By Richard Clarke
 
Arsène Wenger has revealed how Thierry Henry told him he wanted to leave Arsenal.      
 
The record-breaking French forward left for Barcelona in the summer after eight great years at the Club. It was a surprise at the time but, as Wenger told Friday's France Football magazine, the manager understood his reasons.
 
"Thierry had reached the age of 30 and he knew that we would keep on playing with a young team," said the boss. "He reached a stage, as a forward, where you do have not much time left, which I understand completely."
 
"He told me: 'Coach, it is true we have a good team, a young team which will certainly be very strong - but I cannot wait anymore. Will the team be strong next season, in two years? I do not know. But I need to take a decision today'.
 
"I told him: 'I completely understand your position Thierry. I believe this team will be strong very soon, but I understand that you ask yourself this question'. He then told me: 'I want to leave the club' and that's why he left.
 
"To say that David [Dein]'s departure influenced his decision is in some way true. [But] Thierry's injuries also contributed. He looked at the situation and during certain games he must have thought to himself, 'no, we will not win the Premiership'.
 
"The strength of a team lies in the self-belief it has. Once the team was not fighting for the title anymore, it started losing it. I am talking about a player's self-belief here. Thierry may not have felt this self-belief at certain times."

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 Richard Clarke 1 Oct 2007