'I rate him highly' – Wenger wary of Liverpool dangerman Sterling

The 20-year-old scored twice the last time Arsenal visited Anfield in February and while this season has been more difficult, the Frenchman remains a fan of the youngster


Arsene Wenger has hailed Raheem Sterling’s impact at Liverpool ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Anfield on Sunday.

Sterling came of age as Brendan Rodgers’ men narrowly missed out on a first league title since 1990 last season, notching nine goals and five assists in 33 Premier League appearances.

Things have been more difficult this term, with the 20-year-old forced to assume even greater responsibility in the wake of Luis Suarez’s summer move to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge’s persistent injury problems.

But as his Arsenal side prepare to take on Sterling and Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, Wenger was full of praise for the youngster.

“I rate him highly,” the Frenchman told reporters. “Everybody spoke about Suarez last year but Sturridge and Sterling were very influential.”

Arsenal found themselves 4-0 down after 20 minutes the last time these two sides met on Merseyside in February – with Sterling scoring twice – and while Wenger acknowledges Liverpool are significantly weakened, he is wary of the Anfield crowd.

“Last year Liverpool scored over 100 goals,” he added. “Now they’re not on the same trend. They came off the blocks very strong last time.

“I have a lot of respect for the crowd at Liverpool because they stand behind their team.”

Ozil closing in on Arsenal return

The Germany international has made just nine appearances this season after succumbing to a serious knee injury in October but will return to full training in the next few weeks


Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has revealed he is close to a return from injury and insists he can help turn his side’s season around.

The Germany international has made just nine appearances this season, having been granted an extended break after the World Cup before he succumbed to a serious knee injury in October.

Arsenal have struggled in the former Real Madrid star’s absence and currently lie sixth in the Premier League, trailing fourth-placed West Ham by two points.

But Ozil says he is nearing a return to first team training and cannot wait to make his comeback.

“I am working every day to get myself fit and I am on the right path now,” the Germany international told the club’s official website. “It won’t be much too much longer before I am back on the pitch.

“I hope to be back training with the whole team again as soon as possible.

“After a time, you really miss playing football. You miss the ball and just want to play. When you watch the games and think that you could have been playing, and playing well, it makes you miss it, but that’s the way things are.”

Arsenal travel to Anfield on Sunday looking for a victory that would help avenge last season’s 5-1 defeat and boost their top-four chances.

Henry: Managing Arsenal is my dream but I'll need time

After announcing his retirement on Tuesday, the French striker wants to be thorough in earning his coaching badges and hopes to work with the Gunners in doing so


Managing Arsenal is still Thierry Henry’s dream job, but the former striker knows he has a long way to go before he can replace Arsene Wenger.

Henry announced his retirement on Tuesday after four-and-a-half seasons with New York Red Bulls and has signed a contract to become a television pundit, although he plans to complete his coaching education while he works in the media, with help from the Gunners.

Henry joined Arsenal in 1999 and went on to make 258 Premier League appearances for the club – including a short loan stint from the Red Bulls in the 2011-12 season – scoring 175 goals, and the Frenchman would love to return to the club as manager one day.

“That would be a dream come true but that’s not how it works,” Henry told The Daily Telegraph.

“You have to prove yourself first, you have to learn first. You need to be able to understand what it is to be a manager.

“Can you teach, can you be patient? All these problems. People think they are all managers in their own way but it’s not that easy.

“The plan is to start my badges and I guess Arsenal will help me. To pass your badges, you have to work closely with a club and I would like to think it is going to be Arsenal. You know I’m in London when you see me at Arsenal.

“First and foremost, I don’t know how or when but everybody knows I would love to go back to Arsenal in some capacity. But I need to be equipped to go back. I want to learn the process so I have to get my badges and what not. We will see what is going to happen.

“It’s not a secret, everybody talks about me going back to Arsenal and me the same thing but it doesn’t always work like that. First and foremost, I have to make sure that I have everything on board to be able to go back.

“Hard work is all I know. It comes from my dad and the guys I played with when I arrived in the national team. Zinedine Zidane, Youri Djorkaeff, Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Emmanuel Petit, Fabian Barthez, that’s how they were and that’s what they taught me so I took it on board because you can only be the reflection of your education. That’s the way I was educated so that’s what I’m going to try to pass on.”

Arsenal have offered me a coaching role, reveals Gilberto Silva

The former Brazil international midfielder has been approached by his former club to help out on the sidelines though he remains keen on playing for the time being


Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has revealed that the club have approached him about a possible coaching role.

The Brazilian, who was part of the famed ‘Invincibles’ team who went unbeaten in the Premier League in 2003-04, is keen on a future management role.

Wenger has previously hinted that ex-Gunners striker Thierry Henry, who retired on Tuesday, could be offered a similar role at the club and Gilberto is enthusiastic about being asked to help out his former side.

“I have had an invitation, yes,” he told Globo Esporte. “Anything is possible. It makes me happy when you have these invitations, people see you with a different profile, you can contribute.

“It makes me happy and motivated and it makes me want to learn from others, seek knowledge and develop my own style.”

The 38-year-old did, however, note that he wants to continue playing for the time being, though he is currently between clubs.

Henry confirms retirement

The former France star has decided to hang up his boots after leaving New Yor Red Bulls and will become a pundit


Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has announced his decision to retire from professional football with immediate effect.

The 37-year-old recently decided to leave New York Red Bulls, but had yet to make a final decision on his future.

Henry has now made it clear that he will no longer continue his playing career and will start working as a pundit with Sky Sports instead.

“After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football. It has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special,” a statement on his official website reads.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.

“I have had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience. I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part. See you on the other side…”

Henry started his professional career with Monaco and also briefly wore the Juventus jersey before signing for Arsenal in August 1999.

The attacker quickly became a key figure at the Premier League outfit, scoring over 200 goals for Arsenal, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his time in London.

He then moved to Barcelona where he was part of the team that won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Club World Cup, Spanish Supercup and European Supercup in 2009.

Henry spent the last five seasons of his career at MLS outfit New York Red Bulls, while also briefly returning to Arsenal in 2011-12.

Furthermore, the forward scored 51 goals in 123 games for France, winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.