Sunday, June 16, 2024

Henry: Arsenal have a mental problem, but Wenger should stay

Thierry Henry says Arsenal have a ‘mental problem’, but also believes Arsene Wenger should stay on as manager to try and fix it.

The club’s record goalscorer was talking to RMC Radio in France, and said that he felt there was no significant gap between the quality of Arsenal’s squad and that of league leaders Chelsea, but said there was a lack of belief in the Gunners camp.

“What I saw against Chelsea is a mental problem,” he said. “And it’s not easy to manage. For now, something is missing.

“It’s been 12 years since Arsenal won the title and we feel this season they may not win it. I think there is quality in this team. But is there enough to win the championship?

“At the beginning of the season, when you look at Chelsea and Arsenal on paper, there is not a huge difference. So that means it’s possible.

“But for that, you have to be in tune with every day. I think Arsenal players are not aware of what they can achieve. At some point you have to believe in your chances of winning.

“It takes self-management and self-discipline in the group.”

It sounds like Henry is putting most of it down to the players themselves, and on the manager whose job it is to get them ready for games, he said, “The work he has to do at the moment is difficult, because it is mental work.

“Personally, I do not think Arsene has to go. Does he have to change his tactics or his way of doing things? I do not know if he’s willing to do that.”

All in all, some pretty mixed messages there.

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Love is blind.
How many failures are fans supposed to take?
Wenger would have worked and improved our mental frailties if he was able…..he can’t do it.
Time for change.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I have to agree that Wenger doesn’t have the approach to improve the mental frailties. He doesn’t demand performance and is not willing to shout during games.

Alexis, Atom & Humber

This has been a flaw in Wenger’s teams. Even the invicibles bottled it and couldnt win the treble that year, when they were the best team in the world at that time. If SAF had had that team, I believe they would have had the treble.


I dont think you can really throw that accusation at a team that went a whole season without losing a game. They’re definitely not bottlers. Ultimately football is football. You can’t win every match, and the Invincibles is the greatest achievement in modern football in my opinion. We destroyed the league that year – we didn’t jam it. We won it with 90 points, 11 points clear of Chelsea in 2nd place. That will never be repeated again I dont think. Whereas I think at some point, the treble will be won again. Not belittling what United achieved that year.… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

If SAF had that team, half of them would probably have been benched for their careers for disobeying team tactics and taking the license to play their style as they pleased–as they did under Wenger. People act like this autonomy that players are given is only detrimental–it’s really not the case, and it allows players like Bergkamp, Henry, Ljungberg, Vieira, Ozil, Sanchez, etc., flourish and find partnerships in a more effective manner. I believe in Wengerball, still, and I still see glimpses of what is possible under the system. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but nothing but Wengerball has excited… Read more »


I think getting Arsenal fans to boycott anything is unrealistic. The clubs support is far too big and cosmopolitan for anything like that to ever happen. I think if we want to win a league title playing ‘Wengerball’ then we’d have to go and spend the money. Plain and simple. We cannot win the league playing football the way Arsene wants us to play with the calibre of player we have. Thats it. We have to play with a system. Players need to be drilled. They need to understand what to do. We can’t keep sending them out there to… Read more »


The slow starts, as discussed in a recent arseblog article, do appear to be mental.
I could also add that the comebacks and late goals are also a positive mental response.
The mental adjustment needs to be made to get at it right from kickoff, and not just wait and see how the game develops.


After Henry’s refusal to accept video the clearest evidence on Bellerin at the weekend I really couldn’t care less what he says or thinks about anything.
He’s just become another one in the long line to take Sky’s money and just agree to go with their narrative. The man disgusts me.


Whilst I agree that it’s annoying that he didn’t defend us against what was a blatant foul, you can’t say he disgusts you. He’s there to do a job like all of us, and ultimately he’s entitled to think what he wants.

He is and always will be a legend, and a man that deserves the utmost respect. He loves the club like you and I.


