When news goes viral, it only takes up to an hour before almost every news station and journalist has found the original piece, read it thoroughly as fast as they can, and then put it in their own words.
Today, Febuary 17th 2021 at 12 Pm reminded me of: a broken chain letter.
- First the Daily Mirror reported that Bournemouth is set to announce Thierry Henry as their next manager.
- Sky Sports then reports that Thierry Henry is one candidate on a short list that Bournemouth is interested in pursuing.
- Next TSN, one of the largest Canadian sports broadcasters specializing in North American sports, reports that Thierry Henry HAS been interviewed for the vacant manager position at Bournemouth.
- By 1:30 pm, all football journalists and news stations including 90 mins, Dazn, Score mobile and more have either reported that Henry is the next manager, or is an official candidate, or at the moment is just an idea being brought from the board to the owner.
The first question that came to my mind is: What has Thierry Henry proven at a managerial level to merit this move, or rumor?
The next thing I ask myself is: Is he gone? Going? Staying? What the heck is going on?!?
First and foremost, as a reader, I realize how hard it gets to keep up with the news, when the refabricating process can eliminate or change key pieces of information.
Secondly it can also be difficult to predict what is true, what is false, which source is most knowledgeable on the matter, and who more of a ‘Spec read’ is?
At the end of the 2019 season, the Montreal Impact as they were formerly named, departed with Remy Garde after missing out on the playoffs. The team then took a chance on their next coach, and solely chose him for the weight his name brings to the table, rather than what he has proven on the job.
Frenchman Thierry Henry was brought in as head coach on a 2 year deal, which at the time seemed like a final chance for him to demonstrate that he has what it takes to successfully manage a club.
Can his time with Montreal be considered a success, and will he really be leaving?
First Let’s break down his coaching career:
The former Arsenal legend began his second career with a brief 7 month stint as a youth coach in the London clubs academy. He was never retained due to Arsene Wenger wanting someone full time, without other commitments: Henry was also working with Sky Sports at the time.
In August 2016 he was named assistant coach in the Belgium national men’s team, working hand in hand with Roberto Martinez. His work with the team was praised by the players, notably Inter Milan’s current striker Romelu Lukaku, who said Henry was the best mentor he has ever had. The nation picked up a Bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup, and much credit can go to Thierry’s work with the forwards. This is Henry’s highest managerial point.
In October 2018, after departing from his assistant coaching position with Belgium, Henry returned home taking on the vacant Head Coach role at Monaco. This is the club where his footballing career began after spending time in both Monaco’s youth academy and first team squad in the top French league; Ligue 1.
This would be his be another first for him in a familior place: Head Manager.
What seemed like a Cinderella type of reunion at the beginning, quickly turned out to be a devastating failure: in 20 games he managed 5 W, 4 D, and 11 L leaving the team with the threat of being relegated after dropping to 19th place. The only positive impact he had was convincing former Arsenal teammate and playmaker Cesc Fabregas to join Monaco during the 2019 January transfer window. The player is still there, while as you know, the coach has moved on.
This picture basically sums up Thierry Henry’s time as Monaco’s manager.
While Thierry Henry left Monaco with a horrible 0.95 points per game, his record has hardly improved with Montreal, winning an average of 1.07 points per match.
In 29 games, under Henry the team has won 9 times, tied 4, and lost 16 games. This lowly record is far from being considered a success, and the highest point of his tenure would be squeezing into a last minute playoff position after the “MLS is Back” restart. Of course the season did have its fair set of challenges in the club not replacing outgoing Piatti and Taider, and then the global pandemic.
I am certain the board and fans alike all thought the coach would have a much better ‘Round 2. I sure was beginning to.
In all fairness, he was brought to Montreal to aid the club in gaining global recognition. He was never expected to win titles right away, but first to use his name to attract the key players that will aid the club in meeting its hunger for trophies.
I imagine Henry played a big part in the recent rebranding of the Montreal Impact to Club de Foot Montreal, or better yet Cf Montréal. No I don’t think he chose the name, nor the logo, but he is THIERRY HENRY right? His feedback must have been taken with the highest consideration. The manager did look heavily invested in the project, featuring in the press conferences and videos.
