Henry: I don’t want Arsenal to become Liverpool

60

Thierry Henry thinks Arsenal’s current squad are capable of ending Arsenal’s 11-year wait for a Premier League title.

Insisting the Gunners can’t allow their drought to reach Liverpool-esque proportions – the Scousers haven’t won the title since 1990 after winning five titles in the 80s – the Frenchman noted that, a bad start and slip-up against Monaco aside, the current crop are on the right track.

In a wide-ranging interview with L’Equipe [paywalled], undertaken on the eve of a presentation at the Stade de France honouring his international contribution, Henry explained:

“If I told you in 1990 that Liverpool wouldn’t win a championship for the next 25-years you’d have thought I was mad. I don’t want the same thing to happen at Arsenal. It’s already been 11 years.

“This year, we’re not so far away. The Monaco game aside, they’re on the right track but they lost too many points early in the season. I think this group can win the title in the coming years.”

Keeping himself busy in retirement, Henry also touched on the enjoyment he’s getting from his role as a Sky Sports pundit and how the coaching course he’s undertaking has shed light on the all-encompaasing nature management.

“My way of commentating is more or less what I do when I’m in my living room when I’m explaining the action to my mates. The difference on TV is that you don’t always have time to explain things. You don’t always get a chance to talk about the bits of the game you want to talk about.

“But I love talking about and watching football. Sometimes I miss games because they’re on at the same time as another! Football is my passion and it’ll always be my passion.”

On whether he’ll end up coaching Arsenal he added: “I’m not claiming that one day I’ll lead the team or succeed Arsene Wenger. [At the moment] I just want to learn the role with the youngsters at Arsenal. I just want to be ready if, one day, the opportunity [to coach Arsenal] presents itself.

“I realise now you can’t just prepare a session at the last minute or just change five players. When you’re a player you don’t busy yourself worrying about these things. Today I’ve discovered the size of the role.

“The other coaches tell me the youngsters are on it a bit more when I’m there. I try not to think about it, I just want to help them by doing my job. It’s not always easy; just because you know football doesn’t mean you communicate things and educate people well, or get them to understand the things you understand. The role demands that I serve my apprenticeship.”

___

If you don’t mind spending €0.49 (and using Google Translate) you can read the full interview in L’Equipe. It’s arguably the most detailed and open chat Henry has done with the French press in years, if indeed ever.

He’s not so keen to talk about THAT handball against Ireland, but he does reflect on the roots of his passion for the game, the teammates and opponents he loves and respects, why he always looked so grumpy on the field, the changing role of a striker and his international career. It’s a fascinating read.

Cheers to @MattSpiro for the heads up.

60
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

I wouldn’t want Arsenal to become Liverpool either, regardless of titles and all that. They’re fucking Liverpool, why would anybody want to be anything like them in any regard?

Thomme
Thomme

It’s a slippery slope my friend. One day you’re winning titles, the next you feel your mere existence is slipping away.

Gandalf
Gandalf

It’s time to stamp out all these horrid puns.

CB
CB

Calm down!

Jeff
Jeff

Please don’t slip any stamping references into this conversation. Let’s stamp it out; if you will.

miami2chicago
miami2chicago

that was just horrible

MPLS
MPLS

Let’s stop Skrtling around the issue. Gerrard a be a law against comparing us to those Scousers. Slips like that need to be stamped out.

gazgoon
gazgoon

Many a slip between….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wAEFtUO1e4

Just hilarious!

Ancient Gooner
Ancient Gooner

That’s a fuckin foul! 🙂

SFGiants
SFGiants

It’s only fowl because he laid an egg.

Jay
Jay

Because they one it 5 times in Istanbul. Stevie G

Man Like Ozil
Man Like Ozil

From winning titles one day, to experimenting with Jon Flanagan as a trequartista the next.

49er
49er

I’d rather be like Liverpool in some ways. Liverpool fans seem a lot more loyal. They’re more of a working class club and make a lot more noise at home. Arsenal on the other hand have a lot more corporate fans that don’t get behind the team as much and often leave the stadium half empty before the final whistle has blown. Still love Arsenal but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire other clubs in areas we are behind.

