There has been so much ado about Arsenal players celebrating on the last day of the season after beating Newcastle to clinch 4th spot in the Premier league and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Pundits, ex-players and fans have berated the players for celebrating ‘failure’ and mediocrity. Ljunberg said the club should only celebrate trophies and not mere top 4 finish, now, Henry who is regarded as the Gunners greatest striker has lent his voice to the debate. While acknowledging that the club should be seen celebrating trophies, he added a twist to it. He said St. Totteringham should always feel like trophy triumph for every true Gunner be it in the stands or on the pitch. Hear him,
“For me as a fan or if I was a player at Arsenal, finishing in the top four would have been normal,” Henry told Sky Sports.
“We saved our season and that was it because you always want to win and I know people go on about the pictures and all of this celebration.
“But I can tell you I think it was more the fact that for any Arsenal player, when you really feel the shirt and really play for the club, putting Tottenham out of the top four, and I really do hope that’s what they were celebrating about.
“Because that is the only thing you can celebrate about. If you are an Arsenal man through-and-through that is like winning something for me. And I also said it when we did it to them in 2006 that it wasn’t the fact we qualified for the Champions League, it is because we kicked them out of it and we went in.”
He declared that the minimum Arsenal should aspire for every season is a top 4 finish while also making sure they also finish above Tottenham. He also made a reference to 2006 when the club also had to wait for the last day of the season to clinch 4th spot and by so doing, kicked Tottenham out of it. That season, the Gunners finished trophyless despite the presence of experienced and star players like Henry, Pires, Reyes, Lehmann, Gilberto and Ljunberg. This simply implies that while the team need a couple of more experienced signings to be in proper shape, the presence of star names isn’t a guarantee of winning silverware as seen by the failings of the legendary team.
Hence, even if there was nothing to celebrate, top 4 inclusive last season, finishing above Tottenham is certainly worth the fuss and that’s the Premier League gospel according to St. Henry.