You are viewing the content for Thursday 16 February 2006

Arsenal’s confidence crisis threatens new Henry deal

Thierry Henry

By Mike McGrath
ARSENE WENGER has admitted the shortage of confidence in the Arsenal squad has spread to his senior players, with the possibility of missing out on Champions League qualification looming.

Wenger’s side are four points away from fourth place in the Premiership - which would still only secure a qualifier for Europe’s finest tournament - with fears of a lower finish affecting contract negotiations with striker Thierry Henry.

Henry’s deal runs out at the end of next season, with the 28-year-old France international currently one of the senior players struggling to haul Arsenal up the table.

Wenger said of his experienced players: "At the moment we are struggling a little from a confidence problem, and these players suffer like the whole team."

Defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday was Arsenal’s seventh away loss of the season, with Freddie Ljungberg admitting Rafael Benitez’s side rushed them into scrapping their usual passing style.

"They played a physical game against us with a lot of long balls," Ljungberg said. "It is our responsibility to get the ball down. Perhaps at the moment we are a little bit scared to hold the ball and we kick it long as well. That is not our way and our strength."

Of Arsenal’s seven away defeats, Ljungberg, aged 28, added: "That is definitely too many.

"I don’t look at the rest of the away games, they have been poor, but Liverpool at Anfield is always difficult. In the end I think both sides maybe deserved to get one point.

"It is now 10 points between Arsenal and Liverpool and it is hard but we have them and Tottenham at home. Maybe we can make that smaller."

Spaniard Luis Garcia settled the Anfield clash with a 87th-minute strike, while Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann also saved a penalty from Steven Gerrard.

Ljungberg added: "It was not the most beautiful game in the world. We are disappointed to concede in the 87th minute.

"We always knew it was a difficult game but we came here to win it."

 

Arsenal’s confidence crisis threatens new Henry deal

Thierry Henry

By Mike McGrath
ARSENE WENGER has admitted the shortage of confidence in the Arsenal squad has spread to his senior players, with the possibility of missing out on Champions League qualification looming.

Wenger’s side are four points away from fourth place in the Premiership - which would still only secure a qualifier for Europe’s finest tournament - with fears of a lower finish affecting contract negotiations with striker Thierry Henry.

Henry’s deal runs out at the end of next season, with the 28-year-old France international currently one of the senior players struggling to haul Arsenal up the table.

Wenger said of his experienced players: "At the moment we are struggling a little from a confidence problem, and these players suffer like the whole team."

Defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday was Arsenal’s seventh away loss of the season, with Freddie Ljungberg admitting Rafael Benitez’s side rushed them into scrapping their usual passing style.

"They played a physical game against us with a lot of long balls," Ljungberg said. "It is our responsibility to get the ball down. Perhaps at the moment we are a little bit scared to hold the ball and we kick it long as well. That is not our way and our strength."

Of Arsenal’s seven away defeats, Ljungberg, aged 28, added: "That is definitely too many.

"I don’t look at the rest of the away games, they have been poor, but Liverpool at Anfield is always difficult. In the end I think both sides maybe deserved to get one point.

"It is now 10 points between Arsenal and Liverpool and it is hard but we have them and Tottenham at home. Maybe we can make that smaller."

Spaniard Luis Garcia settled the Anfield clash with a 87th-minute strike, while Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann also saved a penalty from Steven Gerrard.

Ljungberg added: "It was not the most beautiful game in the world. We are disappointed to concede in the 87th minute.

"We always knew it was a difficult game but we came here to win it."