Turning down Arsenal coaching role was no 'dilemma' for Thierry Henry
Published 17/07/2016 | 10:36
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has played down the significance of his recent departure from the club.
The 38-year-old will not coach Arsenal's Under-18 side having opted to continue in his role as a television pundit.
Henry, who is Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer, had worked with the club's academy players last season as he studied to gain his UEFA 'A' Licence.
He is employed by Sky to help cover Premier League football, also appearing on the BBC's Euro 2016 output, but when he was offered a role within the Arsenal set-up by manager Arsene Wenger he was told he would have to step down as a pundit.
Much was made of Henry's decision to pursue his television career, but the former Juventus and Barcelona forward has since clarified his position.
"Nothing will change with my love for Arsenal," he told The Sun.
"First and foremost, I wasn't an employee. I was allowed to go and pass my badges there. This decision was taken months ago, but I guess it came out now because the new season started and I wasn't there.
"I have a current job. In my spare time, for free, I wanted to impart my knowledge and experiences in the game to the youngsters, while completing my coaching hours and also gaining knowledge to pass my pro licence.
"That is how it is, it was a dilemma that wasn't really a dilemma. I have to work. I respect the decision and if I can't complete my hours there, then I will do it somewhere else. It isn't an issue."
Wenger has a history of aiding his former players, with Steve Bould currently his assistant and Freddie Ljungberg working within the youth ranks.
Mikel Arteta, who retired at the end of last season, is also believed to have been offered a backroom role but decided instead to work under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Former Arsenal skipper Tony Adams is understood to be poised to return to the Emirates Stadium on a permanent basis.