Wenger bites back at Henry’s take on fan rage

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Arsene Wenger has hit back at Thierry Henry after the club’s record goalscorer claimed that he’d never seen Arsenal fans as angry as they were during Wednesday evening’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Vociferous boos were directed at the manager when he chose to replace Joel Campbell with Danny Welbeck, even though the Costa Rican had scored the Gunners goal and proved a consistent bright spark on the ball.

Using his column in The Sun to reflect on the toxic atmosphere, Henry wrote:

“I have never heard the Arsenal supporters as angry as they were at the Emirates on Wednesday night when their team lost at home to Swansea.

“They were less patient than I have ever known, booed one of the manager’s substitutions and groaned every time a pass went astray or a tackle was lost.

“The stick that Arsene Wenger has been getting is not personal. People judge what they are seeing, although some maybe go too far in the way they express their unhappiness.”

Asked about Henry’s comments in his pre-Sp*rs press conference, Wenger hinted that his former charge isn’t best placed to make such statements given he always watched from a box.

“Thierry Henry has his opinions,” said Wenger. “He has not found the measurement of the fans angriness, of 60,000 people, straight away because he sits in the best seats in the stadium.”

Swansea fans aside, there are few in attendance who would argue against the suggestion that the atmosphere at the Emirates was grim on Wednesday.

Was it the angriest ever? Arseblog News would suggest that’s very much up for debate. We’ve endured some poor games since the move in 2006…

Either way, you can’t really blame Henry for bringing them up. It is though, a bit awkward.

While Henry’s not quite biting the hand that feeds him – Sky and The Sun are the ones paying him the big bucks these days not Arsenal – Wenger, and Andries Jonker, have gone out of their way to allow him to take his training badges at London Colney and Hale End.

Moreover, he’s a regular presence in and around the first team squad and has already had to back down on his criticism of Olivier Giroud.

You can’t help but wonder if Thierry will be asked to clean the bogs this morning.

Listen to this week’s Arsecast – dissecting the week that was and more

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EmmanuelAFC

It’s sad to see Mr Wenger this way.. but the buck stops at him and there’s hardly anyone else to blame

Canador

What actually did Henry said that warrants such response from Wengers. The man has lost it. He is always shifting blame to others. It is well documented that fan are not happy about the ways things are going. Whether the this the worst mood the fans have been or not is completely material. What Wenger should be focusing is the performance of the team. Wenger is such a lucky man that he is not managing clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Madrid or even city, if not he would have been sacked long time ago. Sort the fucking problem Mr perfect Wenger… Read more »

Canador

What actually did Henry said that warrants such response from Wengers. The man has lost it. He is always shifting blame to others. It is well documented that fan are not happy about the ways things are going. Whether this is the worst mood the fans have ever been or not is completely immaterial. What Wenger should be focusing is the performance of the team. Wenger is such a lucky man that he is not managing clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Madrid or even city, if not he would have been sacked long time ago. Sort the fucking problem Mr perfect… Read more »

thw14

I think it’s more sinister than sad – there’s an underlying tone of “if you take our seats, you better toe the party line”. Thierry’s in that seat because he’s the closest the club has ever come to league dominance in its 130 year history. If he chooses to relinquish it because of ‘conflict of interest’ or whatever, the club loses legitimacy, not him.

There’s the respect of a player for a coach and then there’s omerta-style ‘respect’.

ClockEndRider

“…the closest the club has ever come to league dominance in its 130 year history.”.
I think you’ll find that was the 30’s.

@thejollygunner

Not sure Thierry’s said anything too controversial there, to be honest, and certainly nothing to justify what amounts to a bit of bite from AW. More a sign of the times, methinks, a manager feeling the strain and getting a bit touchy as a result.

The atmosphere following the Campbell substitution was certainly reminiscent of the Ox getting the hook in the 2-1 defeat at home to Man Utd in RVP’s final season. In both cases, people understandably reacted to a flame of hope being extinguished by piss from our own boss.

zedgunner

True, however Henry is always talking shit in public so it was about time someone shut him up. If he really wants to help why not sit down with AW and give him a few pointers instead of always trying to have a neutral jab at Arsenal. Having said all that AS time is up but am sure will be saying the same this next season….COYG

Canador

Henry is only reacting like a true fan of our beloved club. If you are really a true Arsenal fan Zedgunner, I do not think you find what he said offensive. It is only people that passionately care like Henry that are genuine says the truth about Arsenal. You have to say it as it is if you are worried and concerned about how things are going. To be honest with you, Wenger’s time is up regardless whether he wins the league or not.

