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Henry exits Arsenal

One of the biggest transfer news so far this off-season in the English Premiership is the Arsenal captain Thierry Henry's move to the Spanish giants Barcelona.

The news that Henry will be moving to Barcelona comes as no surprise as it was always question of when and not if. Last season it was thought that he was going to move to Nou Camp at the end of his contract but he decided to renew the contract and stay with the Gunners.

I think there were three reasons why he stayed in North London and sign a new contract. One of them I think was the lure of the new stadium and he was keen to lead Arsenal into a new era and a new stadium.

The second reason I think was because of the treatment he got from the Barca players during the Champions League final. He wasn't their player and they needed to win the final and so you can't Barca players for that. I still contend that had Arsenal not met Barca in that final, he would have gone to Barca at the end of that season.

The third and final reason I think is his loyalty to Arsenal manager Arsenal Wenger. And so what has changed then?

I think what has changed is that David Dein is no longer there at Arsenal and with his departure it looks likely that Wenger may not stay beyond next season.

Wenger's contract expires at the end of the new season and Wenger has stated that he will serve out his contract which means he will be at Emirates as the new season starts. What he hasn't said though is whether he will renew that contract when it expires and for me it looks very likely that he will not and that will change the face of Arsenal as we know it if that does happen.

So Henry knowing that Wenger may go in a year's time has decided its the time to seek a new challenge and I think that's a good move on his part. In a year's time he may not have been as an attractive proposition and this looks like perfect timing.

I think Henry's departure will not affect the Gunners as much because for most of last season he was injured and the Gunners coped reasonably well. A few years back they wouldn't have.

What affected the Gunners more was the loss of both Henry and Robin van Persie at the same time. No team wouldn't have been able to replace both those players and so Arsenal may now have to build their team around van Persie and assuming Cesc Fabregas stays, the future may not be as gloomy as it seems.

Arsenal created so many chances last season last season but could not put them away and one match in particular was the home match against West Ham. In the end they lost that match but could have easily scored at least five goals.

That's a problem that they have to solve by bringing in somebody who can put the ball in to the net and still fit in with their present and I am sure Wenger will be able to do that before the transfer window closes.

However, it will be very gloomy should Wenger leave because it will mean bringing in somebody to come and continue building Wenger's team and that will not be an easy undertaking for anybody. I hope that doesn't happen.

I am sure this will be a big blow for Arsenal but all I would like to see is how Henry will do at Barcelona.

He has been the best player in the premiership for a couple number of years now apart from last year but I would like to see how he is going to cope in Spain where there are so many good players.

For once he will no longer be top dog as he is at Arsenal. Now he knows that if he doesn't perform he will be substituted and the focus in no longer on him to do something special because that is Ronaldinho's job.

I am sure Arsene will be able to fill the gap if he is given the funds.

Maybe the fact that he wont be top dog may mean he will play better because there wont be as much pressure compared to being the key player.

...this is grief time for the Gonners, going to the new stadium not knowing who will direct operations on the pitch...

I think this is going to hurt the young lads and ultimately their performance on the pitch...the loss of key players has been hurting the Gunners in the last 3 or 4 seasons, starting with the exodus/retirement of Overmars, Petit, Bergkamp, Viera, Cole, Campbell, Pires, Silvinho, Edu, etc and they were all replaced by untried and untested youngsters...

While the potential is there, its all grief for now and with the developments in the boardroom who knows what the effect of the shakeup will be....

Kroenker wants to underwrite the purchase of players but the Board is not keen on has all been selling for Arsenal and no buying and i feel the poor results in the league especially in the last two seasons are a reflection of that....unlike Man U, they sell quality and buy quality....Gunners they sell quality and buy schoolkids from France, Holland etc...

Wenger is good with kids, but he is competing with Sir Alex with huge financial ammunition, and Jose's tanks spitting dollars everyday, and now Rafa wants to join the dollars war...

Interesting you mention Arsenal being a 'selling club'. In a way its true but some of the players left because they wanted to go like Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole. Then there is Edu who wanted didn't want to renew his contract but all the same its amazing to see the number of players who have come through to fill the ranks like Toure and now Fabregas.

But that kind of strategy will only win third or fourth place at best with Man U and Chelsea hogging the first two places and rightly so because they have the balanced and more experienced sides.

Let's wait and see who comes in during this off-season.

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