The once diplomatic and professorial Arsene Wenger has come out in defense of Thierry Henry in the furor over his handball that knocked Ireland out of the World Cup.

Wenger, who changed the career of Henry at Arsenal when he turned the winger into a center forward, will welcome back his former favorite when Arsenal play Barcelona in the quarter finals of the Champions League at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

"How he was treated after the handball was unfair," said the tall skinny one. "It was unfair because he did not get any support from anybody. Which striker has not made that kind of reaction?

"If France were over-dominant in the game I don't think people would have had the same reaction," he added. "What was worse for France was that Ireland were the better team and everybody felt it was a complete injustice."

So not much consolation for us Irish, but its nice to know that you still care about your former goal machine, Monsieur Wenger.