ClockEndRider

Please dont presume to impute to others what you think and label anyone who thinks to the contrary as not a true fan. It is at best inaccurate and at worst ridiculous.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

He is not a true fan. He left for Barcelona, often talks trash about the Arsenal and became the bitch of Sky; fans don’t do any of these things. By the way, Wenger did turn down the likes of Real Madrid in his time with Arsenal (I’m pretty sure he wanted to win the Champions League as bad as Henry) but remained at the Arsenal. I will not argue that his best years are behind him and that he’s done a poor job this past few games (4 or 40 or 400); but I believe he deserves to be talked… Read more »

Fabulous

Of course who would know Henry or anyone else hasn’t confided with AW in private? What is being said publicly though, and we keep hearing this the last few years, is we’re always a player or two short going into a season, which is never addressed by Wenger and time after time it bites us back in the arse. If something as obvious as that is being ignored I’m not sure private discussions would yield any other result. For all the cash reserve we have we surely miss out on a lot of big targets; Kondogbia and Schneiderlin this season,… Read more »

Gus Caesar

Spot on – Henry’s entitled to his own opinion based on what he’s seen/heard at games he’s attended and there’s nothing outrageous in what he said. I think we need to be careful not to fall into the old media trap that there’s been some kind of falling out here but Wenger would’ve been better advised just to be honest and recognise the disappointment in the stands.

David C

agreed! Think about what happened at Leicester when they allowed a goal, their fans started cheering to encourage their team on. My 2 bros are Liverpool fans; those fans seem to never turn on the team.

We need the crowd to give the team a lift during home games, but sadly this never seems to happen. The atmosphere often hurts the team and makes them play worse.

Having said that, the Campbell sub was pretty dumb. Walcott of Sanchez were very poor and should have been removed first.

Andy F

Did you watch the game? Walcott was on the bench and came on later….

JB

Could have been the other way round to be fair and we would’ve been none the wiser

Fabulous

To be fair we’re always being sold by Wenger that there is “no quality in the market to improve on what we have”, every fucking transfer window. So when on the pitch the team plays like shit, which they have been since December, it’s a big ask to expect the fans to be content. Leicester are having a season of their lives, punching above their weight. Liverpool, despite being poor, still shows the desire to want to improve year after year and with Klopps appointment they’re one step in the right direction. Much easier circumstances to be happy. Arsenal on… Read more »

Dong, where is my automobile?

Beat the spuds and all this goes away Arsene

aaron

No it won’t, had we beat Swansea AND beat Spurs then yes it would all have gone away

gooner1981

Fans can be fickle, yes, and a NLD derby win can certainly get crowd support back, but I think the only way to redeem themselves in the fans’ eyes is to win the league now. We are hanging on by the skin of our teeth, thanks to sp*rs and man city losing, and leicester drawing. It really is squeaky bum time now. A loss and no way we will win the title. Despite the last 2 toxic weeks, I’m still believing!

Ozilino

Believing!!!, mind me asking from where did you get that? We have been playing s… since November.

Possession

Yes it was pretty toxic, but it will get a lot worse if the manager and certain players don’t pull their finger out !!

Amusa

This is going to turn ugly.
Wenger will never admit his shortcomings. Arsene you have already alienated the fans. Please don’t alienate the biggest players you ever coached and who still is your supporter.
This feels like the saddest week ever, supporting Arsenal.

Drew

Bloody hell how long have you supported the club?? I can think of quite a few sadder weeks.

Arsene-al fan

I can think of many weeks in the 70s and 80s and 90s that we were so far off the pace that we didn’t even have a chance to get sad (or happy).

To be sad at least you must have felt we had a chance, so be grateful for that.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Come on, do you think Arsenal is QPR or what ?

Arsene-al fan

We were 10th in 1973-4, 16th in 74-5 and 17th in 75-6 and were behind QPR each season. QPR came second in the league to Liverpool in 75-6 by one point.

