Upcoming Caen game could be crucial for Monaco’s Thierry Henry experiment


Every manager’s dream job would be a former club or a national side but for many, this can be a poison chalice. If Thierry Henry cannot turn AS Monaco’s form around this could be the later for him.

Henry – As a player

Henry started his footballing career off for the Ligue 1 side at the age of 17 losing in their 2-0 loss to Nice.
However, he eventually made a name for himself at the club by his third season in Ligue 1, the 1996-1997 season which saw them win the title.

He also made his debut for his national side at the tender age of 20, since then the former Sky Sports pundit has succeeded as a player at Juventus, Arsenal and FC Barcelona.

On July 16, the attacker announced that he was ready to be a manager following a period as assistant manager to Roberto Martinez at Belgium who finished third at the World Cup in Russia. Within three months, Henry had gone full circle and completed his first move into management rejoining AS Monaco but so far it hasn’t gone to plan for the former player.

This isn’t completely his fault as when a club is as big as a part of someone’s history as was the case with the Hnery, then it would be difficult for him to turn this offer down. The timing of becoming the head coach wouldn’t be the best time as Monaco were third from bottom of the French first tier and had just sacked arguably their best coach in recent history Leonardo Jardim.

Jardim who won the Ligue 1 back in the 2016/2017, had been operating under difficult circumstances though as 13 of the 28 title-winning squad members had been sold with the core attackers and midfielders being sold on for a profit. At the time of his joining Monaco, Henry’s side had only won once all season in all competitions. They had six points from nine games losing five of those.


Injury Woes

If the task wasn’t already difficult for the 41-year-old, then injuries have really hurt this side as six key players are out. Danijel Subašić, the club’s number one has been in and out of the squad with the same hamstring injury he suffered at the World Cup.

Other key players such as Steven Jovetic, Rony Lopes, Kamil Glik and Youri Tielemans are all out at the moment along with new signing Aleksandr Golovin who joined from CSKA Moscow after a great World Cup for Russia. These injuries have led to many issues including lack of stability in the starting 11.

The keeper scenario is a huge glaring problem as Diego Benaglio just isn’t as good as Subašić. The Swiss has played 15 matches for the ‘Les Rouges et Blancs’ conceding 28 which is already over half the number that Monaco’s injured number one had done the entirety of last season.

These numbers have been achieved by having the same players in defenders, though you could argue that there is less cover for the back-line now that Fabinho and João Moutinho have moved to England.

Lack of goals has been a pressing issue as well as having key attackers Lopes and Jovetic both out with injury at the moment, means their captain and striker Radamel Falcao isn’t getting the service he needs.

At the age of 32 ‘El Tigre’ is starting to lack mobility and because of this Monaco need to be direct to get the same sort of numbers out of their star man. He scored 24 in 36 last season while this year he’s only netted four.


Formation Problems and unrealistic expectations 

Henry has employed four different formations this season and hasn’t gone with the same one for more than a match. This hasn’t helped the consistency of the squad. This team still doesn’t know what style their manager is trying to go for. The side is currently 19th in Ligue 1 with seven points only ahead of EA Guingamp on goal difference.

The boardroom at Monaco could already be thinking of axing their former star from his head coach role after only 31 days in the job. Crazier things have happened, but the problem was that Henry was expected to get a side out of relegation without any prior experience that is why they are struggling.

Henry has lost two games out of the six by 4-0 so confidence hasn’t been great. Two of those games involve red cards to his side, which doesn’t help.

When you are losing games and unsure of who is playing next to you, players often forget the basics like discipline because the thought process slows down a little. If Henry cannot directly control the stability of his line up, it’s a matter of going back to basics and that is something that will have to be done in their next game against relegation rivals Caen, or Monaco could suffer the ultimate price for their naivety.


About Author

News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

Comments are closed.