When Arsene Wenger announced he was leaving, Thierry Henry made a big deal of wanting the job.
Despite having little experience coaching and none managing a top-level club, Theirry Henry’s ego saw no problem with him taking over the from the most successful manager in Arsenal’s history.
Thankfully, sense won out at Arsenal and the man who wouldn’t let go of his Sky Sports commenting job to focus on coaching when he was at Arsenal was passed over for the job in favour of the significantly more experience Unai Emery.
Fast forward a few months and Henry is no longer a Sky Sports pundit but he is a manager, quitting the Belgium set-up to take over from Leonardo Jardim when he was sacked by Monaco. Rumour has it that Sky Sports were planning on binning Henry anyway, his wages astronomical and his insight often lacking.
Henry has been at Monaco now for almost a month and it’s safe to say it hasn’t been a terrific start. This weekend’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Reims leaves them in 19th place and Henry still looking for his first competitive win as Monaco boss after four attempts. They were 18th when he took over.
Of course, four is a pathetically small sample and the squad he has to work with is not the same as the one Jardim won the league with, but it is still far from ideal.
While many former players drop down to lower leagues to earn their stripes, Henry had no such ambition. His eye was always on a job in one of the top European leagues and that decision might see his managerial career severely dented before it gets a chance to get going.
There were skeptics in France who questioned Henry’s experience when he was handed the job and, although he has history with Monaco, that may not be enough to save him if he cannot turn this ship around quickly.
Contrast, then, his tenure with the start of Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal. There were, of course, those initial two defeats that everybody expected, but since then Arsenal haven’t lost a game, winning 11 of the 13 played.
Henry has two draws and two defeats – losing to both Reims this weekend and Strasbourg in his opening game. The draws came against Club Brugge in the Champions League and Dijon FCO.
Monaco have won one game all season, drawing four and losing seven. 12 goals scored have been answered by 18 conceded.
The problems Henry inherited at Monaco are manifold and he will need to find a way to turn things around quickly or his dream of one day being Arsenal manager will be over before it ever really got started.