3rd was our best season between 1973-74 and 1987-88, but only happened once, mostly we were far further behind.

19 seasons in a row without European Cup/Champions’ league in 70s and 80s.

Try getting excited by those seasons, compare and contrast with the last 20 years.

He's the soup

I remember that 74-75 season all too well. I saw all but three home games and watched us fight relegation most of that season. Finishing 17th was an accomplishment. Getting into the top 10 felt special.

Arsene has mobilized us into a global force but with that come high expectations and short fuses. I admit to being disappointed now all too easily.

Berlingoon

I only support Arsenal for 16 years now and I don’t even live in England but I know about our clubs history so I was always really annoyed by fans who have acted as if the last 10 years were the worst of our entire history and a disgrace for a club of that caliber. Also all the moaning that Wenger should have won the champions league during his time at the club. Why do they expect us to win it? We’ve never won it. It’s just because Wenger has build some teams in his first decade that were up… Read more »

ClockEndRider

I was there vs Winterslag.
Pissing and moaning at being 4th is frankly insulting.

ClockEndRider

I also had to watch teams containing players like Terry Mancini, a fat, drunk Alan Hudson, Ray Hankin, John Hawley, Steve Matthews. The list goes on. And those poor buggers who watched between 53-70 got to see what mediocrity really means. Grow up, read your history and get some perspective.

Highberry

There can be no true desperation without hope.

Merse

“Always”? Where the hell do you draw that from? He was beloved by all for years. The earliest I remember there being considerable discontent was around 2008, and even then it was mild. Another couple of years and some of the vociferous stuff came up and then the current mood a couple of years on from that. For the record. I love AW. Just sad that he has put together a decent side that is far short of the mentality required to win the league. You listen to TA, Henry, Pires talk of the mentality of the team in the… Read more »

Alex

When i read former players defending their clubs and the players of these clubs no matter what and when i read Mister Henry spitting day by day on Arsenal and the players…..

questionMark

Henry has a column in the Sun? Please..

Knightster

I am prepared for another crap result tomorrow!!! but I really hope I’m proved wrong.

ENJ

In my opinion the booing when oxlade-chamberlain came off for arshavin against united a few years ago was worse. Funnily enough it was welbeck who got the winner that game after arshavin forgot his defensive duties leading to the goal. Even funnier when you consider one of the ox’s biggest criticisms in the last 2 seasons has been his defensive responsibilities. So funny…..

Petits Handbag

Our greatest ever player no doubt….
Our greatest ever manager, there’s now a lot of doubt. 2 months to save that reputation.

Drew

Eh? no matter how his time ends, Arsene Wenger is and will probably always be our greatest manager. Let’s never forget that, plus we did just win back-to-back FA cups!! Yes the team and performances have been poor but Wenger should still have our respect and thanks for all he has done for our club.

goonero

You can’t subtract from what someone has achieved. Arsene achieved the status of most successful manager in Arsenal history a decade ago. Nothing he does, not even some Hulk Hogan level media cock up, will change his achievements….they may change how fondly he is remembered though.

Bould's Eyeliner

Many of us Gooners nowadays are just too young to have known an era of Arsenal without Wenger. This creates an impression that Arsenal are struggling to retain their identity as a ‘big club,’ when honestly there’s really nothing in that fear whatsoever. We’re likely to not win the league, and this pisses me off, as much as any other Gooner, but it has more to do with the fact that it just seemed so attainable this year. Are we doing much worse? No. Does this feel like every season for the past 12 years (save for ’13-’14)? Yes. So… Read more »

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I don’t blame the Manager for all previous seasons. Some of them were actually over-achievements, and especially the Harry Redknapp Spurs’ season when they had the better squad but Arsenal fought back to finish ahead of them on the table. However this season the team has bottled it, and for a top club, a bottling of this proportion should not be acceptable. The season is not finished yet and a win at the weekend could change things, and Leicester are always likely to slip up against anyone. However if things are like this at the end of the season, then… Read more »

Arsene-al fan

Once a big club?

36 years with one appearance in the European Cup/Champions league up to 1990-91? And only one in the next 7 seasons after that.

