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Henry taking positives from Monaco debut defeat – football news

Thierry Henry attempted to focus on the positive side of Monaco’s performance as they lost 2-1 to Strasbourg in his first match in charge.

The former Arsenal star replaced Leonardo Jardim as head coach last week but could not inspire them to avoid a fifth straight defeat on Saturday.

Adrien Thomasson opened the scoring for Strasbourg when goalkeeper Seydou Sy failed to keep out what appeared to be a routine header 17 minutes into the match.

An injury to Radamel Falcao and the sending-off of substitute Samuel Grandsir, who lasted just one minute and 51 seconds on the pitch, left Monaco with a mountain to climb before Lebo Mothiba made it 2-0 in the closing stages.

Youri Tielemans’ injury-time penalty offered only consolation to the visitors, but Henry insisted there was promising aspects to his side’s performance.

“We try to put something in place that worked from the start, and then we concede this goal that I don’t need to describe,” he said. “It’s a human error. I don’t want to overburden anyone.

“Then, we reacted, we had chances but we were losing 1-0 at half-time. We tried to reorganise the game, but unfortunately Sam was sent off. After that, it was even harder.

“I want to focus on the positive within the negative, otherwise we won’t move forward. The positive thing is that we tried to keep playing, even with 10 men.

“The game could have turned in our favour, but it didn’t. In addition, we lost [Radamel] Falcao at the beginning. It wasn’t the dream scenario.”

Henry’s second game is a trip to Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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Henry: Wenger and Guardiola inspirations for my coaching career – football news

Thierry Henry has underlined the huge impact Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola had on him during his playing days as he embarks on a coaching career with Monaco.

The France legend was presented to the media on Wednesday after returning to the club where he started out as a professional.

It is Henry’s first management job, having been on the staff with Belgium, and he cited the lessons learned from Wenger at Arsenal and Guardiola at Barcelona as key to his own development as a coach.

“I learned from those I worked with, whether they challenged me, or whether sometimes they did the wrong thing,” said Henry, who has signed a three-year deal with the Ligue 1 club. 

“Arsene unlocked so many things in my mind – what it meant to be a professional, on how to perform.

“You learn from people, but also need to put your own mix into it.

“Pep for me is the reference. I re-learnt how to play the game when I went to Barcelona under him.

“With Pep you can just talk about the game and he will not go to sleep. You will fall asleep and he’s still talking.

“He is way ahead of the game.”

Following Henry’s spell under Guardiola in Spain, the former Barcelona boss has continued to prove himself among the world’s best managers, winning the Bundesliga three times with Bayern Munich before setting a record with Manchester City en route to last season’s Premier League title.

Wenger, meanwhile, stepped away from Arsenal in May, but is now preparing for a return to football following several months away from the game. 

The 41-year-old Henry takes the reins at a side languishing 18th in the table after Leonardo Jardim’s tenure fizzled out.

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Henry knows there is hard work ahead, but he had no hesitation in accepting Monaco’s offer.

“For me when the offer came it was logical,” he said.

“This is where I started. This club will always have a big place in my heart, so to be able to come here and start again is a dream come true.”

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Monaco the natural move for Henry – Martinez – football news

Thierry Henry starting his career as a head coach at Monaco was the “natural move” he had been waiting for, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

Former France and Arsenal star Henry began his playing career at Monaco and was announced as the successor to Leonardo Jardim on Saturday, signing a three-year contract.

The 41-year-old, who oversaw his first training session on Monday, had been working under Martinez with Belgium since August 2016 and the Spaniard backed his former number two to be a success at a club that means so much to him.

On Henry’s departure, Martinez told a news conference: “I don’t think it’s a loss. The initial project was to have Thierry’s experience preparing the group for the World Cup and we achieved that.

“After that it’s been great for Thierry to want to be with the national team until the natural move would appear. It wasn’t a case of leaving for the sake of it or trying to force a move.

“We’re all supportive because Monaco is his home, it’s where he started as a player and it’s a natural way to start his coaching career.

“He will be a top coach, there’s no two doubts about it; his obsession for the game, his experience, his know-how, but then we all hope he gets a bit of luck because you always need luck in football.”

Belgium take on Netherlands in a friendly on Tuesday and Martinez detailed plans to use a variety of players, while also disclosing that Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet could start.

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Appointing a replacement for Henry is on the Spaniard’s agenda, something he hopes to have sewn up ahead of the next set of internationals in November.

“I think we need an extra body on the staff. The technical staff is very strong, we’ve been working now for a long time, but it’s important – maybe not for a short camp – but when you’re going into a big tournament that we need that extra body, but we’re going to take our time,” he said.

“It’s more assessing what the group needs – they aren’t the needs that were needed two years ago and we didn’t have the experience that we had in the World Cup. We will be adding someone for November.”

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