GoonerFromTheEast
GoonerFromTheEast

This is simpy ridiculous. So you’d rather have working class supporters like West Ham or Pool which are arguably “noisier” and stay behind racist sissies like Suarez, a far smaller transfer budget and commercial revenue?? Sorry, but I’m sick of this YNWA and its “cult” status… Scouse fans have nothing more to offer in comparison to the Gooners. I’ve seen Anfield half empty when Pool is losing as many times.

GoonerN16

Indeed, so true, as a matter of fact in the Pool V Gala game (in the CL) a few years back at least a third of the Pool fans had already left before their claw back and final win.

Holyviper
Holyviper

I like pragmatic fans, like some of the comments here. Brings a layer of maturity to loyalty and time invested in following a club. You’re correct, 49er. I love the Arsenal for life, but Liverpool do seem like the BVB of England currently, as far as fans go.

Zack

Sadly, it comes with the territory of a stadium that is built to target the corporate money. This has more or less happened to every team here in America that has built a new stadium within the past 20 years or so (which is nearly all of them, because it comes out of public funds… which people are now only starting to realize is a very bad thing).

SFGiants
SFGiants

You’re absolutely correct about the often quiet crowd in the Emirates. Watching Arsenal on the TV 8,000 miles away I’ve been dismayed at how placid the fans are. (When watching Arsenal my wife usually tells me to keep it down–possibly in embarrassment of what the neighbors might think.)

Walcott's left footed curl
Walcott's left footed curl

When he talks about coaching the youngsters at Arsenal, I thought to myself: Wow, what a huge deal to be coached by someone that has to be one of your idols. Then it hit me: he left us in 2007, and som of the youngsters he’ll be coaching probably don’t remember his spell at the club. Then I felt old.

Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Come on. He’s not 60 years old, you think even the youngest of the youth players at Arsenal don’t know who Henry is and what he means to the club? They walk past a statue of the man every time they go to the stadium.

Martin
Martin

They know of him, but they don’t know him

Swish
Swish

They are coached by him, I’m pretty sure they know him a lot better than we do.

Henry is only a generation or so behind the current crop, whilst the average 16 year old was around 4-6 when Henry was flying in our invincibles, I’m still pretty sure that most of them will remember watching him on TV as they mostly all come from football families and the Invincibles was a huge deal for every football fan as it was history in the making.

Henry also played at a time whereby media coverage was huge. So even if they didn’t watch him when they were younger, it wouldn’t take more than 20 minutes on Youtube to catch Henry’s best moments and see first hand, the legend that they work with in his prime.

Henry is as much Arsenal as Tony Adams, Charlie George, Liam Brady and I am sure any Arsenal youngster would be given a lesson in what it means to be part of the club and they will know that Henry is as much a part of our history as the other legends we have.

CB
CB

He’s a great guy, Thierry. Intelligence shining out, plus thinks we have a chance for the league with these players – a few less draws at the start of this season and we’d have been very close. Keep the team together, bit more luck on injuries, no major tournament, one or two signings tops and I reckon we can do it.

Brilliant that he aspires to manage us, though bright enough to know it won’t necessarily work out.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty
Nacho de Montreal is tasty

It was painful being out of title chase before reaching 10 games. Remember players, manager and fans saying the season was long and that anything could happen. Hope we do not forget this next year. We did not remember underperforming in CL first leg year after year.

Goon
Goon

We don’t want to do a Dalglish

Savage
Savage

Or a Moyes, or even an LVG

Walcott's left footed curl
Walcott's left footed curl

If Henry hadn’t scored his goal against Sunderland in his last game for the club, we would have missed out on the Champions League that year.

Le Jim
Le Jim

Ew.

Liverpool.

Someone's Something
Someone's Something

Great to have “modern” legends in our club, working with the youngsters!

Hopefully he can spill over some of those worldclass skills of his to the lads at the Hale End.

ace
ace

Cant wait to beat them they are due for a beating

Double98
Double98

I am Irish and a Gooner and I can’t for the life of me understand how the Henry narrative includes THAT handball.

