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By ESPN Staff
Sep 25, 2007

Henry hails Fab and Arsenal's next 'generation'

Thierry Henry is backing Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal's 'generation next' to make the club contenders for top honours again.

The former Gunners skipper left Emirates Stadium for Barcelona during the summer in a £16million move after leading them to the 2006 Champions League final and having played a key role when Arsene Wenger's men dominated the English game.

The departure of Arsenal's long-time talisman has allowed the current squad to play with a new-found freedom and panache, with Fabregas admitting they had all been 'a bit inhibited' by the commanding presence of such an important individual.

Arsenal have stormed to the top of the Premier League, with five wins from six games and were again impressive as they beat Sevilla 3-0 to kick off their European campaign.

Henry believes Wenger's emerging side have all the foundations to mount a sustained assault on the title race once again.

'It is their generation. It is their Arsenal now and it is up to them to win stuff - and with the team they have, I do not know why they wouldn't,' Henry told The Times newspapers's podcast 'TheGame'.

Fabregas has been in inspirational form for the Gunners so far this season - already chalking up six goals, and claiming another one against Sevilla with the aid of a deflection.

Henry had always been impressed by the burning hunger for success shown by the 20-year-old former Barcelona trainee, who has so far spurned the advances of several Spanish clubs to return home.

Wenger feels Fabregas has a lot of the traits of former world and European footballer of the year Michel Platini.

Henry reflected: 'When you look at Cesc and the way he plays, it is like he is 30, with the way he sees the game, the way he does everything. His mentality is already there.

'What I love about Cesc is that he does not like to lose, he really does not like it.

'If you want to be a winner and where he is right now, then that is the right attitude and that is why he is doing what he is doing.'

Henry scored his first goal for Barcelona in the final minute of their 3-0 Champions League win over Lyon at the Nou Camp.

The 30-year-old is enjoying life at his new club, but admitted the intense media spotlight in Spain did take some getting used to.

'Life is great,' he said. 'Everybody has been really good to me since I arrived.

'The town and the stadium are great, so are the team. Everybody is cool here, the staff and the fans have been great so far.'

Henry added: 'I feel okay, the only difference is in training you have the press - and they want to come back home and sleep with you. They are just always there.

'It is a big change from England and Arsenal where I was playing.

'The press were never there in training, you had no fans in training and here it is always like this.

'At the beginning it is not like a shock, but you are like 'Whoa, it is always like this?'

'After, though, you do get used to it.'