Arsene Wenger has hit back at Thierry Henry after the club’s record goalscorer claimed that he’d never seen Arsenal fans as angry as they were during Wednesday evening’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea.
Vociferous boos were directed at the manager when he chose to replace Joel Campbell with Danny Welbeck, even though the Costa Rican had scored the Gunners goal and proved a consistent bright spark on the ball.
Using his column in The Sun to reflect on the toxic atmosphere, Henry wrote:
“I have never heard the Arsenal supporters as angry as they were at the Emirates on Wednesday night when their team lost at home to Swansea.
“They were less patient than I have ever known, booed one of the manager’s substitutions and groaned every time a pass went astray or a tackle was lost.
“The stick that Arsene Wenger has been getting is not personal. People judge what they are seeing, although some maybe go too far in the way they express their unhappiness.”
Asked about Henry’s comments in his pre-Sp*rs press conference, Wenger hinted that his former charge isn’t best placed to make such statements given he always watched from a box.
“Thierry Henry has his opinions,” said Wenger. “He has not found the measurement of the fans angriness, of 60,000 people, straight away because he sits in the best seats in the stadium.”
Swansea fans aside, there are few in attendance who would argue against the suggestion that the atmosphere at the Emirates was grim on Wednesday.
Was it the angriest ever? Arseblog News would suggest that’s very much up for debate. We’ve endured some poor games since the move in 2006…
Either way, you can’t really blame Henry for bringing them up. It is though, a bit awkward.
While Henry’s not quite biting the hand that feeds him – Sky and The Sun are the ones paying him the big bucks these days not Arsenal – Wenger, and Andries Jonker, have gone out of their way to allow him to take his training badges at London Colney and Hale End.
Moreover, he’s a regular presence in and around the first team squad and has already had to back down on his criticism of Olivier Giroud.
You can’t help but wonder if Thierry will be asked to clean the bogs this morning.