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Monaco coach Thierry Henry suspended ahead of relegation showdown


Monaco (AFP) – Thierry Henry has been suspended from his role as coach of struggling Ligue 1 side Monaco as they prepare for a key relegation clash this weekend, the club announced on Thursday.

“Henry has been suspended until a definitive decision is made,” the club said in a statement, adding assistant coach Franck Passi would oversee training on Friday ahead of their trip to fellow strugglers Dijon.

Henry, 41, was suspended by Monaco, who are second-from-bottom in the French league with 15 points, after the former Arsenal and France striker earned the Principality club just two wins since his arrival in October.

He took up the post with the 2017 French champions in October following the sacking of title-winner Leonardo Jardim but failed to improve on the poor start to the campaign by his predecessor.

Monaco are two points behind Dijon, who are 17th and a further point from safety, after collecting only three wins from 21 matches, and crashed out of Europe early after finishing bottom of Champions League Group A with just a single point.

Their miserable form under Henry culminated in a humiliating 3-1 French Cup defeat to second-tier Metz on Tuesday and a 5-1 home Ligue 1 hammering by Strasbourg last weekend, during which the tension surrounding Henry began to show.

Henry was forced to apologise after being caught calling Strasbourg defender Kenny Lala’s grandmother “a whore” after he delayed a throw-in with the score still 2-1.

Monaco have brought in players in the transfer window but Henry’s former Arsenal teammate Cesc Fabregas — who arrived from Chelsea — was at fault for Strasbourg’s third, while fellow new arrival Naldo left them with an uphill battle after being sent off in the seventh minute.

However escape from the relegation zone is possible as the two sides immediately outside the bottom three — Caen and Amiens — face Champions League-chasing Montpellier and Lyon and can be caught should the pair lose to their high-flying opponents and Monaco beat Dijon.

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