Thierry Henry’s ‘angry Arsenal fans’ comments rejected by Arsene Wenger: London Colney

PUBLISHED: 11:17 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:17 04 March 2016

The Arsenal training ground

The Arsenal training ground

Archant

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s comments in The Sun about fans’ anger at the Gunners’ defeat by Swansea have been deflected by Arsene Wenger at a press conference today (Friday).

Reporters quizzed Wenger at the club’s training grounds in London Colney ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is quoted in The Sun saying that he “has never heard the Arsenal supporters as angry as they were at the Emirates on Wednesday night when their team lost at home to Swansea”.

But Wenger told reporters: “Thierry Henry has his opinions, but he has not found the measurement of the fans’ angriness of 60,000 people straight away, because he was sitting in the best seats of the stadium.”

He said tomorrow’s game would be ‘big’ and would be “played with the same focus and intensity as other matches”.

But, “The fans will be behind us, I am not worried about that. It is down to us to give them even more belief, and to make them more vocal by the quality of our game.”

In team news, Wenger said that goalkeeper Petr Cech will be out for three-to-four weeks after suffering a muscular problem at the end of the game with Swansea.

Wenger said it was not more serious than he originally thought, but “it is a serious calf injury”.

Cech had a potential groin injury alert ahead of sustaining his calf injury, and he “could not kick the ball out properly because of his groin, and maybe compensated a bit too much, and that provoked another muscular injury.”

Wenger said it would be a loss to be without Cech this weekend, but “on the other hand the win rate for David Ospina is very good as well, so I’m not honestly worried at all on that point”.

Arsenal’s boss said that before the game, Cech mentioned he “had a little groin problem, but he declared himself fit, 100 per cent fit, and you have to trust the players.

He knows his body.”

When asked whether he regretted not taking him off before the game, Wenger replied: “No, you want the players to be tough enough to play sometimes” [in spite of the pain] because you are never completely perfect.”

Asked whether he was frustrated in the way the injury occurred, Wenger said: “No, I was more frustrated he didn’t touch the ball with a header.”

He said that ‘of course’ he has a lot of faith in David Ospina, adding, “I have complete confidence in David. I am not worried at all on that front.”

Commenting on the likely length of time Laurent Koscielny’s injury would take to recover from, Wenger replied: “It’s a grade one, so it’s a very short one, I don’t think he will be available on Tuesday, but next Saturday he should be alright.”

In response to a question on whether Harpenden’s Jack Wilshere was ‘out and about running yet’, Wenger replied: “Not yet. [His recovery] is going to plan, he is doing well, but we still think three-to-four weeks. [He could return] after the international break maybe.”

Wenger said he was aware of Roy Hodgson’s plans for Wilshere, because he had been talking with the England manager, adding, “We will of course do everything to make him available for us, as well as for England.”

Asked whether Arsenal needed to win tomorrow to stay in the title race, Wenger replied: “We want to win, but mathematically, you can call that what you want, it’s a need yes. But the results are so unpredictable.

“Sport is about the guys who deserve it winning it; what is important is to do your best to be on top of everybody else.”

• Arsenal V Tottenham, Barclays Premier League, Saturday March 5, White Hart Lane, 12.45pm


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