Emmanuel Petit has told SFR Sport that his former teammate Thierry Henry is too much of a “novice” to take over as Arsenal manager if Arsene Wenger leaves.
Henry’s name has been put forward as a possible candidate amid increasing speculation that Wenger will go in the summer, and the legendary Arsenal striker has said he would be interested.
But Petit, who played alongside Henry at Arsenal during the 1999-2000 season, said he was not ready and should not risk his high standing at the club.
“He has his statue outside the stadium, and he benefits from an impressive credit in terms of affection and love not only from Gunners fans but also the whole Premier League,” Petit said.
“He’s the player, after Ryan Giggs, who has made most impact in the Premier League.
“That shows you the extent to which he is in people’s minds and has been for a long time. If you add to that his passion for football, he could do something good — but he is a novice.
“So, bring back a former player? Yes, but I think that given Arsenal’s current context it’s not what Arsenal need right now. I think they need a seasoned coach who’ll put things on the right track.”
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta said this week that Arsenal should take a gamble on Henry, just as he had done when appointing Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
Guardiola was asked about Henry as a possible manager following Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday, but said he did not want to discuss the position while it was still occupied.
“If he wants to be manager he has the talent to do it,” he added. “But he has to decide, not me.”