By CALEB SONNELAND
Thierry Henry's return to Arsenal may last just a little longer than expected, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The French striker has enjoyed his brief loan spell at Arsenal, netting a goal in the club's 7-1 win over the weekend. After the game, Wenger revealed to the media that there's a possibility that the New York hitman could stay for another two weeks.
The extra two weeks would allow Henry to play in the London club's FA Cup clash with Middlesbrough/Sunderland and, perhaps more importantly, its Premier League match with Tottenham on February 26th.
Whether or not Henry sticks around has yet to be seen, however it's on the radar of Wenger and could come to fruition, should things line up for Arsenal.
Here are some other stories to jump start your Monday morning:
TOTTENHAM LOOKING TO STAY IN TITLE RACE
In what has already been a whirlwind few days in soccer may only get better as two of England's heavyweights prepare to clash tonight, admittedly with two different long-term objectives in mind.
Tottenham will look to keep their title dreams alive as they makes their way north to Anfield where an in-form Liverpool will be waiting.
The Reds still harbor Top 4 hopes, and a win today would ensure its contention in the race after Chelsea dropped points in yesterday's match with Manchester United. The return of Luis Suarez to Liverpool's lineup could prove vital, as Andy Carroll has finally begun to show signs of life in the striking department.
The last time the two sides met, Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayoor stole the show in a 4-0 destruction of Liverpool at White Hart Lane. The Welshman and Togolese International will be looking to emulate that performance today at 3:00PM ET.
CAPELLO COMMENTS CALLED INTO QUESTION
As per usual, it seems, there is fresh controversy coming out of the English national team set up — this time, from head coach Fabio Capello.
The Italian openly criticized England's Football Association with its decision to strip long-time captain John Terry of the armband in the wake of his ongoing racial investigation.
Terry, who has been the subject of intense media scrutiny after allegations that he racially abused Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match. His court date was set on Friday for July 9, 2012, allowing Terry to potentially play in the Euro 2012 tournament.
However, Capello, who is currently making $9.5 million a year, is reportedly breached his contract with his comments and could find himself in hot water after FA Chief Executive said the matter is being taken "very seriously."
ANNIVERSARY OF MUNICH TRAGEDY
Today marks the anniversary of a tragic day in the illustrious history of Manchester United, as 54 years ago, Flight 609 crashed upon takeoff and killed eight members of the squad and three staff members.
In total, there were 23 fatalities, also including journalists, crew and close friends.
Notably, Bobby Charlton was among the survivors (21 in all) and went on to play one of the most distinguished careers in the game, winning the Ballon d'Or the World Cup and dozens more honors.
Here is a tribute to the legacy of the disaster.
Think Henry will stick around a little longer? Who do you see coming out on top between Liverpool and Tottenham? What's the key to victory?
Matthaus played 16 games for the Metrostars twelve years ago. The Kansas City Wizards won the MLS Cup, Eric Wynalda was still playing for the Revs and Bocanegra was rookie of the year. Ray Frickin Hudson was managing the Miami Fusion.
9/11 had yet to happen.
In other words, it was a lifetime ago.
Drop the whiny, I’m going to take my ball and go home if you don’t respect me tantrum. You are making a lot of noise over nothing.
Pride? This is a business. There is nothing wrong with the league’s pride; there is someting wrong with your skin, it is too thin.
The league is on a much firmer financial footing than many foreign leagues with a comparatively brighter future. Just wait a few years.
These loans are all part of the process. Beckham, Henry and Keane have been an overall net positive for the league’s image abroad and is worth the minor incoveniences.
The league has come along way.
Relative to where it began, MLS is in a great place right now and only looking to get greater. But right now, helping lead a team maybe to a Supporters Shield and a CONCACAF berth pales in comparison to the opportunity to play even a small role in Arsenal going back to the Champions League. In ten or twenty years, the opportunity to win an MLS Championship might be in the same realm as the chance to send a team to the UEFA Champions League but you can’t expect players to think long term like that. MLS has earned respect, otherwise Henry wouldn’t be playing in it at all. But to earn the kind of respect an EPL powerhouse gets is going to take some time. We ought to be honest about that.
Generalities regarding the topic.
If I recall correctly the original loan agreement included the option of a two week extension if both parties were agreeable.
So “bending the rules” won’t really be necessary.
“All due respect,” but when your league has improved like MLS has — despite working within a salary cap — loans emphasize “second class” (like Beckham saying he needed to be on loan elsewhere to be prepared for South Africa) rather than underline the growing quality.
I wouldn’t argue that we’re behind EPL etc. but when you think of the decades of head start the elite leagues have on us, as well as the generally more often coffers to pay for talent, the decrease in the gap that we’ve accomplished is impressive. We do in fact produce some quality talent like Dempsey and McBride, and the standard is equal to European second tier, IMO.
In that context, I think we should act like a serious league. We usually do on transfers — driving hard deals and keeping who we want to keep — but on this loan business we cave in to the marquee talent. I don’t think it helps MLS’ image (or even field product), to cave in on these loans. I think it reinforces dated notions of us as a retirement league or completely inferior.
Henry’s gotten his offseason work in, if he thinks that keeps his in shape and prepares him for success. But NY camp is in session and if he’s gonna be a marginal 18 guy at Arsenal fighting for time in mid-schedule games, come home, we have our own games to play. He’s a Red Bull, that should be his source of pride, and the more weeks he plays for Arsenal the more it makes it look like HIS second choice to come back (before that this was a training stint, then a short loan, now etc…..I don’t want players here who’d rather be elsewhere…..it goes back to the old folk’s home stereotype of this league that’s attracted crap like Matthaus at the end of his career. We’re above this….what about pride? Our league is an end in itself.
No offense, but even the most realistic, ardent MLS fan would concede that MLS is at best a second choice behind the EPL for players. Any of the upper echelon European leagues (EPL, Serie A, La Liga, and the Bundesliga) would be a first choice ahead of MLS. I like MLS and the quality on the field and in the stands is improving, but we don’t have the blow smoke to make it sound bigger than it is.
I could understand the FA Cup final, or, if Arsenal was better, a championship-deciding affair with City or ManU. But an extra two weeks for him to come off the bench in middle FA Cup rounds, and play ordinary games?
I like the idea of training and trials in the offseason but this loan business is bad news. Becks got hurt before, Gonzo now, and even if they emerge healthy you have this “give me two more weeks” business which I think only makes MLS look like a second choice.
Of course, teams do loans around the world but it’s usually more cynical/calculated than “let me go play for my old club for a few weeks”…..injury recovery, chances for marginal young players, dumping veterans with issues.
“i lied! gonna stay a little longer. u mad?”
sidenote: Henry with troll face in that picture?
So long as Henry doesn’t miss any Redbull matches.
If MLS is insistent on bending to allow players on loan in the off-season, it shouldn’t break and allow that loan to extend past the off-season, ala Mr. Achilles-Becks.
I understand the validity of staying in shape/form but it’s time MLS holds firm, if it hasn’t already.