LONDON, England, November 18 – Arsene Wenger hopes the presence of Arsenal hero Thierry Henry at training this week can inspire his side as they look to make it five Premier League wins in a row against Norwich on Saturday.
Former Arsenal captain Henry, 34, has briefly rejoined his old club to stay in shape after the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer play-off campaign came to an end.
France striker Henry left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007 and Wenger was delighted to see his compatriot back with the London club, telling Arsenal Player: “Thierry was in with our training today, and he does not need to show how good he is.
“He just wants to stay fit and enjoy the football club again, because he is at home here and it is always good to have him back.
“When you are not the day before the game, it is possible of course for him to practise with the first team.
“It is always a lift to see what a big player he still is.”
Meanwhile, David Beckham remained mum on his much-discussed football future, saying he is firmly focused on his Los Angeles Galaxy’s weekend clash with Houston for the MLS Cup.
Major League Soccer’s title match on Sunday could see Beckham go out a champion, with his five-year contract with the Galaxy coming to a close.
There remains a chance Beckham could yet return to the Galaxy, while French club Paris Saint-Germain confirmed last week that they are in “discussions” over the possibility of signing the former England captain.
Beckham, 36, has expressed interest in the project that PSG are assembling with the huge financial backing of owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) — but he would not be drawn at a press conference to preview Sunday’s match.
“I’m concentrating on this game on Sunday — simple as that,” Beckham said on Thursday. “My decision will come after that, once I get a bit of a rest and see where I am. And then we’ll see. My concentration is on this game.”
Beckham, who often says his family will be a priority when he decides where he might go next, said he and wife Victoria have enjoyed living in Los Angeles, where their daughter, Harper Seven, was born in July.
They also have three sons: Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.
“Living in California is something special, something we’ve enjoyed in the last five years. There’s been moments we’ve sat back as a family and looked at how lucky we are,” he said.
Upon arrival in southern California, the Beckhams quickly took their place as a celebrity couple, but Beckham revealed he can still be star-struck as he described seeing actor Al Pacino out walking with his young child one morning as Beckham took his own children to breakfast.
“Surreal,” Beckham said of the celebrity sighting. “Living in California has been really incredible for the family and something we’ve loved doing.”
When asked for his view on FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s recent remarks on racism, he condemned them but stopped short of saying Blatter should resign as head of world football’s governing body.
“I think the comments were appalling. I think a lot of people have said that,” Beckham said.
“I don’t think the comments were very good for this game,” he added.
Blatter’s suggestion in a television interview that disputes on the pitch involving racist abuse should be resolved by a handshake sparked a storm in England, where he was already unpopular for the way in which he and FIFA dealt with the country’s failed bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.