No I can. He’s a spoilt brat. He fucked off as soon as it no longer suited him as a player. Then wanted to become a coach on a part time basis. He’s grown up having his cake and eating it. It’s just not on. He’s just a more articulate, less addled Merson.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Henry was a serious hard-working player during his entire career. Clichy said: We won the double and he wouldn’t go out to celebrate because there was EURo that year. I do not call that a spoilt brat. Wenger also said, as a player he would analyse every little thing he did on the pitch. I shot right away because I saw the keeper was a bit unbalanced. He was a true professional. We don’t have any like him at the club right now. Please show respect.


I will. But I won’t be a sycophant. He did what he did then out of self interest. That is the common factor.


Although i wouldn’t say he disgusts me! I wouldn’t say he loved the club like you and I. He was offered a job at arsenal in a coaching role but chose to stay with sky!


Yes, he chose Sky…I wonder, could it be Wenger why he chose Sky? Where is Dennis Bergkamp? Where is Patrick buries? Where is Tony Adams? Where is Pat Rice? Are you beginning to get the picture?


Where is Robert pires? Freddie ljunberg ? Steve Bould ? And pat rice retired at arsenal after 50 years of service!! Are you beginning to get the picture!!! Dennis bergkamp is coaching at his boy hood club Ajax !!


Pat Rice retired. Tony Adams has not proven he is up to the role. Dennis Bergkamp is coaching in a third rate league and has travel issues. Patrick Vieira snipes from the safety of the sidelines and has reached the lofty peaks of coaching in the 10th rate MLS.
Do you get the picture?

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Personally Id be happier if he had stayed in Barcelona… and kept quiet


I completely agree. I just think he loves money and himself more than Arsenal. I would have the utmost respect for him if he was actually speaking his opinion. But to follow an agenda put to him by his employers that deliberately is negative towards Arsenal and puts all its effort into the “Arsenal collapse” story even before the collapse happens. I’m sorry he sold his love for Arsenal to be loved by all English fans and to make some money. For that reason alone I think he can/and should go fuck himself. Even when Ian wright talk negatively about… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Many times Souness had to tell Henry he was being too soft with his former club.


Sounds tgat paragon of footballing virtue is a psycho.


I completely understand you acting like a mad ? man.I can say the same for myself too,that I have been sad ? since Chelsea game.


Chin up bro, this group of soft millionaires aren’t worth it ?

Lord Nicki B

Honestly, I have little to no faith in the rest of the board.

Pretty certain they won’t have a fucking clue on what to do next when AW steps down.

I’m of the opinion that AW announces his retirement as soon as he can, and not wait till the very end of this season/later in future seasons if he stays.

It’ll be the last and the most important thing he could do for the club that he’s already done a lot for, prepare a roadmap for who next, ,how to treat him and the club.


If he is intent on retiring, announcing it now may be the ‘drive’ the lads need to actually perform and achieve something this season. You know, ‘lets do it for Arsene’ and all that.

cheesed off

What in the same way players said “lets do it for Eduardo”!!! They should do it for professional pride, for the team, the manager and the fans!!! Unfortunately the majority are flaky mentally and that is being polite!!!


I beleive the first and most sensible thing for the board to do when wenger steps down as manager is offer him a technical role. Id be happy to keep him at the club. All the worry of who will do all his jobs when he leaves….he can. Get in a new head coach. Wenger technical director or what have you. Steve bould should really be in with a shout. Who knows what his managerial style would actually be and he is ex arsenal and ex graham so not pure wenger. Who knows, rather him than a big money type… Read more »

Lord Nicki B

Feels like we’ll get someone like Howe who has no experience at the very top or someone the board feels they can easily manipulate and control.

Not disrespecting Howe and all he’s done, he’s a great manager, but our board is a fucking joke.


Players have to share the responsibility of their performances too. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It is an issue that’s plagued Arsene’s squads over the years. Post-Highbury we had squads full of kids due to the lack of money. In the face of adversity, either heroes and leaders are born or they break. Looking back, it’s obvious some of the players broke as we didn’t win anything, but we have kept on a lot of those youngsters and it seems they just have a very brittle mentality. Theo, Ox, Gibbs, Ramsey, Jack,… Read more »


Agreed – do top players get dragged down into the fragile squad mentality or lift it up? Feels like we would need 2/3 stone cold winners to arrive together to shake things up and avoid them just being absorbed into the existing ‘average’. Aside from Alexis, who I think is impervious to outside negative influence and is driven like a stolen Ferrari, I’m afraid I have question marks against all of them as a squad. It’s like a child you invest so much hope and belief into, but they just don’t seem to be able to get it

Heavenly Chapecoense

Shouldn’t be a difficult problem to fix for the most experienced manager in the league and possibly in Europe.


