Arsenal: Here's Why Thierry Henry Can Rejuvenate Wenger's Career
Thierry Henry bid farewell to the New York Red Bulls this week and rumours are rife that the 37-year-old may announce his retirement soon. If the stars align in the way they really ought to, Henry will end up returning home to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has fuelled the 'Return of the King' (second edition) fire, by stating that Henry will 'certainly' come back at some point, in a yet-unknown capacity. The two Frenchmen hold each other in very high regard and earned each other's total trust whilst their career's blossomed side by side at Arsenal. It is this relationship that has prompted me to ponder the idea that Henry may be the key to Wenger renewing both Arsenal glory and his own personal reputation as one of the greatest managers the world has seen.
The heat is on for Wenger and it's hotter than it ever has been. Arsenal have had one of their worst starts to a Premier League season in nearly a third of a century and the frustration amongst Gooners is reaching boiling point. A banner was unfurled and held aloft by a group of fans after Arsenal's 1-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns, and although this does not represent all Arsenal fans' view, it is a sign that cracks are deepening and trust is thinning. Some believe that Wenger is past the point of redemption and that even the FA Cup was just a stop-gap success that bought the 65-year-old more time. With one of Arsenal's best squads in years at his disposal, he should be doing better.
Wenger has often been depicted as isolated and becoming increasingly introverted and narrow-mindedly stubborn. There is a feeling that he has not trusted anyone behind the scenes enough to truly move the club forward ever since David Dein left. This is where Thierry Henry comes in. Thierry can offer Arsene his loyalty, experience and reputation - all of which would be invaluable to the club in whatever role he takes on. But most importantly, Henry has enough confidence and swagger about him to question and criticise Wenger when appropriate. Debate is healthy and it feels like Wenger hasn't had enough of it with people who's opinion he respects at Arsenal in recent times.
Another crucial thing that Henry would bring to Arsenal is a title-winning mentality and know-how. Yes, Wenger has won it before, but he didn't win it from the same angle as the players' did. Now that the manager has set himself a two year deadline in which to win the premier league, it may be worth recruiting a person with the mindset and experience that current Arsenal players lack. The FA Cup was a good start, but winning a Premier League title is a much bigger test of a team's mental strength, as well as physical condition. Whilst Henry can't help solve Arsenal's injury woes, he could certainly start to change the way players think.
Even though Henry isn't really cut out for the Director Of Football role that is thrown about willy-nilly like it's the solution to all of Arsenal's problems, he can give Wenger the peace of mind in being an intelligent, trustworthy partner that can take some of the weight off the manager's shoulders. So let Thierry in, Wenger. Welcome him with open arms and let him seduce your footballing heart like he did as a young player, maybe even let him do up your zip for you. It might just be the renaissance the football world would love to see.