Should Thierry Henry replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager?

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"Yes of course", was Arsene Wenger's response to whether Thierry Henry could succeed him one day. Could he really be the ideal man to takeover? 

The Arsenal legend recently completed his UEFA A coaching license allowing him to manage below Premier League level. Once he completes his Pro License, the former striker would be eligible to take the hot seat. 

Would that be a smart move? 


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It's safe to say he would receive unconditional love if he returned to the Gunners. Two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, along with four Premier League Golden Boot awards - three of which were in consecutive seasons. That's not someone who is likely to be booed in north London. Well, not by the red half, anyway. 


While he is regarded as one of, if not the best player the club has seen, that doesn't mean supporters wouldn't have their doubts about appointing him as the top dog. 

You only have to look at Gary Neville to see why there might be hesitations. The former Manchester United defender might have improved Valencia's fortunes slightly in recent months, but it's been far from successful. 

Nevertheless, you only have to look at Pep Guardiola's trophy cabinet to see why some fans might be eager to give it a shot.

After a successful stint with the Barcelona B team, the current Bayern Munich boss was thrown into the real deal - the first team. Three league titles and two Champions League's followed and he was and still is, hailed as one of the best managers in the world. 

But how does that compare to Henry? He hasn't quite taken over Arsenal's B team, quite simply because they don't have one. In England, each team has an U21's side who compete in a Premier League development league. 

If you ever wondered why English football isn't that successful, there's a start. Even so, Henry has been working with Arsenal's youth players, as well as working with the Welsh national team. It's not quite the same as managing a fourth-tier Spanish side, but now might be Henry's moment. 


The former French International could try test himself in England's fourth-tier equivalent - Sky Bet League two. That's a risky environment of course. Henry won't be working with Denis Bergkamp and Robert Pires, he'll be working with players just above non-league level. 

If he has success though, don't bet against the Arsenal board to let it go unnoticed. 

He knows the club inside out. He played there for eight years under Wenger's guidance. There aren't many people who understand the club better than him and what it takes to be successful at Arsenal. 

Wenger's not the only experienced manager he's worked under either. Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti have also coached Henry. You can't get any better advice than from two managers who have five European cups combined. 

Former Gunners star Robert Pires certainly thinks he could succeed the current Arsenal boss as quoted by The Evening Standard.

"Can I see Thierry Henry taking over Arsene Wenger? Yes, why not?," said Pires.

"He is working on his badges. He is involved with the U19 team at Arsenal academy. He is preparing himself step by step."


Arsenal fans will always be apprehensive about him coming back though. Let's not forget, this won't be the first time he will be returning to the Gunners. 

He had a short loan spell at Arsenal in 2012. At the time, supporters were worried it could go horribly wrong. Of course they were excited to see a fan favourite return, but at the same time, others were thinking, but what if he tarnishes his reputation? 

In that instance he didn't. In fact he gave them a taster of what he used to do week in week out - scoring a late winner against Leeds in the FA Cup.

He got away with it that time, he couldn't do too much wrong. It was a two-month loan, you can't do too much wrong in that space of time to ruin an eight-year legacy.

Managing the club and placing them outside the top four might. Obviously, no matter what would happen, fans would remember what he did for them as a player. However, if he becomes the Arsenal boss and it doesn't go to plan, it might turn sour.

You only have to see the banners supporters have used against Wenger recently. No one thought they would be protesting against Wenger 12 years ago and no one would think it would happen under Henry's management. No Arsenal fan will want it to get to that stage.

On the flip side, he could become one of the best managers in world football like Guardiola. It's too difficult to predict how it's going to go. 


The best thing for the Arsenal board to do would be to see if he managers a lower division side and keep a watchful eye on his progress. 

Then possibly hire him as an assistant manager to Wenger in the future like Ryan Giggs at Manchester United. It's a risky strategy bringing back former legends, but not always unsuccesful. 

Kenny Dalglish became manager of Liverpool after he retired and won three league titles and two FA Cups. He also though, finished 8th with the Reds in 2012, their worst league showing since 1994. 

He's not thought of any differently though on Merseyside. He's still seen as a legend and in many eyes, the best player to play for the club. Even if it doesn't go well for Henry, fans will still remember what he did as a player. 

What's important though, is that he gets experience first. Arsenal need the money from the Champions League. If the Gunners dropped out of the top four under his instruction, then the north London club could decline like Liverpool - who have only been in the Champions League once in the last seven years. 

It's possibly too risky to replace Wenger now with Henry, because they need someone with experience to take them to the league title. That doesn't mean he couldn't be the ideal man in the future, however. 


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