By grace, Henry back at Monaco

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - SA­MUEL PETREQUIN

Thierry Henry is back where it all started.

France’s all-time lead­ing scorer and an Arse­nal great landed his first man­age­rial job on Satur­day af­ter Monaco hired him as a re­place­ment for Leonardo Jardim, who was dis­missed this week.

The 41-year-old Henry started his pro­fes­sional ca­reer at the Riviera club and played in the French league with Monaco from 1994-99.

He’s signed on as coach for three sea­sons, to June 2021. He starts on Mon­day.

“I thank AS Monaco for giv­ing me the op­por­tu­nity to coach the team of this club which is so spe­cial to me,” Henry said in a state­ment on the club web­site. “I am very happy to come back to AS Monaco and ex­tremely de­ter­mined to meet the chal­lenges ahead. I can­not wait to meet the play­ers to start work­ing to­gether.”

Henry has no ex­pe­ri­ence as a man­ager but had been work­ing as an as­sis­tant to Bel­gium coach Roberto Martinez since 2016. He was part of the staff that led the team to third place at the World Cup in Rus­sia. Henry be­came the lat­est mem­ber of the France squad that won the1998 World Cup to fully em­brace a coach­ing ca­reer, fol­low­ing Lau­rent Blanc, Di­dier Deschamps, Pa­trick Vieira, and Zine­dine Zi­dane among oth­ers.

At Monaco, which is win­less in its past 10 games in all com­pe­ti­tions, Henry’s first task will be to get the team back in con­tention in the league. Monaco se­cured top-three fin­ishes over the past five sea­sons and won the 2017 league un­der Jardim but is cur­rently in 18th place in the stand­ings, and in last place in its Cham­pi­ons League group.

Henry’s first-class ca­reer was launched in 1994 by Monaco coach Ar­sène Wenger, who also five years later brought him to Arse­nal.

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