When Arsenal legend Thierry Henry became boss of struggling Ligue One outfit Monaco it seemed the perfect fit. It was a romantic return to the club where his playing career took flight for the Frenchman.
However, take away the romance and his high profile and what you have is an inexperienced boss taking control of a team in desperate need of inspiration. So far, Henry has failed to turn things around in the principality and is already under major pressure.
Not improving the team’s fortunes
Henry has yet to win in his six games in charge of Monaco. In fact, his team have suffered three straight defeats in all competitions, including a humiliating 4-0 home reverse against Club Brugge in the Champions League. They have also failed to score in all three defeats.
It is fair to say things have not gone Monaco’s way since Henry’s arrival. His arrival was supposed to lift the players and help the team move away from the drop zone.
Instead, they are 19th in Ligue One and five points away from safety in the French top-flight. The situation certainly looks like a bleak one at the moment.
Top players do not always make top coaches
It is very early in Thierry Henry’s time at Monaco and he still has time to turn things around in the principality. In truth, he had big shoes to fill in replacing Portuguese boss Leonardo Jardim, who had done an excellent job despite his sacking.
Henry is an intelligent guy, who knows the game inside and out. The former Arsenal striker displayed his knowledge of the game well when he was a Sky Sports pundit.
For me, he always talked a lot of sense and came across as somebody that could convey his ideas in an articulate way. Unfortunately, though there is a massive difference between being a top footballer, or pundit to being a good coach.
Many top footballers have been unable to transfer their football expertise to coaching. You can have all the football knowledge in the world, but it takes more than just good football know how to become a good coach.
In fact, it takes a completely different set of skills to be a football coach at the top level of the game. On rare occasions, a former footballer’s reputation can inspire a team to limited success.
However, that is very rare and Henry’s reputation as a former top footballer will only provide a certain amount of inspiration. The Frenchman now needs to use his man-management skills. As a player, he seemed to be a leader on the pitch. He needs to tap into all his leadership qualities and quickly to turn things around in the principality.
Big game this weekend for Henry and Monaco
Monaco face a big game this weekend in Ligue One, as they travel to face 17th place Caen, a game the visitors are slight favourites to win at odds of 7/5. Caen heads into the game on the back of no wins in their last six outings in all competitions, so the home side are nearly as out-of-form as Henry’s charges.
In truth, Henry has to start winning games if he is to avoid losing his job, or even worse play a part in Monaco slipping into the second tier of French football.
Monaco made a big gamble by appointing the inexperienced Henry. He now needs to show that their faith was not misplaced by getting them out of trouble. Failure to win this weekend will only lead to more questions about Henry’s ability to rescue his team from relegation.
Can Thierry Henry turn things around at Monaco?
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