Thierry Henry has revealed that Arsene Wenger will allow him to train with Arsenal whenever he wants and described in warm terms the ‘father-son’ relationship that has developed between the two men over the years.
As has become common during the winter months Henry has been strutting his stuff at London Colney with the Gunners first team squad as he looks to stay fit before the New York Red Bulls kick-off a new MLS season.
Sitting down with Redbull.com, the 36-year-old spoke of the privileged treatment he receives from his compatriot and how the elder statesman helped him flourish as a footballer.
“We always keep in touch. He allows me to come and train with Arsenal whenever I want. That’s not something you can do everywhere.
“Just to be able to have his belief [in you] – he will let you take responsibility for your own future,” he continued.
“He knows when he has to talk to you and he knows when to let you… fly. He will help you along the way, but you need to want it.
“The way he sees the game is exactly the way I see the game. The thing with Arsene is that I can speak to him about everything, you know… life, a game, food, a destination…you name it.
“It’s like a father–son relationship. Sometimes you argue, sometimes it’s OK or not OK.”
A month before Arsenal go head-to-head with Bayern Munich for the second Champions League campaign in a row, Henry also took the time to weigh up the challenge posed by a squad under the control of another of his former coaches, Pep Guardiola.
“Arsène Wenger will always be special to me, but Pep Guardiola is very special, trust me, I worked with him and he’s a great guy, a great leader,” reflected Henry.
“Bayern Munich are already the best team in the world. It’s going to be very difficult, but if Arsenal can repeat what they did last year against Bayern at their place, it’s also possible.
“They just have to manage two games, because in the Champions League you can’t just play well in one game, it’s not enough. If you have five minutes when you are not in the game, then you can get punished. I guess Arsenal have the quality to do it and Bayern know that.
“I know when the draw came out everyone was worried for Arsenal, and rightly so, because Bayern are a great team, but I can assure you that Bayern were also not too happy to draw them.
“We’ll see. I guess for the neutral it’s going to be a great game of football. If you love Arsenal, I guess we are going to have to suffer a bit!”