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22 April 2024

Arsenal hero Henry turns into villain

Arsenal's Thierry Henry reacts to a fan in the crowd after the Barclays Premier League match against Swansea City at Liberty Stadium on Sunday in Swansea, Wales. (GETTY)

By Staff

Returning Arsenal hero Thierry Henry turned villain on Sunday being involved in a bitter confrontation with some of his own fans after their humiliating 3-2 defeat against Swansea.

On the final whistle, Henry had urged his shellshocked team-mates to acknowledge the contingent of travelling fans who had just witnessed their sixth away defeat of the season.

But a small group of supporters slammed the players — prompting an angry response from Henry, who only rejoined the club on loan from America last week.

The Frenchman appeared to have a heated exchange with one fan, making gestures before storming off the pitch.

Henry, 34, gestured at the fan and seemed to beckon him in his direction, with witnesses confirming that he urged the man to be more positive and get behind his team.

Henry later told Arsenal officials that he had simply wanted to speak to the fan and persuade him that he should support rather than criticise the players.

The former Arsenal captain, who was playing in his first Premier League match for almost five years, also confirmed that he had not been subjected to excessive abuse from the fan.

Henry, who came on as a 63rd-minute substitute and gave the ball away in the build-up to Swansea’s winner, was enraged by a comment from the away end.

A club spokesperson confirmed that Henry had said: "No matter what, you should support the team."

Television footage, however, appears to show Henry angrily gesticulating and aggressively shouting towards the terraces.

And unlike his heroics in the FA Cup against Leeds last Monday, he could not help Arsenal avoid defeat.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admitted he had been tempted to start Henry.

He said: "You are always tempted to start him. When he comes on the pitch he gives us a lift. He was dangerous again."