Thierry Henry hopes derby can 'spark' Arsenal players

 

Thierry Henry has challenged his old Arsenal team-mates to kick-start their season with victory over arch-rivals Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Frenchman has now returned to the United States to link up again with the New York Red Bulls following the end of his short loan spell back with the Gunners.

Henry's final match was the 4-0 defeat to AC Milan which left Arsenal's Champions League hopes in tatters before they then crashed out of the FA Cup at Sunderland - where Henry had netted a dramatic late winner in the Barclays Premier League the week before.

Arsene Wenger's men will be aiming to consolidate fourth place ahead of Chelsea, who host Bolton tomorrow, with what would be a morale-boosting victory over their fierce rivals, who by contrast are enjoying a fine season under Harry Redknapp.

Henry, though, feels a win on Sunday could be the start of a positive end to what has so far been a wayward campaign.

"For years we have been used to being on top of Tottenham, by a mile, and now it is the opposite. But this is the derby, which you don't want to lose, and we need those three points massively," Henry told Arsenal Player.

"Hopefully it will be the derby that can spark the players, the fans, everybody at Arsenal. We'll see.

"The league is going to be very difficult but the top four is in Arsenal's hands.

"They have the squad, there is a long way to go, they have to play Chelsea at home, Tottenham at home, Newcastle at home, Man City at home... it is not impossible."

Arsenal and Tottenham have issued a joint statement warning fans anti-social behaviour during Sunday's north London derby will not be tolerated.

Spurs' former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor is the biggest concern - he was the target of abuse during the first meeting between the sides at White Hart Lane in October.

The statement read: "A north London derby is always a special occasion and we hope this game will be remembered for both the action on the pitch as well as the positive support for both teams off it.

"All fans should be aware that breaches of ground regulations - including anti-social behaviour - will not be tolerated."

The Gunners may only be a place behind Tottenham in the league table - but there is a 10-point gap.

Defender Johan Djourou claims the Gunners need to forget about that and "go to war".

He told www.Arsenal.com: "When you play them, you forget the table; it is a battle and the best team will win.

"They are in great shape this season, they have been playing a lot better than before, but you have to forget about that and go to war.

"It is up to us to show that we are the kings of London."

Swiss international Djourou could again be asked to play at centre-back should Laurent Koscielny not have recovered from the knee problem which saw him hobble off in Milan and then miss the FA Cup tie at Sunderland.

Full-back Carl Jenkinson played for the first time since November for the reserves in midweek in their 5-0 win at Norwich, where Andrey Arshavin scored twice and South Korea forward Park Ju-young was also on target.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions