By Richard Clarke
Thierry Henry has the obsessive nature required to become the Arsenal manager according to Arsène Wenger, the only question mark is the amount of sacrifice he is willing to make to achieve his ambition.
This week, the French striker professed the desire to return to North London after his playing career was over. He ultimate aim was the manager’s job but he said he’d be the “water-boy” if required.
Henry matured into an elite striker at Arsenal under Wenger’s tutelage. The pair share a fanatical passion for the game and, speaking ahead of the game with Blackburn, the manager was open-minded to being re-united at Emirates Stadium. However he is well-aware that the job can rule your life.
"All my former players have the attributes required,” he said. “But first of all it has to be a choice of life.
“Being a manager is a sacrifice for the rest of your life, not everybody is ready for that. It's nothing to do with intelligence or capabilities.
“But certainly Thierry is obsessed with football, yes. He even watched our Reserve team on television last year.”
And it seemed the younger players in the squad were always interested in Henry too. It was something the manager exploited to its greatest effect.
"He always encouraged the young players when he was here,” said Wenger. “And I found it's important to give a role model to a 14-year-old boy.
“You look at how he plays and you see the closest senior player to him. Then you tell the youngster 'watch this player and try to be like him'.
“That creates a concrete image in his head - he watches the player, tries to copy the player and tries his tricks.
“And of course, when he was here at Arsenal, every single striker wanted to be Thierry Henry."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Oct 2009