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Senior Arsenal players want under-fire boss Arsene Wenger to bring in Gunners legend Thierry Henry to spice up training.
Henry, the club’s record scorer, has made a big impression as a coach for the Belgium national side which contains big names like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
Until now, the 68-year-old Wenger has been stubborn, insisting he can handle the biggest crisis in his 22 years of management at the club.
But Henry is well respected among the Arsenal squad, who would love to have his input between now and the end of the season.
“It’s a no-brainer. Just seeing Thierry on the training pitch would set the pulses racing,” said a source close to one of the players.
“It’s what many of them would like to see. But whether Arsene goes for it is another matter.”
Josh Kroenke, son of major shareholder Stan, and a growing influence in the decision-making at the Emirates, is a big Henry fan, and would love the former France ace to be involved in any future management change.
And Wenger has been advised to quit this summer – even if he wins the Europa League.
Arsenal are among the favourites to lift the trophy and have one foot in the quarter-finals after their 2-0 first leg win over AC Milan at the San Siro.
But ex-Arsenal defender Viv Anderson urged Wenger to bow out at the end of the season to avoid tarnishing his epic reign for good. Anderson, who made 150 Gunners appearances from 1984-87, said: “I’d love Wenger to win the Europa League and then say, ‘Thank you, but that’s my lot and it’s now time to go’.
What a way that would be to sign off at Arsenal. He delivers Champions League football, and gives someone else the chance to move the club forward.
“He would be seen as a hero – it’s what the club needs and what he needs. The players need a fresh voice, as it’s not been working for a while.
“Whatever happens, he should leave at the end of the season. It’s the only logical decision.”
Arsenal suffered four successive defeats – their worst run since 2002 – before their 2-0 Europa League win in Milan on Thursday. That dismal form has left Wenger under pressure and today he will be back in front of his own disgruntled fans when they face Watford at the Emirates.
Anderson said: “The Arsenal fans have made their minds up, and once you lose the majority, there is no going back.”