In the aftermath of Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, a bevvy of legendary players gathered on the pitch for a quick reunion.
Not seen together since their days at Highbury, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Gilberto Silva and Jens Lehmann and Edu were all smiles as they shared a few words and posed for snaps.
Later, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka joined them. Hugs and high fives were exchanged, more photos were taken and paternal words of advice were imparted.
It was heart-warming to see, all the more so given the concerns some of the legends had raised earlier in the season about the club’s direction of travel under Stan and Josh Kroenke.
For Mikel Arteta, who has spoken so passionately this season about the importance of presenting a unified front, it was particularly emotional.
Ahead of the Leeds United game, he underlined that positive influences will always be welcomed with open arms and that the club should continue to draw on its rich history.
“There are many, many more positives than negatives,” he said of the groundswell of support for his team.
“We had a great example with the ex-players and all the legends and what happened a few weeks ago at the Emirates which was emotional and is natural, organic, it’s just happening.
“Now, hopefully, they have realised that anyone who wants to contribute to what we are doing, genuinely contribute and help and give advice or support or whatever, he is more than welcome to come.
“Anybody who wants to poison the club is going to be very far away from the club.
“With the history that we have, if we don’t use it, we are losing a big percentage and margin in relation to other teams.
We have that [advantage] because we have so much success and incredible people and players in this football club’s history. We have to encourage that to come back to the club and make us stronger. That’s my aim and the club’s aim, that’s it.”
With a huge north London derby coming up this week, he hopes his young squad can take inspiration from the success achieved by their predecessors at White Hart Lane.
“It is phenomenal, those experiences, how they won it [the league], how they were invincible,” he said.
“For this generation, it would be incredible and hopefully we can do it naturally with everybody feeling in the right place.”
Wonder who he is referring to when he talks about ‘poisoning the club’.
Adebayor… or Nasri. Could it be RVP? Or Gallas, maybe.
You might wonder what kind of behind the scenes stuff went on with the Daniel Ek ‘bid’
Paul Merson. Criticised the transfer strategy last summer and said he would have done a better job than Edu.
Usual suspects already listed by Billy bob and Man Manny. Maybe add Mustafi and Kolasinac from the Ozil clique, Guendouzi for his narcissistic use of social media and Aubameyang for his approximate approach to timekeeping which threatened to become divisive in the squad. Players he rightly showed the door to.
Wow. I get what he is saying, but those are risky words about people who want to poison the club!
To be honest, I am kinda praying that Wenger and Henry would help get Aurelin Tchouameni to sign for us in the off season. Madrid already have Valverde and Camavinga set for his position for many years to come. We need him more; and we are the next big thing. And we need Wenger and Henry as the heavy hitters to do the heavy lifting behind the scenes on this one. But then, we really do not know where Wenger’s relationship with the club is at the moment; and you never know what Henry thinks after his Saliba comments and… Read more »