The former Tottenham man took exception to the Arsenal star’s new squad number with Gunners fan and talkSPORT presenter Woods firing back at comments with a brutal takedown
Laura Woods silenced Jamie O’Hara in style with comments he made after Eddie Nketiah elected to claim the number 14 shirt at Arsenal.
The Gunners’ forward was confirmed to have penned a new deal at the Emirates Stadium last week, muting ongoing talk over his future with his previous contract set to expire this summer. Whilst Nketiah is set to stay where he is ahead of next season, he is going to look slightly different.
The striker has elected to change from his original squad number of 35 and will now don 14 instead – Gunners hero Thierry Henry having previously worn the number. Former Spurs man Jamie O’Hara took exception to the selection.
He said: “I can’t believe he’s getting number 14. I mean it just sums up really where Arsenal are right now. Spurs are buying all these great players, we’re flying high, we’ve got Champions League football.
“And they’re giving a player who didn’t even want to be at the football club, all the fans said he wasn’t good enough, he had decent end to the season, and they’re giving him Thierry Henry’s shirt. It’s unbelievable. It’s magic for us right now.
“Spurs fans are sitting there, I’ve got text messages from me mates. Thierry Henry’s shirt, Eddie Nketiah. Fair play to him, it shows the belief he’s got but come on, come on. You can’t give him Thierry Henry’s shirt. What are you doing?”
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However fellow talkSPORT presenter and Arsenal fan Woods then fired back having pointed out that the shirt already had owners before Nketiah and that the striker should be given time to live up to the expectations of the number.
She said: “I do think in the wider context of this whole argument about Eddie taking the number 14 shirt, people are just forgetting it’s not like when Henry left Arsenal, it’s not like we retired the shirt. That didn’t happen.
“Other players took the shirt. I know what a lot of the fans are saying, I understand that. Thierry Henry, you’re never going to replace him. If you have that many problems about it, retire the shirt.
“Let’s be honest, no one can fill Thierry Henry’s boots and if they can: incredible, wow, amazing. But it’s probably not going to happen, it’s Thierry Henry, it’s a once in a lifetime footballer.
“My opinion of it really is Theo [Walcott] took the shirt and had it for ten years or something like that and I don’t know that there was this much uproar about that at the time. I think people got behind him.
“I read a really good article, I think it was in the Daily Mirror, and they were saying that there was a quote from Theo Walcott saying even when Thierry comes back – and he did of course – he came back on loan, played against Leeds, scored that goal against Leeds, it was amazing. He was saying ‘I’m not even going to give him back the shirt when he comes back’.
“It was that fun kind of little rivalry between them. Theo was a brilliant player but at the time, we didn’t know what kind of player he’d go on to become.
“That’s the same with Eddie. There’s a lot of uproar before we’ve even seen what kind of a player he’s going to develop into.
“They obviously wanted to keep him at the club. He wanted first-team football and they really wanted to keep him at the club. I’m glad he’s staying. I’m an Arsenal fan through and through and I always will be. I just don’t have an issue with it and I respect people’s opinions if they do have an issue with it. For me, it’s not that big of an issue.”