When former Barcelona star and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was appointed as Leonardo Jardim’s successor at Monaco, hopes were high that Les Monégasques could kick on and get their awful start to the season firmly behind them. Last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up had looked listless and devoid of much in the way of effort, and so Jardim’s departure unfortunately seemed more a case of when, rather than if. Henry would then return to the club he left for Juventus in 1999 to take the reins as the new man in charge, with the hopes that the optimism could sharp be brought back to Stade Louis II and the side could start to climb back up the table. If a title tilt was beyond their grasp, at least they could have a good go at getting as much ground back as possible. Surely?
The problem is, this has not proven to be the case just yet. Six games into his tenure and Henry has guided his side to two draws and four defeats. On top of that, they were soundly beaten 4-0 by champions Paris Saint-Germain this past weekend, in what was ultimately the second time they would lose by that scoreline at home in just six days following their Champions League humbling against Clube Brugge last Tuesday. While Henry began his senior playing career at Monaco and went on to enjoy a glittering career, starting his managerial spell at the same club is showing ominous signs of going the other way. It is still early days of course, and no manager will have really put their own stamp on a team within the first six games. Unfortunately, however, that initial honeymoon period which so often graces a new manager has not graced Henry just yet.
Rather than the former World Cup winner getting his moment in the sun and spurring (no pun intended) his side back towards the upper echelons of the table, so far a shadow has been firmly cast. While it is often true that a great player does not a great manager make, one would think that someone such as Thierry Henry would possess all the right personal qualities to prove himself a great manager in the long run. These are still early days, but in 2018 the footballing world can be shaped and moulded from an inspirational run of form, or – conversely – a poor start.
Henry should be able to pick himself and his team up and get the confidence back into a side who only last season had gone unbeaten in Ligue 1 from December 2016 to mid-April 2017, finishing second only to PSG – albeit 13 points away, but things will need to improve quickly if he wants to avoid a start such as this to loom over this spell at a club he clearly holds in high regard. He needs players such as Radamel Falcao (who has scored the most fantasy points of any Monaco player so far this season with 15), Youri Tielemans and Stevan Jovetic (when he returns from his hamstring injury) to up their respective games and get back to winning ways as soon as they can, or else the manager could find himself faced with a real uphill struggle moving forward. Things may have been bad at the club this season, but there is a real risk they could get worse unless Henry can work that magic and bring back the good times.
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