By Richard Clarke

Thierry Henry believes Arsenal should keep Arsène Wenger as manager “for life”.

The striker enjoyed eight highly-successful years in North London under the tutelage of the 61-year-old Frenchman and returns this weekend with New York Red Bulls for the Emirates Cup.

Henry now describes his relationship with the Club as “just a fan” and, as such, disagrees strongly with some of the criticism that has been directed at his former manager last season.

“I know some people had a go at Arsène recently,” said Henry. “I don’t know when it is going to happen but we all know that one day he is going to have to stop or go.

“But the boss changed the face of the Club and, for me, I would keep Arsène for life. I know he got a bit of stick recently but hopefully they can change that this year.

“They were close enough to win it but they didn’t. In football, you get judged on what you win. [People] will realise what Arsène was all about the day that he stops.”

Meanwhile Henry has already revealed his desire to return to Emirates Stadium at some stage however he accepts now that it will be in an off-field capacity.

“I would like to,” he said. “It’s a big thing. I would love to be part of the Club one day but it’s not up to me. And right now, I think they are in the right hands. Everybody knows that one day I would like to come back here but, as a player, I doubt it.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Jul 2011