Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta: Wenger’s return great and emotional

Mikel Arteta has described Arsene Wenger’s return to the Emirates Stadium as a ‘great day’.

The Frenchman had been reticent to visit the club in person since he departed the club in May 2018 but finally ended his self-imposed exile on Boxing Day when he accepted an invitation to watch the 3-1 win over West Ham United.

After the match, Wenger dropped in on the Gunners’ dressing room to chat to a few of the players and to pose for photographs.

For Arteta, who had been desperate to bring his former boss back into the fold, it was a positive step in the right direction.

“It was a great day, it was a really emotional day,” said Arteta in his penultimate press conference of 2022.

“It finally happened in an actual way where he got what he deserved which was a big ovation from our crowd and a really good feeling of a welcome from everybody when he was around the stadium.

“I’m really pleased with that because he absolutely deserves that.”

Arsenal have long harboured an ambition to erect a statue in Wenger’s honour but the club hasn’t been able to progress the project without the 73-year-old’s buy-in.

Various reports suggest that work on the statue will now begin. When complete, he will join Herbert Chapman, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams on the stadium concourse.

Wenger will also feature on new stadium artwork which will be unveiled to the public on 11 January.

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I was like most supporters who couldn’t understand his absence for so long, and even wondered if he would ever return at all.

With hindsight, and as per Wenger’s style, he knew it wasn’t time. The toxicity and general decline after he left was probably not how he envisaged leaving the club after dedicating his best years lifting us to incredible heights.

I honestly don’t think his return could have been timed any better.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think his absence from The Emirates shows his love of Arsenal.

How many failing United managers had their job made even harder by the grimacing spectre of Christmas past in the stand?

Imagine Emery stinking the place out with his lifeless football, only to pan up to Wenger looking dismissive in the stands. And then half the crowd start singing “there’s only one Arsene Wenger”.

Wenger knew that the club needed a revolution. And he was prepared to stay away to allow that to happen.


Damn right! Arteta is doing it right. Respect where it’s due. All said n done, Arsene is not a who anymore. More good our way please.

Merry Christmas n a Happy New year to all the Gunners ❣️

Mikels Arteta

Wenger statue plus the league title in 2023


The Only one Arsène Wenger statue. Plus the ligue title of course.

Billy bob

Why was a statue not sorted years ago – seems criminal to me


If the person is alive, they usually have a say in it. From what I’ve read in The Athletic, this was very much the case.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Saka said he never met Wenger in person and Wenger recently replied he will make sure it happens.

Jamie F

Wonderful that Wenger has returned. Great reception and great win. If/when his statue is made it will join “Herbert Chapman, Thierry Henry, Tony Adams” AND Dennis Bergkamp 😉


Feels like a statue is underplaying his importance.
I never much liked the names of the East or West stand.. ‘The Wenger stand’ sure has a nice ring to it.


…especially as he was integral to it becoming a reality..

Teryima Adi

There’s only one Arsene Wenger. Great to have him back.

Tim Johnson

We’ve got super Mik Arteta


Got to be the sent to the stands pose for me – but I’m guessing we’ll go for arms folded “arsene knows”

Aleksander Włodarz

Daddy’s finally back home 😍


Hopefully the statue will be him in a poofy jacket with his arms out like the Christ Redeemer. They can put him on top of the west stand.


I wish he just stood up when cameras were on him and spread his arms out old Trafford style.

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