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July 2021

Ian Wright in contradictory mood, but the media makes its anti-Arsenal stance clear

By Tony Attwood

You have to feel sorry for Ian Wright.

Well, actually no you don’t.  He was a beautiful footballer, passionate, exciting, brilliant.  I was there when he scored his goals that took him to the top of the Arsenal scorers’ chart, and there again when he stood in the centre circle for what seemed an age to welcome out that Terry Enry fella, who took the record off him.

And on both occasions, as on so many others (like when I once saw him at Highbury score while lying on the ground) I cheered him as much as I could.

And now he’s a bit of a chump.

So it goes.

Ian Wright’s chumpness can be traced back a long way, if you have a mind to go through the records.

On 13 December 1997 after the home defeat by Blackburn Mr Wright was warned by the police about his abusive behaviour towards a group of Arsenal fans.   (They were probably the AAA but even so, that was no excuse for leaning out of a window at Highbury and shouting at the fans).

But less we think that was a one off there was his curious incident in November 2007 for example, when he apparently called an African traffic warden a “monkey”.   He is also alleged to have told the man to “fuck off back to his own country” in a dispute over a parking ticket.  I should add that Wright denies all the warden’s claims, which followed the row outside his home in St John’s Wood, North London although I should add again that he never did anything to contradict the story on these episodes that appeared in the Daily Mail at the time.

OK so he can get a bit agitated – well ok, he is a passionate man.  Let’s move on and consider his views on football.

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Just recently he told Wayne Rooney via his column in the Sun that he should stay at Manchester United and not go to Arsenal.  (Sorry you need a subscription to read that but the link is there just in case you do).

Then he told the Evening Standard that  Luis Suarez  should not go to Arsenal because it seems like a “strange” career move.   “I’d welcome him at Arsenal with open arms,” said Wright, “But if I was Suarez, when you look at everything, it does seem strange he would want to go to Arsenal. I would give Liverpool another season.”

We know that that Steven Gerrard, also commented on the “peculiar nature” of the potential transfer but we’d accept that because Gerrard is a mouthpiece of Liverpool and is loyal to his employer.  But now we have Wright mouthing the Gerradian words, which is not quite necessary.

That would all be as nothing if it were not for the fact that having worked as a pundit (I think that is the word) for some years he is moving to the Radio 5 show 606.  Taking the job he said…

“There will be lots to talk about and a lot of divided opinion.   For me, it’s all about the fans and what the fans think. I like to hear all sorts of opinions, everyone is entitled to one.”

But the problem is that Wright has these opinions – strong opinions.  Nothing wrong with that if his comment about fan opinions is meaningful.  I doubt it.  Mr Wright is not going on 606 to be a wallflower.  His broadcasting is about the dissemination of the world according to Wright.  That is how it is and what he is.

Anyway all this was a preliminary to my thinking, “who are we going to get on British TV in terms of commentary?”   With Stewart Robson becoming more and more conciliatory in his swansong with EPSN during Arsenal’s tour, it almost seems sad to see him go.  Almost.

So I started to do the research, only to find that the blog She wore a yellow ribbon” had done it for me.  Here is their analysis of pundits and presenters and the clubs with whom they are associated… (but do read the full article to get the complete picture).

  • Liverpool – 11
  • Manchester United – 6
  • Arsenal – 2
  • Aston Villa – 2
  • Newcastle – 1
  • Chelsea – 1

So there we are.  Another season of Liverpool, Liverpool, Man U, Liverpool, Liverpool, Man U, Liverpool, Liverpool, Man U, Liverpool, Liverpool, Man U, Liverpool, Liverpool, Man U, Liverpool, Man U.

That analysis didn’t included 606 and so the two Arsenal men are Dixon and the wonderful Martin Keown – who is the only person who is as positive about Arsenal as those Liverpool men are about their own club.

It is interesting that we have recently had all this stuff about Liverpool being a bigger club than Arsenal – bigger despite its lower turnover, lower crowds, and lack of Champions League action in recent years.   I think we might say “historically bigger”, given they have won more than Arsenal, but not bigger at the moment.   But no chance of that delicate point being heard.  The story will be told over and over and over (in fact 11 times over) again, as the media pushes out its message, and the AAA take up the call.   Liverpool are the biggest and best, Arsenal are nowhere.  Hardly worth turning the TV on.

