Thierry - things have changed since this picture was taken
I've been away since Sunday on a training course for work. As a result I was not in a position to update the blog at all. In fairness I don't think there would have been much activity on here in any case. As is often the way after a defeat the Club goes in to a bit of a blackout in terms of proper communication through its official channels. They obviously realise that a bit of silence is slightly more palatable than a bunch of empty soundbites from players that have been failing miserably in recent weeks (apart from Szczesny who has been allowed his weekly say on "the top four.")
There being little in the way of news these past few days I want to address the controversy caused by Thierry Henry's altercation with a travelling supporter on Sunday. It seems that the King doesn't like the paying punters telling his colleagues what they think of them. In fairness to Henry, it seems that the only reason the players were in a position to get some stick was because he insisted on them going to show some appreciation of those that pay their money to follow Arsenal. The thing is, having paid that money, you're kind of entitled to tell the players what you think of them. It seems that they are more than happy to milk the adulation when they win at Chelsea, but couldn't wait to get gone after being humiliated at Swansea City.
Back when Henry was in his pomp it was very rare for the players to be subjected to anything vaguely approaching vitriol from the supporters. The fact is that the team was much better than this one. However, they also worked so much harder than the current bunch. It was rare that you could accuse the side from 2000 to 2005 of shirking at any time. That's' why the reaction of the fans was so strange to Henry. In my view there is nothing more annoying than a lack of effort and I think Henry needs to realise that.
Henry has apologised since the incident, and he damn well should have done. I have no idea what the fan in question was actually saying and doing, but unless it was out and out abuse (I suspect it wasn't) he has the right to have his say. No player, whatever his standing in the Club, has the right to criticise a paying supporter for saying what they think. Ultimately the supporters pay the exorbitant wages of people like Arshavin and Walcott. If I stood there and remonstrated with my pay-masters like Henry did, simply because I didn't like their critical feedback, I would be collecting a P45 pretty soon. One of the big problems these past few years has been the fact that Arsene Wenger will never criticise his team. In fact he goes to great lengths to praise them when they are clearly not worthy of it. Perhaps if the players got to know how the supporters feel a bit more often they might be more given to putting in a shift every now and again.
Last week we were basking in the glow of Thierry Henry's glorious comeback. He said, after the game, that he now knew what it felt like to score a goal as a fan. On the evidence of Sunday he doesn't quite get it after all. If he is a fan then I hope he had certain people by the throat in the changing room afterwards and told them to shape up or ship out. Maybe he could also take in hand certain young players (I'm talking about Szczesny) who have too much to say when they've yet to achieve anything. Perhaps then Henry would genuinely know what it's like to be a supporter who has had to sit through what those who went to Swansea had to sit through.