“It’s been 12 years since Arsenal did not win the title and we feel this season they may not win it. But is there enough to win the championship?”
Wenger’s contract is up at the end of the season and after the 3-1 weekend defeat at league leader Chelsea, the Frenchman faced renewed calls from supporters to step down at the end of the season.
Such calls from sections of the club’s support – and signs calling for Wenger to depart – have seen Wenger moved to odds-on with some bookmakers to NOT be in charge next season.
The club’s hierarchy continue to back the 67-year-old and want him to sign a two-year deal to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal now sit 12 points behind Chelsea, and look set to go a 13th year without winning the title. But club legend Henry believes that while Wenger may need to make concessions, he should remain.
“Personally, I do not think Arsene (Wenger) has to go,” said Henry, speaking to RMC. The Gunners defeat at Stamford Bridge came on the back of a surprise home loss to Watford in midweek.
Having been unbeaten from the opening day until December 10, Arsenal have since lost four of their 10 Premier League outings, their season title tilt stalling while watching Antonio Conte’s men continue to win.
And Henry believes the problems Wenger has with his side are as much mental – and discipline related – as anything else.
“The work he has to do at the moment is difficult, because it is mental work,” added Henry. “What I saw against Chelsea is a mental problem. I don’t want to go into details but that is why Arsene’s job is very complicated because it is a mental problem. And it’s not easy to manage.
“Every time Arsenal can put pressure on the leaders or put the pressure on others by being first, usually in that match, they lose and then you lose confidence and bad results follow. The problem is more mental than quality.”
Arsenal spent big in the summer to land both Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka, as well as Spanish forward Lucas Perez.
And Henry says that, on paper, the Gunners do have the quality to challenge.
“It’s been 12 years since Arsenal did not win the title and we feel this season they may not win it. I think there is quality in this team. But is there enough to win the championship?
“Is there enough quality to win the title and if you look on paper, we can debate that, but, on paper, there is enough. At the beginning of the season, when you look at Chelsea and Arsenal on paper, there is not a huge difference. So that means it’s possible. If Chelsea is ahead, Arsenal too can do it.
“But for that, you have to be in tune with every day. You have to be good at training all the time. You have to get in a little bit from time to time.
“I think Arsenal players are not aware of what they can achieve. At some point you have to believe in your chances of winning. “It takes self-management and self-discipline in the group. Sometimes you lose momentum and then you wake up and it is the end of the season.”