Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has opened up about his journey as a manager so far and his ambitions for the future, in the new issue of FourFourTwo.
Henry was recently strongly linked with the vacant manager's job at Bournemouth, before leaving CF Montreal in order to be closer to his family in England. Now, speaking in a world exclusive interview with FFT, the Frenchman says that he would love to manage Arsenal one day - but that he's "far from" that.
“Listen, if you ask an Arsenal fan if they’d like to coach Arsenal one day, they’ll say yes,” admits Henry. “If you ask an Arsenal fan if they’d like to score a goal for Arsenal, they’ll say yes. When I speak about it, it’s a utopia. People get carried away whenever I say that it’s my club, but I have it in my blood – I’m an Arsenal fan.”
“So if you’re asking me if one day I’d like to coach Arsenal, then yes. If you ask if one day I’d like to be Arsenal’s kit man, then yes. If you ask if one day I’d like to cut the grass at the Emirates Stadium, then yes.”
Arsenal aren't just the only former club that Henry told us that he would love to manage, despite remaining grounded by the prospect.
“If you ask me am I dreaming, yes I’m dreaming. But when you’re not dreaming, you’re awake and there is a reality,” Henry said. “Would I love to coach Arsenal? Yes. Would I love to go to Barcelona? Yes. Would I like to play for Arsenal again? I’d love to play for them again, but the reality is I can’t!”
“I’m on my learning curve, I want to do well for the team I’m coaching, then time will tell. If you’re not successful, you’re not going to have those types of opportunities. I’m just concentrating on what I can control, and the rest is a massive utopia. Would I have liked to sing like Lionel Richie? Yes, but I don’t sing like Lionel Richie!”
Henry has of course already managed a club he played for, after taking charge of Monaco in October 2018. Henry started his professional playing career in the principality, before joining his mentor, Arsene Wenger, at Arsenal in 1999, after an unhappy but brief spell at Juventus.
Henry scored 228 goals in all competitions in the end for Arsenal. The Gunners, he says, will therefore always be a big part of his life.
“Arsenal is part of me and always will be – half of my heart belongs to Arsenal, and the other half to my family,” he continues. “The understanding I have with Arsenal fans is something I cannot describe – it’s something I’m always going to miss.”
“If I could relive one night, it would be when I came back on loan and scored the winning goal against Leeds. It was the third round of the FA Cup, Leeds were in the Championship at the time and it wasn’t the best goal ever, but I reconnected with the fans for one night... one more night. That was priceless.”
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