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SONS OF WENGER

Ligue 1 will host the most intriguing managerial battle of the season tonight

Arsenal legends Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry will put friendship to one side for 90 minutes in the dugout

Friends now foes.

They shared seven major honours on the pitch together including two Premier League titles and a modest one World Cup.

It’s fair to say that Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry have been through the footballing trenches together.


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Winning a league title at the home of your fiercest rivals? Check.

PA:Press Association
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Winning a league title at the home of your fiercest rivals? Check.

The Arsenal greats are considered as two of the very best to have played the game and the juggernauts will now be reunited but in an entirely different capacity.

No longer are they teammates throwing on slightly oversized O2 shirts, the pair will instead slip into their smartest suits and bump heads in the dugout.

Henry’s struggling Monaco will host Vieira’s Champions League hopefuls Nice in what will surely be the most intriguing managerial clash across Europe this season.

They’ve already battled on the pitch

Times Newspapers Ltd
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They’ve already battled on the pitch

Arsenal’s record goal-scorer has endured a torrid time since taking up his first managerial job and his Monaco side are currently languishing in 19th place ahead of the visit of Nice.

Mr ‘Va Va Voom’ has struggled to find exactly that this season and managed only two Ligue 1 wins since taking over from Leonardo Jardim in October.

It’s not just rained but poured for Henry this season

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It’s not just rained but poured for Henry this season

Henry might be struggling but the same can’t be said for Vieira who took up the reigns at Nice last summer having developed his managerial know-how across various roles.

Kicking off his coaching career with Man City’s Elite Development squad, Vieira then became the head coach of New York City.

City Synergy.

Stateside

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Stateside

After three relatively successful years in MLS, Vieira was then given his first job managing a team in one of Europe’s top leagues with Nice.

With the exception of a very public falling out with the enigmatic Mario Balotelli, all has gone to plan for Arsenal’s legendary Invincibles captain.

Nice are currently sitting pretty in 8th place just four points shy of a lucrative Champions League spot.

Vieira has unsurprisingly lost patience with the former Man City and Liverpool forward

Reuters
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Vieira has unsurprisingly lost patience with the former Man City and Liverpool forward

Henry and Vieira’s steps into management are the latest in a particular generation of players who are now moving into coaching.

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are cutting their teeth in the Championship and Scottish Premiership respectively and both enjoying success on the way.

The rivalry that the English pair once shared on the pitch has now transformed into a debate around who will eventually make the better manager.

A new chapter for Derby and Lampard

PA:Press Association
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A new chapter for Derby and Lampard

A similar comparison will inevitably be drawn between Henry and Vieira.

However the competition between the former Arsenal teammates will be even more scrutinised with the pair in direct competition twice a season in the same league.

They were both legends on the pitch and we have no doubts they will be legends of the dugout for many years to come.

We just hope they play nicely tonight.

My new phone background

AFP - Getty
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My new phone background

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