THAT Handball was actually two hand balls but in truth the offense happened after an obvious offside and another less obvious offside.
The goal scored by Gallas was the fault of the referee, the linesman and fifa who could not allow a 70million tv audience go out of the world cup for a 4 million tv audience.

Henry was like JFKs skull as FIFAs magic bullet ricocheted around his body and ended up redirecting 100s of millions of euros to Sepp Blatter and jack Warners retirement fund.
Is JFK responsible for his own death?

Henry is Arsenal’s all time leading scorer, France’s all time leading scorer, an invincible, 2 times EPL winner, 3 times FA cup winner, World Cup Winner, European Championship winner, 2 * La Liga winner, Champions League winner.
THAT handball is not even a foot note in his legacy

GoonerFromTheEast
GoonerFromTheEast

Remember Bulgaria 1993 at the Parc des Princes? This was the moment when FIFA got a big fat slap in the face. And then in the semifinal of the World Cup FIFA stroke back with the ref not giving a 100% penalty to Stoitchkov & Co.
Basically what I mean is that you’re totally right.

GoonerN16

Right on, dude.

neutral
neutral

I don’t know what is more sad, your weak attempt to justify cheating or everyone else thumbing it up.

Sure it is not Henry’s fault, it’s FIFAs.

It was not Suarez’s fault when he deliberate handballed against Ghana either, it’s FIFAs

Why don’t you all accept that your hero is not perfect, no need to make up far fetched excuses

Nasri's missing chinbone
Nasri's missing chinbone

Thierry is perfection my friend. You are preaching to a brick wall on this one

Steve
Steve

It was a reflex action. I very much doubt Henry went on the pitch that night, or at half-time and thought, we need to win, so if we’re not I’ll handle the ball in the box and create or score a goal. It’s the same with Suarez, he’s in a zone few of us will ever understand.

Of course, it shouldn’t be condoned and retrospective punishments should be handed out for cheating etc., but few people will understand why they do what they do – I doubt even the players themselves understand.

Simon
Simon

Suarez has done a lot of horrible things on the pitch but should we really hold the handball vs Ghana against him? He did exactly what he should’ve done and was then rightly punished for it with a red card.

It’s not his fault that Ghana hit the crossbar. Sounds cold but in this case Suarez did the right thing for his team.

MPLS
MPLS

Sorry, have to say it.

A callous description of a good man being violently murdered is not something to be used in an attempted humorous analogy in my book.

Well put on the Henry bit though.

Jake The Cake
Jake The Cake

ABSOLUTE LEGEND!

Honest Opinion
Honest Opinion

when King Henry talks there is a lot of wisdom that one can learn from unlike the other products in the likes of owen etc. Hopefully you will replicate your playing career in your coaching career. wishing you a huge success in your endeavour. #Note: in coaching you will take a lot sticks even from those who love you when the going get tough try and learn how to wear iron shield from Le Prof. COYG

Sean
Sean

Oh what I’d give to be one of his mates in his living room.

Sean
Sean

I do have a slightly warm and fuzzy feeling in my loins about next season’s campaign though

Zorro in the Box
Zorro in the Box

You realise he’s definitely talking about Bobby?

Mike
Mike

gap between 71-89 18 years
89-91 2 years
91-98 7 years
98-02 4 years
02-04 2 years

Think this current gap could exceed the 71-89 gap to be honest. Hope I’m wrong.

Ian Wright's Farmer Cap
Ian Wright's Farmer Cap

Gotta love that optimism!

Anonymous Physicist
Anonymous Physicist

With the foundation we have right now, both in terms of our squad and financially, we should be able to compete for the title every year over the coming years. And with FFP it’s now almost impossible for any teams to gain a massive financial advantage – a billionaire owner still helps but we cannot be outspend in the same way we have been over the last 10 years. So I’d say that we should be among the 4 or so teams with a shot at the title every year for a decent time.

If that means we have a 25% chance at the title every year (simplistic, I know) the chance of another 6 years without a title is 18%. 😉

Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)

Mad math skillz!

