Arsene Wenger: Thierry Henry's criticism of Olivier Giroud and the need for transfers wrong
Thierry Henry’s opinion that Arsenal need four new players to contend for the league title has been met with disapproval from Arsene Wenger. What stung Wenger the most was Henry’s criticism and opinion on fellow Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
“I think he’s wrong,” said Wenger. He’s paid for that. We know all the system now of the modern media, especially on TV. I know how it works. They push you to be controversial because they give you a lot of money,” added the Frenchman.
“I can accept an opinion, but the comment on Giroud was a bit more wrong, especially because I heard the same thing being said about Nicolas Anelka, about Thierry Henry himself and about Robin van Persie. And they all became world-class players themselves,” said Wenger.
“Arsenal have a strong squad, and will look to start strong next season too”
While Wenger does know the importance of a deep squad to help contend, he also, at the same time has worked to ensure that whatever business Arsenal do isn’t done in a mode of isolation, and thus expects the top clubs to trade their playing pool.
“That is the unknown quantity,” he said. “How much higher are the other teams going to go? Because you can expect Manchester City to respond, you can expect Manchester United to respond, Liverpool to respond,” added the 64-year-old.
“We are not in need of absolute change. We have a strong squad. We have some strong young players behind. We have a very big squad, so we need to lose some players as well. We have Lukas Podolski away, Joel Campbell. Yaya Sanogo will come back.”
The Frenchman also feels that the psychology of players and the ability to master difficult games they are desperate to win will be key to taking an upward leap next season. He also spoke about Arsenal’s draw against Chelsea.
“The frustration is maybe we were a bit in-between and didn’t really go for it. Why? Because the history of the teams. We have been caught on the counter-attacks before and we were conscious of that.”
“We were a bit inhibited, with the handbrake, because it was Chelsea and we didn’t want to lose the game. Then people will say ‘look they get caught again’. I’m sure that played a part in the players’ minds. And the Monaco game [lost 3-1 at home] played in the mind of the players of course.”
When asked if the difference was more mental than technical, Wenger replied with a “Yes.” “Chelsea are a very strong side, I don’t deny that. What will be interesting is let’s get a new start and see where we stand next year. We feel we have made up some ground. That will be the challenge of next season from the start, let’s show we are there and capable to fight for it,” said Wenger.
“We will be judged at the end of the season – 30th of May after the FA Cup final, where are we in the Premier League, where are we in the FA Cup and we will see how well we have done. That’s why it is vital that we keep the focus and the hunger to go as strong as we can until the end,” said Wenger as Arsenal prepare themselves to face Hull City on Monday with an aim of finishing second.