Thierry Henry reveals he could not relate to Arsenal before Mikel Arteta

Thierry Henry has shared his sentiments about watching Arsenal’s matches during the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s managerial reign and Unai Emery’s tenure. According to Henry, he did not enjoy watching Arsenal during those periods.

However, there has been a resurgence at Arsenal, and the club has re-established itself as one of the top clubs in England, challenging for the Premier League title in consecutive seasons. This transformation has been attributed to Mikel Arteta, who took over as the club’s manager in 2019 and emphasised the need to change the culture at the Emirates.

Under Arteta’s guidance, Arsenal’s progress has exceeded expectations, and their fans are now hopeful of winning another Premier League crown. Henry, too, is pleased with this resurgence and acknowledges that he did not find watching Arsenal enjoyable before Arteta’s transformation began.

‘We are in a way better place than we were before,’ he said on the Rest is Football podcast

‘I actually see myself in the team now – as a fan I’m not talking as a player. I see a team fighting, making mistakes which can happen. 

‘Five years ago I couldn’t relate to the team, I just couldn’t. I was going to the game because I had to not because I wanted to.

‘Just because I was an Arsenal fan not because I wanted to see them play. But now I can see what they’re about.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

Some stopped watching their beloved team during the period Henry talked about because the team was not good enough to keep some loyal.

However, this is a good time to be an Arsenal fan and we are positive that our team will deliver top performances for us continuously.


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Tags Mikel Arteta Thierry Henry


  1. “Five years ago I couldn’t relate to the team” is the quote from Henry.

    Now, unless I can’t subtract properly, five years ago we had Unai Emery as the coach and Arsene Wenger had already departed – so where does the “latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign come into his equation Martin?

    Seems to me that you let your old prejudiced opinion of Arsene cloud your thinking and timings?!?!

    As for not being able to” stay loyal” due to the football being played, I guess they’re part of the prawn brigade that Roy Keane talked about?!

    What happened to the saying “Once a Gooner always a Gooner?” – Good riddance to them, if that was EVER the case.

    1. You missed his point totally my friend! If you would be truthful to yourself, you’d admit that you felt how henry felt. It is human nature, it transcends every area of our lives, marriages, friendships, workplaces. Life isnt a bed of roses, there will be times that the going isnt good…but what say you??? Do you just quit and jump ship? Or do u find that inner conviction to keep going during that bad patch because YOU HAVE TO, until it gets better.

      That is what henry is saying.

    2. Ken I’ve noticed that you usually get very defensive when someone criticizes Arsene and/or his reign as manager for one reason or the other. It’s almost like he’s immune to scrutiny and criticism from your perspective.We are all grateful for what Wenger did, he is no doubt an Arsenal and Premier League legend,but he was not without fault. Emery,Wenger or Arteta: none of them have been without fault. Let’s not pretend like everything was rosy during Wenger’s final years. Just as you are usually open to criticism of Emery and Arteta, be open to criticism of the legend. Seems to me like your admiration for Mr Wenger clouds your judgement wrt his flaws/mistakes.

      1. For Onayago
        You are absolutely right in that no manager is exempt from criticism. For me, Wenger needs serious criticism from 2013 -2018 but not for 2006 – 2012 where I feel he had got undeserved criticism.
        Unai Emery was good in his first year but then he lost my support after that game against Watford. Biggest problem is that the owners did not back him like they backed Mikel.
        Mikel Arteta needed criticism for some of the transfer decisions.
        We are definitely in a happier place now since 2013 in my view.

    3. But to be honest, weren’t some of the invincibles continually very critical of wenger in his later seasons too? Always taking little jabs at wengers new philosophy of small diminutive players and over reliance on developing young players? Always pointing to how wenger’s emirates era teams were weak mentally, physically and not fighters? How they were so different from themselves (invincibles)?
      Henry, Keown etc being the most vocal.
      And by the time wenger left Him and Henry were on bitter terms due to Henry criticising the team?

    4. Very well, let’s calculate exactly when 5 years ago was compared to when precisely Henry made his comment so that we don’t become “prejudiced” about what Thierry was referring to..
      Maybe Thierry can confirm that he wasn’t referring to Wenger’s last few years. As far as many of us are concerned however in Wenger’s last few years Arsenal were in relative decline in terms of results and performances. Most fans recognised this and they made their feelings felt. Those years belong in the “equation” whether anyone wants to be explicit about it or not. They are part of Wenger’s legacy.
      Right now we have a better culture, great players and we are one of the best teams around. Right now, we can compete confidently against any team in world football. As the author states this is a great time to be an Arsenal fan.

  2. Many Arsenal fans felt the exact way. Arteta has made the Emirates one of the loudest stadium in the EPL. We used to be called the library. I have never seen the Emirates stadium this energised, pumped up and buzzing before. The noise in the stadium is electric and has been aince 2021 / 2022.
    I attended a few home game last season and my goodness, the noise levels in the stadium were insane. My Cousin lives in Finsbury park off Strounds Green road / upper Tollington, and every time I visited him last season on match day we could always hear the singing from The Emirates stadium. Sometimes with good weather you could be able make out / hear any particular chanting. 2 miles and i could atill hear the chanting somewhat clearly. That’s how loud the atmosphere is nowadays.

  3. I remember Henry said he switched the TV off when he saw Xhaka wearing the captain’s armband

  4. But if this year again end without us winning anything despite playing well. we’re not different with the past .all the best arsenal

    1. I disagree.
      It will be disappointing if we do not win anything but it is not credible to insist that things have not changed.

  5. It was in the dark days many moons ago while traveling with my sons, as one was donning the Arsenal Jersey, a cheerful young lady playfully ask “how proudly you wear that shirt , when your team is not able to win your very own cup”

    As Arsenal fans we have come to know long suffering, but we never quit.

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