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By ESPN Staff
Sep 10, 2006

Henry still searching for killer touch

Thierry Henry feels it will only be a matter of time before Arsenal start to kill off teams.

The Gunners find themselves with only two points from their opening three Barclays Premiership matches following yesterday's 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium - where the visitors had just one shot on goal, converted by James Morrison after 22 minutes.

Despite all of their possession, Arsenal's only reward was a second-half penalty from Henry - that coming after Boro skipper George Boateng had been dismissed for two quick yellow cards.

With his team fourth bottom of the fledgling table, it represents the worst start to a Premier League campaign for Arsene Wenger's men.

Captain Henry, however, firmly believes the Gunners can soon get back to winning ways.

'We are not killing the teams we are playing against and they are taking advantage of that,' the Frenchman declared.

'[Goalkeeper] Jens [Lehmann] has touched the ball more with his feet than his hands, but that is football.

'For once we would like to be 1-0 up rather than 1-0 down and chasing the game all the time.

'At the moment we are not finishing well what we are producing. I hope it will come.

'We are creating stuff, but every time we get there we concede a goal and we have to start again.

'It is frustrating because you go home knowing you were not outplayed or outmuscled, but it is a draw again.

'It is not a lack of concentration, maybe we are just not quite there yet.

'We can not be disappointed with the way we are playing even though we are not putting the ball in the net, which is the most important thing.'

Henry reflected: 'It is an in between feeling. If you look at our three games, you can not say we deserved to draw or lose - but we did.

'We need to get our head up and keep working. If we carry on like that, it will come.'

The Arsenal captain refused to use the new stadium as an excuse for not punishing the opposition.

He said: 'There is nothing to hide behind, we are not putting the ball in the net. I would think we would benefit from the big pitch we have here.

'All the teams that have moved stadiums have struggled in the first year, but I hope we will not struggle that much.

'It is weird for everybody.

'I would love us to take benefit of it by going ahead and then we will see some stuff.'

Arsenal head to Hamburg for their opening Champions League clash on Wednesday night, before returning to domestic action with a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Henry said: 'It is a big game versus Man United, no matter what position you are in the league.

'It is always a tough game, but it will be even more tough.

'We have one [Premiership] game in hand and we need to get back on track.'

William Gallas made his debut for Arsenal on the left side of defence, but despite a relatively composed display for someone who had not played this season, the Frenchman will not have been happy with the way Boro went in front.

Youngster Morrison made progress down the right flank, before playing a neat one-two with new signing Jason Euell and then dispatching a fine finish past Jens Lehmann.

From then on in, Boro - thrashed 7-0 at Highbury last season - seemed content to sit back and defend their advantage.

That job was made more difficult following Boateng's dismissal on 64 minutes, cautioned again by Rob Styles after smashing into Freddie Ljungberg not long after he was shown a yellow card for protesting a quickly-taken Arsenal free-kick.

Eventually the Gunners got a break-through when Stewart Downing tripped Emmanuel Eboue in the box, and Henry made no mistake from the spot for his first Arsenal goal of the season.

Overall, it had been a resolute defensive display from Boro, which was lead at the heart of the back-line by Jonathan Woodgate.

The former England international has come home on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, where his time was blighted by injury.

'The pace of the game is a lot quicker here than it is in Spain, but I think I did well,' said Woodgate, whose last game came against the Gunners in the Champions League back in February.

'I got a bit of cramp late on, which is only normal as I have not played that much.

'I have done a full pre-season, but I will get fitter.'

Woodgate added: 'We knew what Arsenal were going to throw at us and we all worked really hard.'