Former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry announced Monday morning that he will not be returning to the New York Red Bulls for the 2015 season. Henry and his teammates were bounced out of the MLS playoffs over the weekend by the New England Revolution on a 4-3 aggregate score line. While the announcement was certainly not a big surprise, there will now be plenty of speculation of what the Frenchman’s next move will be.
In the Facebook statement, Henry said, “I am taking this opportunity to announce that unfortunately Saturday was my last game for the New York Red Bulls. The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract and although that was never going to change, I didn’t want it to distract from the progress of the team.”
Henry continued, “I have immensely enjoyed my four and half years here and would like to thank everyone involved with this club who has made my time here so enjoyable. I will now take the next few weeks to reflect and decide on the next chapter of my career.”
While he clearly still has gas left in the tank despite his age, racking up 10 goals and 15 assists during the past MLS season, Henry’s playing days could very well be over.
Just last week, Henry spoke with L’Equipe on the subject of his next career move. The 37-year-old striker suggested that he would like to make the switch back to Arsenal, not as a player, but possibly as a coach. Henry stated, “Nothing is clear (concerning my future). I have not taken any decision and speculation is not my thing. One thing is certain: I will stay in football, as a coach, a consultant or executive. We will see.”
Henry went on to say that he wants to help the Gunners win the trophy that he could not bring to north London as a player. The Frenchman said, “The second certainty is that I would love to see Arsenal win the Champions League. Whether that is from near or far does not depend on me but it is sure I’d like to help. This is my club and, as a player, I was not able to give them the Champions League.”
It would certainly not surprise anyone in the soccer world if Henry was to show up at the Arsenal training ground after taking an appropriate amount of time for vacation. The Frenchman is without a doubt one of the most popular Arsenal players of all time, and fans would love to see “King Henry” associated with the club once again.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger remains very close with Henry and Wenger has stated recently that he would be open to bringing in his former player as a coach. Wenger told the Daily Mail, “I welcome people who have played for us to come back but not (for just) an honorary job. It has to be a job that is available and one where you get up in the morning and do something. Has he (Henry) the quality to be a manager? Yes… but he has to decide to sacrifice his life.”
With Wenger’s contract set to expire in 2017, Henry would theoretically have some time to learn about coaching from his friend and fellow countryman (and what better manager to learn from than Wenger?). It would not be surprising whatsoever to see Henry working with Arsenal players in some capacity before their 2014-15 season is over.
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