Monaco have sacked manager Thierry Henry as he leaves them 19th after 104 days in the role
Monaco sacked manager Thierry Henry on Thursday night despite giving the former Arsenal striker assurances his job was safe earlier on the very same day.
Remarkably, the club are now set to reappoint their former boss Leonardo Jardim, who Henry replaced as manager only three months ago.
The super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has been heavily involved in Monaco’s transfer operations in recent years, is believed to be masterminding Jardim’s return.
Leonardo Jardim, who Henry replaced, is waiting in the wings to return to the side as manager
Henry, who signed a three-year deal in October, has been assured he will receive a full severance pay-off despite being suspended rather than sacked at this stage.
Vadim Vasilyev, the vice-president of the club, is understood to have told Henry he would be kept on at Monaco despite a dreadful run of results that saw the club win only two of their 12 league fixtures under Henry.
After a 5-1 defeat by Strasbourg last weekend, Monaco also lost to Ligue 2 side Metz in the French Cup on Tuesday night. Henry’s humiliation during the Strasbourg game was exacerbated when he was forced to apologise for calling a player’s grandmother a ‘whore’ at the Stade Louis II.
The club deliberated over his future during the past week but appeared to have settled on keeping Henry at the club.
Since taking the job just under 15 weeks ago, Henry has been unable to turn poor form around
Henry has made his own signings this month, signing defender Naldo and also tempting Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea.
Fabregas played with Henry at Arsenal and is understood to be bewildered that only two appearances into his Monaco career, he will now be playing under a new manager. The Spaniard was given no indication during talks with the club that Henry’s future was under immediate threat.
The future of sporting director Michael Emenalo, who also used to be at Chelsea, is also now in question as Mendes steps up his involvement with the club.
For Henry, it is a chaotic end to his first individual foray into management. Henry turned down Aston Villa to return to Monaco, where he began his playing days.
Despite the initial excitement at his arrival, his relationship with several players in the dressing room is understood to have deteriorated and some first-team players were sent to train with the reserve team as the coach doubted their commitment.
Arsenal legend Henry has had a difficult time in charge and leaves the club struggling for wins
The timing of Henry’s suspension is interesting considering Monaco face Dijon, who sit third bottom in the French top flight, in a relegation six-pointer this weekend.
Henry spoke at a pre-match press conference on Thursday and said: ‘Rumours are not a problem. There is always (rumours) in football. The most important thing is to save the club. My future is not a problem. I arrived, the club was in a state.
‘I have put a lot of things in the place you haven’t seen in the dressing room.’
He also spoke of a ‘mental problem’ in the dressing room, adding: ‘There comes a time when you have to have players who want to save the club and not think about their careers.’
Cesc Fabregas, who joined just this month, will be left bewildered following Henry’s exit
In a short statement on Thursday night, Monaco said Franck Passi would take over from Henry until they decide whether to sack their manager or give him more time.
‘AS Monaco announces that it has decided to suspend first-team coach Thierry Henry, they said. ‘Franck Passi will train the professional group this Friday.’
Jardim’s return is all the more absurd for the fact that Monaco paid him several million as a payoff only in October when he left the club with the team languishing in the playoff places.
Jardim has remained in contact with Vasilyev and still lives in Monaco with his family. A deal for his comeback is expected to be sealed over the weekend.
Henry held a meeting with his team on Thursday and gave a tactical presentation to his players in the afternoon ahead of the weekend’s fixture against Dijon.
The players were given no indication his future was on the line and it has come as a major shock to the dressing room.