London, Nov 14 (IANS) French football great Robert Pires believes his former club and international teammate Thierry Henry could be the right man to succeed Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal manager. During his 19 years at the helm, Wenger has guided Arsenal to nine major honours, including the English Premier League title in 2003-04 when a team that included Henry and Pires went the entire league season unbeaten. Henry is now taking his coaching badges, and Pires sees no reason why his former teammate could not succeed Wenger at Arsenal. “Can I see Thierry Henry taking over Arsene Wenger? Yes, why not? He is working on his badges. He is involved with the U19 team at Arsenal academy. He is preparing himself step by step. He wants to get his badges,” Pires was quoted as saying by Omnisport.com on Friday.
“Question is: would Arsenal want Thierry Henry? It depends on the board, the chairman. I can see Thierry Henry, as well as Patrick Vieira. It’s up to the club to prepare well for the post-Arsene era. That’s crucial,” he said. Vieira was appointed as New York City head coach earlier this week, and Pires believes the former Arsenal captain could also be in line for a return to the club at some stage in the future. “It’s a new experience and a new life for him. He will learn. Okay, it’s MLS (Major Super League) but you have to start your career somewhere. I am sure – and it’s only my opinion – we will see him on Arsenal’s bench,” he said. “He was disappointed to not be given a job at Arsenal at first. But now he understands and respects the choice of the people at Arsenal. He hasn’t written off the opportunity of coaching Arsenal,” Pires said.