Sport Soccer

Friday 15 December 2017

Henry sticks up for under-fire Wenger

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry

Simon Evans

Arsenal's record goalscorer Thierry Henry is saddened by criticism of manager Arsene Wenger but hopes he can return to the London club in some role after his spell in Major League Soccer ends.

Wenger has been in charge at Arsenal for over 16 years and has won three Premier League titles, but the most recent was back in 2004 when Henry was the league's top scorer with 30 goals.

The French forward, who plies his trade for New York Red Bulls, has heard some of the criticism of Wenger from fans and pundits this season as Arsenal have struggled to keep pace with Manchester clubs United and City.

"When you don't win, people are always going to question your work, your legacy and what you did before. It is sad but that is the way the game is," Henry said. "For me, it is difficult to hear, difficult to see, but the boss will always be Arsene."

Although the questioning of Wenger's transfer market strategy has faded recently, with Arsenal winning three of their last four games to move to within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, Henry knows that can change. But the striker, who scored 175 league goals in eight glorious seasons with Arsenal, believes Wenger deserves more respect.

"It is kind of hard to criticise Arsene Wenger, knowing what he has done for the club, how he has changed the club and how the team is playing right now compared to before.

"But if you don't win, people are always going to create a problem," he added.

Henry, who had a loan spell at Arsenal last year in the MLS close season and spent time training with the club this year, said he would love to return in some capacity in the future.

"All I know is that I will be involved in the game for sure and hopefully be involved with Arsenal because that is the heart talking there, that's the team that I support. Forget about me as a player, that's the team I support," he said.

"In any type or shape, if I can go back to the club I would love to do it, but it's not up to me. That would be a desire, more a desire than something that can be officialised. I still have two years playing here and then I will see.

"But I would definitely love to be back with Arsenal."

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