Wenger opens up on Henry exit

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Arsene Wenger says that Thierry Henry’s media duties with Sky left him in an uncomfortable position when it came to coaching Arsenal’s youngsters.

The club’s record scorer had been offered a full-time role working with the Gunners under-18 side at the start of the summer only to up leave the club when he informed the boss he wouldn’t be turning his back on his punditry with Sky Sports. The 39-year-old has since accepted a role with the Belgian national team.

Speaking to the Arsenal Magazine about the importance of having former players around the training ground – a topic that the likes of Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira have touched on recently – Wenger made clear he too firmly believes in the positive influence of having the club’s identity passed from generation to generation.

“Well, when you have an opportunity to give our former players a role at the club, they know Arsenal is about identity,” said Wenger.

“Identity is about values and the players who have played at the club for a long time know the values are important, not only on the playing side but on the moral side, so they can carry through the generations.

“It is important for this club and the history of this club.”

On Henry’s decision to leave Arsenal this summer, he added: “There was a lot of debate about Thierry Henry not staying here. I think Thierry Henry has done an exceptional job here but it is an uncomfortable position for him.

“He agreed that it was not easy for him to deal with talking about Arsenal during the weekend and then coming in. You want him to be free from his statements and it’s always difficult for him to be really objective sometimes, and even a bit harsh, and then come in and face the players.

“It will be easier for him and I’m sure that he will come back into coaching later.”

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Perry S.

former (unappreciative) players take swipes at him and yet he still responds with utter class. stand up guy, that arsene.

Lettra

Class act .. frustrating as F*ck at times and stubborn as a mule.
But the man has so many admirable qualities that i have never seen among our rivals.

Ken

You can’t have your cake and eat it too and you can’t sleep on two beds at the same time.. Henry wanted to do both its just not possible. Especially if you’re trying to be fully committed and maintain a certain level of integrity at your job you just can’t. Those other ex players complaining Petit and Co are just bitter there’s a reason for everything and I’m sure Arsene is not telling us the full story especially with Viera because if he did it’ll cause a lot of damage he’s a smart man call him whatever you want but… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Agree, this communication is a class act from Wenger but he should have done it right away after he withdrew the offer from Henry. Now, Henry hasn’t been commenting Arsenal youth on Skysports. He will have to comment Lukaku’s performance with Everton and meet him the following week with the national team. At one point, it’s got to be deemed acceptable.

moonie

what?

Wallab

Very good answer! A few of these former players have coaching jobs because of Wenger’s recommendation, but still bad mouth him? Makes no sense! Maybe when they grow up more they will appreciate what their mentor did for them.

Anonymarse

I’ve never seen 400+ thumbs up before

gunn cabinet

you should have seen what happened when somebody typed “mourinho is a cunt” in the comments section some while back; there was an arseblog meltdown…

Frank Bascombe

Well he is.

ramgooner

Wenger is Bergkamp.Bergkamp is Wenger.I’ll leave it there.

NorthernGooner

I wish you wouldn’t.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Well said bro … I have had issues with Wenger’s tactics and results over the past few season. Have felt not enough development was being done to make Arsenal title contenders again.

However what I or frankly anyone cannot dispute is that Wenger is a class act when it comes to his professional conduct.

MrBrain + Ozil's vision

I’ve never witnessed more than 800 thumbs up on this forum before. Wow!

Perry S.

I’m blown away I got that many. to be honest, with all the discourse amongst supporters, I thought I’d get a lot of the reverse. good on the supporters to put aside their angst for a moment to appreciate the professionalism of the boss.

Jonny Bravo

You would imagine with so many of their top players playing in the EPL, that Henry would be in an even more un-com-fortable position in respect of the Belgium national team.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Totally agree.

YoungArse

Doesn’t sound as dramatic or cynical as the press made out.

Shock.

Block 93

Hope the door is open for Nicolas Bendtner to return home to educate the Arsenal Yute

Galileo

Lol! Very mischievous “Block”head. Love you dude!!

Delford Magaya

You have to look at the character of players first. Do you think Berdner can be a coach?

Arsman

lord bendtner can do anythin he wants

Fletcher

Haha…A man who drives a Mercedes while playing for a volkswagen can definitely do anything.

Fletcher

Haha…A man who drives a Mercedes while playing for a volkswagen team can definitely do anything.

JB

@Deflord Sarcasm young squire…. Embrace it

Anonymarse

He could show them what not to do …

Marc Powell

What Venger means is he doesn’t want anyone critising him …even if it is stating the obvious. So he made Thierry leave.

Paul

Are you trying for 400 thumbs down Marc?

NorthernGooner

Kin El pal, don’t start criticising Wenger on these boards, there’ll be a witch Hunt out and you’ll be bullied by thumbs down.

