Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry is trending for the wrong reason: a nightmare start to his first real coaching job at AS Monaco, the club where he began his career.
It needs to be said that close to ten first team players of the French side are unavailable due to injury or some other issue, reducing his options. However, this was a key member of Arsenal’s great invincibles who went a whole season undefeated, so many people can’t help but to expect more and to feel that things are too bad for Henry.
When he joined Monaco, the club had gone 10 matches without a win. The first five matches under Henry have followed the trend, increasing the winless streak to 15 matches for a club that is not very used to such runs, and getting close to the worst record of 16 matches from so many years ago. Henry has also conceded ten goals in his five games, with no clean sheet.
The last match in the chain was a Champions League match on Tuesday November 6, at home against Belgian side Club Brugge in which they were handed their worst home defeat in the Champions League (4 – 0). Monaco was down 3 – 0 in the first 30 minutes on their home turf, another bad record for any French club that has played in the Champions League.
On the tables, Monaco lies bottom in its Champions league group and 19th in the French Ligue 1 where they’re fast drifting from the available Champions League spots.
And the pressure is getting to. He said recently in an interview “When you enter the pitch and your players involuntarily refuse to play, it is difficult,” – an open criticism of his players which could prove to be a bad move. The players refuse to play? They enjoy losing? Those words are surely not likely to boost the team’s morale.
Clearly, being a pundit is watching from the sidelines. Being a coach on the other hand, is not a walk in the park.