Thierry Henry has revealed that he has turned down job offers in recent months because he is committed to Belgium.
Henry is assistant manager to Roberto Martinez and will be a key member of the Red Devils’ staff at the World Cup in Qatar next month. The 45-year-old has previously managed Monaco and Montreal and also works as a pundit in the media.
The Arsenal legend lasted just 20 games in charge of Monaco, being sacked less than three months into his three-year contract. He lasted longer at Montreal, but stepped down in February 2021 as the MLS side’s boss due to Covid-19 travel restrictions stopping him from seeing his children in London.
Henry was lined up by Bournemouth after leaving Montreal and was linked with the Bordeaux job earlier this year, but has remained with Belgium. Asked by Jamie Carragher on CBS Sports’ Champions League coverage whether he thought clubs have been put off by his short stints at Monaco and Montreal, he offered an insight into his thinking.
He replied: “Yes, I would like to think so, maybe. I turned some down because I want to see it through with Belgium and not leave them on the way to the World Cup, because, you know, it’s a weird one to leave.
“But people sometimes think that ex-players are waiting for a glamorous place to go – I went to Montreal. Don’t get me wrong. I left there because I didn’t see my kids for a year and it started to get tough to come back. But I’m not like that. Whatever situation that comes my way, I’ll take it.”
Henry has bemoaned the fact Monaco sacked him after four wins, five draws and 11 defeats from his matches, but he insists that he remains committed to coaching. “No, not at all,” he said when asked if he’d been put off management by the experience. “Because I feel like I need to give something – to whoever wants to listen to it. For me, the youngsters are always a priority.”
Asked if he wanted to get back into club management to prove to himself he can be a success, he said: “I met [former Manchester United assistant] Mike Phelan one time and he said to me: ‘You’ve got the sack, so now you’re a manager’. I don’t know if it was a joke or not, I said ‘OK’.
“I just want to go back and help, especially with the youngsters. After that (Monaco) I went to Montreal. People will say that’s not very glamorous, but it’s not about that. It’s about me getting better and also, the best relationships I’ve had at those teams so far is with the youngsters.”
Henry recently became an investor in Serie B side Como, teaming up with Dennis Wise and his former Arsenal teammate Cesc Fabregas for the project. He told Mirror Football in August: “It always looked like it would be the next step but you never know where it’s going to go.”