Monaco boss Thierry Henry insists that his club’s future is more of a concern that his own after a difficult start to his life as a manager.
With his side currently sitting just one point clear of the bottom in France’s Ligue 1, and after a midweek Coupe de France exit, the pressure is mounting on the Frenchman.
Will Monaco be relegated? Five key things to know…
- Monaco hare currently 19th in Ligue 1 having won just three of their 21 league matches so far.
- The principality club sacked manager Leonardo Jardim in October after just one league win and replaced him with former player Thierry Henry.
- But things haven’t gone according to plan, with Henry so far unable to turn their fortunes around.
- And, when asked about safety, Henry pointed out the likes of Atletico Madrid have previously been relegated with a squad of better players.
- Monaco began 2019 with their heaviest defeat yet, a 5-1 loss against Strasbourg, severely hurting their goal difference.
Despite the poor results for Henry, it could be said that fortune has not favoured him. With injury problems blighting more than 10 of his players and some difficult refereeing decisions to contend with, he has come up against it.
Amidst the poor performances on the field, Henry has remained adamant of his goal to make sure Monaco are safe whilst building a squad for the future, reports Goal.
Three points off of safety, Henry insisted: “My future? Owners would decide when they need to decide. I am more worried for Monaco’s future. I already said that.
“I will repeat. No need to always ask the same question, I would answer the same thing – Atletico Madrid have been relegated in the 90s with stronger players than us. [Real] Zaragoza as well more recently as you know. I could talk about all the leagues.
“We are in this situation, even if it was Coupe de France and now we are out but this weekend against Dijon in Ligue 1 it’s going to be war.”
Henry has come under fire for his reluctance to adapt his tactical identity in the face of poor results and performances. With a preference for playing with three at the back, his side has conceded 36 goals in 21 games, the second highest in the league.
Clearly acknowledging the need for change, Henry has brought in Cesc Fàbregas, Lille left-back Fodé Ballo-Touré, Naldo and William Vainqueur on loan with hopes to capture Michy Batshuayi, in the January market.
Henry’s tough task at Monaco
Although Monaco were in a beleaguered state when Henry took over, the club had reached remarkable highs under Leonardo Jardim.
Signing for the wealthy French side in 2014, Jardim guided his side to back-to-back third-place spots in his first two seasons before dazzling fans around the world in the 2017/18 campaign with his side’s lethal attacking play, winning the Ligue 1 trophy for the first time in 17 years.
Despite reaching the Champions League and Coupe de France semi-finals as well, a poor start to this season saw him unceremoniously sacked from his position.
When the rumours came true of Henry returning, having cut his teeth at the side early in his career, fans expectations were high. Many were cautious of his lack of experience though and with the weight of expectation after Jardim’s initial success, it seems like life in Monaco is taking its toll on Henry.
Undoubtedly an ambitious move, it was always going to be difficult to lift the underachieving side’s spirits, especially given their position in the doldrums of the league at his time of taking over.
Recent offensive remarks from the manager on the sidelines have grabbed him more negative attention. Despite this, he has been able to bring in players of his choosing and clearly, the board are willing to show him patience.
A legend on the field, many in the footballing world are wishing him success in his career as a coach. Undoubtedly though, performances must improve if he’s to find safety at the club. The coming weeks may be the most crucial of his footballing life yet.