Early Doors

Arsenal: Destiny’s Child or Little Mix?

Early Doors

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(From left to right) Oleg Luzhny, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires

More Arsenal today, as Early Doors reflects on the hullabaloo surrounding Thierry Henry's return and the speculation that another old git could be on his way back.

As noted yesterday, Henry's return was greeted with quasi-religious rapture by a crowd not exactly famed for its exuberance - ED is reliably informed that his goal produced the loudest noise the Emirates Stadium has ever heard.

All very romantic, but one unpleasant side effect is the delirium seems to have infected the Arsenal squad.

Jack Wilshere enraged ED when he posted this picture of himself on Twitter posing for a photo with Henry.

He may be 19 (and injured) but Wilshere is supposed to be Arsenal's best midfielder. Fan or not, he shouldn't be posing for photos with Henry.

For crying out loud, this guy is your team-mate. He's supposed to be your equal.

It reminded ED of that bit in X-Factor finals when the entrants get to do a song with Beyonce or Robbie Williams or whoever, and come over all starstruck.

It is, frankly, a stark reminder of Arsenal's fall from grace since the height of the Henry era - in a decade they have gone from Destiny's Child to Little Mix.

And it got worse yesterday when Wilshere tweeted the following: "Super, super Robert Pires is training today........return of another king?!? How amazing would that be!"

Amazing to get your picture taken with him, or amazing to see him play? Because the last time ED checked, Bobby P was as washed up as raw sewage on Blackpool pleasure beach.

Henry is not that old. He's 34, only nine months older than Didier Drogba. Also, we don't know exactly how good he is these days since it's hard to assess the true quality of MLS.

Pires is a different story. He's 38, and we know exactly how good he is. He played 12 games for Aston Villa last season and he was almost entirely atrocious.

He might be a little better in the friendly confines of North London, but ED rather doubts it. He is Kelly Rowland to Henry's Beyonce. Michelle Williams? Maybe Oleg Luzhny.

Still, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could land a contract. Pires retweeted Wilshere and a "welcome back maestro" from P**rs M**gan, and issued the following unconvincing denial:

"And of course I am training just to maintain my fitness level! But thanks I appreciate you all want me back at Arsenal!"

Maintaining his fitness level for what, exactly, since he supposedly retired last summer? Put it this way, if Wenger puts a contract in front of Pires it will be signed in a matter of nanoseconds.

This is not unheard of. Sol Campbell and Jens Lehmann managed to land contracts after 'just training' with the squad. In fact, ED is considering relaunching its stalled football career by heading up to London Colney and doing a few star jumps in front of Le Professeur.

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In other Arsenal Twitter news, did anyone else see Wojciech Szczesny's spectacularly misjudged tweets to Aaron Ramsey yesterday?

Referring to a perfectly normal picture of Ramsey on the golf course, Szczesny tweeted: "I don't wanna be rude mate but you look like a rapist on that picture! lol."

LOL indeed.

Ramsey replied: "Jealousy is not a good thing mate," but Szczesny had another crack: "Looking like a rapist/pedofile (sic) isn't a good thing either ;)"

Winking smiley face indeed.

The goalkeeper has since deleted the offending tweets and apologised, and ED doesn't think Arsenal need to take any further action - but it's a fairly stark reminder of the perils of using Twitter if you are; a) a footballer; b) a numbskull.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Mario Balotelli on his relationship with the British press: "I am 21 years old and have spent almost two years away from home. I have adapted quite well, despite the huge cultural differences. But I have no real friends here. If I had to move, right now, I would choose Italy. If I buy a Fiat Uno, I read that a guy like me would be more suited to a Ferrari. If I buy the Ferrari, I read that I should have been more down to earth and bought the Uno. If I laugh, I'm not serious; if I don't laugh, I'm a sulky rich guy who doesn't enjoy doing the best job in the world. Here in England the tabloid press writes about absolutely everything, and always exaggerates. But the thing that gives me most trouble is that in Italy the tabloids talk rubbish without a shred of truth to it. So many Italians take everything at face value."

FOREIGN VIEW: Who saw this one coming?

Eric Cantona intends to run in this year's presidential election in France.

The former United striker placed an advert in newspaper Liberation asking for signatures from the 500 elected officials he would need to start a bid.

Cantona claimed he had sent a letter to French mayors describing himself as an "engaged citizen" and asking for their support, the left-leaning newspaper said.

But the newspaper's deputy editor Paul Quinio told a French TV channel that it was all a move to publicise the French housing crisis, which affects 10 million people in the country.

COMING UP: Bonus Premier League action! Remember last August when a collective desire for trainers and flat-screen TVs reached such a feverish level civil disorder broke out? Well, Tottenham Hotspur v Everton was postponed, and the rescheduled game is tonight at 19:45 UK time. It's not on the telly, so feel free to follow our matchcast while listening to Street Fighting Man on repeat.

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