Arsenal FC’s all- time highest goalscorer Thierry Henry wants Arsene Wenger and his side to settle for much more than regular Champions League football. The club legend hopes Arsenal’s celebrations on a dramatic final day of the season were because they’d knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of Europe’s primary football competition, ‘not’ because fourth- place is an achievement to be proud of.
Since the then-captain left for Barcelona in 2007, Arsenal haven’t won a trophy (other than the pre- season Emirates Cup) and have finished no higher than third in the Premier League.
“For me as a fan or if I was a player at Arsenal, finishing in top four would have been normal,” Henry told Sky Sports.
“We saved our season and that was it because you always want to win and I know people go on about the pictures and all of this celebration.
“But I can tell you I think it was more the fact that for Arsenal player, when you really feel the shirt and really play for the club, putting Tottenham out of the top four, and really do hope that’s what they were celebrating about.
“Because that is the only thing you can celebrate about. If you are an Arsenal man through- and- through that is like winning something for me. And I also said it when we did it to them in 2006 that it wasn’t the fact we qualified for the Champions League, it is because we kicked them out of it and we went in.”
Arsenal’s status as Champions League regular was under threat for much of last season, and were it not for some Spurs’ slump in the final two months; the story might have been told the other way round.
For the first time, Wenger, now Premier League’s longest serving manager had his position in question in the season long gone. But the New York Red Bull striker can’t imagine life without Wenger at the Emirate Stadium.
“For me it’s very difficult for me to see Arsenal play, one day, without Arsene on the bench. Whatever, after, people can say, ‘oh yeah they won, they didn’t win,’ but for me there I will see Arsenal play without Arsene on the bench, it’s going to be weird.”
“So I’d just love to have him there all the time. We all know that’s not going to happen, one day he’s just going to have to go.
“But it will be hard as he’s not thinking of leaving one day. It will happen eventually, we all know it, but I don’t see it.”