Thierry Henry: 'You can talk about evolution or revolution at Arsenal, I call it stagnation'

Thierry Henry believes Arsenal’s dramatic opening-day victory over Leicester showed signs of stagnation, and that no progress had been made over the summer.

The Gunners kicked off their Premier League season in exhilarating fashion, twice coming from behind the snatch a dramatic 4-3 win over the Foxes at the Emirates last Friday.

But Henry refused to get carried away by the performance, a display he feels exposed the deep-lying defensive issues yet to be ironed out at his former club.

“You can talk about evolution or revolution at Arsenal, I call it stagnation,” Henry told Sky Sports.

“I watched the game against Leicester and I could tell you what was going to happen. When I go to the Emirates and I watch the game, it’s ‘Yes!’ when we have the ball and ‘No!’ when the opposition does.

“Every time Leicester had the ball I felt they were going to score and every time we had the ball I felt we were going to score.

“People can have a go at the defence but when you play in a back three, it is what is happening in front of you that counts a lot. If you don’t apply pressure well you will be exposed in a back three.

“What I saw, I have seen so many times. Arsenal came back into the game, Aaron Ramsey came on and Olivier Giroud saved the day. But I have seen that too many times. Are you always going to score four and concede three? At some point you will be found out.

“It was the first game of the season and, yes, some of the guys were new in the team. But based on how they played, I saw that too often last year. I didn’t see any change.

“It’s not always easy in the Premier League but Tottenham didn’t concede, Manchester United didn’t concede. Usually you win titles because you don’t concede goals. Yes, you score goals and we know Arsenal will score, but you need to be able to not concede. That is something Arsenal need to rectify.

“What bothers me the most is I think that team on paper is good enough to compete every year to win the league. It’s very difficult to win the league right now. But the not competing part, that’s what hurts Arsenal fans. Arsenal can make top four, I’m not convinced but I think they can.

“The problem in our league is a lot of teams can make top four.”


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