Thursday 13 December 2018

Arsene Wenger denies Thierry Henry suggestions of rift in Arsenal squad

Thierry Henry, left, chats with Arsene Wenger
Thierry Henry, left, chats with Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has dismissed claims by Thierry Henry that there are signs of a divide in his squad.

Henry, Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer, made the comments in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports after it was noticeable that only a few of Alexis Sanchez's team-mates celebrated his goals with him in the 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace.

The Chile international appeared annoyed by this and even beckoned them over to join him - to no avail.

Henry suggested it was a sign that all is not well at the club but Wenger has refuted the comments, saying his former captain cannot be insightful all the time.

"I don't know, I don't listen to what he says and other people says," said Wenger following the draw at West Brom on New Year's Eve.

"We focus on our own problems, that's the only thing.

"There are people who are paid to talk, it's difficult sometimes when you are paid to talk, to talk, to talk and only say things that are true and intelligent."

It was Sanchez's deflected free-kick which brought Arsenal's goal at The Hawthorns and this time every outfield player celebrated with him.

It was not enough for all three points, though, as a controversial penalty meant Arsenal had to settle for just one point after Calum Chambers was adjudged to have handled a cross by former Gunners full-back Kieran Gibbs.

The incident was similar to one on Saturday at Old Trafford when the ball struck the arm of Southampton's Maya Yoshida, but Manchester United were not awarded a penalty.

However, referee Mike Dean did point to the penalty spot and Jay Rodriguez held his nerve to convert the last-minute spot-kick to ensure it finished 1-1.

Petr Cech was one of several Arsenal players to question the decision and the goalkeeper was not impressed by Dean's handling of the situation.

He told the club's official website: "I'm just disappointed. I expect, when I walk towards the referee with respect and ask him a question, I would like him to answer me in a normal way and not give me a yellow card and say nothing."

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