“Is life shit because Arsenal is shit or the other way around”? – Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch.


They won’t admit to it but many fans live their surrogate dreams in life through the club which is why they get so angst. Its a fix for what doesn’t go right elsewhere in life. The fact that so many fans are absolutely mental about the loss may also point to them secretly feeling we indeed had a chance with Wenger. If they felt that Wenger would disappoint again, then there would be no surprise with the results. The fact is, they wanted Wenger to win and they felt he could do it, which is why it is so much… Read more »

David C

I don’t see sunny days after Wenger leaves. I see us doing a Liverpool or a Man U. I think people will regret it when he’s gone.

Lula da Gilberto

The problem with that as well is that Man U will only get out of it by virtue of spending more money than their competitors, a liberty not available to us. I think its time. But if the transition has to take longer, but in the infrastructure behind the scenes first stage by stage, then sign for two more years and lets do the job right. We can’t have a Moyesian disaster. The recovery would take a long time to come back from at a time when player valuations are inflating like they are. I don’t know what is possible,… Read more »


What if we do a Chelsea and win the league in the first season of the new manager? A la Conte. 🙂


What’s this we will regret it when he’s gone? Am I or any other gooner responsible for him aging. Its something natural and every club will have to go through it at some point. The managers we love will one day retire.


He’s right about the mental part but most people could tell you we won’t win the league with Arsene in charge.

Hoosier Gunner

Henry loves Wenger and owes so much to him, that he could probably never come out and claim the big man has to go. He also loves the club. No wonder the message was mixed.


He lives to project the image of loving the club. And fans like to believe it as it’s easier than accepting that for players the club is just an employer, stepping stone. They come and go. We’re here for life.


So young fans can’t grow up and become players?


Please read what I wrote rather than what you would like me to have written.


Henrys never going to come out and say Wenger should go now is he? There was a reason Henry left in 2007 for Barca and that was to compete at the highest level and win major trophies which be wouldn’t be able to do with us. 10 years on and nothing has changed


Where exactly do all you “Wenger out!” People go when we’re winning? I’m genuinely curious.


We’re here waiting for the inevitable, and then we come and say we told you so. What happens every year is a fact, and as supporters we should demand better.

Moral high ground

That is such a misguided question. Fans like me who want a new manager want one even when we go on a good run. We are not fickle. If we win the champs league I want a new manager. A great send off for a legend but bye bye. Clear enough for you? We go NOWHERE when we are doing well.


We let you have your moment, we are equally happy as anyone else that we win but then we get back to the realisation that we wont win the league or champions league and have had the same argument and discussions for years now. Arsene deserves credit and should never be ridiculed or insulted but his time is up and long overdue. His legacy is in danger of being totally destroyed because he can’t let go and that would be really sad. All good things come to an end, we may have to endure a few years of pain who… Read more »


Likewise question. When we lose again at Chelsea in the usual limp manner are you watching through rose tinted spectacles that everything is good, there aren’t fundamental problems that he can’t fix?

Why do the same problems occur year after year?


When we win something I’ll let you know.

Lord Bendtner

I have a serious question. The past three or four days have been horrible for me. I feel super depressed. I do have certain days of depression that come and go sometimes. But, I don’t know if it’s entirely because of the Chelsea game or if the game just exaggerated my problem. Is anyone else also having horrendous few days this week? (That Chelsea game hit me hard. I mean I had known after the Watford game that we were out, but the Chelsea game, seeing our spineless performance, it really hit me hard. Chelsea is a team that was… Read more »

Moral high ground

Lord Bendtner. I feel your pain but this game didn’t kill my mood as much as a few others this season, and definitely not vs previous years’ disappointments. It was a bit spineless but not terrible. What about old Trafford this season. We were abysmal! Or some of the recent spurs games. Or losing to Utd youngsters last year. At least Chelsea are a good side. And we were poor but not horrific…..

