepped us and got us our first win at Old Trafford in donkey years.

  2. On a side note, for discussion purposes what are your views of our squad in comparison to others thus far, excluding prospective transfers?

    Thus far I think Chelsea still have the edge over everyone else as they have a squad that’s settled, knows what the manager wants and don’t have any real deficiencies anywhere.

    United have had some stellar signings and quite frankly their squad could be a forced to be reckoned with if their signings gel well. A front line and midfield of Rooney, Di Maria, Depay, Bastian, Mata, and Schneiderlin is probably better than ours if I’m being honest but this is all if United gel well and doesn’t take into account our own squad.

    As for us, I think our squad is fairly solid, we know our capabilities and have a better defense than United as well as a squad that is also settled, for now I think that gives us the edge over United but not Chelsea.

    As for City I am unsure where there squad stands. Sterling is an upgrade over Navas but it felt like their squad finished 4th, which is odd since they actually finished 2nd. Jury is out on Mangala and who knows which Kompany will show up this season.

    1. I think you are giving too much credit to Chelsea’s squad as expected, because that is the official line put forward by pundits and the media. Chelsea ran away with the league because other contenders slept on duty during the first half of the season. Second half of the season every other top team woke up while Chelsea was struggling, however because they had no pressure due to the pints gap they had created in the first half they managed to nick out results where under pressure they would not have. You can count more than five such games that include against Everton, QPR, Hull City, etc. If the other teams get off to acceptable performance at the start of the season, next season it will be neck and neck.

      I however agree that Man U will have to contend with building a settled squad fast otherwise the will fall behind early. Arsenal squad is basically the same so I see no reason why we should not have a solid start, continuing from where we left. I expect the same for Chelsea and probably Man City. Liverpool bought too many players so they may have squad adjustment problems early on.

      We need to also take note of player acquisitions by lower teams. This will mean that big teams will not expect a run of five straight wins in the coming season.

  3. Whether henry says it or not..I believe with the players we have currently we can win the league..enough of this talk of buying another striker blah!blah!blah!…the fact is some gunner fans have forgotten that we almost won the league 2 years ago without sanchez nor cech and with the same olivier giroud as our ONLY strike force,and as we know if not for lack of depth and injuries we would av won the league that year…now we av sanchez and cech plus welbeck,we now av the depth,all we need is a fit team and we will win the league next season…I believe in this team and frankly,its high time we put all the doubts away and stand with the team and manager with or without a new striker signing…COYGs!!!

    1. That is why we need to sign 2 quality strikers….

      if we have signed only 1 and that striker gets injured for 3 to 4 months….

      we will have to rely on Giroud and thats doom

    2. Aside from those goal things he manages to get… Pfft!! Get real Giroud, tap-ins, headers and near post sweeps?? Who needs them?… If he’s not dancing, taking on a minimum of 5 players it’s not a real goal as far as i’m concerned.

      1. Well said Josh. Giroud-bashing is a pastime for some on here, largely because some pundits said months ago we’d never win the league with OG as our first choice centre forward. Therefore, he’s shiiiiiiiiit. Fourteen goals in 21 PL starts, but still shiiiiiiiiiiit.

        I think back to the days when we pretty much had no aerial option or player charging the near post and everyone was talking about our pretty yet one-dimensional football. We’ve observed before that a super mobile forward who gets shots away a half second earlier than OG would benefit our team significantly, but most of the people attacking Giroud don’t actually know why they’re doing it, lol.

  4. King Henry. When he dies he will be Saint Henry 🙂

    I love Henry. He left in a good way: after winning trophies, winning our hearts and invincibles and getting us to CL Final.

    Even after he left he showed us his loyalty, always said nice words about us and even helped us one season (I think he scored a vital goal in a cup match)

    I also appreciate his honesty. he thought we needed to strengthen our spine, especially gk, DM and striker. I agree

  5. @TrueGunner12

    You are keeping it real, it is refreshing.

    I don’t know who wrote the article, but I watch Thierry Henry on Canal+ with the program “Les Spécialistes” and when asked about Arsenal chances, he said

    “Changing GK is not enough. And who thought or said that Ospina was not good enough to keep the posts safe? He just had a fantastic Copa America!! I will repeat what I said earlier and got loads of sticks for it… Without a top striker, another CB and a DM, I cannot see it happening”

    Then he was asked about Giroud.

    He said “Giroud is a good striker but needs help. Arsenal cannot play the way we did. Pires was scoring 10-15 goals, Bergkamp 10 goals or more, my Swedish brother 10-15 goals, even Viera and Parlour Will come with the goods. Ozil cannot score 5 goals, Wilshere and Gibbs should be, may be, loaned”

    Then the pundit said ” so no league or CL this year”.
    Henry said “it will depend on how they start. Last season, playing Wilshere as a number 10 was a massive mistake when you have Ozil or Cazorla. As for the CL, I left Arsenal to win it. Nothing has changed…”

    1. Think Thierry’s memory is playing tricks on him. Pires never scored 15 league goals in a season. DB10 never got in to double figures for league goals in all the time Thierry was there. The “Swedish brother” got in to double figures twice in 10 seasons with 10 and 12 league goals. Parlour scored 5 whilst playing with Henry in 5 seasons and 4 of those were in one season. Vieira topped out with 6 in a season.

  6. Henry has spoken the truth. Giroud is a nice guy but you cannot win league with him the main cf. He may score tap ins. But he never scores important winners against strong opposition. He can’t carry the ball into the net and he cannot dribble or run with the ball

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