Eyebrows were raised when new Belgium boss Roberto Martinez installed Thierry Henry as his number two. That appointment came after the Frenchman had left his coaching role with Arsenal due to a conflict over his TV punditry duties with Sky Sports.
Now, Martinez’s predecessor, Marc Wilmots, has himself hit out at Henry’s two jobs.
Wilmots failed to get the best out of a highly talented group of players, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan yet to fulfill their potential on the international stage.
Sacked after a disappointing Euro 2016 where his side were dumped out of the competition by Wales, the 47-year-old Wilmots has now commented on Henry’s big-money Sky Sports role, telling Nieuwsblad:
You can’t work as a television commentator and work as a trainer for the national team. That’s pure amateurism. In Belgium I was against it.
Should Bart Verhaeghe, president of Brugge and vice president of the Belgian FA, be involved? And Thierry Henry, analyst for Sky Sports and assistant coach?
That’s something Arsene Wenger will no doubt agree with, although with Henry’s TV analysis mainly focused on the Premier League, there’s surely far less of a conflict of interest with Belgium than with Arsenal.
So far, Martinez and Henry’s Belgium have won their sole competitive game, albeit against Cyprus in a World Cup qualifier (3-0), after losing against Spain at home 2-0 in Belgium’s first post-Wilmots game. However, all eyes will be on the rather odd duo as the qualifying campaign progresses.