Arsenal legend explains what former teammate needs to replace Wenger

Thierry Henry

Emmanuel Petit believes that it is impossible to tell whether Thierry Henry could replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

Speaking to RMC Sport in France, Petit - who made 116 appearances for the Gunners - has dismissed claims that Henry should take over from Arsene Wenger, although he has hinted that he could fill the post in the future.

A legend in North London, Henry has been touted as a potential Arsenal coach, and future manager, and there are few who would disagree that his playing career hints at a top level coaching career. However, it does not work that way and being a great player offers no guarantee of becoming a great manager.

Regardless, it is expected that the Gunners leading goalscorer of all-time will take a coaching role under Wenger in the coming years, as the veteran Frenchman mentors his protégé before leaving him in charge at the Emirates.

While this system seems logical, as it gives Henry himself a chance to test if he would ever want to be a manager, people have called for Wenger’s head many times in recent seasons, and they are keen to see Henry come in immediately to work his magic.

However, there is no experience to back up this claim, and Petit - who spent one year at Highbury with Henry - believes that the former striker needs time before taking any role, rather than succumbing to the instant wishes of the Arsenal fans.

During an interview with RMC Sport, and quoted by the Standard, Petit said: “It's way too early to tell [if Henry will be good]. We live in a society where fast food is consumed very quickly and we also quickly discard what was consumed. For Henry, as with Zinedine Zidane, he needs time.

“You do not become a coach just because you pass your degrees. It's like when you become a parent. One becomes a function of his children, we adapt, we learn about ourselves. So getting the degree is one thing. Become a coach week after week, that's something else.”

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