Thierry Henry has appointed as the new manager of Monaco, following the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim at the principality club. The former assistant coach of the Belgian national team also resigned his duties as a Sky Sports pundit and presenter earlier this year, in what was said to be a preparatory move towards stepping into his first managerial role.
We take a look at what he brings to the table.
Situation at the club
Monaco started the season with a 3-1 win over Nantes, as they looked to improve on their second-place finish in Ligue 1 last season. It has been a downhill slide ever since though, as they have lost eight and drawn two of their other 11 matches. Jardim could make a case for his defence and argue that since he won valiantly won the league ahead of PSG and reached the Champions League semi-final in 2017. Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Fabinho are just a few names that have departed despite having been a critical part of that successful side.
Henry takes over at the club where he started his playing career, having turned down offers from Aston Villa and Bordeaux in recent weeks.
Who will he be up against?
Most people are naturally intrigued by the potential of Henry coming up against his former Arsenal and France teammate Patrick Vieira. The two of them enjoyed incredible success as players together, as part of the Gunners’ Invincibles of 2003/04 and Les Bleus’ 1998 World Cup winning side. Vieira enjoyed a successful spell as manager of New York City FC in Major League Soccer before taking over at Nice in the summer.
The obvious giant that Henry has to face is Thomas Tuchel of Paris St. Germain. The two of them were at some point last season linked with the Arsenal job after Arsène Wenger announced his plans to leave the club. Henry and Vieira will probably still harbour hopes of ending at the Emirates, but will first have to pit their wits against each other in the French league. For Henry, the first job will be to lift his new club out of relegation danger.
What will he bring?
It is difficult to predict the kind of football philosophy an individual will adopt as a manager before they begin. Sometimes even the prospective manager cannot be entirely sure the approach they will take. That said, it is not difficult to wager that whatever way Henry chooses to go as a manager, it will be an attacking one. He spent a majority of his playing career playing under an ultra-offensive set-up under Wenger and crowned it under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
His coaching gig with Belgium has seen him shadow Roberto Martínez, who is sometimes criticised for setting up his teams to be so attacking that they are left entirely vulnerable at the back.
Time will tell whether Henry can be as successful as a manager as he was as a player, but it is nonetheless exciting to see him take his first steps into this new territory