Theirry Henry has left Arsenal with the BBC claiming he rejected a role as manager of their under-18 side.
Henry, 38, had previously worked with Arsenal youngsters while he attained his UEFA A license but now he no longer has a professional connection with the club.
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According to multiple reports, including this one from the Daily Mail, Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, has told Henry he must fully devote himself to being a coach rather than mixing it with punditry work for Sky Sports.
Henry chose to continue doing his TV work for Sky, for which he is reportedly paid over $5.2 million per year.
The main issue Wenger has, according to the reports, is that he doesn’t think it is right that Henry can work within the club during the week and then criticize the players at the weekend.
Is that fair?
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Wenger has been somewhat notorious for keeping connections with past legends of Arsenal at arms length (Patrick Vieria the most notable) and now this so-called “ultimatum” for the Gunners’ all-time leading goalscorer buys into that.
That said, it is believed Tony Adams will become the new u-18 coach, while Freddie Ljundberg will coach Arsenal’s u-16 side and former central defender Steve Bould will continue as Wenger’s assistant manager. Until he quits his media role, it seems as though Henry will not be welcome back at Arsenal and he will now have to find another team to coach when he takes his UEFA Pro license.
Henry is opinionated and, like Wenger, he has worked in the media during EURO 2016. Wenger works for beIN Sports during France games and big tournaments, while Henry worked for BBC Sport this summer at EURO 2016.
If Wenger can do that and give his opinion openly on players and teams, why can’t Henry?
The fact that Henry is a prominent voice of the Premier League and is always asked about Arsenal is of course the main reason.
It’s a tough call but you can see where Wenger is coming from. He needs to keep everyone focused inside the training ground and some of Henry’s comments could definitely cause unrest among first team players.