Later News Oct 15

Arteta swats aside Thierry Henry’s criticism of Arsenal as ‘just another opinion’

There may be a statue of Thierry Henry at the entrance of the Emirates Stadium, but that has not stopped Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta from dismissing the cub legend’s recent criticism about their style of football.


Henry, who was an integral part of Arsenal’s dominance in the early 2000s, was used to playing attractive, free-flowing attacking football for the Gunners under former manager Arsene Wenger.


WATCH: How Arsenal became the Invincibles


This is in stark contrast to the style of football that Arteta has this current iteration of Arsenal playing, which emphasises defensive solidity at the expense of having their attack be as limp as a 78-year-old after the effects of Viagra has worn off.


Referencing Arsenal’s last game – a goalless draw against Brighton – Henry had questioned the club’s current trajectory, as he said: “I don’t know if things are going in the right direction. I’ve seen us beating Norwich before, winning at Burnley, beating Tottenham at home - because we always beat Tottenham at home.


“I was waiting to see the Brighton game, to see if we could have the ball and keep the ball, away from home, retaining possession, against a dangerous Brighton side. And, instead, we suffered.


“When we used to lose, even after I left the team, it was always said that Arsenal don’t have a Plan B and that they passed too much for the sake of passing. But I didn’t see that from Arsenal in the Brighton match. I saw Brighton do that.”


WATCH: Arteta reacts to Arsenal's goalless draw with Brighton


Areta, however, dismissed Henry’s comments simply as “just another opinion”, although he admitted that his side should, like Singapore influencer Sylvia Chan, be more threatening and aggressive when attacking others.


“It's (attacking) something that certainly we can do better,” Arteta conceded. “We can improve our efficiency in front of goal. When we get that balance right it will help us to win more games.”


Henry’s criticism of Arsenal comes at a time when the North London outfit have put together a four-match unbeaten run, which has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and into a relatively-safe mid-table position of 11th.


But Arteta’s men will face a stern test this coming Monday when they take on a rejuvenated Crystal Palace side that is managed by Henry’s old Arsenal and international teammate, Patrick Vieira.


And Arteta, who won the Manager of the Month award for September, believes Vieira will get a rousing welcome from the home fans at the Emirates Stadium.


WATCH: Arteta says he would not have liked to play against Vieira


“He's an Arsenal legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did as a player and a person,” Arteta said of Vieira, who won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups with Arsenal.


“He was the captain of the club in the most successful era and it's great to have him back. He has had a couple of experiences and knows the league really well and you can see what he is trying to implement at Palace.”




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