Then continuous under Wenger, despite a new stadium that meant we were a selling club.

Compare and contrast then and now.

John C

You’re being disingenuous with the facts because Wenger has been the only Arsenal manager to benefit from a time when teams other than the champions qualified for the European Cup/ Champions league.

In the past only 1(the champions) from 22 1st division clubs qualified now it’s 4 from 20 or 1 in 5, so the chances are considerably higher!

Arsene-al fan

Look at all the other times we were in other competitions in Europe then. Not many…

And see my earlier comment on how mediocre we were in the league season after season.

John C

Yes, but before Wenger there were 3 european competitions and only 3 or 4 teams qualified now about 8 qualify, in a smaller league, you’re still twice as likely to get in and the league has less teams. And as i’ve written below, the champions league money puts it’s participants at a financial advantage that just perpetuates the same teams qualifying year on year, that just wasn’t the case before.

Dixon's Awesome Own Goal

You can’t compare not qualifying for the European Cup (1 place for the champions), with qualifying for today’s CL. Your point that we have gone through previous baron eras is clearly correct, but I don’t think CL qualification on its own is a good enough argument to defend the problems we have right now.

Arsene-al fan

We weren’t a big club in the 50s/60s/70s/8s and most of the 90s. We were spoilt by the early Wenger years, got a stadium and became a selling club (playing against newly super-rich teams) and are still doing better than any other phase in our history.

The comment was ‘we were once a big club’. Apart from the 1930s and the last 20 years, when?

gee

please tell me in what period of history that arsenal were a bigger club than they are now?

ClockEndRider

30’s?

John C

The 30’s

Too Drunk To Be Offside

98 to 04, don’t know if it constitutes an era, but that period, Arsenal were definitely a bigger club that they presently are.

gee

i get your disappointed but dont talk shit even taking away the 2 FA cups what other club has seen the level of progression without billionaire funding since 98, look at the top for then and now. for all of wengers faults his teams fluctuate between 4 positions at the top of the table for the last 20 yrs. Thats positions 1,2,3,4 in case you cant remember

John C

Arsenal have had massive funding in the way of the huge TV deal, the highest gate receipts in the world and champions league money which self perpetuates the same clubs at the top. Arsenal have hardly remained where they are on a shoe string, and we’ve finished consistently where our finances place us, 4th. This season of course the 3 teams with more money have all imploded giving us our best chance to start closing the financial gap (which is all down to commercial revenue) by bringing the success that sponsors want. Instead we have a manager who’s sat on… Read more »

gee

i was responding to the guy earlier that asked are Arsenal a top club. “Arsenal have had massive funding in the way of the huge TV deal, the highest gate receipts in the world and champions league money which self perpetuates the same clubs at the top.” well not really, the top clubs at the top for the last few yrs have been billioniare funded -chelsea, man city or were already very rich Man utd. Liverpool, newcastle leeds got burned trying to keep up. We also won or came runner up in a few comps in that period and made… Read more »

John C

Arsenal have been either the second, third or fourth richest team in the country whilst Wengers been manager, and over that time our league position has basically reflected that.

You can’t deny what Wenger has achieved but it’s difficult to suggest he’s punched above his weight whilst looking at the facts

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I wish I could quote some of the things you said like on some forums and reply point by point. I will try – 1) what other club has seen the level of progression without billionaire funding since 98 First of all “Without Billionaire Funding” bit. So you mean to say no other club besides Arsenal has grown more, besides the ones who got Billionaires to fund it. So in other words you do admit that the billionaire funding clubs have grown bigger than Arsenal. And thats the point there are many clubs that have grown bigger than Arsenal now.… Read more »

gee

OK please let me know what other team other than billionaire funded or the already rich man utd have won the league since 98? What other team has had the level of progression on and of the pitch since 98 What other managers apart from fergie, mourinhio, mancini, pellegrini, ancelotti and wenger have won the league in 20 yrs? four of those managers had massive financial backing. Athletico have been decent to good for the last 10 yrs or so, – didnt they get relegated and had to sell torres to liverpool. and your comparing a CL final and 1… Read more »

TheDream

Just read Henry’s article and it was a good one. Found this interesting quote: “…But as much as it pains me to say this, there is a real belief in this Tottenham squad that they can finally be the kings of North London this year. It is that awful moment when you have a little brother who can never beat you at anything — and suddenly one day he grows up and tries to outmuscle you. We used to have a similar situation with Chelsea. For a long time you could see in their eyes that they never truly believed… Read more »

Runkeball

Perhaps shouldn’t forget Abramovitch and his dirty oligarch money playing a rather significant role in Chelsea’s successes.

