It’s the club where he started his career and it must be great for him to go back to where it all started. We have seen the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Vieira make the move from player to coach recently, and I love to see them because there is always something that changes in them. I met up with Frank, Patrick and Thierry this summer and when we spoke it brought back memories of how my coaches would make me feel.
They all have a lot to think about but they were always ready for it and enjoy the responsibility that comes with the job. Vieira was calm, cracking jokes, and was his usual gentleman self with a bag of knowledge. Interviewing him and hanging out is always fun.
I bumped into Frank in London when I was walking down the street and he hopped out of his car. It was great to catch up and we talked about how he made the right decision to bring Jody Morris with him to Derby. It was great to see the happiness on his face when we talked about his coaching role.
Thierry and I had lost contact for a couple of years, but over for a summer I went to a barbecue in Los Angeles at one at of my dear friend’s place. It was a great surprise to see him there. They had both kept it quiet and didn’t let up that he would be there, so we had that moment where the kid in us came out, with the jokes and being happy to see each other.
We had a long chat about life and coaching. We talked about him getting ready to go on what ended up being a great journey with the Belgium national team, where he ended up taking them all the way to the semi-finals of the World Cup with Roberto Martinez. When he started talking about feeling ready to go after it, all the jokes stopped and the conversation shifted to a more tactical one.
He spoke about his views on managing a team and how he would be doing it. One thing he made clear is that he is a manager that loves to see attacking football, because not only was he one of the best at it, but he just loves that style of playing. I am excited to see how he develops as a coach. He has the experience to handle the situations on the field so if he can get that knowledge across to his team and they understand his way of playing, there could be something very interesting happing in Monaco.
Monaco are in the Ligue 1 relegation zone with just six points from their opening nine games. It is a big task to turn things around, but Thierry has the character, knowledge and attitude to make it happen. The renewed energy in the squad that comes with a new manager will also be a bonus that will see Henry get off to a start as good as Lampard, Gerrard and Vieira have made.
Today professional footballers are starting their careers younger and you can play the game longer, but now that coaches are getting in the game younger as well it can only enhance the game even more.