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Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has given insight into why Thierry Henry had to leave his coaching job at Arsenal.

After retiring from football in 2014, former Barcelona and Arsenal star Henry made no desire of his intention to enter football management and assumed a youth coaching role with the Gunners.

The best part of the Frenchman’s career was spent at the Gunners where he has iconic status after scoring 228 goals for the club from 376 appearances in all competitions.

During his time with the Gunners, Henry played a big role in helping the club win two Premier League titles and was a major part of the invincible’s team which won the top flight during the 2003/04 season.

Henry however carried on working as a television pundit while he worked as a coach.

Smith has revealed that this upset former Gunners manager Arsene Wenger who asked the former French World Cup winning star to leave as a result.

Smith shed light on the issue and said as reported by The Evening Standard: “No matter how big a legend you are — and Thierry is one of the biggest — you can’t have a foot in both camps — and Thierry learned that,”

“As time went on towards the end of Arsene’s tenure, it became impossible not to criticise him and the performances.

“If you resisted it, you would lose all respect. I remember Arsene saying he wanted Thierry to stop working for Sky and commit to the youth team position.

“I could well see his point. As reasonable and logical as Arsene is, it is still going to grate when your all-time leading scorer is having a go.

“It wouldn’t have been easy for all sides, but Thierry ended up staying at Sky before going off to work with Belgium.”

Henry is now looking to start his career as a manager at senior level. He even quit all football media roles that he has in July 2018 to fully focus on a career in management.

He served as assistant manager to Roberto Martinez for Belgium during the 2018 World Cup. During the showpiece in Russia, the Belgians impressed as they went on to finish in third-place and memorably defeated Brazil during the quarter-final stage.

The Belgian’s were eliminated from the event after losing 1-0 to France during the semi-finals. This must have been a bitter-sweet day for Henry.  It will certainly be fitting if Henry does end up managing Arsenal one day in the future.

However, he will first need to prove himself as a manager. Football on the pitch and management are two different things and it is not always the case that good players make good managers. This was proven by Diego Maradona who was one of the best players of all-time but proved to be a mediocre manager as was seen by his stint managing the Argentina national team.


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