France blamed for Henry injury

Updated: 2007-03-14 13:34

Thierry Henry's below-par form and injury problems this season have been blamed by his club manager Arsene Wenger on the number of games he has played for the French national team.

The striker has missed a number of games for Arsenal through various injuries, but has played in every international match for France since August 16.

Wenger feels this has not given his captain the chance to rest adequately after a tough 2006 in which he led Arsenal to the Champions League final and helped France to the World Cup final in Germany.

Domestically, Henry has been ruled out for the rest of the season with groin and stomach problems. Arsenal are out of all cup competitions and are set to go without a trophy for the second campaign in a row.

But Wenger refused to take responsibility, saying: "I feel Thierry has been badly managed by the French national team.

"The World Cup final was on July 9 and I gave him a holiday until August 4. Then he came back and we prepared him. I left him out of the Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb.

"They called him up for a game against Bosnia on August 16 - less than 14 days after he came back - and they played him for 90 minutes. After the World Cup final, why did they need to do that?

"Then we played him for a whole game against Aston Villa on August 19 because we were desperate to win the first game at the Emirates Stadium.

"Since then, he has played every international friendly for 90 minutes, even though he is on his knees.

"I decided not to play him against Zagreb as progressive preparation for the Villa game and so that he could have a breather afterwards.

"Maybe not sacrificing him for the Villa game was where I made a mistake. But you pay the players, and you sacrifice him in a Champions League game, so when he then goes and plays for France, it's hard to take."

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