Arsene Wenger has rebuffed Thierry Henry’s over his criticism of Olivier Giroud and reminded the Arsenal legend that he too was once told he would never be world class.
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After the Gunners draw with Chelsea last weekend, Henry said Arsenal needed four world-class players if they ever wanted to compete for the Premier League title again and said they definitely cannot win it with Giroud solely at their helm, needing to buy a ‘top, top quality striker’ in the summer.
Wenger wasn’t too critical in his assessment of Henry’s words and said he may have felt pressured into offering a strong opinion.
Wenger also said he thinks Arsenal’s record goalscorer needs to remember the fact that during early spells in his time with the north London club, there were many doubters as to what he can do.
“I think he’s wrong,” said Wenger, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“I can accept that’s an opinion but the comment on Giroud was a bit more wrong. Especially because I heard the same thing being said about Nicolas Anelka, about Thierry Henry himself and about Robin Van Persie. And they all became world class players themselves. It doesn’t cost to say that.
“We know all the system now of the modern media, especially on TV. I know how it works. They push you to be controversial because they give you a lot of money. He’s paid for that.”
Wenger joked Henry might have to pay to come into the club’s training ground from now on because of the amount of money he makes – thought to be the biggest punditry contract in the UK.
“You judge on the global achievement of the team,” said Wenger, adding Giroud contributes more than just his goals and that his return to the team from a broken foot earlier in the season has had a direct correlation with Arsenal’s brilliant run of form.
“What I know is Giroud works very hard for the team and has fantastic mentality. If the team does well it is down to him and if, on top of that, he scores 20 or more goals he has done his job,” Wenger said.