Thierry Henry’s brilliant kick meant that Arsenal drew the game versus Tottenham Hotspur. However, the concerns of the possibility of a club in trouble in the future are very real. Arsenal now has no chance of qualifying for the Champions League until either:
1. The Spurs do some thing stupid, or
2. Arsenal wins the Champions League.
Arsenal Review explained before the match why today was a must-win game. In the end, Arsenal only managed to draw courtesy of Henry’s brilliance. A lot of Arsenal would cry over Davids’ going on and would feel he should have stopped.
Soccerworld explains why this is a misled perception:
Arsenal had nothing to complain about. I don’t think Spurs were under any obligation to kick the ball out after two Gunners tripped over one another. The Tottenham players simply took advantage of a mistake by their opponents. That’s far less egregious than Henry’s quick free kick against Chelsea a season ago, so I don’t want to hear any post-match complaining from Wenger.
Doesn’t Arsenal have themselves to blame more than anything? Why did Arsenal not play 5 of their first XI players from the first minute — knowing how crucial this game is going to be? Henry was on the pitch only 18 minutes and scored a goal. Wenger decided to give the Champions League tie which lies ahead more importance. So if you have to blame any one, blame Wenger.
The major issue here is that Arsenal could become a selling club. Patrick Viera has left. Henry and Pires might leave; or at least there are huge speculations (different from rumours which exist for almost any player) regarding this. Football players usually start off at a lower profile club. At the prime of their career, they like to play for a club which wins or at least has a chance of winning bigger trophies. You want to play with the best as well as against the best. So if a player does not prefer Arsenal, do not begrudge him.
If Arsenal does not finish 4th in the English Premiership now (check out the league table), which looks likely with the defeat, the only way they can qualify for the Champions League next year would be by winning it (like Liverpool last year). Wenger has chosen to give the Champions League much more importance by not starting with the best Arsenal XI in the Spurs match. Wenger now needs to use every bit of his tactical mind to first, win against Villareal in the second leg of the Champions League semis, and then, to triumph over one of the two — Barcelona or AC Milan.
It is not going to be easy.