By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger admits Thierry Henry has been just as influential off the pitch as on it.

Henry created the headlines in Saturday’s last-gasp win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, prodding home Andrey Arshavin’s pinpoint cross in stoppage time.

The striker has scored three goals in his second spell at the Club - two of them winners - but Wenger says his dressing room stature has been invaluable too.

“We must say that he was on fantastic on the pitch and off the pitch in the dressing room,” he said. “He has given us a big boost at Sunderland and against Leeds as well, so let's hope we can continue like that.

“He is intelligent and he has the respect of the players. He has done it before so they listen to his advice. He just has a helpful attitude and when you have done what he has done, players listen to you.

“He was also very positive to keep the confidence level high, because we were in a bit of a crisis with losing three games. When you are a young player, the spirit drops quickly. He just tried to keep the spirit high in the camp.”

Wenger was immediately questioned about the possibility of a third return for Henry next season, but the Frenchman admits that is not a question to answer for now.

“It's a difficult question to answer just after the game,” he said. “First of all I did not think he would be back at all, it was just when he asked me if he could do some fitness work with us.

“But I realised that it was still all there, especially the appetite. I think he enjoys it.”

You can see exclusive reaction from the Sunderland win with both Thierry and the boss on Arsenal Player soon.

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12 Feb 2012