It is not often you hear a man contracted to West Brom tipping Aston Villa for big things. But Graeme Jones’ relationship with Thierry Henry started long before he was appointed as Darren Moore’s assistant at The Hawthorns.
Jones worked alongside the Arsenal legend at the World Cup this summer with both key members of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium coaching staff. The Rote Duivels eventually finished third in Russia, losing in the semi-final to eventual winners France.
And reports in The Telegraph suggest that Henry could be about to follow Jones to the Midlands. It is claimed that Aston Villa have held advanced talks about making the 41-year-old their new manager following the sacking of Steve Bruce.
Now, speaking to Sky Sports (9 October, 9am), Jones believes that Villa would be on the right track if they handed Henry his first senior management role.
“Wherever he goes, (Henry) raises standards. He is driven to succeed. His contacts in the game are top level. Alone he would recruit many players. If it was a 50-50 call, he would make the difference,” said Jones, who also worked under Martinez at Everton and Wigan.
"If he went to Villa it would be a real coup for the club.
“Thierry has everything. He is a really good coach, tactically aware. He has worked under Pep Guardiola, Frank Rijkaard, Aime Jacquet. That is a lot of top experience.
“Thierry has great humility as a person, patience, good understanding. He knows the game. I am sure he will be fine whatever level he manages at.”
Aston Villa have been linked with a number of far more experienced coaches with the likes of Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rodgers, Carlos Carvalhal and Paulo Fonseca all linked with the vacant post at the Midland giants.
So Henry would perhaps be the biggest risk that Villa could take right now. Then again, two underwhelming years under Bruce shows that experience and a proven track record isn’t always key.
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