As a player, Thierry Henry was nothing short of brilliant. The sharpshooting striker buried opponents with an endless highlight reel of goals during his 18 years in the world’s greatest leagues–Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A, Premier, and MLS.
On the international stage, Henry won a UEFA Champions League title, a FIFA World Cup, and two FIFA World Player of the Year Silver Awards.
Henry’s CV as a club manager isn’t quite as stellar. Then again, he hasn’t been given much of a chance.
The script read like a storybook homecoming when Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer was announced as the incoming manager of Monaco in October 2018. Monaco was Henry’s boyhood club and the place where his illustrious career began.
Unfortunately, the 41-year-old Frenchman’s brief term helming Monaco played out as something between a comedy and tragedy.
The club was in disrepair when Henry took the reigns; a slow start in the Ligue 1 season coupled with consecutive UEFA Champions League group stage losses was enough for Monaco to pull the plug on four-year manager Leonardo Jardim.
Monaco put together a few respectable performances under Henry, including a post-Christmas penalty shootout win over Rennes and draws against Marseilles and Nice.
However, the bright spots were few and far between with Henry steering the ship, a stint that lasted 104 days. Between October and January, star Rony Lopes and a dozen other Monaco first-teamers were unavailable at certain points.
The club won four of 20 matches during Henry’s reign. Their offensive presence was practically non-existent, scoring just 15 goals.
The situation was already too grave by 24 January. Monaco unceremoniously sacked Henry, and amazingly, reinstated Jardim to patch the leaking ship.
To be fair, Henry excelled in jumping leagues, countries, and even continents as a player.
After his storied tenure with Arsenal ended in 2007, Henry spent three years in La Liga with Barcelona and the four years after that in New York, providing a boost to the Red Bulls matchweek MLS odds.
His three months piloting Monaco, especially considering the disaster he inherited, wasn’t long enough for Henry to prove himself as a manager.
His previous coaching efforts leading Arsenal Youth and as an assistant with the Belgium national team were widely praised.
What do you think? Should Henry get another shot managing an elite club after the Monaco debacle?