Thursday, September 21, 2023

Arsenal unveil Arsene Wenger statue at Emirates Stadium

A long-awaited statue of Arsene Wenger has been unveiled outside Emirates Stadium ahead of Arsenal’s friendly with his former club Monaco.

The Gunners have also confirmed the Frenchman will be the guest of honour at the match on Wednesday and will visit the tribute, which depicts him holding aloft the Premier League trophy, in the forthcoming coming days.

Arsenal have wanted to mark Wenger’s incredible contribution to the club for some time but have had to wait for relations with the Frenchman to thaw since he stepped away from the club five years ago.

Created by sculptor Jim Guy, the new statue weighs more than half a ton and takes pride of place on the podium close to the North Bank. It’s sure to be a popular addition to a concourse that already celebrates the legacies of three of his players – Tony Adams, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp – as well as predecessor Herbert Chapman and Ken Friar OBE, who continues to serve as the club’s life president.

Wenger oversaw 1,235 matches as Arsenal’s manager between October 1996 and May 2018. During that time, the club won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the Doubles of 1997/98 and 2001/02 and the ‘Invincible’ season of 2003/04. He also oversaw the move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium as the club geared up for a new era.

Wenger’s eye for talent, witty turns of phrase and playing philosophy earned him and Arsenal legions of fans worldwide. No doubt many will travel to London to have a personal moment with the statue.

Manager Mikel Arteta, signed by Wenger in 2011, said of the unveiling: “It’s such a great tribute that the club has done something special for Arsène that he fully deserves and merits. With a statue now at the stadium, Arsène can have that recognition and be here at our club forever.

“I’m so grateful to have played for Arsène at this club in my career. He chose me to be one of his players and selected me to be the captain of the club and that’s something I will never forget.”

Tim Lewis, Arsenal’s Executive Vice Chair, added: “We’re delighted to recognise and celebrate Arsène Wenger’s outstanding leadership and career at Arsenal Football Club. Arsène’s contribution to, and achievements with, the club mark him out as the club’s greatest manager. He treated the club and its supporters to many trophies and fantastic memories and brought a revolution in the running of the club, an unbeaten season and the move to Emirates Stadium.

“It is fitting, therefore, that as a mark of the club’s enduring respect and gratitude a magnificent statue of Arsène now stands outside Emirates Stadium. It is a place where our supporters and all who visit Emirates Stadium can be reminded of Arsène’s contribution and his legacy.”

We look forward to seeing Arsene on Wednesday evening.

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Colin Toogood

Why isn’t he holding aloft a small, gold Prem trophy? Missed a trick there…

It Is What It Is

Sounds like a job for an urban artist.

T.A.

Or holding both the PL and FA cups.

ChickPEA

Nice start. Can’t wait for the renaming into Arsene Wenger Stadium, though.

Daveo

We can dream. Emrites might have something to say… and all hail the corporate interests.

Billy

Lots of stadiums have official names even if are contractually referred to by the sponsor. I think there’s scope for an arrangement like that.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I really like ‘Arsenal Stadium’ as the official name, as it’s known when we play in Europe. Beauty in simplicity.

I was AKB until his final match, but not a fan on naming stadiums after a person. It’s a bit South America.

Case in point, Highbury could have been renamed as The Herbert Chapman Stadium, but in hindsight it doesn’t really fit.

Blueberry

Arsene Stadium fits quite well though

Y3mmxiii

Yep

wrightstuff8

Yea, I hear you, Highbury was a fantastic name.
however Ashburton Grobe I believe would be the equivalent for the Emirates. I just feel no connection to that. Arsenal Stadium sounds a bit like Pro Ev back in the day when they couldn’t afford naming rights. The Arsene Wenger Stadium sounds so fucking classy imo.

wrightstuff8

* Ashburton Grove

Glenn Helder's Perm

North London Red rise up

Ebo

“it’s a bit South America” :/

I don’t think you’re that sort of person from knowing you a bit from these comment sections but that one doesn’t come across well

wrightstuff8

this would make complete sense imo

wrightstuff8

His greatness goes beyond being a player with a statue. (Although it looks great so Kudos where it’s due) The Arsene Wenger Stadium. How fantastic that would be, even if it is branded the Emirates for the next 20 years, the true name should be The Arsene Wenger Stadium.

Onenil

Welcome to the WengerDome!

😇🚗☀️

Those “naming rights” are already taken https://g.co/kgs/qaNv3K

Nuggsy

Yh let’s forget the last 16 yrs of his reign 👍 acheived some great things in his first 7 but let’s not forget considering he built arguably the best starting 11 in Europe he never done anything of any note in the champions league and never retained a title 🤷🏻‍♂️ for me Ferguson acheived far more with a less talented squad at the time! But hey you could include all the 4th place trophies we won if u like makes his record even more impressive 👍

wrightstuff8

You clearly don’t understand the landscape of those times. The man was a literal magician. The club was owned by Usmanov, the kroenkes among others. Kroenke wasn’t investing until he had 100% ownership – why would he inflate the other half he wanted to buy? We had insane debt from the Emirates and Wenger still got us top 4 ( meaning top dollar) year on year. Wenger operated on a tiny budget and ALWAYS played incredible beautiful sexy football. Some of the players in that dead period were an absolute joy, mixed with a lot of budget players he elevated… Read more »

David C

Arsene Wenger stand should be added as well. Can’t see them renaming the stadium and losing the sponsorship money…

Congrats Wenger! Hopefully we see you in the stands a lot more this year 🙂

Dada

Thank you for the memories Le Prof.

