As feared Henry is out for the rest of the season. It showed when he came on that he was not fit enough. And this is why he aggravated whatever injuries he had (and they were not telling us about). It also showed how desperate AW was to consider playing an unfit Henry. The only good thing to come out of it is that Henry can now really concentrate on getting properly fit for next season. And now Arsenal can get its own house in order without having the pressures of FA Cup or Champion's League games. Third or fourth place is now almost a certainty with Bolton showing that they cannot last the distance.
Should AW go into the summer transfer market?
Whatever other knee jerk pundits are saying I am of the opinion that there are only a few things to sort out and only a few more players to bring in before Arsenal pose a real challenge next season. Remember that a lot of the young players have gained a lot of experience this season and they have been magnificent. Add the return of the injured players and those out on loan and you have the basis of a strong side. Lets look at each position :
Goalkeeper: The emphasis will be to keep Lehmann. Also recruit a keeper who will be challenging for the first team along with Almunia. Akinfey of CCSK is 20 years old and fits the bill. In addition Almunia has impressed this season in the cups and is in my opinion ready to be trusted.
Right Back: No need to add there! Eboue, Hoyte and Gilbert (on loan to Cardiff) are more than adequate. Djourou and Gallas can also cover here.
Left back: No need to add. Cliche will be better than Cole and Traore is following in the same footsteps. To recruit will jeopardise the kids chances. Flamini and Gallas have proved quite capable of filling in when required.
Central Defenders: Again no need to add! You have Gallas , Toure, Senderos and Djourou and Silva can cover when needed. In fact it seems that one of the reasons Silva is being played in this position is that AW probably values Diaby very highly and will want to give him his chance in that midfield position that Vieira used to hold.
Central midfielders: No need to add. Silva and Fabregas along with Diaby, Denilson and Flamini appear to be enough. But do not forget Song who is impressing me at Charlton in the recent games I have seen him. He really is on song. It appears that a run of games has given him the confidence he needed. He particularly impressed me away at Man Utd and I hope AW brings him back. Add to this lot the oncoming Muamba who is improving at Birmingham and Arsenal will have a strong midfield for years to come.
Wide midfielders: Here there is a shortfall in that Ljumberg is not able to provide the quality of service that is required. AW needs to buy a pacy winger to replace him and compliment Walcott's inexperience. Rosicky and Hleb are excellent midfielders but the squad needs more cover in these positions.
Forwards: There is Henry of course and Adebayor and Van Persie. Is this enough? Aliadiere and Baptista need to go as they have not really been up to standard but more importantly in order to release space for Betdner who should be recalled back to the squad. He is big and strong and has that directness and determined streak which could be what Arsenal are looking for to compliment their pretty knit work. However Arsenal need to recruit another goalscorer to their ranks as there is not enough cover if they are to challenge for honours next season.
So probably a goalkeeper, a pacy winger and a forward!
20m should do it?