Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11
Henry: Praised by Wenger
WENGER: HENRY CAN BE A MANAGER
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Thierry Henry has all the qualities to one day forge a successful coaching career.
The Gunners record goalscorer was yesterday one of three club legends to be honoured with a commemorative statue as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations, with former manager Herbert Chapman and also captain Tony Adams, who led Wenger's men to the double twice, each receiving a similar tribute.
Henry - who left for Barcelona in June 2007, where he would go on to lift the Champions League before moving to the Major Soccer League in the United States with New York Red Bulls - has been back at Arsenal to keep up his fitness levels.
Wenger feels like many of his former players, the 34-year-old - who netted 226 goals as the Gunners won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice - can make the transition into the dugout when he eventually hangs up his boots.
"I must say, many players I have managed have qualities to be managers. Patrick [Vieira] or Thierry can all be managers," said Wenger.
"But let him first be a player - his career is not over. After that you have to learn the job.
"It is like any other job. You need to learn the team, how to handle people.
"You do not stop being a player and become a manager the next day. It doesn't work like that.
"It is a different life from a player. You have to dedicate your life to the team. Players have to make that choice."
Wenger was himself not an outstanding player, and worked his way up through the coaching ranks with Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan before being a then somewhat controversial appointment at Arsenal in September 1996.
The 62-year-old accepts "there are many ways to do it", but that perhaps being parachuted into a top job purely because of your playing status may not always be beneficial.
"To go in straight away under massive pressure is maybe not the best way of getting used to dealing with the players," Wenger said.
"It will be him to decide. I encourage every player who has a positive philosophy to be a manager. They can bring something positive to do the game. They can influence people's lies in a positive way.
"It is a choice that has to come from deep inside."
Wenger - who has a bronze bust of himself already in place at Emirates Stadium - added: "It is a good base to be a great player, but there are many other ingredients. I do not rule it out. They can be great managers."