Henry: Kirkland row a joke
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Thierry Henry claims his confrontation with Chris Kirkland was 'just a joke'.
Thierry Henry claims his confrontation with Chris Kirkland was 'just a joke', insisting he was annoyed by the Wigan Athletic goalkeeper's time-wasting.
After Arsenal had equalised at Emirates Stadium through Fitz Hall's own goal, Henry taunted Kirkland by offering the keeper the ball.
The Gunners captain was booked for his gesture, but has played down the seriousness of his actions, claiming he was merely responding to Kirkland's time-wasting.
"Kirkland started to waste time from the first minute," said Henry.
"This is one of the games when I have run the most because I was trying to get the ball off him.
"When we scored I asked him if he wanted to waste any more time.
"It was just a joke, but it was a bit annoying."
Arsene Wenger backed his striker in the row, which cast a cloud over Arsenal's comeback in recording a 2-1 success.
"Thierry was upset, but what he did, for me, was right," said Wenger.
"People do not pay money to see people waste time, they come to see football.
"Okay, he should not have done that, but it is not the biggest insult we have seen in football.
"The time-wasting started in the first half - the goalkeeper kept crossing over his area to take kicks."