Henry: I'll be a Gunner for life
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal skipper Thierry Henry insists he has no regrets about snubbing Barcelona.
Arsenal skipper Thierry Henry insists he has no regrets about snubbing Barcelona in the summer and furthermore is adamant he will see out his playing days at Emirates Stadium.
The French superstar rejected the advances of the Catalan outfit following Arsenal's UEFA Champions League final defeat at the hands of Frank Rijkaard's side in May, ending months of fierce speculation about his future with The Gunners by committing himself to Arsene Wenger's ongoing project.
Henry's decision to ignore the lure of Camp Nou has recently been criticised by none other than French legend Michel Platini, but the Gunners captain says he is happy with the choice he made.
Indeed, Henry insists he will make the same decision again if he is the subject of a similar approach from the Spanish champions, with both his heart and future now firmly embedded at Emirates Stadium.
"Do I regret having extending my deal at Arsenal? No, I am keen to stay all life long at Arsenal," said Henry in L'Equipe.
"I am fine here, I could never play in any other English team.
"If an opportunity like Barcelona comes again, with all my respect for such a club, I will refuse.
"It was one of my last decisions of my career.
"I don't feel I have lost anything, I have no regret.
"Arsenal matches my ambitions, it could make some people laugh, but here in England there is a real culture - a love for the shirt.
"Players stay several years in their clubs. Once you have been adopted by the fans they show you real gratitude for your whole life."
Henry also rejected suggestions that he has been let down by the Gunners hierarchy after their promise - made in May - to reinforce the squad to signal that the club's ambitions matched those of their World Cup-winning striker.
The Gunners star instead believes that the additions of William Gallas from Chelsea and Julio Baptista from Real Madrid have galvanised The Gunners as they seek to end Jose Mourinho's monopoly of The Premiership.
"Did I feel betrayed considering the official promises of reinforcements if I stayed?" Henry continued.
"No, I just asked myself some questions, the arrivals of Julio Baptista and William Gallas have comforted me.
"We have nothing to envy in other teams. We don't have the same group of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea but we don't have the same means too.
"Our team has been reinforced in defence and physically in attack, considering our means.
"To reply to your question, the officials didn't make me false promises."
Henry has had a somewhat difficult start to the season - after suffering from under-par performances and making impassioned pleas to the club's supporters to show unity - and the striker admits he has not been up to his usual standards.
After reaching both the UEFA Champions League final and World Cup final - without success - Henry believes a gruelling summer is still taking a toll on his body.
"I have had a mixed season so far, I am not in my best form," admitted Henry.
"It is never easy after a World Cup and moreover when you have played a Champions League final.
"It is true, I am not shining so far.
"I had no pre-season preparation, I started straight away and I pay for that now.
"The fans expect more from me, and I expect more too.
"I feel I have disposed of the World Cup on an emotional level, but maybe my body has not disposed of it yet."