Arsenal legend Thierry Henry launches passionate defence of Arsene Wenger

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry believes manager Arsene Wenger has "changed" Arsenal for the better and will only be appreciated properly after he leaves the club.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has leapt to the defence of former manager Arsene Wenger following the club’s indifferent start to the season, stressing that fans should appreciate what he has done for them.

The Gunners currently sit sixth in the Premier League table after 11 games, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, while their lacklustre Champions League performances means they’re likely to face a tougher last-16 draw, as group runners-up.

Despite signing a new three-year contract in the summer, some reports have claimed that the board are now eyeing up potential replacements for the Frenchman, but Henry believes people should look at how his compatriot has changed the philosophy at the club in order to realise his greatness.

“When you give people a lot [of success] they get used to it, he told BBC Sport.

“At Arsenal, people expect you to win. That was the way I was educated but, for me, it’s a no brainer – Wenger has changed Arsenal.

“They were successful before he came but in a different way. Now they are recognised for the type of football they play and that’s all down to him.”

However, Henry thinks it will be difficult for the Gunners to challenge for the title this season, despite having a strong enough squad, conceding that the team are now relying on Chelsea to slip up.

“I think they do have the squad to win the league, but now they’re 12 points behind Chelsea,” he said. “You’re going to have to find some way to make up those points, hoping Chelsea is going to lose.

“Bear in mind, Chelsea already went to City, won at Everton and beat you. You need to win every game and hope that they lose.”

Wenger could certainly help silence some his critics on Saturday afternoon, with Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United visiting the Emirates. Amazingly, it will be the first time since 1998 that the two sides have faced each other while both outside the top-four.

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