Matt P

I agree we weren’t horrific against Chelsea. In fact I thought we were ok. Two bad errors to concede 2 goals, thats it. I think we have been worse in a lot more games this season.
Still think we need big change though


I absolutely agree, Lord..
The depression is just too big to digest.. we didn’t have an excuse for the last year’s tripping so after this year’s failure I’ll have to admit we’re a laughing stock at the moment although only through my closed teeth.. the love cannot be vanished


I think if Wenger’s going to stay .. he may need to change his entire squad. The problem is that this team has no identity. Wenger likes them to do their thing on the pitch and read the situation, but the current players have succumbed to the feeling of helplessness when things don’t go their way. Easy solution. Sell everyone who has been at the club for more than 3 years (excluding Koscielny ofcourse). Let some kids from the youth setup step up – throw them in the deep end but show faith in them. Pressure turns coal to diamonds… Read more »


Henry is right. Who would you bring in to necessarily provide more success? Most of the top names are committed. Likely there will be little movement till after 2018 summer. Howe? Does that guarantee us going up the table? As much as we have hit the glass ceiling (very close to the top), it could be worse. Are the same fans that do not mind us falling out of CL and finishing behind Spurs willing to do that for 2-3 seasons potentially? Has Guardiola or Klopp or even Ponch been any more successful than Wenger this season and have they… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Ferguson put Moyes in place and left. Who will Wenger bring ? Do you think that person will be a winner or just someone who shares what Wenger sees as Arsenal values ?


How about Klopp?

I’m sure the pundits agreed some seasons back he would be perfect to succeed Wenger. Certainly his team showed mental strength last game against Hull.

Or Guardiola. His team shows mental strength this season. That’s why they are a whole point above us.



I think it needs to be a combination of both. Arsenals values are an important part of the clubs identity. Last thing I want to see is a Mourinho type character at Arsenal.

John C

As you say what Wenger sees as Arsenal values and what are Arsenal values don’t actually reconcile with one another


Find me an Arsenal fan that wanted Arsene Wenger in 1996. David Dein brought him in and I bet most all of us went “who the fuck is this guy?”, I know I did. We needed to replace the Rioch because he was falling short of expectations. Is Arsene Wenger not doing the same? Do you honestly think we can win the Champions League? Or do you just hope we do? Because all fans should hope their team to do well (you’re a silly bastard if you don’t) but actually believing is not the same as hoping. Arsenal are not… Read more »

Matt P

I met Arsene in Nagoya in 96. Was a nice fellow but I was surprised Arsenal signed him. Did a great job but he should have gone 3-4 years ago


How about:
Hector – Gabriel – Kos – Holding – Gibbs
Elneny – Xhaka
Lucas – Alexis – Welbeck

Against the top teams?


Players are fine but it’s the tactics that will count. No good if we play 2 at the back all the time with full backs both bombing forward together and DMs wandering up there too. AW may have to adopt a 3 – 5 – 2 with more astute use of midfielders to counter top teams. Use 442 or even 433 against lesser teams home/away. He prides his teams on not worrying about the other side but that just smacks of laziness in not identifying how others will play. Hence players complaining that they were surprised at approach of Bournemouth… Read more »


“Players are fine but it’s the tactics that will count.”

Yes and I haven’t told you the tactics yet!
They are:
Score more goals than the other team and elbow their players a lot, without giving away free kicks.
No need to thank me…:-)


Tactically, we have to play to the strengths of the player we have. Conte is doing just that. You cannot tailor the players to a system (which is what GUardiola is trying to do), the system has to fit the player. Wenger has had a problem IMO in midfield. Santi was deem fit but is out again (which is not surprising as I’ve mentioned before because of age) Granit was bought for a specific reason. Wenger knows Coquelin is a different beast playing with someone behind him in midfield. It allows him and the team to turn over the ball… Read more »