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

17.7978515625%, to be precise, if we assume a totally random distribution of titles over the next six years amongst exactly four teams each year, who each have exactly the same chance of winning the title each year, not necessarily the same four teams each year but always with Arsenal among the four teams.

Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)

Right. 18% 😉

Anonymous Physicist
Anonymous Physicist

Adding more decimals doesn’t make something more precise – the numbers you started with need to be more precise as well for those extra decimals to have any meaning. So since I assumed a 25% chance of winning the title each year (and not 25.0000000000, which isn’t the same thing) 18 % is actually as precise as it can get.

(I know this kind of post is not commonly welcomed, but considering your and my handles it seemed appropriate) 😉

CB
CB

Conversely, an 82% chance that we will. Sounds good. Your key number is the 25%, if that is affected the numbers change, possibly dramatically.

FFP says that Man U have a better chance as they have more turnover than the others so can afford more costs such as wages. We also need to factor in referee bias (don’t know how we are doing this season but over past seasons this hasn’t been pretty – see the websites set up to monitor this). We need to factor in injuries – this is a league that Arsenal have been top of. We need to factor in whether AW is an asset or a liability. There may be other things that I haven’t thought of. If this were to affect the 25% down to 10% we would have a 47%, so less than half, chance of success in the next 6 years. I suspect there is too much modelling/assumptions to be done to find a ‘correct’ figure easily.

Alternatively there is a huge correlation with wage bills and league place, see ‘Why England Lose: And other curious phenomena explained’. So this could be a weighting factor for the top 4 teams to get more realistic probabilities.

Swish
Swish

My head hurts.

realseriousgooner
realseriousgooner

I hope you’re wrong too.

Canuck Gunner
Canuck Gunner

Henry is a true legend and is sure to get respect from anyone he manages. Really interested to see how successful he becomes and would love to see him lead Arsenal to some titles in the future.
Speaking of legends, I noticed TGSTEL bagged a hatrick for Denmark (ok, it was a friendly against the US).

santori
santori

Ex-Liverpool Pundits always getting on our case with our ‘droughts’.

Henry giving as good as it gets with a taste of their own medicine.

Aside from one lucky CL win, they have been without title for an incredible amount of time.

This is also a warning to our current team to do the business, not be complacent.

Wenger has rebuilt the team since he realised the austerity driven Denilson generation wasn’t cutting it. It had been interrupted by player departures which slowed the process but we are very close now.

Consistency is key. We also have to build the authority to shut games out (play a bit of keep ball last 10 minutes, that’s still missing from this team)

Media like to go on about our failures and gloat about Spurs who haven’t qualified for CL football back to back for 2 decades plus now despite all the correct media prescribed litany of hot shot managers.

If Wenger is ‘poor’, I can certainly think of a lot worse. be careful for what you wish for. A Klopp does not guarantee success either as clearly illustrated this season.

What Wenger does bring to the table is fantastic market knowledge of players. He may have had some duds but do not forget he also tends not to over spend on players so those ‘failures’ are not as costly particularly to a self made club that has to watch the bottom line.

Clearly, whilst not quite bridging the gap to the top, he is also remarkably consistent in his minimum foinish of top 4 for almost two decades!

What we need now is a bit more familiarity with the team. this is a young team (mixed with maturity in all departments now) and there will be improvements because of that.

We are now maybe one quality player away from competing at the very top. Certainly a tall imposing midfielder like Khedira who offers both a bit of cover for Coquelin, Flamini and adds going forward may be desirable considering we won’t need numbers this summer. He should have enough experience to replace Arteta.

If Walcott leaves, maybe a more nuanced player who can operate on the left and through the middle (considering Rosicky’s age). Hamsik maybe? Dyabala?

We live as always with Arsenal in exciting times!

Austino
Austino

I like Henry , because of him I support Ansenal FC .He is a legend, when he talks he talks with wisdom.

Paul
Paul

Anyway, I have a semi on thinking about us beating Liverpoo!
COYG!

s
s

You use brackets too much. They add nothing

Swish
Swish

A bit like yourself then….

Pearson
Pearson

Liverpool were a good team for a while
The Arsenal have been a great club since the early part of the last century