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Thierry Henry Wasn't A Fan Of Jamie Carragher Question About Big Name Players Becoming Managers

Thierry Henry Wasn't A Fan Of Jamie Carragher Question About Big Name Players Becoming Managers
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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In recent years, it has become a trend for retired big names players to return to their former clubs as managers.

Ole Gunner Solskjaer did it at Manchester United, as did Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo at Chelsea and Juventus respectively. All three stints ended rather poorly.

Regardless of their inexperience, some top clubs are willing to take a punt on a big name. It is often done from a position of desperation, one where they are attempting to reinvigorate a team and return it to its former glories. The above trio certainly falls into that category.

The same can be said of Xavi at Barcelona.

He certainly hasn't had a smooth ride since returning to the Camp Nou earlier this year. While he would help the club to a second-placed finish in La Liga, they would fail to make much noise in the Europa League last season. The club's financial issues haven't helped, although that didn't stop them from splashing the cash in the summer.

Now, the former World Cup winner is finding out how difficult top level management can be. Barcelona had already been knocked out of the Champions League before a ball was kicked in their 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich last night, and even though their league form has been strong, he is coming under some pressure at the club.

Thierry Henry discussed big name managers with Jamie Carragher

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Barcelona were hoping to recreate the Pep Guardiola era by bringing in Xavi. The now Manchester City boss had also taken over the team while still very inexperienced as a manager, going on to guide them through the most successful period in their history.

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Of course, the players that were available to Guardiola were on a completely different level to the current squad.

It would not be a surprise to see Xavi go the way of those other former star players in the near future, although Thierry Henry is continuing to back his former teammate.

Appearing on CBS, he was asked by Jamie Carragher whether the Barcelona job had come too early for Xavi and he could end up on the scrap heap. Henry seemed to take exception to the question.

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Carragher: Is the question about the manager?

Henry: Yeah it will be. Not only him, they will question a bit of everything. You are the captain of the boat, so obviously you are going to have more questions to answer.

Carragher: Is this a big problem, where people like Xavi who have had no experience before go into that job? Pirlo did the same, we've just seen Steven Gerrard lose his job. Are players of that ilk and stature getting big jobs too early, not going well, and then we're losing them from the game?

Henry: Well, he's second in the league.

Carragher: You're talking about him losing his job?

Henry: I didn't say that, I didn't talk about him losing his job. Pep started to coach with us, with men. Don't compare him to Pep.

Carragher: I'm not comparing him with Pep.

Henry: I know, but that's what happened. Xavi started as a great player at the club, Pep did the same thing and that's why we're saying this. I personally don't think he should lose his job, I think he's doing a great job. I personally think that they didn't give Steven Gerrard enough time, that was just ridiculous for me.

You need to give people time. I will mention again [Mikel] Arteta. He was nowhere to be seen when they had one of the worst seasons I've seen at Arsenal. If you give him time, he can build a team.

Of course, Henry is another former star player who has stepped into the world of coaching. He has managed Monaco and Montreal Impact up to this point, currently acting as an assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

This question likely hit close to home for the Frenchman, who felt he should have been awarded far more time during his spell in charge of Monaco. He probably also didn't like the insinuation that some ex-pros get management gigs simply because of their name.

Xavi is likely to be given time to turn Barcelona around due to his standing at the club, although their elimination from the Champions League is a huge blow for a club that are already walking a tightrope in terms of their finances.

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