Can the angry loyal fan’s reactions to the Impact being shelved and the Club de Foot being presented be a main reason why he may consider leaving? Or is it the attracting chance of bringing Bournemouth from Englands second tier Championship league back to the Premier League the selling point?
Is he actually even considering leaving?
One of our home grown Cf Montreal analysts for TVA Sports doesn’t seem to think so:
Henry is Henry, he is expected to be the center of rumors from time to time.
He sure was the center of constant attention as a player.
Facts over Speculation
Bournemouth wants to get back into the Premier League, where they previously occupied a spot for 5 consecutive years, before being relegated last season. The team currently sit 6th in the Championship’s table, and ARE in a promotion playoff spot. Their dreams could turn to reality come May.
The board is currently shortlisting potential candidates, before making a decision and then going to the owner for approval. They have short-listed Patrick Vieira, current Huddersfield manager David Wagner, Thierry Henry, and they also have current temporary care-taker manager Jonathan Woodgate on the list.
Henry has NOT been offered the job yet, and if Bournemouth does plan on naming Henry as their next manager, they will need to negotiate with Cf Montréal, who has their coach signed until end of December 2021 with an option to extend for a year.
With Montreal’s blessing, AFC Bournemouth can then make an official offer.
With the recent events surrounding Cf Mtl, and a successful transfer market adding fresh attacking young blood for their coach to leave his mark on this year’s MLS season, I can’t see them too thrilled at the idea of losing their main man. I could see Joey Saputo blocking this. But that’s just me.
The team is only halfway through their objectives, the new name is here, new players are here, now they need to perform and challenge this year to receive the some of the recognition they desire by next season. They want to be an MLS powerhouse, they want players from the big European leagues, and there is still a lot of work to do before achieving this.
Cf Montréal is in the middle of getting ready for the year, considering the MLS Preseason kicks off on February 22nd. If Henry is to leave, this would leave the club in a very vulnerable position having to learn a new system and work with a new coach just over a month before the official season begins.
Can you imagine the back lash from the fans if everything were to possibly derail at the last minute? After everything the club has put the fans through already this year? I can.
One possible way I can see Henry leaving is if he forces his way out of the club. One thing that works in his favour at Bournemouth is the clubs hierarchy are big fans of him! Most likely the player too, not the coach, considering we went over his unconvincing manager record.
Like Montreal, the 2nd tier English club also see Thierry Henry’s name as a stepping stone they can use to, also like Montreal planned, gain global recognition.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about the rumors today in an interview with beIN sports:
‘I knew a little bit that Patrick Vieira was in the frame but Thierry Henry – because he was in Montreal – I did not expect him to leave but it’s a good club Bournemouth. I think it’s a good test as well for somebody. They have good players, they work well. I think it’s a great platform for a young manager that he can do it in England and then to go to the Premier League.’
Would appointing an unproven coach to a side that is already in a promotion playoff position be a good idea? I personally don’t think so. It could actually be a shot in the foot for the ‘’Cherries’’ if it were to happen, and not go to plan. For now, the team is the hands of Jonathan Woodgate for the unforeseen future, who has 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss to date.
If the move does happen and Henry succeeds in promotion to the Premier League, it could possibly pave the way of him one day becoming a manager at his beloved Arsenal.
For now nothing is set in stone, and the clubs have yet to hold any formal discussions.
I thought that with the make over the club has done over the last several months, that Henry was now well equiped to succeed, and this would be the year he truly shows what he can do behind the bench.
Thierry Henry was fortunate to play under exceptionally strong coaches, he has the potential and the knowledge. I beleive he just needs time and the backing.
Montreal might have more time than Bournemouth does.
For now I still believe he is still unproven.
Let’s end this with more speculation: If Henry does leave, could current assistant coach and Montreal Legend Patrice Bernier be made Manager?
Follow The Other Side of The Pond for updated soccer news and transfer info:
Also be sure to check last weeks Cf Montréal article where we went over all the new players the team has recently brought in:
Don’t forget to head to Youtube and watch this weeks episode of Weekly Sauce where Terry Tam and Alex the Intern are joined by former Montreal Alouettes SB : Ben Cahoon