APGooner

The trophy should be Golden!

Chapeau

Ouch. I really hoped they’d use Arsene beach pose. Any luck they’re working on a bigger statue?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Or Arsene pushing Mourinho.

😇🚗☀️

Or struggling with the zip of his kneww length puffy jacket…

😇🚗☀️

*knee

😇🚗☀️

Or his red card at ManUre, arms outstretched standing in the fans section…

I miss santi cazorla

Rob is the only player signed by him still playing for us. Crazy

Zenithreptile

There’s Mo than one

Tommmy

Elneny

Heavenly Chapecoense

Mo has qualities I don’t have. He knows how to play with a guy, please the guy so much that he irrelevantly keeps him after becoming the manager of the team. Unfortunately the position of director of the academy is already taken by Mertsacker (who has the same qualities).

Heavenly Chapecoense

Tierney is being kicked out, doesn’t know where he will play next season yet, not even if he will live in the same house. Elneny has answers for all that.

Tierney wouldn’t have played in every pre-season game if he was being kicked out.

That being said, I’m not really sure why we gave Elneny a new contract when we already planned on signing Rice (or Caecedo) and already had Thomas and Jorginho.

The sentiment was generous but we would have already paid him from January to June anyway and he would have found a new club this summer.

Dimma

Maybe to play mo in the Fa and league cup? Hes pretty experienced now too. With champions league this year mikel might not want to start rice every game

Nuggsy

We would be in the championship if we stick with the shit he bought in his final years so thank fuck.

Moff

Long, long, long overdue. So chuffed it’s now in pride of place and his legacy is being recognised with this statue. Especially in his lifetime so that he knows exactly what he will always mean to us gooners.

OdalGooner

Merci Arsene.
There’s nothing more to say.

Bob Holdy

Fabulous. So glad this has happened. Wenger is an amazing human, and served the club better than anyone in my living memory. iI am proud to be an Arsenal fan.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We were very lucky to have had him, punto final.

TheRiceIsRight

I’m not from England and the premier league started being broadcast on the telly when I was in high school. All of us school mates decided we needed to support some team in the league. Many of my friends chose to support Manchester United because they were winning everything during that time. I couldn’t bring myself to do that – I didn’t really like the football they played. I wanted to support a team that played the best football – nothing else mattered then. And then one evening, I watched Arsenal playing for the first time – an attack started… Read more »

Goonerrific

AW back for another invincibles season?

Broccolirob

#wengeroutofthisworld

Cranky Colin

The Classiest manager in English football history.
Miles ahead of the prick Sir Alex, in every way. We were so fortunate to have him❤️❤️❤️

Interesting how that bollicks got a “Sir” and Arsene didnt

Nuggsy

🤣🤣🤣🤣 yh Ferguson was a prick but he won far more with a less talented squad imo, a treble and retained titles so take your arsene Wenger tinted glasses off ffs

A Different George

Well, you know, he’s actually French. (You can sometimes tell from the accent.)

Fatgooner

Shouldn’t the statue show Wenger wearing a blindfold? After all, he never saw anything.

Mentalista

Try harder

Matthinc

What are you referring to?!

Fatgooner

🤦‍♀️

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Hopefully he doesn’t see that comment!

Alex

Amen

Cranky Colin

Pure unadulterated class.
Bravo Arsene!

A much more fitting recognition of a genius than a silly “sir” like Alex the prick got.

Peter Cechs helmet

He was treated pretty badly and ousted out in the end. How quickly we forget. There was a reason why he didn’t return for nearly 5 years. Of course now it’s all rose tinted glasses.
We’re all hipocrites.

Fatgooner

He hung around for far too long. He’s the greatest manager that we ever had, and he transformed the club into something even greater than it already was, but he simply didn’t know when to quit. So he had to be booted out. It’s was his decision not to come back for so many years. He was childish and should have just accepted that that’s the way football works: you get sacked if you don’t get results. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. And that’s the way it should always be. The statue is well deserved and… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

So you would sacked Klopp if you were Liverpool’s owner?

Fatgooner

No.

Klopp has had a bad season but will be back.

As far back as 2012 it was obvious that Wenger had lost his mojo and needed to go. Instead, he stuck around and damaged his legacy.

After all he’d done he should have had the self-awareness to realise that his time was up; then he should have walked away. Instead, he waited to be sacked.

Shame.

Arthur

What up Fats? 🤩🤓

Nuggsy

Has klopp been at the helm for 20+ yrs then with the majority of those trophyless and nowhere near challenging for the top honours?

I didn’t want him to go either but he wasn’t treated badly. He was given the best possible farewell and departed with dignity and respect.

Billy bob

Wenger – pure class, deserved more by the way of titles and accolades

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