Thierry Henry is an exciting name, but he’s not what Celtic need, and we know it, don’t we?

The epitome of cool, he brought Parisian chic to an increasingly cosmopolitan UK football landscape. As a player, he just oozed class; 25-yard finishes with incredible power from just a calm flick with the inside of his foot, beating players for fun. For a time, he made Arsenal must-watch.

He was an incredible footballer. But Roy Keane was handy, too, and we’ve got to stop clouding our judgement on managers with the image of them as players. As job descriptions, playing and managing are so profoundly different. We’re all guilty of it.

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Because for a second, I thought: “Oh wow, that’d be great”. Based on image alone. I forgot for a second that Henry has had two stints in management, neither overwhelmingly successful. His brief sojourn with Monaco, where he made his name as a player, didn’t end well. Then, his spell at CF Montréal was blighted by missing his family in London [Sky Sports].

He did take the Canadian side to the MLS play-offs, which is good going. Still, Roy Keane had two big managerial spells, one with a degree of success, the other not so much. Their CVs are mirror images, a decade apart. So it’d be enormously hypocritical to blast the idea of Roy Keane as emphatically as I do.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry: a fantastic player, but not a top manager just yet / (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Let’s get an obvious ‘Thierry Henry to Celtic’ issue out of the way

Of course, the elephant in the room.

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Thierry Henry hand-balled against Ireland while playing for France [FourFourTwo]. It, of course, went unpunished and led to a goal. Ireland didn’t make the 2010 World Cup, France did. There was a measure of karma about how hilariously the French team collapsed in that tournament, but it was scant consolation.

Given the very obvious connections between Ireland and Celtic, it’s easy to point to that incident and wonder “would Celtic fans welcome Thierry Henry as Celtic manager?”. Honestly, I don’t have an answer for that.

What I do know, however, is that his CV doesn’t suggest Celtic calibre yet.


Neither do his comments, in any real way [Robbie Fowler Podcast]:

“With all humility, whatever is going to come my way – I’m not saying that should come my way. Whatever is going to come my way I’m going to try to evaluate. I’m sure they’re going to work on what they’re going to work on.

“I don’t know what’s happening there, this is a club I respect a lot, but that I don’t know about.”

That’s not a come-and-get-me plea, is it?

While travelling from London to Glasgow and back a few times a week is certainly feasible, it seems Henry doesn’t want to rush into another job, unless it’s in southern England. There will be opportunities coming his way in the future; just look at Frank Lampard’s Chelsea reign, Solksjaer at Manchester United.

There is always going to be sentiment in appointments, and few Celtic supporters wouldn’t agree that as a player, Thierry Henry was an exquisitely skilled footballer who helped to make a formerly boring Arsenal team fashionable. As for Henry managing the Bhoys, though?

No chance.

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