Thierry Henry as Arsenal manager. It would be awesome.
Not just because there’d be a romanticism to one of the club’s greatest-ever players, and one of Arsène Wenger’s biggest transfer and coaching triumphs, succeeding his fellow Frenchman sometime in the middle of the next decade, when a septuagenarian Wenger finally steps down after leading the Gunners to their tenth successive EPL fourth-place finish and fourteenth premature Champions League exit in a row.
But because it’d be hilarious. Henry had enough trouble containing his frustration at the inferiority of his teammates when he was on the field with them, able to exert a significant influence on games. Imagine what he’d be like on the touchline, powerless.
It would be magnificent theater. There would be a good chance that by three months into the season he would either come out of retirement or spontaneously combust. In press conferences after bad defeats, he would use withering Gallic stares and sarcasm to melt the minds of critical hacks, making the room resemble a scene from David Cronenberg’s film Scanners.
“I could not say ‘no’ to Arsenal,” he told a BBC show. “So I would say ‘yes’. It should be great.” As Henry’s set to become a coach at the Emirates, the plan is not entirely far-fetched.
And he’s well aware that he’d have to learn to control his temper on the touchline. “When I was playing I was a pain the neck as I was demanding of myself and of others. When you are coaching you can’t scream and shout. You don’t want to scare your players,” he said.
Let’s hope he changes his mind before taking his place in the dugout.