Thierry Henry has stepped down as the head coach of CF Montreal in Major League Soccer due to family reasons.
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Henry, 43, has been in charge of Montreal since November 2019 and has a 9-4-16 record during his time as a coach in all competitions as Montreal made the MLS playoffs in a season where they had to relocate to the USA for several months due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
This was his second head coaching job after he had a short stint in charge of Monaco and was an assistant with the Belgium national team for two years.
Henry was recently linked with the job at second-tier Bournemouth but the Cherries decided to place Jonathan Woodgate in caretaker charge until the end of the season.
Here is the statement in full from the legendary Frenchman, as he confirmed he will be heading back to London.
“It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision,” Thierry Henry said. “The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children. Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different.
“The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montreal. I would like to thank the fans, players and all the staff of this Club that have made me feel so welcome. I would also like to thank Kevin Gilmore, Olivier Renard and of course Joey and all of the Saputo family for giving me this wonderful opportunity. We had an impossible year together and to make the playoffs with this group of people is an experience that I will never forget. Thank you all for being there on this journey and I wish you all the success for the future.”
From Montreal to Bournemouth for Thierry Henry?
All roads point to the Championship and Bournemouth for Henry.
There was very strong interest from the Cherries in bringing in Henry to replace Jason Tindall, who they fired earlier this month.
However, all of a sudden Bournemouth placed Woodgate in caretaker charge and now it is starting to make sense. It is believed that Montreal had a release clause in Henry’s contract but now that doesn’t matter.
Henry can now return to the UK, quietly analyze this Bournemouth team (which is seventh in the Championship) for the next few months and then take over in the summer. Will he be a success in the Championship?
It will be intriguing to see how it goes as Henry has struggled somewhat in his two head-coaching jobs at Monaco and Montreal, albeit the latter was extremely tough during the pandemic and the travel restrictions imposed upon his team.
In Montreal he was able to attract the likes of Victor Wanyama and Bojan Krkic to MLS and they played a solid 3-5-2 brand of soccer, defended well and made the playoffs against the odds. That shouldn’t be overlooked.
That playing style lines up well with what Bournemouth will need to get out of the Championship and you can expect players will be lining up to play for Henry on the South Coast of England.