Eternal Optimist

It’s not about not criticising Wenger. Everyone on these boards (including Blogs) has criticised Wenger from time to time, especially when it comes to his stubborn ways. The point being that when you criticise someone, it has to be both justified and educated. For example, the above comment about Wenger not wanting anyone to criticise him. Even assuming that’s true, does any manager want his staff criticising him? You think Mourinho wouldn’t want his coach to leave if he criticised him on TV? Forget that, imagine if you’re a CEO of a company. Would you want to keep a manager… Read more »

NorthernGoon

You make a good point at least with the latter half of your reply though I wasn’t specifically referring to open criticism. Le Prof has long been accused of wanting ‘Yes’ men around him not because he’s any kind of narcissist but because he doesn’t like people arguing with him behind closed doors as well. One particular example is at the beginning of Steve Bould’s current role or was it at the end of his first season I forget. The opening sentence however is a bit or maybe a lot of tosh. A large portion of people on these talky… Read more »

The Night Elf

Nicely done Arsene!

AndiArse

This Radebe chap is something really to be honest. And then we wonder why so many former players say they looked to him as almost a father figure?! Blimey I want him to be my dad!

AndiArse

And the firkin autocorrect changes it to the former Leeds captain! Arsene Arsene Arsene! Fuck apple and anyone who thought autocorrect is a “cool” standard feature on a phone!

Eddie

Really,…from Arsene to Radebe,…?

Unyoke The Ox

Thought we had the former Leeds defender, Lucas Radebe, working for us for a second there.

Lee

What makes the negative comments from former players more bizarre is how often some legends of Arsenal (Pires) and even Beckham come to train with our boys. I can’t for the life of me see Arsene saying no to any former player if they approach him and ask for a role, he doesn’t seem like that kind of guy. He wants complete and utter devotion to our club, and when some aren’t willing to give it, he deems it not good enough, which I appreciate. Henry was given a choice, and he made his, so it is what it is.

Goonertom

I dont even think its a question of absolute devotion. Its just a matter of professionalism. Henry represented a conflict of interest, on the one hand he had a job which includes objectively criticizing the club when necessary in the public eye. On the other hand he has to try and instill a culture and values as well as technical knowledge to younger players. Its pretty obvious that there’s a conflict there and i dont think it has to be viewed as something negative, its just common sense you do one or the other. You would see the same approach… Read more »

something cool

“objectively criticizing”

How can one talk objectively when sitting with that Owen twat

Possession

Can’t think why Peter Storey didn’t return in a full coaching role….
I jest.
No pulling out of tackles though !!

Johar

Maybe because he was in a nick somewhere.

Xhaka Kan

Where’s Gilles Grimandi anyway?

Unnecessarilystupid

Somewhere in France scouting and shit…

ndkbse

He’s in the legends squad for Saturday!

die hard gooner

It was not compatible working at sky and at arsenal and it was never going to be. OT spuds signed sissoko for 30 mil hahaha. I have my issues with wenger but he never screws up big money buys. sissoko is a bang average player. They sign him and lamela for 30 mil each while we get Alexis and Granit for a similar amount. Hahaha is all that I can say.

Gooner96

And they can’t take it when we finish above them, Hahahaaaaaaaa

Al Gilmore

Boss is right – as he usually is.

People who criticise need to put themselves in his position. Whether Henry’s criticisms of Arsenal are right or wrong on Sky, it is incongruous to then come in an work for them the next. Very few of us would be allowed to criticise our employers in the media and expect to remain employed.

As ever this issue has been turned against Wenger by fans who are determined to criticise his every decision and a media that wants to fan the flames of that discontent

Tom Gun

“always difficult for him to be really objective sometimes, and even a bit harsh, and then come in and face the players.”

Reading between the lines, do you think there was a confrontation with one or some of the players, probably Giroud? I imagine Giroud will have always looked up to Henry and those comments last season would have hurt him. Then seeing Henry at Colney…

Johar

Arsene never publicly criticises players so it may well be that it was AW who thought what Henry said about Giroud was out of order.

lonsdale

I mean, it’s a no brainer that Giroud would look up to him, as he’s one of the best French players ever. He wears the number 12 too (Thierry’s national team number).

Whether there was a confrontation or not, I’m pretty certain any of us would be pretty disheartened hearing one of our idols saying “You’re not good enough”

Mez

So seriously we are expected to believe that Viera, Petit, Henry, Bergkamp to name just 4 have all had conflicting interests above taking any form of role with the club. Utter nonsense – they were all players that were vocal about the way the club was going (Bergkamp being an exception to my knowledge). Strange how Henry cannot make the legends game due to his Belgian commitments – they play tonight and not again for a whole week – does he really not have time to pop on a plane for a few hours at the club that made him,… Read more »

Sideshow _bob

Classy as ever from Arsene. Honestly there was no story here. Even Henry admitted it, no hard feelings. Its media who tried to create something out of nothing
Btw Chelsea resigning Luizzzz is the best thing that’s happened this summer. Really thgt they got away when they sold him for 50m, guess not. Sideshow Bob is backkk ??

