An Aragones statement caught on camera calling Thierry Henry a “black s**t” to Jose Antonio Reyes four years ago prefaces any encounter with Arsenal. It provided a backdrop to the Spain vs France encounter in the 2006 World Cup.
Wenger has since then moved on after concluding that the Spanish coach was guilty of an over the top comment but not inherent racism. He intends to shake hands with Aragones. But Aragones, known as the Wise Man of Hortaleza, with his pride at stake, has never apologized to Henry.
When Aragonés was asked yesterday whether he would apologise to the forward in person tonight, he said: “No, no, don’t go down that road. Henry knows through Reyes, through everything [how I feel]. I won’t talk about it for another second. It’s a topic that isn’t worth talking about. Why? Because it’s not like that. I have black, Gypsy and Japanese friends, including one whose job is to determine the sex of poultry.”
Aragones has had less success with Fenerbahce, his first overseas club and the Turkish side have struggled in the domestic league. Arsenal are missing three out of four starting defenders with Sagna, Gallas, and Toure sidelined. A rejiggered defence with Silvestre, Song, and Djourou will be called upon to provide an answer to giving up eight goals in four CL away games.
Fenerbahce will feature Dani Guiza, Spain’s super sub whose goals provided a spark in Euro 2008 and the crafty Semih Senturk playing just behind him. Their attack will have to compensate for missing Emre and Josico in midfield.