Alan Hutton has revealed how the Aston Villa dressing room was seized by fear at the prospect of Thierry Henry being appointed manager.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Villa defender explained how the player were racked with “worry” when the Arsenal legend was the hot favourite to replace Steve Bruce last October in the then Championship post.
The Midlands giants held talks with Henry but he knocked back their job offer and was subsequently appointed Monaco manager.
Hutton has revealed how the Henry speculation affected the players at the time when he was hot favourite to replace Bruce, who was sacked on 3 October last year.
“It’s obviously, I don’t want to say worrying, but at the end of the day it’s your livelihood, it’s your team,” explained Hutton to Football Insider. “You’re thinking: ‘does he know me? Will I play?’
“On your own, it’s difficult for yourself to concentrate if you’ve got games coming up, you’re thinking: ‘This is going to affect me massively,’ so it was difficult, especially going down the possibility of a foreign manager who might not know the players and stuff.
“It’s definitely a hard time and when you have to continue your work as normal, it can be difficult.”
Dean Smith was eventually appointed as the manager, which was confirmed on 10 October, with John Terry named as his assistant.
This went down far better with the Villa dressing room, who recognised a manager with a proven track record in the Championship.
“Yeah we were happy,” Hutton added. “I mean. I couldn’t tell you one easy game that we had against his teams so we knew how it was going to be, what he would want from us, how his teams like to play football.
“It was very exciting times really because we knew we had players that light up a game, so to bring in a manager like that, who likes play exciting football, was obviously a real draw for everyone.”
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that Dean Smith has given the green light for the club to sell one of his signings.