Mustafi is a way better player than some would deem to suggest after recent game. No Holding. Too inexperienced still. Elneny is way overrated. Some people like 7amkickoff would deem to quote statistics they would like you to see like passing completion but truth is passing by Elneny is often backwards or sideways. With coquelin in the team, you need someone to join Ozil further forward when we are attacking, which is why Ox may work (for that matter Iwobi) Don’t touch the midfield. Balance is wrong still but Ox and Coquelin have to figure it out. When Granit returns… Read more »


Ild be gappy to have


Sure as shit their teams would be fuckung switched on at the start


I overheard someone in the pub who said his mate knows a bloke that can get you a bag of mental strength something or other, really cheap! I wonder if Arsene knows him? 🙂


Usually a tough audience at this time of night. 🙁


We are specialists in mental weakness it arrives every season just when you don’t need it,then when the pressures off we can start playing, every now and then we get mentally strong and kick someone’s ass and just when the hope starts growing it’s crushed again by a wave of mental brain farts that goes through the hole team, no player is safe. Please explain Wenger I grow tired of this it saps my life force.


Did anyone watch the tunnelcam against Preston? Arsene was a bloody wreck, wringing his hands and looking at the monitor and looking absolutely shit scared. That’s what our players are having to contend with before the games, a manager who is afraid. Which is why they take so long to settle, and why their confidence is so low. And one of the major reasons I believe Arsene needs to bow out at the end of the season.


(Sorry if this appears twice!) Arsene can be a rickety boat on a sea of anxiety at times, and that damn zipper never helps him out, but he’s of formidable mind and spirit and he cuts a pretty cool customer when he comes out to shake hands. This guy loves winning and hates losing, no different than any other manager. He doesn’t strike me as the wartime general there to rally the troops, but players have pointed to moments when his words alone have inspired them to more. Arsenal play at a high rate: when things are clicking and passing… Read more »

Matt P

Good point. He also looked shit scared before Chelsea, as did the players


I think both our squad and its depth is on par or stronger than all our rivals this season. Lets face it, the only reason Wenger is still running this club is because he is very successfull financially, And to our owner that is all that matters. If we had a ambitious owner who wanted to see the club succeed on a sporting level and prioritized accordingly then Wenger would no doubt have been replaced years ago. Other top clubs in Europe have replaced managers several times with great success. Chelsea is the prime example this season how a breath… Read more »


Its not just financially but the certainty that even if he fails in the season, he has been able to finish top 4 at very least. Plus lets not forget there is a bit of a pattern. Last season as this, the league leaders running away is a team without CL football. Clearly an advantage. That said, we have to find our own balance rotating and I think it is more of an issue with the teams like us, and City who have to cope with the extra games (Spurs too) This weekend, we have another opportunity, Spurs play Liverpool… Read more »


I think with this squad we should be challenging it’s as good as anything in the pl! Should of challenged properly last year but again failed! The problem Wenger has is he is not a pessimist he never plans/coaches the team on how to deal with the other team. We always set-up to play the arsenal/Wenger way I can remember 2 games where we set-up differently city away and Bayern at home what was the results 2 wins! He has become stubborn in his ways we all hate him saying we could of signed this player but we couldn’t compete… Read more »

Shkod Goals

“Arsenal will win the league. Period.”

-Sean Spicer


Much is made a meal out of this.

I’m quite sure City, United and Liverpool fans also say the same that their team lack mental strength.

Maybe not the Sours because they are deluded.



…mental strength.:D


Only one club ever has it every season.

Cant Dance

The mental problems have been there for 10 bloody years..exactly how long are the fans supposed to give him..he has a squad there more than capable of winning the league and maybe did too last year but yet the same old problems resurface year after year..I just don’t see wenger being able to fix the situation..and to be fair to the angry fans he has had quite a long time to attempt to fix said problems with nothing but repetitive failure..when all is said and done the buck stops with the manager and his numbers up.


I never really get into the Arsene stay or go debate, I think it’s quite obvious it’s 1000000% upto him when he goes, even if we finished mid table the board would say he deserves it for his service to the club.It’s Arsenal I love not a manager or player or director!UP THE ARSENAL FOREVER!!!

