Wenger expects Thierry Henry boost Arsenal – Manager hails influence of striker

Arsene Wenger believes Thierry Henry’s presence on the Arsenal training ground will be hugely beneficial.

The Gunners legend has returned to the club for the duration of the MLS close season in a bid to maintain his fitness.

While the New York Red Bulls striker is not available for selection, Wenger nevertheless feels it will be useful for the other members of the squad to have him around.

Henry is Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer and Wenger hopes he can pass on what he has learned and increase confidence in the camp.

“We are happy to speak with him every day. He is in the dressing room with the players and they are happy to have him back,” said the manager.

“He sees as well how much they have evolved since he left the club.

“He can help them to have confidence. He is a very intelligent boy who has massive experience.

“He can help the players in the dressing room and that is what he does. But we are happy to help him to get fit and he is happy to be here.

“He was one of the greatest players this club has ever had and has done a huge service to this club.

“The only way we can pay him back is always to be welcoming, as we are with all our former players when they want to get fit.”

Arsenal have not won a trophy since Henry left the club, with their last piece of silverware coming in the 2005 FA Cup.

They have a chance to end that drought in this season’s Carling Cup and are currently preparing for the first leg of a semi-final against Ipswich on Wednesday night.

However, Wenger is taking nothing for granted following the scare against Leeds in the FA Cup, when Cesc Fabregas had to score a late penalty just to secure a replay.

“We have been warned,” Wenger said. “We will certainly be on our toes going to Ipswich.

“Our last game has shown that against a Championship team we must be completely up for it and focused from the first minute on if we don’t want to be surprised.”

Wenger accepts that it will be a tough game, adding: “In the Premier League there are one or two players standing out where the club has spent a lot of money.

“In the Championship you face the team as a compact unit who is ready to fight against you, and I think that is what we will face against Ipswich,” he said.

“The pressure is on Arsenal and they have nothing to lose. That is part of being at Arsenal to deal with that and I accept that completely.”

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