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Petit reveals Henry advice Arsenal legend ‘didn’t like’ and cost him in Monaco coaching flop

10:12 PM MYT 05/08/2019
Thierry Henry Monaco
The former Gunners midfielder urged a fellow Frenchman to be more humble during his playing days in north London, but that advice fell on deaf ears

Thierry Henry did not take too kindly to being told that he need to be “more humble”, says Emmanuel Petit, with the Arsenal legend failing to change his ways when moving from playing to coaching.

Back when the Gunners were regular challengers for the Premier League title, two World Cup-winning Frenchmen graced the books in north London.

Petit was of the opinion that Henry, who matured into a fearsome striker during his time in England, should change his ways slightly as he got older and more experienced.

That advice fell on deaf ears and ultimately cost an iconic figure dearly.

Henry flopped badly in a first managerial post at former club Monaco, picking up just five wins from 20 games, and Petit believes that is partly down to character traits which have not changed down the years.

He told Paddy Power Magazine of a countryman he once enjoyed considerable success alongside: “Thierry was a tremendous player. 

“Everyone knows what he has done on the pitch. Now he wants to be a manager and his first job at Monaco did not go well – I think he is still a player in his mind.

“You have to change the mentality – you can't keep the player's mindset if you want to be a manager. 

“The way you talk to players and control training sessions is very important. Even if it's your first job, footballers will test you constantly.

“As a player, Thierry was terrific and I hope he achieves the same as a manager. But I remember saying something to him at ArsenaI.

“I told him, ‘Every time you score a goal, you should be more humble and try to have a connection with the fans, rather than living in your own world’. He didn't like it.”

Petit has also suggested that Henry’s personality meant that he was never as well received by the French public as he was by Arsenal supporters.

One incident in particular held him back in his homeland, with an infamous handball episode seeing him dash the World Cup dreams of the Republic of Ireland in a 2009 play-off clash.

Petit added: “He enjoyed huge recognition in England, but in France he doesn’t have the same image, especially after what happened with Ireland – the handball and then ‘comforting’ the Irish players after the final whistle.”