THIERRY HENRY is set to take over as Aston Villa, with John Terry as his assistant manager.
Arsenal and France legend Henry has interviewed for the chance to replace Steve Bruce at Villa Park, and is reportedly set to get the nod for the job.
However, former Chelsea and England captain Terry – who has not officially retired as a player since leaving Villa in the summer – also applied for the manager’s job, and will become Henry’s assistant manager.
Henry’s greater experience – thanks to a brief spell coaching Arsenal’s youth teams and over two years as part of Roberto Martinez’s coaching staff at Belgium – has given him the edge on Terry.
But the duo seem a strange pairing, given their legendary status at two of London’s biggest rivals and the fact they never played or worked together before.
Their paths obviously crossed on many occasions when playing for Arsenal and Chelsea respectively, with Henry winning two Premier League titles during his spell as a Gunners player between 1999 and 2007 – and Terry winning the same number with Chelsea during that period (and later adding three more).
They also played against each other in the Champions League semi-finals in 2009, with Terry keeping out Henry in a 0-0 draw against Barcelona at the Nou Camp – before Barca progressed on away goals thanks to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, which the French striker missed.
The pair did actually play together in a charity match in 2015, when they were selected by Steven Gerrard for his all-star team to take on a selection made by Jamie Carragher at an exhibition game at Anfield.
They also crossed paths at Cesc Fabregas’ party in Ibiza this summer – which the Spanish midfielder (who played with both during his career) held in July, two months after his wedding.
And bizarrely, they were pictured together in April 2017 at a VIP private viewing of a Bradley Theodore art exhibition in New York.
Henry praised Terry last year when he said he was one of the best defenders he played against.
The former Arsenal man explained: “A very hard defender but clever. I remember him arriving in the league and he was just raw, in your face, kicking you, old school.
“And then two years after that I started to see him pinging the ball with his left foot to the other side and with his right foot.
“Composure, passing the ball to (Claude) Makelele, and I was looking at him and thinking ‘what has happened to this guy? I thought he was only like a fighter and that’s it’ but he elevated his game.
“John Terry was a leader and the way he was directing the field was just amazing, he was one of the best defenders I played against in the Premier League for sure.
“What I like about John is his love for Chelsea, it’s real.”
Terry returned the compliment when he said: “Henry was my most feared striker.
“He was terrifying. He was the best by far. He had everything, the movement. He was incredible.
“He would be the one before games, I’d say, ‘it’s going to be tough tomorrow.’ Nobody else did that.”