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Spurs' Wembley woes won't go away

By ESPN Staff

Henry and Wenger deny rift over injury

Thierry Henry and Arsene Wenger insist their relationship at Arsenal remains strong - with the Gunners skipper confirming he wants to remain at the club for the rest of his career.

Henry faces up to six weeks on the sidelines with a sciatic nerve problem, and missing out on the derby victory over Tottenham led to him leaving training in frustration on Friday.

France striker Henry has again denied his reaction was linked to a rift with Wenger, although the pair have differing views on what the club should do in the January transfer window.

While Henry stated in his newspaper column that Arsenal's squad should be bolstered, Wenger insists there will be no signings next month when the window re-opens.

Henry, who was linked with a move to Barcelona last season before signing a new four-year deal at the club, has also ruled out ever joining the Spanish giants. Henry, 29, said: 'The club have the same ambitions as me.

'Regarding the recruitment in the summer, my confidence was not betrayed. I am at Arsenal for life. I will not go to Barcelona.'

Henry and Wenger met today to discuss the striker's recovery from the injury problem which affects his neck.

Regarding the reported bust-up with compatriot Wenger, Henry told French newspaper L'Equipe: 'Quite simply, it is true that I can be a pig. It is not a lie to say that. Sometimes, I feel that I am in the right even when I am wrong.

'But to claim that I wanted the power - no. To say that I wanted to play in a 4-5-1 - no. Everyone that knows me knows that I prefer to play alongside a team-mate (in attack).'

Wenger confirmed: 'I sat down with Thierry this morning to discuss his fitness.

'As you know he keeps picking up niggling injuries which are down to fatigue.

'It's very frustrating for him you know because this series of injuries has kept him out of a few important games this season, including Tottenham last Saturday.

'The medical team has now assessed the situation and although it's difficult to predict exactly, Thierry will be out for at least a few weeks, as we need to give him time to fully recover.'

Arsenal will be without their talisman for Wednesday's Champions League clash at Porto, he was suspended for the trip to Portugal as well, and he could be out until the new year. The Gunners need just a point to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.

It means Arsenal will also have to be without their skipper for next weekend's Premiership clash against Chelsea which could thrust the Gunners back into the title race.

Wenger wanted it made aware his relationship with Henry had not deteriorated ahead of the pivotal fixtures in Arsenal's season.

He added: 'Of course I am aware of stories circulating in the media about our meeting last Friday.

'I just feel that it's important to reiterate that there is no problem between myself and Thierry, in fact, we have always had a strong relationship and that remains the case.

'I wanted to clear this up and end any further speculation as it is a pivotal week in our season and we now need to focus on the upcoming Porto game where we need to get a result to qualify for the next stage of Champions League.'

Henry admits he finds it difficult to accept not helping his team, although he was encouraging his team-mates in the tunnel and on the sidelines against Spurs.

'It is the same as after the game in Dublin for France (1-0 win against Republic of Ireland) last season,' Henry added.

'I have to say stop for a month, maybe a month and a half, for the pain to go away.

'After having 60 matches in 2006, there comes a point when your body says stop. And it is necessary to listen to it.

'I am frustrated by that, because I cannot help my team on the pitch. It is something that I find difficult to accept. But I did not argue with Arsene Wenger.'