Finton's Frolic: If Aubameyang was signed earlier would he have been our next Thierry Henry?
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
What up, pimps?
Welcome back to the 14th instalment of the undisputed, Finton’s Frolic, right opinion zone. Seeing as it is the 14th edition of this self-proclaimed world class blog, I figured I would do something that has to do with said number. Though a host of top class players donned the number for a brief period including that of Ray Parlour, Kevin Campbell and Alan Smith, it is fair to say that along with Theo Walcott, there are two players who are kind of known for wearing 14 on the back of their shirts. As you can see from the headline, I’m referring to P-E Aubameyang and Thierry Henry.
Anyways, to get right into it, a lot of people say that if we signed the man who currently wears the number a bit earlier in his career, then we may have seen the very next Arsenal top goal scorer. Aubameyang has scored an impressive 49 Premier League goals for Arsenal and it appears as if he will become the fastest gunner to ever reach the 50-goal landmark. Having just managed his 100th appearance with the club, that is a remarkable achievement. So, for that reason I can see why people believe if we signed him younger he could have been the next Henry.
While it may be an unpopular opinion, I do not think that is the case.
There is no doubt that Aubameyang is an absolutely world class player and a remarkable goal scorer, but with that being said, Henry is just simply a better player who had that "Michael Jordan mentality". A fellow intern I used to work with at Orlando City SC had the honour of meeting the deceptively tall Frenchman, who like Auba, stands an imposing 6'2, and he said, when Henry walked into the room, even at the ripe age of 42 everyone stopped and stared. That's here in America, where people really don't care too much about "soccer".
The Gabon international is not your archetypal leader, but his bright personality and constant smile brings a good mood wherever he goes given his positive aura. While that is a good thing, I don’t think that would have gotten him as far in his career as that of Henry. Henry's aura helped him, people did and still shake in their shoes or boots whenever they see the alpha male. His magnetism is unparalleled.
To be brutally honest, the best players in the world are kind of known for being pricks. Even the ever, rightfully worshipped Lionel Messi, lets the nice guy persona fade away at times and people see who he really is. The best players to ever do it like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and especially Henry, all have a bit of a mean streak in them. They expect the players around them to perform, if they don’t, they get called out.
A host of scuffles were reported when Henry was at Arsenal. Even with the success he had at the club, he still wanted more. This inadvertently pressured Henry's peers to perform to a higher standard and in turn win more trophies. Henry was like a dictator, he lead by instilling fear into his compatriots before going into battle. It was not fear of the opposition they had, but fear of the commander's wrath if they lost. I personally do not think Aubameyang would ever be able to have a personality like that. And while I’m not saying that Auba being a bit more hard headed would do anything for this pretty pathetic team, it may help slightly. Arsenal are in dire need of someone with expectations as high as Henry's were.
Like most of the other players in the dressing room, the Gabon international is not a brutal individual. And while many do not want to believe it, being an asshole is what wins you stuff in football. Guys like Denis Bergkamp, Henry, Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams were not nice at all. They were horrible to opponents and even to each other from time to time. The drive to win was so prominent that they were willing to battle their own teammates verbally in order to get the best out of them.
Auba quite simply is not like that. In order for him to be the next Henry he’d have to not only break the Arsenal scoring record, but also win a case of trophies as well. While he may have the talent to do so, he does not have the elite mentality that Henry did. To be fair, no Arsenal player does or has in ages. Even if we signed Aubameyang earlier, I don't think he would have even come close to Henry's 228 goal tally, the teams as of late have not been good enough to get him to that land mark. Even if Auba, himself, had the Henry, Ronaldo, Jordan mentality, he is not blessed with a dressing room that has it as well sadly. The entire squad were serial winners in Henry's day, in the current side they are not.
Before I wrap up today, I just wanted to say that Auba is hands down our best player and moreover our most important presence on the pitch since Alexissssssss Sssssssanchez. He is simply world class and there is no disputing that, but Henry was one of the best to ever play and for me there is no comparison between the two.
Anyway, thanks for reading, let's look on to the FA Cup enounter between us and Sheffield United and hope for the best. Even if we beat them there's a potential for the semi-finals being Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City. In all truth a trophy win from this last potential avenue seems unlikely, but shit, let’s pray anyway. I’ll see y’all on the next one, and with that I bid thee a toodloo…!