Pires backs Wenger, Henry for coaching returns

Getty Images

Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry will both bounce back as managers, according to Robert Pires.

Wenger has not taken another job since leaving Arsenal at the end of 2017-18, although he was linked with AC Milan earlier this season.

Henry, meanwhile, lasted only three months at Monaco after being thrust into a Ligue 1 relegation battle last year.

Pires played with Henry under Wenger at Arsenal and he believes both men still have a lot to give as managers despite their continued unemployment.

"Arsene left last year after 22 seasons with the club. He won a lot of titles," Pires told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "He built the team, he built the new stadium.

"I think he was a great manager for Arsenal but even for the Premier League. So for me he was like a genius because he's a great manager but he's a great person, so Wenger is not only for Arsenal but he's special for football and of course the Premier League.

"I think football needs guys like Arsene Wenger. Now, he's still living in London, he enjoys the new life. He doesn't have any more pressure about the results, about the owners, about the fans, about the media. But maybe one day, I hope, he'll come back on the bench."

Arsenal's all-time top goalscorer Henry struggled in his maiden managerial reign, failing to lead Monaco away from relegation danger with the club turning back to his predecessor Leonardo Jardim in January.

But Pires suggested Henry's struggles at Monaco were not entirely his fault, the club having sold star players including Kylian Mbappe, Fabinho, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva since winning the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17.

"I hope for him because he loves football, he's passionate about this," Pires added. "I think he learned a lot with Monaco. Unfortunately, he was only there for three months. I think, this job, to be a manager is very difficult, because we have a lot of pressure.

"For example, if we win, it's the players. When we lost, it's only the manager, and of course, it's easier to sack only one person. So that's why when the results are not very good, I repeat, it's easier to sack the manager. Unfortunately for Thierry, it was what happened with Monaco."