Modhabobo

Will Wenger ever take responsibility for this mess? It’s always everyone else. Or they don’t know what they are talking about. Maybe if he showed some contrition and self awareness, the rest of the team would take responsibility too. Instead they hear nothing but excuses.

House's Cane

Vociferous boobs were directed at the manager…. is what I read.

O2ba

Not even handbags at three paces. TH is only tellin it like it is. im sure he feels like a good proportion of the fans that we are being let down consistantly by the manager and the team performances. Ive always been pro Wenger but the last few seasons has seen him lose his mojo with player management and tactical perception of the game before and during the matches. The players rarely come on the pitch looking like theyre up for it. Thats glaringly obvious when you see them in the tunnel. For these reasons alone i think its time… Read more »

King_bilo

At least one part of that statement was wrong.. There weren’t nearly 60k fans in that stadium

PeterD

I thought we supported our team very well. Moans and groans are commonplace, maybe it was slightly more on Wednesday, but nothing vicious. The boos came after the substitution. But in general we supported our lads. Once the final whistle arrived it was another story, not that I condone it, but boos after that result were understandable.

Goonersmurf

A break up is always nasty. And Wenger is displaying the hallmarks of a clinger. It’s never his fault. He’s always talking about self belief and mental fortitude but he seems to lack self awareness, he seems to fail to appreciate the real mood of the fans. Either that or the man is a misunderstood freak and his genius will soon be revealed.

Personally, I’d welcome any presentation of a succession plan from the board knowing that we are towards a new dawn than keep jumping from one disaster to another.

Chrispy

Expect the worst tomorrow. Accept it and move on. I have and the water is lovely and warm.

Anything positive will be a bonus.

This season has been a right royal fuck up and I’ve tapped out emotionally. Will be a shame if we win it ( sad I still have hope ) because I won’t feel I’ve had a part in it.

Me So Hornsey

Thierry got it absolutely spot on IMO. If anything he was being pretty polite about it.

It’s a bit worrying that Wenger would seem to be losing it with someone who he is close to that isn’t even attacking him.

In the bigger picture I find that very concerning.

He talks of sticking together and mental strength. Maybe he needs to look in the mirror. That’s who the players see. If they see him start to crack them we have very grave problems indeed.

Knaus

Honestly I haven’t heard or read ANY support for Wenger this last week. Usually there’s always someone telling you that you don’t have any experience as a manager, or arsene knows etc.

bims lay

We are still here, but, unfortunately, recent events have made it almost impossible to defend him any more. We still don’t want him to go, but you can’t just up in arms and defend him either…not after the debacle of this week!…..so we just sit quietly now, ignore all the heat, and hope that he can turn things around.

rmpauden

Just read this about Celtic in the Mail (i know) and it cud.ve been written verbatim for Arsenal..
Under the Norwegian (Frenchman) Celtic (Arsenal) have become.a pedestrian, one paced team, doggedly clinging to a 4231 formation in the face of mounting evidence they don.t have the personnel to play it.
Nuff said..just copy and paste into the Spurs match report

iyodo

Wenger hates to hear the truth… Henry is spot on

heihaci

Fatgooner was right!

Tony Hall

He has been right for quite a while, about time people stopped giving him abuse.

Fatgooner

Thanks.

bims lay

Never thought i’ll live to see the day, but i bet even he can’t be enjoying all these……because, love him…hate him?…his love for arsenal was never in question….and no true gooner can be feeling smug right now!

Fatgooner

Exactly. I just want us to be successful.

Naija Gunner

And we will be…Insha Allah! COYG

dazzlo

You know what they say about broken clocks being right twice a day?

