Thierry Henry plays down expectations after dream return


Thierry Henry has warned Arsenal fans not to expect him to win every game he plays single-handedly after making a dream return to his old club.

Henry came off the bench to extend his club goalscoring record as Leeds were beaten 1-0 in last night's FA Cup third-round tie at Emirates Stadium.

The 34-year-old will spend the next six and a half weeks with the Gunners after agreeing a short-term loan deal from New York Red Bulls, which does have the option for an extension to take in the clash with arch-rivals Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on February 26.

During that period, Henry - who left for Barcelona in 2007 - is likely to be used as an impact player, with captain Robin van Persie set to be recalled for Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Swansea having been allowed some time off for a family break in Dubai.

The France World Cup winner accepts last night's fairytale cameo has already set his own barometer to new levels.

"I know I scored, but that is not going to happen every time I play. I don't know if my runs were intelligent or not but that's the way I play," Henry told Arsenal Player.

"I am going to try to bring what I can. Maybe another time it won't be enough, but I will always try my best."

Henry's goal, which finally broke the resistance of the npower Championship side to set up a date with Aston Villa in round four, saw the Emirates Stadium erupt, and the whole of the team celebrated with the veteran striker, who instinctively sprinted to the dugout and into a bear hug with manager Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman had already declared he had not come back to be a hero, and maintains from here on in, it is all about the squad.

"I love the club - I say it so many times. We are not going to redo the story - I just love the club and that's how it is," he said.

"If the boss needs me for 30 seconds, a minute, if he doesn't need me, I am going to try to be around the guys and help in the dressing room."

Henry, who was back in training at London Colney despite it being a rest day, added: "I always want more so I don't know if it is going to be a goal, a pass or a tackle.

"I am here to be another player, to help the squad and that is it."

Wenger believes Henry's presence can only help inspire the rest of the squad.

The Arsenal manager said: "What is good for the young players at the club is that a guy like Thierry, who has done it all, comes and prepares 100%, warms up, is focused and motivated, and comes on with an immense desire to do well."

Henry was not the only Arsenal legend at the club's Hertfordshire training complex today, with former winger Robert Pires working on his fitness.

The 38-year-old Frenchman, who had a spell at Aston Villa last season, said on Twitter: "I am training just to maintain my fitness level! But thanks I appreciate you all want me back at Arsenal!"

Meanwhile, Francis Coquelin, who limped off last night with a hamstring injury which is set to keep the defender out for up to a month, has signed a new contract with Arsenal.

The Gunners also announced 19-year-old England youth international Luke Freeman has joined League One side Stevenage for an undisclosed fee following a successful loan spell at the Lamex Stadium.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?