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Thierry Henry exclusive: “I speak to Pep Guardiola whenever I can – tactically, he’s a freak!”

Thierry Henry and Pep Guardiola
(Image credit: Getty)

Thierry Henry has revealed that he still looks for advice from former managers Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola now that he's become a coach himself.

Speaking exclusively in the April 2021 issue of FourFourTwo, available to order online now, the Frenchman cited the pair as his biggest influences and said that he learned different things from the pair. Wenger nurtured Henry as a teenager at Monaco before signing him at Arsenal in 1999; eight years later, Guardiola signed the Gunners' all-time scorer at Barcelona, where Henry won the historic sextuple in 2009. 

“Whenever I see a coach, I always speak to them,” says Henry. “Obviously I speak to Pep, and I speak to Arsene whenever I can reach him. We speak, because when I was a player and he was a coach, I was chewing his ear out. Now as a coach I want to know things.”

Wenger was a formative figure for the Frenchman and someone that Henry says shaped what kind of player he became. As well as helping him to find the right mentality as a player, it was Wenger who convinced Henry that he was better suited to playing as a striker than a left-winger - while Guardiola moved Henry back onto the flanks later in his career.

Henry 324

(Image credit: Future)

“Arsene triggered my brain – I needed that at the time,” Henry says. 

“I needed to be more confident, to realise what type of player I was and what I could do. I started to ask myself the right questions. I always blamed others, but I began to blame myself first. I started to see how I could help others instead of saying to others, ‘Hey, you need to help me’.”

It's Guardiola who the former forward spoke of heavily when asked what kind of side he wanted to build when he was appointed the manager of Monaco in 2018. For Henry, his ex-manager is still a big inspiration on his philosophy. 

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“Pep was a master of tactics,” says Henry. “He can see so much that sometimes it might be a problem for him, because he sees a lot and he wants to change things a lot! Tactically, he’s a freak.“

“The stuff I learned from him was incredible.”

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