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Is Thierry Henry the right man for Bournemouth?

Thierry Henry is currently a strong favourite to become Bournemouth’s next permanent manager. 

Henry is currently in charge of MLS side CF Montréal. He is believed to be ready to manage in England, as interest from Bournemouth increases. 

Bournemouth have been without a permanent manager since Jason Tindall was sacked on February 3rd. Since then, they have been in impressive form, winning three and drawing one, with caretaker boss Jonathan Woodgate. This begs the question, is Thierry Henry the right man for Bournemouth or should they stick with Woodgate?

Thierry Henry head coach of Monaco during the Ligue 1 match between Marseille and Monaco at Stade Velodrome on January 13, 2019 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Alexandre Dimou/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Henry’s previous experience in management:

The Frenchman’s first experience in coaching was at youth level for his former side Arsenal. This led him to a role as Roberto Martínez’s assistant for Belgium. 

In October 2018, Monaco gave Henry his first role as head coach. However, within 3 months he was sacked after winning only two league matches. The 43-year-old is the current head coach of CF Montréal, whom he guided to the MLS playoffs in his first season, where they were eliminated in the first round. 

Overall, he carries a highly uninspiring managerial record with a win percentage of 26% and no managerial experience in England. Yet, could his successful playing career inspire Bournemouth?

HARRISON, NJ – JULY 24: Manager Arsene Wenger with ex player Thierry Henry during a training session at Red Bull Arena on July 24, 2014 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Style of Play:

Therry Henry has replicated the playing styles of his former managers, Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola. His teams are encouraged to play positive possession-based football. 

Arsene Wenger commented on beIN SPORTS, that Bournemouth would be a good club for Henry as, “they have good players and they work well, so I think it’s a great platform for a young manager to show that he can do it in England enough to go to the Premier League.”  

Henry’s style is an ideal fit for Bournemouth. Throughout their time in the Premier League, they consistently played possession-based football. Hence, he shouldn’t have as much trouble integrating his approach, as he did at Monaco, with the players being used to playing this way.

Demand of the Championship:

The Championship is arguably one of the most demanding leagues in the world with so much at stake and fixtures coming quickly. Bournemouth have 7 Championship games in the next month, before hosting Southampton in the FA Cup on March 20th. This gives Henry very little training time to integrate his playing style were he to be appointed. 

There is so much at stake for Bournemouth as they try to guarantee promotion back to the Premier League. Otherwise, they will risk losing key players such as David Brooks in the summer. 

With limited time, with demanding fixtures, Henry will have to make an instant impact. Otherwise it will cost Bournemouth their play-off position. 

Overall:

It is a huge risk in the short term for Bournemouth’s promotion hopes, especially with the side recently finding form with Woodgate as caretaker manager. Yet, if Bournemouth want to build for the future, if given time, Henry will certainly be able to attract good players and adopt the style of play that has served Bournemouth so well in the last decade. 

The Podcast previews Bournemouth’s away trip to QPR on Saturday where Woodgate, as it stands, is set to remain in charge of the side. He insists that he is not focusing on the speculation but on the game, saying “it’s just the next game for me and I’ll take it from there.”  

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