Thierry Henry’s Monaco adventure

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Thierry Henry needs little or no introduction to the football world. A terrific and meticulous player he was, who was a nightmare to the defence of his opponents and had mesmerized many goalkeepers during his impeccable football days. His prolific career came with fame and money.

After retiring from the active football, the 41-year-old Frenchman went into coaching, working as the assistant head coach of the Belgium national team, which displayed excessive class and success during the last World Cup in Russia. But Thierry Henry wanted more challenges. That desire landed him a lucrative job at the Monaco FC club, where he started his amazing and graceful football career as a teenager. The club proudly went on social media to announce his return, posting an old picture of their beloved former teenage striker. It was truly a homecoming for Thierry Henry. But that euphoric return did not come without risks.

Before his appointment, Monaco, the once indomitable club, which reached the semi-final stage during the last Champion League, under the management of Leonardo Jardim, was experiencing serious challenges. The poor results led to the exit of Leonardo Jardim and the triumphant entry of Thierry Henry. The new coach knew that he would be inheriting a club in need for an urgent Messiah. As a former striker, who fought many football wars on the football pitch, Henry, obviously believed strongly, that he was that Saviour the club desperately needed. But Monaco FC is not the same that fought its way to the prestigious European Champions League semi-finals. The club is experiencing a real baptism of fire. Their talented goal hunter Kylian Mbappe, who gracefully fired them to the semi-finals had been snatched by Paris St-Germain, which was ready to pay whatever it took to get the signature of the most recent football sensational teenager. The absence of Monaco’s senior players cannot be underrated; nor the injury of their experienced defender Kamil Glik not noticeable, as the club tries hard to find its football rhythm and bearing, especially, after playing 15 games without a win.

Under Henry’s management, Monaco has not won any of their matches. They managed to draw three but lost two of their games. Worse still, they are now struggling under the Ligue 1 ladder. Their latest clash on Sunday against Paris St-Germain saw Monaco heavily humiliated with 4 goals, leaving them second to the last on the league table with just 7 points in 39 competitions, while Paris St-Germain the leader of the league, have comfortably won all their games with 30 points. It did not end there. Some days ago, Monaco suffered their heaviest defeat in the Champions League, mercilessly beaten 4-0 at home by Club Brugge of Belgium. That defeat saw Monaco club exit unceremoniously from the prestigious competition.

Some football pundits have argued that being a great player does not transcend to a good coach. Others insist that though a good manager Henry might be, however, the present situation at Monaco club requires an experienced coach, who has coached a club with similar problems and history; definitely, not a young inexperienced coach like Henry, they argue.
Even though Thierry Henry might consider himself a warrior in the football field, certainly, the present situation at Monaco FC before Henry arrived has made it extremely difficult for even the most experienced manager to turn the tide around at the club. The list of injuries and absence of senior players in the squad, coupled with the losses under him, all mount incredible pressure on Henry.

So far, the management and owner of Monaco Football Club have expressed their support for the embattled coach, however, would it be strange for one to wonder whether Thierry Henry is presently the right saviour for Monaco – and how long that support from the management can last?