In the Principality, the excitement is a relative concept, often more media than popular. The bad results of AS Monaco, 18th in Ligue 1, only unleashed no mobs, just lead to a revolution of palace. The forced departure of coach Leonardo Jardim and his replacement by Thierry Henry have hardly disturbed the tranquility and luxurious of the Rock, which hosted the champion of the world 1998 without effervescence. The decor of his debut as a head coach, Saturday 20 October in Strasbourg, france, will be quite different : the stage of the Meinau is renowned as one of the liveliest of France.

Thierry Henry will have only four days of living with his new staff and workforce, and only two for the international re-entered selection. On Wednesday, more than 80 journalists attended the presentation. The leaders of monaco chose a symbolic place : the right honourable the Monaco Yacht Club, and its roof overlooking the marina, perfect setting for the traditional photo session. Between two poses, the star of the day even had the opportunity to greet one of his ex-teammates to the title of champion of France 1997 : Ali Benarbia, who lézardait in white bathrobe on the terrace of the palace nearby.

A little earlier, indifferent, several little blonde monegasque busy with the launch of their Optimist, ready to navigate in the middle of the floating palaces moored at the quai Louis II. Only a German tourist seemed vaguely interested in the event of the day : “You’re here for the football player ? It’s going to pass by there ? “Invited the day before by phone, Nicholas, 19 years, served as a bond supporter. It was one of two lucky draw, as a” subscriber’s premium “, to attend the presentation.

“Less pressure than elsewhere”

black Suit impeccable, tie matching shoes and elegant, to feet, the scorer of the history of the Blue exhaled the self-confidence in breaking through the crowd of journalists. Before it penetrates the interior of the reception lounge, a clip in black and white featuring hammered the message : the prodigal son is back. “It all started here : work, pain, passion, joy and respect. Memories. It all starts here. Everything starts over now. I come back to Monaco. “

Landed in the Ile-de-France to 17 years of age, the lanky striker formed in the top football at Monaco. Its déboulés on the left wing and his way of bedding in the center marked the spirits, just as his thin mustache, “almost down,” recalls José Daniel, a retired man sitting at a table in the café to The Allobroges in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, headquarters of the local section of Club des supporters de Monaco (CSM). Employed for more than ten years in the cafeteria of the training center of ASM, Marie-France Castillon, moved by this return, guard, she, the image of a ” little guy though, polite and respectful “.

He must believe he has not changed : the press conference of “Titi” started with a long series of acknowledgements, including to the Federation for the belgian, who was released from his position as assistant coach of the red Devils. And then insisted, repeating the antiphon of the communication of the club, on its deep connections with the club – even if it is in front of the stadium of Arsenal in London, that the former striker has his statue : “I scored my first goal here. Since I’m gone, I look at the results of Monaco. The club has a special place in my heart. It’s awesome to be back. “The vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, had also set the tone :” It has been a very great player, he is a child of the club. Today, it is as a technician, he has impressed. No doubt that it is a very good coach. “

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Supporter WSC historical, Marcel Viano takes the example of another glorious former to validate this bold choice. “Deschamps also, when it was taken in 2001, it had never resulted. The first year was a mess and after he won the League Cup and he has led us in the final of the champions League, ” he recalls. Monaco, this is the first experience ideal for him. It happens in familiar territory, and there is less pressure than elsewhere. “

Passed by the biggest clubs, Arsenal, Barcelona, international 123 selections, Thierry Henry seems to have lost none of the serenity and the assurance that accompanied his first career : “there is no stress, there is no impatience no longer, rather a desire to start. I spent all my degrees [degrees] of coach. I picked up the shirts into the changing rooms of the youth teams of Arsenal. I installed the goals, and placed the pedestals in the belgian selection. He had to get there. “

at ease and smiling, one who has often had difficult relationships with the press, the French in particular, is said to have led to the accounts : “there is no problem with the media. I left my career behind me. I am in the skin of a coach. “He even handled the humour, as with this belgian journalist and author of the first question :” I’ve avoided two years there, I can’t. “Prolix in French, the former consultant of the chain Sky Sport is shown to be even more inspired in English, launching into long tirades that have made it sweat for the translator.

Homage to the game nantes

The ex-idol of the Gunners has not escaped either to the questions on his influences. Outside of the two global benchmarks, Arsène Wenger and Pep Guardiola, who led during his player career, he paid tribute to the industry of nantes and its tradition of good collective game : “a Lot of people have inspired me in France such as [José] Arribas, [Jean-Claude] Suaudeau and [Raynald] Denoueix. They loved and breathed football. “

Before being able to play well AS Monaco, he will have a mission more down-to-earth, the one to put an end to the spiral of poor results and restore the confidence of the players, whose morale is at its lowest. The hour is pragmatism, even if no objective accounting has not been fixed by her leaders : “we must secure the players, find a certain joy, a balance, and to avoid making goals. What the team needs now is not what it will need in two months. “

While the club has used to sell his talents as soon as they reach maturity, the first transfer market in January, will be scrutinized with interest. The arrival of the perfectionist Thierry Henry can influence the financial strategy of the WSA, the so-called “trading” of players ? “I’m here to coach the team,” he kicked into touch, as if to indicate that his sphere of influence would be limited to the ground. The first index, the management’s refusal to pay the sum claimed by Rennes to release Julien Stéphan, one of the assistants desired by Thierry Henry. Confirmation that it takes more than a change of coach to upset Monaco.


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