What we can expect from Thierry Henry the manager following Monaco appointment

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The Arsenal legend has already hinted at his footballing philosophy and will look to replicate the legacy set by former manager Arsene Wenger

He's back!

Twenty-four years after making his professional debut at Monaco, Thierry Henry returned to the Stade Louis II this week to begin his first job as a head coach.

His immediate objective is to haul his former club out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone. His long-term goal is slightly more ambitious: get his side playing like Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, with whom he won the Champions League in 2011.

Henry, of course, has spent the last two years working alongside Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, learning his trade while earning praise from the likes of Romelu Lukaku for his work on the training field. 

Eden Hazard, meanwhile, was impressed with the Arsenal and France legend's desire and determination to make the often tricky transition from superstar footballer to successful coach.

"He was a fantastic player," the Belgium winger recently mused. "As a manager, he doesn't have a lot of experience but he will learn. I think for him maybe it's a good time to go. He wants to be a manager, so he will be a top manager, for sure."

However, the challenge now facing Henry should not be underestimated.

Thierry Henry Monaco PS

Monaco have recorded just one victory from their first nine games of the Ligue 1 campaign and sit 18th in the standings, four points from safety.

It is hard to believe that this is the same club which won the title just over 12 months ago. But then, this is not the same side that won the title 12 months ago – not at all. 

Since the end of the 2016-17 campaign, which also saw Monaco reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Joao Moutinho and Benjamin Mendy have all been sold.

Leonardo Jardim's title-winning team has been torn to shreds. Now, Henry is being asked to pick up the pieces.

Granted, there are still several talented players within the Monaco squad, including Radamel Falcao, who has hit four goals in eight Ligue 1 appearances this season. 

However, midfielder Youri Tielemans is the only other player to have scored more than once, with the likes of Stevan Jovetic and Dimitry Golovin out of form and low on confidence.

Indeed, Henry's powers of motivation will be immediately put to the test as his first task will be to lift the spirits of a team that haven't won a game since August 11. 

After that, it will be about persuading the players to embrace the principles and ideas he picked up playing under two of the greatest coaches the game has ever seen in Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola.

Thierry Henry Pep Guardiola PS

"Arsene unlocked a lot of stuff in my mind, made me understand what it was to be a professional, what it was to perform," Henry explained. "I will never forget that. I will always carry some of the stuff that he was doing. A lot of people [also] inspired me in France.

“But Pep is the reference point, for me. I’m not saying for everyone. There’s no right or wrong; but he's the reference for me. We learned how to play the game when I went to Barcelona under him.

"With Pep you can talk about the game; he will not even go to sleep and will still talk about the game. You will fall asleep and he’s still talking.  

“The invention he had, he’s well ahead of the game. I saw it closely.

"However, while you learn from people and they inspire you, you also need to put your own little mix into it.  

“Talking about the managers that I had; I learnt with a lot of them, every single one of them. Whether they challenged me, whether sometimes they were doing the wrong stuff; that’s when you learn the most – when things are not going well."

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That is the situation Henry now finds himself in at Monaco. Things are not going well. Morale is low. Yet Henry is aiming high. 

Like Wenger, he will demand professionalism and performances. Like Guardiola, he will try to pass on what he learned from football's great philosopher. He will strive to marry style with success.

Twenty-four years after making his debut under Wenger, Henry is back at Monaco. And we're about to find out if the former student can become a coaching master.

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