Thierry Henry, Arsenal’s record goal scorer, finds himself out of work after quitting CF Montreal, the second head coach role of his post-playing career.
Henry announced that he was stepping down from the MLS side because of family commitments. The Covid-19 pandemic had made it impossible for him to see his family, which was sufficient reason to leave the post.
Since quitting the professional game in 2014 after a stint with the New York Red Bulls, Henry has been quietly building up his CV.
His first port of call was a return to Arsenal, where he was a youth team coach in 2015/16. He then joined Roberto Martinez’s backroom staff with Belgium, helping them finish third at the 2018 World Cup.
It was a matter of months later he jumped into his first head coach role.
Henry at Monaco
Henry’s appointment was a risk that failed to pay off for Monaco, his tenure at the club representing nothing short of a disaster.
Every step that Henry seemed to take in his first post proved to be the wrong one. Indeed, he won only five of his 20 matches in charge and suffered a number of humiliating defeats, including a 2-0 home reverse to Guingamp and a spectacular 5-1 capitulation against Strasbourg.
He fell out with his players, castigating Benoit Badiashile for failing to tuck his chair in after a press conference, and insulted an opponent’s grandmother from the touchline.
It came as no surprise when he was relieved of his duties after 104 shambolic days.
Henry at CF Montreal
The Thierry Henry of CF Montreal was a different version to the one that began in Monaco.
Having taken one of the less appealing MLS jobs, albeit one in a French-speaking city, the 43-year-old showed greater tactical acumen over the course of a moderately successful year.
Perhaps benefitting from having had a full pre-season to work with his players – and not simply be dropped into a crisis situation as he was at Monaco – Henry showed greater tactical flexibility and willingness to learn from his mistakes.
Questions, however, remained over his man-management style, particularly as he was often caught glaring at players who made mistakes.
A record of nine wins, four draws and 16 defeats was not catastrophic given what he had to work with.
What is Thierry Henry doing now?
Having returned to Europe, Henry is presently unemployed. He is doubtless exploring opportunities to get back into coaching, however.
He was linked with the vacant job at Bournemouth, though that ultimately went to Jonathan Woodgate.
It would be little surprise to see him associated with other clubs of a similar size in England, given that is where he forged his legendary status with Arsenal.
A return to France, Italy or Spain should not be discounted either, although that may depend on the direction the pandemic takes in the months ahead. It does not seem a possibility for now.