Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans after defeat at Brentford
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Just one game into the season, and Arsenal are already a club in crisis. Friday night’s chastening defeat to Brentford left a sour taste, with many supporters now calling on Mikel Arteta to go. And it’ll be interesting to see if the Gunners board do wield the axe, especially having talked with Thierry Henry and others about taking the job when Arsene Wenger stepped down.
Arsenal had contemplated hiring Arteta in the summer of 2018.
The Spaniard had done well coaching at Manchester City at the time, helping them dominate under Pep Guardiola.
But, in the end, Arsenal opted to go with Unai Emery instead.
That happened after they’d talked with an extensive list of candidates, including club legend Henry, according to The Athletic.
The Frenchman enjoyed a glittering spell in north London during his playing days, helping the Gunners sparkle under Wenger’s watch.
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He’s their all-time leading goalscorer and, in the years since his departure, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come remotely close to replicating his deadly feats in front of goal.
And with Arteta under pressure at the current moment in time, it would be interesting to see whether Arsenal would reignite their interest in Henry should they be forced into making yet another managerial sacking.
For now, the Gunners are willing to stick rather than twist.
But the humiliating nature of their defeat against Brentford, and the fact they were outran, outpaced and outscored by their opponents, suggests Arteta will have his work cut out when it comes to turning things around.
Should Arsenal be forced into wielding the axe, Henry may find himself back on their radar.
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At the moment, he’s back in London – having chosen to walk away from his job at Montreal Impact in order to be closer to home.
He did well in America, too, leading Montreal to their first playoff berth in four seasons.
And Henry, speaking in March this year, admitted he’d love to coach Arsenal one day.
“Listen, if you ask an Arsenal fan if they’d like to coach Arsenal one day, they’ll say yes,” said the 1998 World Cup winner.
“If you ask an Arsenal fan if they’d like to score a goal for Arsenal, they’ll say yes. When I speak about it, it’s a utopia.
“People get carried away whenever I say that it’s my club, but I have it in my blood – I’m an Arsenal fan
“So if you’re asking me if one day I’d like to coach Arsenal, then yes.
“If you ask if one day I’d like to be Arsenal’s kit man, then yes.
“If you ask if one day I’d like to cut the grass at the Emirates Stadium, then yes.”
Henry did, however, also admit he’d love to manage Barcelona – but feels he still has some learning to do before that becomes possible.
“If you ask me am I dreaming, yes I’m dreaming,” he said.
“But when you’re not dreaming, you’re awake and there is a reality.
“Would I love to coach Arsenal? Yes. Would I love to go to Barcelona? Yes.
“Would I like to play for Arsenal again? I’d love to play for them again, but the reality is I can’t!
“I’m on my learning curve, I want to do well for the team I’m coaching, then time will tell.
“If you’re not successful, you’re not going to have those types of opportunities.
“I’m just concentrating on what I can control, and the rest is a massive utopia. Would I have liked to sing like Lionel Richie? Yes, but I don’t sing like Lionel Richie!”
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