Football

Thierry Henry's statue counts for nothing..

Arsene Wenger forces Thierry Henry out of Arsenal coaching role

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Thierry Henry has been told he will not be able to continue his coaching role with the Arsenal academy despite a kind offer to work for free, reports The Telegraph.

The legendary striker was present at Arsenal's Hale End training centre for much of the last campaign as he attempted to qualify for his A license. However, to gain his Uefa pro licence, he needs to coach a team and hoped to complete that requirement with the Under-18s.

Head of academy Andries Jonker had agreed to hand him the role only for Arsene Wenger to personally overrule the decision. Henry responded by offering to coach Arsenal's first-team strikers – again, for free – but was once again knocked back by the veteran Frenchman.

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It will come as some surprise to Arsenal fans, who are regularly seen posing alongside Henry's statue outside the Emirates Stadium. As their all-time top goalscorer, his pearls of wisdom would be invaluable to most other clubs.

He will now have to tread a similar path to that of Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and, most recently, Mikel Arteta, by starting his career away from north London.

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Why this has happened

According to the same report, Henry was told by Wenger that he would not be allowed to work within his coaching setup if he combines it with his work as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Henry has a £4m-a-year contract with the television network and Wenger believes the role is better off with someone who is able to give it their full attention. That, you may think, seems fair enough.

But Matt Law, who wrote the story, claims something slightly more sinister may be afoot. His sources have told him that Wenger is worried about the possible challenge posed by the club legend.

Not only would Wenger's own methods come under scrutiny from the 38-year-old but Henry could also become a direct challenger to his position as manager. It is the same thinking that reportedly saw Jose Mourinho ask Ryan Giggs to leave Manchester United.

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Trouble brewing

Wenger has also been left unhappy with some of the comments Henry has made whilst working with Sky. Last season, he claimed he had never seen Arsenal fans so unhappy and has regularly criticised lead striker Olivier Giroud.

However, some Arsenal players openly praised Henry's influence at the training ground last season with Theo Walcott going on record to say he had personally benefitted from his advice. The decision to let him leave could cause a bit of trouble with his first team.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Football
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Theo Walcott
Arsenal
Laurent Koscielny

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