The Gunners gaffer said: “Henry is one of the best footballers ever and he’s certainly up there with Pele and Maradona. He has suffered some times this season already with not being able to deliver physically.
“There is an improvement in his game as each week goes on. You know when a guy has played a Champions League Final and a World Cup Final you have to accept that he will still not be at the best form of his career.
“I am worried that because he is not fully fit he might pick up an injury, of course. I have to make the right decision and protect him when I need to.
“I will have to rest Thierry at some time and I will pick two or three games where I will tell him to go away from football with his wife for a week.
“I have done this in January with him before. It is the perfect time because by then you know if you are through to the next round of the Champions League and through the first FA Cup match.
“He knows he needs to do this and he trusts me to pick the right time.
“Once he has had that break he will be refreshed and there will be even more to come from him, which will help us at the end of the Premiership and in Europe.”