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Thierry Henry pays tribute to 'visionary' Arsene Wenger after final game at Emirates

Thierry Henry with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Highbury after signing from Juventus in 1999
Image: Thierry Henry was signed by Arsene Wenger in 1999

Arsenal record goalscorer Thierry Henry paid tribute to Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman's final game in charge at the Emirates.

Wenger led the Gunners to three Premier League titles - two while Henry was at the club - and seven FA Cups during his time in north London.

After almost 22 years, first at Highbury and, since 2006, the Emirates Stadium, Henry told Sky Sports the Frenchman would take some time to adjust to life post-Arsenal.

He said: "He was there from 7.30am until 6 or 7 at night, watching games and loving the club. It's going to be difficult for someone doing something for so long with the club he loves to just leave.

"It's not an easy thing to just call a day. He loves to be on the grass, smelling grass, he has a vision and he's a visionary. He always thinks his team can achieve things and thinks his team can achieve what he wants.

Thierry Henry with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Highbury after signing from Juventus in 1999

"Whether you agree or disagree, he goes to that extent to believe that. We met the expectations in our generation and a bit before.

"At times, he had that belief in that team which unfortunately didn't meet the expectation in the league. I can only say one thing about him, and that's thank you.

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"The man he was for me. He was a father figure, he helped me to become a better player, unlocked stuff in my brain that was sometimes stopping myself, things that are obvious but at 22 you're trying to find out the player you can be."

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Henry arrived at Highbury as a talented but raw striker, but left Arsenal as the club's top scorer and described as world class - something he said Wenger had a huge impact on.

He said: "I had a natural talent in the way I was a striker, I tried to work a lot and train to make my game a bit better, but I used to go in his office and say: "When I run there, when they've got the ball they don't see me."

Arsene Wenger walks out to a guard of honour in his last game as manager of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium
Image: Wenger received a guard of honour from Arsenal and Burnley in his final home game

"He'd say: 'Thierry, ask yourself the right question - do you think that guy can see you?' I realised he couldn't and I started to move and adapt my game to others. He had the way to make you believe you were the best player in the world, and then like I always say, gave you that freedom to go out and execute it.

"He gave you that belief that you go out there and execute it. As everyone knows, the understanding we had with him.

"We rowed a lot. I like to be right, he likes to be right, especially from me. To be honest, it's difficult - when I was upset as a player, I'd get upset wherever I was. I always say though, to have an argument it's for the good of the team.

"You argue with your dad, you argue with your mum, you argue with your brother."

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