Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has been named the Belgium national team assistant manager under their new Spanish boss Roberto Martinez.
The Ex-Gunner, with no prior managerial experience, is set to take on the role of No. 2 for the Red Devils under the ex-Everton chief who took over as Belgium manager in August this year after being sacked by the Merseyside club in May.
Belgium’s executive sports director Chris Van Puyvelde who said at a press conference on Friday. According to reports in Mirror, he said:
“Roberto Martínez’ assistant coach will be Graeme Jones.”
“Thierry Henry will be the second assistant coach.”
Henry will work alongside Graeme Jones, who served with Martinez at Swansea, Wigan, and Everton. The former France international Henry had been working as coach of Arsenal’s under-18 side before leaving last month after Arsene Wenger told him he could not continue in the role unless he quit his work as a TV pundit for Sky Sports.
He will now take on a role with Belgium, who are second in the FIFA World Ranking but failed to live up to expectations under Marc Wilmots at Euro 2016, where they were beaten 3-1 by Wales in the quarterfinals which led to the firing of Wilmots from his job in July. Henry’s new coaching role with Belgium will have no effect on his punditry work with Sky Sports.
Speaking of his new coaches, Martinez said: (Source: Daily Mail)
“We are here to help the real quality we have. We need to support the players.”
“Thierry Henry has been in the situation to change the spirit into winning something.”
The former Everton boss also added:
“I am very satisfied that we have been able to create an impressive staff.”
A delight Henry tweeted: (Source: Twitter)
“Honoured to be assistant coach @BelRedDevils. Thanks to Roberto Martinez & the Royal Belgian Football Association. Very excited. Can’t wait.”
It was also announced that fitness coach Richard Evans, who like Jones followed Martinez from Swansea to Everton via Wigan, would take up a similar role with the Belgian national team. Martinez also named his first Belgium squad ahead of the friendly against Spain on September 1 and the opening World Cup qualifier against Cyprus on September 6. He would be eager to start his life as an international coach on a high in the first International break of the 2016/17 season.
Meanwhile, another former Gunner Gilberto Silva has expressed his dismay at Thierry Henry not continuing his coaching career with Arsenal. Gilberto, 39, is now in charge of Greek side Panathinaikos, who were part of the draw for the group stage of the Europa League on Friday. Henry was given an ultimatum this summer by Arsenal, asked to choose between his role working in the media with Sky Sports or a position in the club’s academy and he chose not to quit punditry leading to him losing his job at Arsenal FC.
The former Brazilian defensive midfielder Gilberto said in an interview to Goal.com:
“I would prefer him to stay at Arsenal but OK, he’s part of a new era there and I wish him the best of luck as both Thierry and Roberto are excellent people and professionals.”
Henry ranks high among the Premier League’s greatest players ever, having scored 174 goals in 254 Premier League games for the Gunners. The Les Ulis-born former France international retired in 2014 after a brief spell in MLS with the New York Red Bulls.
Now with him joining an International team of the caliber of Belgium (flooded with so many talented youngsters like the Hazard brothers) as an assistant coach under the reign of a reputed manager like Martinez, Henry would definitely gain hell lot of experience in order to become a good manager himself in the future.