Henry back to Monaco?

He used to play for them, now he'll manage them

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Will Thierry Henry succeed at Monaco?

By Joe Harker

Monaco sacked title winning manager Leonardo Jardim with the club eighteenth in the table after picking up just six points in nine games. With the club selling their best players every year and the senior stars no longer responding to his methods after several years the time had come for him to leave. Speculation was rife over possible replacements but the man who has taken the job is former Monaco striker Thierry Henry.

Henry made his senior debut for Monaco in 1994 and played for them until he transferred to Juventus in 1999. Monaco is where it all began for Henry and it is where he is starting his managerial career. Formerly Roberto Martinez's assistant manager for the Belgian national team, Henry is a managerial novice.

Arsene Wenger, a former Monaco manager and the man who brought Henry to Arsenal, believes his former player has everything he needs to succeed in his new role. Even so, Wenger said Henry would need "a little bit of luck" as all managers do to succeed. He said: "Of course, Thierry Henry is a good choice.

"He has a lot of credibility. He is very intelligent and understands football pretty well. That's why he has everything it needs, like a lot of players on this level."

As far as picking a first job in management goes it is hard to do better than Monaco for Henry. Not only is he returning as a former player and all the respect that carries, he is joining a club that has talent and money without the immediate expectations they usually carry. The club's poor start to the season may mean fans are more patient with Henry and will allow him time to turn things around.

While there is much fanfare over the return of a former player to manage the team, particularly one as famous as Henry, he should be careful to realise what he is getting himself into. The club's current problems are not the result of mismanagement from Jardim, rather they are the product of Monaco's transfer strategy of selling their best players for a premium. The club is known for stellar recruitment, being able to replace top class players and still challenge at a high level.

However, a team can only survive losing their best players for so long before it starts to have an adverse effect on performances. The Monaco side Henry is inheriting is not the title winning team Jardim built, it is the remnants of a side that has been plundered of their best. The squad is better than their league position suggests but it may be unrealistic to expect Henry to get them back to where they were a few seasons ago.

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