Next man up?

eeeeeeeeeee Bobby

This morning, the lad Jack Wilshere (among others more used to news of the breaking variety) tweeted that Arsenal legend Robert Pires had joined the team in training today at London Colney. Then later on a bit, Aidan brought this column to my attention, and the two events started me thinking about something. Obviously we all know by now that Thierry Henry, our once and future king, has returned, and has done so with a vengeance. It's gotten people talking about Arsenal that they haven't in quite a while (that is, with pure joy, unadulterated by thoughts of the larger meaning of things).

So I think the obvious solution to whatever issues Arsenal may have at the moment is not the usual: bring in young, talented players and have them grow and mesh together as a team slowly over time. No, we've tried that, and I'm bored by it. I want to see more old guys. Let's get the band back together.

So who else do we want? The obvious first stop is Le Bob - Robert Pires. Like Henry before him, he's training at Colney "to maintain [his] fitness level," but I think we all know that like Henry before him, he's really preparing for a second chapter to his Arsenal career. While Henry can offer cover on the left side while Gervinho is off playing for the Ivory Coast, wouldn't it be better to have someone with more experience on Arsenal's left flank? And he's only 38 - four years older than Henry, but not that old in the grand scheme of things. He wasn't great with Aston Villa, but I think being in red and white again would revitalize him. He'd be better than Arshavin, at least.

There's no reason to stop there. Our passing this year hasn't been quite as deadly as in years past, after that Spanish guy left. So why not bring Dennis Bergkamp back? He'd also add some finishing nous to our front line, and you know he still has that finishing touch. He hasn't played in a while so he might be a little rusty, but he's well-rested, and honestly we need him more than Ajax. He has Arsenal DNA, after all.

We're out of left backs, so Arsene Wenger should check in on Sylvinho and see what he's up to. He's been retired less than a year, so he would probably be ready to go pretty quickly. Either that, or we could get Nigel Winterburn in and use Sylvinho as his deputy. One of them might get hurt, after all, and we wouldn't want to have to play Dixon or Adams out of position.

Hell, Liam Brady has to be around here somewhere. Liam? LIAM

------

I know this isn't a real thing. I know that honestly what we've gotten already from Thierry Henry should be enough for all of us, because while it's not against all odds - the MLS is a good league, damn it, and he's been good there - it was against a fair number of them. He's younger than all of the players I mentioned (hell, Winterburn's almost as old as my dad) and he's been playing more recently than all of them. I get that. We're maybe a little too worked up about all of this.

But that's what sport is supposed to be about. You're supposed to get way too excited by things like this, and wonder if the past really has to be over. You watch Henry's goal last night and dozens of others flit through your head - they looked just like that! - and wonder whether Bergkamp still has it, whether the days of the Invincibles are really gone. Because they aren't and they shouldn't be. They're on YouTube and they're on DVD and they're in our minds. And while things move forward, that's a good thing too. Now we have Arshavin beating Valdez, and John Terry falling over (again) to add to the collection. And we can keep the old. And every now and then something really crazy will happen, like a 34-year-old bearded Frenchman running around screaming after he put a ball in a net, and we can lose our minds with joy again. Don't hold it back; this is the reason why we all do this.

So. Have some fun, kids. Who's the next man up?

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