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Thierry Henry says he never backed away from a challenge after being asked if he would be prepared to take over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Wenger’s future is the topic of intense speculation after a fourth successive defeat in all competitions, a 2-1 Premier League reverse at Brighton on Sunday which sparked fresh calls for him to go.
Former Gunners striker Henry, who is currently working as an assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, remains a staunch supporter of the Frenchman.
But asked if would want the job should a vacancy arise, he told Sky Sports: “Listen, I’m a competitor, you don’t back down from a challenge.
“We are hypothetically speaking before people jump ahead of everything, [but] I have never backed down from a challenge since I was young.
“If I had listened to people who were talking about where I was going to be, I would not have been here.
“When I arrived at Arsenal, they said to me, ‘Why are you outside of the box, you will never score goals?’ with my position being on the left or whatever it was. You don’t back down from a challenge, you always think that you can.
“When I came back to play for Arsenal, everybody, all my friends were saying, ‘It can only tarnish your legacy, why are you going back there?’.
“If you love a place and they ask – I repeat, they ask – for help, you are always going to say yes. What I am saying to you is again, we are talking about hypothetical thoughts.”
Henry won two league titles and three FA Cups and claimed the Golden Boot on four occasions under Wenger, and is adamant that the Frenchman must decide whether or not the time is right for him to walk away.
He said: “We are talking about shall he quit or not – I can never say that. I am not sitting on the fence, I can never say that.
“I have battled with this man, I can never say that. Do you understand what I mean? I can never say that.
“What I don’t want to see is what’s happening to him, and I would like him to have the last word, whatever word it’s going to be.”