Thierry Henry makes brutal Arsenal admission with clear Mikel Arteta praise in title race


Ex-Arsenal star Thierry Henry has made the brutal claim that he used to go to games supporting the Gunners because he "had to" rather than wanting to during the late Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery eras. It comes as Mikel Arteta has managed to totally transform the club from top to bottom.

That turnaround from the Spaniard had it's trials and tribulations though, often coming in his early days in trying to restore them to former glory. Back-to-back finishes outside of the top six brought about questions over whether the side would ever reach the heights again.

However, Arteta's project finally gained momentum as his standards, tactical plans and player turnover began to take some shape. The Gunners found themselves in the race for the top four once again, with a return to the Champions League finally on the cards after years away from the competition.

They would've done so too, but fierce rivals Tottenham managed to string together a late run of form that saw them narrowly pip them to fourth. As disappointing as the outcome was, there were signs that Arteta was finally getting somewhere with his team, little did anyone know what would follow.

The following campaign saw a rise that no one expected as Arsenal were not only in top four contention, but amongst the Premier League title picture. Leading the way for the majority of the season it seemed as though it would finally be their year, but they were beaten late on yet again as Manchester City won their third in a row.

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Arteta's young squad have no intentions of going away any time soon though as yet further signings were made over the summer in an attempt to push a title challenge over the line. An unbeaten start so far, including victory over City, has given some life to those chances of winning the league.

It has left many reflecting on the journey the club has been on, from disappointing days to a place that seems united in one direction, with the fans, players and staff closer than ever before. One such star in Henry has looked back at his disappointment from previous years and given big praise to Arteta in the process.

“Five years ago I couldn’t relate to the team,” the former winger said on The Rest is Football podcast. “I just couldn’t. I was going to the games because I had to not because I wanted to.

“It was just because I was an Arsenal fan not as I wanted to see them play. But now I can see what they’re about... I have mad respect for what Mikel [Arteta] has done. The way he has put the team back.”

It remains to be seen if that turnaround will put the team on the path to winning titles again, but the foundations for success appear to be in place.

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