Belfast Telegraph

Henry eyes top four

Thierry Henry is confident Arsenal have what it takes to force their way back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

The veteran French World Cup winner, 34, rolled back the years when he came off the bench to extend his club goalscoring record as Leeds were beaten 1-0 in Monday night's FA Cup third-round tie at Emirates Stadium.

Henry said: "We obviously don't want to be out of the top four, and there is going to be a hell of a competition this year to be in it, but I do think this team does have what it takes to be in it."

Henry will spend the next six-and-a-half weeks with the Gunners after agreeing a short-term loan deal from the New York Red Bulls, which does have the option for an extension to take in the clash with arch-rivals Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on February 26.

The former Arsenal skipper and now number one fan insists he has seen enough to convince him Arsene Wenger's young Gunners are going places fast.

He added: "If you think about the way the team has come back from the beginning of the season, the team is slowly getting into form. I know that people want more and I can assure you that the players want more."

During his stay, Henry - who left for Barcelona in 2007 - is likely to be utilised as an impact player. Captain Robin van Persie is set to be recalled for Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Swansea having been allowed some time off for a family break in Dubai.

Henry said: "You ask any player right now if they want to play with Robin van Persie and they will tell you yes. The boss is the only guy to make that decision.

"I am here to help. If it's 20, 30 or 35 minutes, I will go out there and help the team, do my best for the team. I just want to go with the flow, be an extra player and try to do a job if I get the chance to come on.

"It would be a dream to be part of a team playing in the Champions League or playing against Tottenham, but that goes for every game."


From Belfast Telegraph