Thierry Henry admits to Jose Mourinho that he has changed careers.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team is in first place in the Premier League, while there have been new developments about some of their former players.
Arsenal’s focus will be on Europe all day Friday, with the draw for the Europa League’s final 16 taking place at 1pm.
By finishing ahead of PSV Eindhoven to win their group, Arsenal will be able to avoid games with other group winners such as Real Betis and Freiburg. Yet, following a play-off round between the runners-up and the teams dropping out of the Champions League, there are still a lot of heavy hitters involved.
Aside from Mikel Arteta’s team knowing their European fate, we have some familiar names from Arsenal’s history to discuss. Here are the most recent lines from north London.
Former Arsenal great Thierry Henry has claimed that he would have liked to work for Jose Mourinho because of the manager’s ability to frustrate his players. Henry worked for Arsene Wenger in north London and Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, but he never played for Mourinho.
“I would’ve liked him to upset me sometimes because he was like that,” the former France international told CBS Sports: “He wasn’t scared of taking a player off at half-time or trying to wind me up, because sometimes I needed that.”
Mourinho previously told talkSPORT that he could have worked with Henry when Barcelona – when he was Bobby Robson’s assistant – considered signing the forward from Monaco in the 1990s. That swap, however, never materialized, and the Portuguese recognized that he would never be able to bring the player to Chelsea while in command at Stamford Bridge.
“Could you imagine leaving Arsenal at that point to come to Chelsea?” he asked. “It would never occur to me. He’s the type of player you need forever, especially in the Premier League, where he excelled more than anywhere else.”
Ally McCoist feels Mikel Arteta’s notorious touchline behavior is a premeditated tactic to excite league leaders’ players and fans. The commentator, on the other hand, claims he has “no problem” with the manager’s behavior.
“I don’t have a problem with it,” McCoist told talkSPORT. “A lot of people have a problem with it, I do not have a problem with it at all.”
“I think he’s probably done it deliberately,” the former Scotland striker added. “I actually think he probably has to get himself into a little bit of trouble to show the supporters [how much he cares].”
“[The Emirates Stadium] is a completely different stadium nowadays… If you’re on that pitch and you’re looking across to see, ‘Where is the boss?'”
Kieran Gibbs, a former Arsenal defender, is said to have retired at the age of 33. After finishing his playing career with the MLS club, the left-back is likely to take on a ‘on-air talent’ job with Inter Miami.
The Arsenal youth product joined Major League Soccer in 2021 after playing for West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager, was a big supporter of Gibbs, as evidenced by comments made after he left north London.
“Overall it’s true that with Gibbs (it hurt) more than [Alex Oxlade-]Chamberlain because he had been educated at Arsenal from the age of 10,” Wenger said in 2017. That was when Gibbs and Oxlade Chamberlain both left, with the latter moving to Liverpool.
“When he arrived he was a left-winger. I transformed him into a full-back because he was not necessarily rated as a guy who would make it as a left winger but I saw something in him that was very intelligent, with pace, that made me feel he could make it as a left-back.”