Wangge

Classy as ever.

I’d love to be mentored by Arsène.

toma

King in the north must leave castleblack and occupy kings landing.shouldn’t be long now I imagine.

Eddie

The real ass is the Chelsea guy Petit. He’s definitely bitter about something. And because of how the fans were so bitter with Arsene a week or so ago, he thought a good idea to also take a pop. In the process he has embarrassed his mates too, Viera in particular

Gooner 4 Life

What’s his excuse for Viera then. Why didn’t Viera get the chance to return and help the youth? He was’nt a pundit.

arseblog

What has Vieira done to suggest he’s a coach worth having around? Also why, if he’s managing an MLS team, would he come to Arsenal and coach kids?

Joe I

I think former players go to other clubs just to perform in roles with bigger responsablities, similar to players going out on loan because there is just no space for them at the senior squad to develop. Some will come back when the opportunity arises and some will stay elsewhere in search of their personal growth. viera going to coach an MLS team or Arteta being assistant to Guardiola for example are both roles that put them in very good positions to come back to arsenal either when Bouldy or Arsene himself retire… I’d really like someone like Arteta to… Read more »

Sam

Wenger has completely lost the ideas taking the right decision at the right time and that has make him vulnerable in his job. He is just trying to be protected rather than doing the right thing to protect his integrity.

MrBrain + Ozil's vision

And what do you thin must do?

MrBrain + Ozil's vision

And what do you think is the right thing he must do?… f**k auto correct the first time*

Gerard Monen

Wait and see, we look slot stronger on paper Although I would have liked to have Koulibaly at the back,He is Viera mark 2

Dr. Phil

Vieira and Petit’s problem? Statue envy.

DS

Good to see gooners giving Arsene some love on here.

Let’s face it, the media is always out to cripple us and this stubborn old git deals with it on a daily basis. I’m a stubborn man and I’m sure most of you lot are – he has his principles and sticks with them. The day we find a manager to replace him that loves this club even half as much As he does will be a good day!

Til then COYG!

Xi_gunner

Wenger doesn’t accept criticism?

What a farce!

Give me a name in World football that gets hacked more than Wenger for as long as he has endured it.

Abdolute poppycock.

santori

Its not a god given right that just because you are an ex (great) player that you automatically become a good manager. More often than not, it isn’t the case. If you are going to be involved full heartedly in something, there should not be any distractions or other affairs that may compromise your decision making/relations within the club. Its simple. Either commit full heartedly or not. Roberto Martinez lauded by some derange people and the press as the messiah that should take over from Wenger (not too long ago) was a press pundit and manager. I could never understand… Read more »

a

Arsene for Prime minister and President of the world.

NorthernGooner

I like Le Prof I do but the sycophants on here astound me. He’s far from perfect and more often than not recently has seemed bereft of any clue. However, he is ours and I’d rather him than Maureen.

Henry has always been bang on the money when it comes to Arsenal and Wenger simply doesn’t like people disagree with him. This isn’t anything new either.

NYGunner

Not all players make great coaches. Often times the qualities that make a great player are a detriment as a coach/manager. Few make the transition at the highest level. I have a sneaking feeling that Arteta, of all our former players, might end up being the best of the bunch.

On a related note, it’s going to be interesting seeing Zidane have a full season at the helm in Madrid.

CechMate

If I have to choose a guy from football to be a role model for my kid, it’d be Wenger! At a time, when all is pardoned so far as you win, this guy manages to hold his values aloft! I’ve been frustrated with him for not winning, for not buying players, for employing wrong tactics but I’d anyday prefer a statue of him outside Emirates than Mou or even Pep for that matter. I’ve seen managers splurge money to save their careers, leave their clubs cos they didn’t get their transfer targets, go on a rant against everyone cos… Read more »

Eternal Optimist

Lots of criticism about Wenger not affirding ex-players opportunities to work at the club? Please remind us who the assistant manager is.

Eternal Optimist

*affording 😛

MrBrain + Ozil's vision

Okay, correct me if i’m wrong. Among the top 10 Clubs in England, Wenger still ranks as no1 or joint top with Manchester United in terms of recruitments of ex-players to work with him. If so, then petit is just a poppycock!

In any case, anyone who had worn that dirty blue Jersey from the other side of London will always remain a c*nt! And Petit is no exception.

I Rony

Cech?

Santi's left foot

Wasn’t blue though, was it! More like green, yellow… but not blue.

Amir

Lets not forget John Terry is a Cunt!