Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has insisted that his departure from a coaching role at the club has any impact on his relationship with Arsene Wenger or the club.
Henry worked with the Gunners’ Under-18 side last season while he working on his coaching badges, but was told by Wenger that if he was to continue in the role he would have to relinquish his position as a pundit. The former striker decided to leave the club in order to continue his work in the media.
There have been reports that Wenger’s ultimatum had caused a rift between the pair and that he left the club on a sour note, something that Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer has denied.
“Nothing will change with my love for Arsenal. First and foremost, I wasn’t an employee. I was allowed to go and pass my badges there. This decision was taken months ago, but I guess it came out now because the new season started and I wasn’t there,” Henry told The Sun.
“I worked for the Under-18s last year and I completed the season even though I knew I wouldn’t be staying on the following year.
“As you know, I have a current job [with Sky]. In my spare time, for free, I wanted to impart my knowledge and experiences in the game to the youngsters, while completing my coaching hours and also gaining knowledge to pass my pro licence.
“That is how it is, it was a dilemma that wasn’t really a dilemma. I have to work. I respect the decision and if I can’t complete my hours there, then I will do it somewhere else. It isn’t an issue.”
Henry added that he felt his time working behind the scenes at the north London outfit had given him a new respect for Wenger and the work that a manager does, efforts which often go under-appreciated by fans.
“I understand Arsene a bit more now, along with all the coaches that I had while I was playing. It is not easy, especially with everyone now speaking on social media and judging you and thinking they know. It is very difficult and very complicated,” he said. “At the highest level, you have to deal with the press, with the egos, with tactics, with everyone, with sponsors, with the economy of the club.
“I have massive respect for those guys as before I used to arrive, train and leave. I couldn’t care less about what was happening because my job was to perform.