Thierry Henry engaged the minds of his Monaco team with "bright, engaging" training sessions and could have been "fantastic" for the club had he not been sacked so quickly during the 2018-19 season, according to Rony Lopes.
After a difficult start to the campaign that saw them win just one of their first nine matches, Leonardo Jardim was dismissed in October and replaced swiftly by Henry, who had previously been Roberto Martinez's assistant with Belgium.
With an injury crisis ravaging the squad, results were little better under Henry, who won two of his 12 matches in charge, finding himself dismissed in January after a crushing 5-1 home defeat by Strasbourg and subsequently moving on to Montreal Impact in MLS.
Curiously, Jardim was reinstated after Henry's sacking, but he only lasted until December and Lopes – who was a part of the Monaco squad last season – feels the Frenchman was shown the door too soon, convinced he was having an impact on a squad that had felt the full force of bad luck with injuries.
"The time with Henry was a very hard campaign because it was a moment in the season when we had 17 injured players," Lopes said to The Athletic. "We played in the Champions League with five strikers who were 18 years old.
"Even if they are good players, they do not have the experience to play games like that. It was a hard season for them. I have never been in a situation like that in my life.
"I think people don't really know what happened with Thierry. In my opinion, the club did not give him enough time. The training sessions were really good and the ideas were bright, engaging and good.
"When he had the players back fit, and the team starting to be how he wanted, the club sacked him. I did not agree with that. If they had given him more time, he could have been a fantastic coach for Monaco.