Rumours have been rife in the last week or so that new investment would bring new management to Villa Park. From the start, the name that was thrown around was that of French legend Thierry Henry.
Henry is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch. If you ask defenders who lined up against him they will tell you they were terrified of him. Our former captain John Terry said on Sky Sports alongside Jamie Carragher that the Frenchman was the only player that he used to think about constantly the night before the game.
However, as a manager Henry is very inexperienced. It was only in August 2016, two years after hanging up his boots, that he was given his break in management when he was named as the assistant manager of the Belgian National team. During this time, Belgium topped there World Cup qualifying group with an impressive record of 9 wins and a draw in the 10 games scoring 43 goals in the process. The Red Devil’s followed this up by finishing third at the World Cup leading to the nations best ever finish at the tournament.
This is an impressive feat after there disappointing exit in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Euros at the hands of Wales. It is widely reported that Henry played a big part in the success at the tournament and tutored the attacking players and helped them with there game. This paints Henry in a good light with Romelu Lukaku ending as the joint second highest goalscorer with 4.
During an interview with NBC Sports, Belgium and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku was asked about the influence that Henry has had since taking over as the assistant manager with the Belgium National Team and said:
“Henry is the best thing that has happened to me because since I came to England aged 18 I have had the best mentors. Thierry for me is the best. Every day whether it is positive and negative I take it in my stride because I know what is expected from the top level.”
This would only mean good things for our current first team strikers as well as those coming through the youth system looking to break into the senior setup.
One thing that he will make up for in his lack of experience as a manager will be his extensive contact list. You’d be hard pushed to find someone involved in football with a bad word to say against the 40-year-old, apart from Spurs fans.
If you look at Henry’s career, he graced the pitch of many great European clubs such as Arsenal, Monaco, Barcelona and Juventus. All of these giant clubs hold him in very high regard and maintain a very good relationship with their former talisman.
This can only lead to good things for Villa if Henry decides to join Aston Villa. If the rumours are true that Villa is in serious financial trouble, the loan market may be the best bet in the transfer window.
Big European clubs, such as those Henry played for have so much pressure on them to succeed that they don’t risk trying there youth players in the first team and in order to get them game time, they opt to loan them out.
Wolves were runaway winners in the league last season with a squad heavy with young talent loaned from big clubs in Europe. Could Villa pull something similar off this season with the help of Henry and his extensive contact list? Only time will tell.