Arsenal

Thierry Henry criticises Arsene Wenger's biennial World Cup plans

Tom Gott
Thierry Henry has questioned FIFA's World Cup proposals
Thierry Henry has questioned FIFA's World Cup proposals / Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images
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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has questioned former boss Arsene Wenger's proposal to hold the World Cup every two years - warning it would be exhausting for players.

Wenger has repeatedly stressed his desire to rejuvenate the international football calendar, with his most radical plan being the controversial idea of holding more World Cups in an attempt to focus more on tournament football.

It's a suggestion which has been met with significant criticism from fans, pundits and players alike, and now Henry has chimed in by encouraging Wenger to actually discuss the idea with current players to see just how little they would actually want more World Cups.

“Do you (FIFA) actually ask the current players what they think about it?” Henry asked former Man Utd goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, who has publicly backed FIFA's proposals (via the Associated Press). “I played four World Cups and (three) Euros and I came out of them shattered mentally.

"And it’s not about the games I played in it, it’s the preparation for the World Cup, coming back from the World Cup after a season at your club. So if you play that every two years, mentally it’s tough for a player.”

In response, Schmeichel confessed that he struggled with the physical demands of World Cups, actually blaming mental fatigue for his decision to leave United, but he insisted that more major tournaments would still be a positive thing.

“I made a really bad decision in my career,” Schmeichel said. “Coming out of a World Cup I was absolutely mentally drained and I made a decision to leave Manchester United because I was not in a state where I could make a qualified decision as big as that.

“Every two years, your holidays go. You are straight back in.”

Keeping up his concerns about mental wellbeing, Henry insisted Wenger's proposal of a 25-day break after tournaments would simply not be enough.

“It took me more than 25 days to recover,” Henry said. “Arsene is proposing 25 days — physically yes, mentally no.”

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