Tarquin Farquar

Very defensive to the point of complete denial. I’ve been at a few angry Thames though the villa one takes some beating when the crowd were singing spend some fucking money. He did in come Ozil and can’t remember if we beat the scum one nil and went on ten game unbeaten run. Could be an omen. He seems to pull a rabbit out the hat at these crucial times. Can it last.

Brendan

“Sp*rs” fucking hell…

Amusa

I’m 23, been watching since 2005.
This is the saddest week i remember. Because it certainly feels like the tipping point. Feels like an end of an era. I can see Arsene leaving 🙁

ClockEndRider

May I suggest with all due respect that you don’t have a sufficiently significant sample of experience to talk about the worst week ever in that case. Sure it feels like it. But just read a few books on the history of the club. It will help you develop perspective.

Eric Blair

For me, Wenger is to blame for this mess. The players obviously have no faith in the way he’s setting the team up and it’s reflecting in their performances. It’s been going on for years. Reminds of that Machiavelli quote about armies in battle, ‘Good order makes men bold, and confusion, cowards.’

Eric Blair

Although I’d like to add that the same could be applied to the board, which if not completely disorganised has set the bar so low that finishing 4th is totally acceptable, always. How difficult must it then be to readjust the entire clubs perspective, from top to bottom, to aim much higher?

ClockEndRider

As a kid I saw Arsenal skirt several times with relegation. I saw Tottenham and Man United get relegated. That is totally unacceptable. Not finishing 4th.

Meletios

Henry sees more from his posh seats than AW from his dugout.
Pray to heavens someone makes a banner with this and holds it up in the stadium.

Meletios

Fair enough [:-(]

Martin Abraham

Wenger should have called it a day 4 years ago. If he had gone then we would have been remembered him as a legend but now he’s going to be remembered as a complete twat, shame.
As for some of the players they need a reality check and pretty soon. I’m shit at playing football but if I was out there in place of them I’d run my nuts off until I dropped.

Wakey – Wakey or go to a club that doesn’t care.

There

To me, the atmosphere in the stadium is very grim and anxious… that is definitely contributing towards the indifferent performances. A goal down or things or not working out, there is a lot of negative energy in the 60,000 arena, that surely rubs onto the players. The frustrations that is demonstrated against certain players surely affects their performance.

We certainly don’t believe that this team can defeat anybody/everybody and sure enough, we bottle against the lesser opponents.

This team can perform better if the supporters at the stadium raise the bar higher.

We will do well only when there is

Alexstratz

What’s the problem here again? As a fan I don’t give two fucks about what Henry the pundit says. I’m concentrated on the team as there’s much more to analyze about that.

Meletios

The problem is the continuous string of loosing performances. Hope thats clear then.
Now as a fan I am also focus on the team but seeig that I never played football at that level and the fact that I dont have access to the detailed/inside information, I would rather listen to experienced professionals who won things rather than end up over analysingn stuff based on half-baked news (excluding Arseblog ofcourse) fed by media.
Especially when I am sure club has better people doing just that..analysis .i.e…

CJ

Who could possibly replace AW now or next season without everything that has been so meticulously built falling apart and us capitulating to a mid table team for the following season or two?

There are three things in life that are extremely easy to do but which usually end in grim disappointment:

1. falling in love
2. starting a war
3. sacking a PL coach and hiring a new one

RightInDebuchy

Henry left us to win the Champions League with Barcelona but Arsène rejected Real Madrid for us. I mean don’t get me wrong Henry is a legend and i love him but not more than our current manager. I agree with Arsène.

Swerve

Wenger used the Madrid thing whenever the fans were unsettled as a scare tactic. He would NEVER have gone there. No power, no control, responsibility and the expectation to spend and spend well. Every season he would have been expected to win something and bein the mix for the CL. Something he has never demonstrate being capable of except for one solitary year.

He wouldn’t have survived in that environment and he knows it. The fact fans fall for this tactic is laughable. They think it’s live for the club, it’s love of his position.

JamesO

To tell you the truth, I’m fed up with the likes of Henry & Smith, on sky, with their continual negativity. Everyone says how great spurs and leceister are doing this year. We’re three and six points behind, respectively. They are great and and we are are shite.
That’s nonsense. We need to understand the difficulties in this league and support the team.
We are not the only team to not win every week. May be the league is just a little bit harder.