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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Henry stays in Arsenal - Fans and Wenger elated

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Thierry Henry comfirmed that he will continue playing in Arsenal. He says he is ready to stick with the Gunners for life.

The decision caused great happiness un the fans and the coach Arsene Wenger as well, who plans to build the team strategy around Thierry.

The Frenchman had been strongly linked with a summer move to FC Barcelona. The speculations ended up with his decision of stay in Arsenal, who move to their new Emirates Stadium next season.

However, there is no direct confirmation from Henry that he will sign an extension to his present deal, which expires in 2007. But his stated desire to help Arsenal create a force to compete with the best in the Premiership and Europe is an indication his love for the club.

He said to a local newspaper: "The truth is I love this club and I've made my mind up to stay.

"All my fans and the people who care about me can knmow that I want to lead the team out in the new stadium.

"There was just too many ridiculous speculation. But the truth is this: I never spoke with or met with a single person from any other team at any time.

"This will put an end to all the rumours and now we can move on. If I do commit myself for life, I hope the club and the board will - the same way as I do."

Titi admitted he was tempted to leave the team for a new experience, but he was persuaded to stay by the Gunners faithful.

He opens his heart: "Obviously I did think about leaving Arsenal, but when I see the fans and the way they talked to me, it helped make my decision.

"They waited for me to make my decision. They didn't boo me or make life difficult for me on the pitch, and that's great."