Greh Greysh

Why are pundits so scared to say Arsenal need a new approach with that a new manager. The system at Arsenal is dated and not designed to bring the best out of our players. They shite on about mentality and tactics being non existent at Arsenal but praise Wenger’s philosophies. They play both sides then chastise fans who want change. Gary Neville leads the pack.


Arsene is just technically weak.He has failed to balance the team. There are rough games where u think people like Ozil should be on bench but he fails to get it. We play the same game and fail to adapt. There are times when you thought he would bring on someone like Wanyama on the cheap but he failed. I think Arsene will never balance the team, for he believes in one philosophy

gunner smith

Agree with Shonky about love is blind.If the fm were to stay,it would basically mean moe of the sameiethe gunners will choke feb/March/April.
I say time for a fresh start.

Winterburn 87

Arsene treated his players more like his children’s than professionals

Jake the cake

The problem is that they’re lazy and not disciplined enough. That’s all


You can’t say “Arsenal have had the same problem they’ve had for almost 2 decades” then say “the man who’s been in charge of Arsenal over that period should stay”. At this point I think any faith in Arsene Wenger to deliver at the highest level is just blind faith. Once upon a time Thierry Henry was the world best striker. He got older, got worse, recognised that and took on new challenges that suited his relative ability. Arsene Wenger has arguably been the best manager in the world at different stages; winning the double, revolutionising English football from the… Read more »

Matt P

Wenger needs to leave with dignity before he embarrasses himself. And tears the club apart


The Daily Mail has a Wenger poll online today: “Sportsmail’s reporters give their verdicts on whether he’ll ever win the Premier League again” Every single one of them said no, and Wenger has to go. Here’s one very prescient opinion from ADAM CRAFTON “No, I don’t think he will because of the quality of opposition in the top six now but also his and Arsenal’s own deficiencies. Too many opportunities have been spurned over the years and the frailties of 10 years ago remain the same today. A culture has developed where not only is second best OK but so… Read more »


Daily Mail is your source? Urggh.
Even when they are right. They are Wrong.


Oh well the Daily Mail,says it somit must be true.
Jeez the fact that people quote this rubbish makes me fear for the future of humanity. Or at least the UK educational system.


Physically soft manager. Physically soft team. Passionless manager. Passionless team. Etc. Etc.


yeah right and next he’ll be saying that theo is a world class player with a lovely beard.


The manager is the main one responsible for the mentality. Conte would never allow players like Ozil just jog around while the ship is sinking. We need a new manager, new energy and ideas. There are a couple of very good ones in Germany

Matt P

Wenger out. And Ozil too, unless he can start playing well in more than 25% of our games…taking the piss demanding pay rises with his form over the last 2 months


read a comment from Troy Deeney of how ramsey bottled it by turning his back to that kaboul goal.
dont know if he really said it but imagine when your opponents from watford dont give you any respect.

fans are really in the dumps right now.

of course now that all is lost the players will wake up, win some games and get that 2nd spot sorted out. and another heroic season will come to an end. like getting stuck in an endless horrible carousel playing circus music.


Supporting this regime is like being stuck in a cell listening to Easy street on loop,I love arsenal but hate all the rest of it,fan division/in fighting,financing (esp every window),ownership etc,if a change of manager after 20 odd years changes any of this its worth it IMO

Jim wall

Team against bayern..and rest of season……cheq
Bellerin. Gibbs


some Arsenal fans use Arsenal to make them feel better. The Arsenal and sports General should be a place where you relax and enjoy the win,draw or loose. Life is more serious than Football and sports generally…COYG


Sadly, It seems as if Henry is aware to the fact that Wenger will sign a new contract (more like give to himself a new one…) so saying the Arsene isn’t the right man for the job would be pointless and hurtful. Choosing to avoid those two seems logic.


Saying he doesn´t think he has to go and saying he should stay is not the same thing.

Matt P

What a Wenger apologist. Needs to go. Great Arsenal stalwart but everyone has a ‘use by date’. His came a few years ago. Hunger, ambition and fresh perspective urgently required. Change, please.

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