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Jul 30, 2011

Henry backs Gunners

Thierry Henry admits he is "suffering" like all Arsenal fans after watching the club endure another frustrating campaign last season, but maintains Arsene Wenger should be kept at the club "for life".

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Henry returns to his former club this weekend when Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls take part in the Emirates Cup, taking on the Gunners on Sunday afternoon.

The Frenchman wrote himself into Arsenal folklore as part of the all-conquering side during the final years at Highbury, becoming the club's record goalscorer in the process before joining Barcelona in 2007.

Henry can understand the disappointment of Gunners supporters, who last season had to endure another end-of-season collapse after looking strong early on.

The 33-year-old, however, remains confident Wenger's young Gunners will come good.

"I am an Arsenal fan, I just want to see them winning. I am suffering because we didn't win anything for a very long time, but I hope that they can do well," Henry said. "You have got to stick with the guys even when they are not doing well. That is one of the most important things. Hopefully they can do it this year.

"I know some people had a go at Arsene recently. The boss changed the face of the club and, for me, I would keep Arsene for life. I know he got a bit of stick recently, but hopefully they can change that this year."

Henry maintains whatever Arsenal go on to achieve, with whomever in the squad, the success will always be collective. Hinting that the potential loss of players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri will not harm the club's Premier League title prospects.

"Whichever team you play in, it is a team effort," he said. "In our time, we had a great time. It was not down to one, two, three, four, five, six or seven players. It is a team effort, that's it."

Henry is enjoying life in the United States, having moved to the MLS in 2010 after helping Barcelona clinch the Champions League.

The World Cup and European Championship winner admits he could be tempted to move into coaching when he eventually retires, perhaps back at Arsenal.

"I would like to. It's a big thing. I would love to be part of the club one day, but it's not up to me," Henry said. "Right now, I think I they are in the right hands and we know that."

Henry admits he will have "goosebumps" when he takes to the field at the Emirates again this weekend.

"It is going to be pretty emotional, every time I come back here it's the same," he said. "It's going to be a difficult game, but we are going to try our best."

Arsenal's major summer signing so far has been £11 million Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, who holds Henry as his idol. The former Gunners skipper is in no doubt Gervinho, who netted twice on his friendly debut in Cologne last weekend, will prove a big hit at the club.

"He is a good player. I have known about him for a very long time," Henry said. "He is skilful, versatile and you will see that in one-on-one situations, he is going to kill a lot of defenders in this league.

"Gervinho is fast, has great vision and everything to succeed at Arsenal. He is an Arsenal player and Arsene doesn't buy players who won't fit in his team. The fans will be excited by him. He can light up a stadium. He can play anywhere."

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