Or the radio.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

38 comments to Ian Wright in contradictory mood, but the media makes its anti-Arsenal stance clear

  • Alan

    Lee Dixon – ITV, Ian Wright – BBC, Smudger – Sky, Charlie Nicholas – Sky, Paul Merson – Sky, Stuart Robson – ESPN. I amke that 6 Arsenal associated pundits seen or heard regularly on in the media.

  • JayJay

    I think time to open a Facebook page show our support to club and the manager!What do you think?

  • joe

    @jayjap, the fans are turning on the manager whether you are blind and choose to be obivious to this is your choice.

    We need to see something I’ve not seen Arsenal do for many years and that is compete to sign players that Manchester United would want, that Manchester City would want and that Chelsea would want,” he said. “But they’re running out of time and I don’t think, at the moment, they’ve got the ability to attract those players because they haven’t won anything in such a long time. This is why Arsenal are in serious trouble right now. “I would like to see them go as far as they can to get Suarez, but they can’t just buy him and not replenish the rest of the team. I think they need a goalkeeper, two centre-halves, two full-backs – for both left-back and right-back positions – another midfielder and two strikers. “It doesn’t make sense buying Suarez for that money and not backing it up with other signings of the same stature.” Ian Wright hits the nail on the head!

  • Super Singh

    Ian Wright, Arsenal legend, good footballer, but crap pundit? Think he’s still smarting at AW for letting him leave the club and not buying his son in law at a gazillion pounds?

  • zdzis

    2 CBs? So we have 6 instead of 4?
    2 fullbacks? So we have 6 instead of 4?
    2 strikers? So we have 8?
    He’s stretching it *way* too far, and also fails to reckon with the strength Arsenal already have. You sure we haven’t been competing for players Mancunians would want?
    It takes very little smarts to realise we’ll be 100% ready for the challenge (both in PL and CL) with no more than 3 new players – 1 striker, 1 midfielder, 1 defender.

  • rory delap

    @ joe
    you sir are a clown.
    a gk, 2 cbs, 2 fbs, a mf and a st ??? thats basically almost the whole team. haha
    i suggest you continue to manage fifa and not take your haed out of that hole.

  • zdzis

    Dixon and Keown aren’t so much “Arsenal pundits.” Keown rarely goes out of his way to support Arsenal. Meanwhile, Hansen and the rest of the TV lot just love to abuse their power to slag Arsenal.
    Even if we have more than two “our” faces in the media, the coverage we get is still almost always negative.

  • para

    So we need 8 new players is being bandied about now? 8? Well a GK is needed, a striker and a midfielder i think, to supplement the squad from being so lean considering the games we have to play. That is 3 players. There is not much chance of getting 8 new players i think.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Keown has his own opinions on the club, I tend to think he supports the view that the club is doing as well as it can under the circumstances.
    Dixon is a ManCity fan, always has been. Though again his views seem to tally with Keown.

    Everyone else seems to labour under the delusion that Arsenal could do better etc. My biggest gripe is that many pundits support the view that Arsenal don’t give English players a chance.

    Which is utter bollocks as most of the best English players are A) at clubs we can’t buy them from and B) shit.

  • Darren

    zdzis what have we done to be praised for? Are you in a time warp cause if you are you must remember Hansen drooling over the invincibles. Hansen is just honest we are no longer contenders and won’t be unless David Dein returns and forces the board and managers hand with his superb negotiating skills. He sided with usmanov a Arsenal supporter not Kroenke who still wonders what shape the ball is in Soccer.

  • Gunner

    Wright is still bitter about the fact that he didnt play in the 98 Cup Final and thus didnt make the England squad for that summers tournament.

    If he cared at all about Arsenal he would not be discouraging Suarez from joining

  • AL

    I did wonder too what Wright was trying to say after reading his comments on the BBC site. In one sentence he says Suarez to Arsenal wouldn’t be such a good move, and in the next he would welcome him to Arsenal with open arms. Trying to appeal to both sets of fans? Sounds confused either way.

    I think Keown is the only pundit who speaks well of us. And he has a column, can’t remember which paper, that he is also positive about Arsenal in. Surprisingly, the only other person I have heard giving Arsenal credit on TV is Gary Neville, of all people. Everyone else just loves slagging us off.

  • Bootoomee

    When Man City began their spending spree, I recall very vividly who virtually every pundit tipped to fall out of top-4: ARSENAL! It was unanimous.

    Since then, Liverpool have fallen out altogether and Chelsea have fallen out once. Arsenal have always made it. Screw the pundits – of all persuations and leanings. I’ll think for myself.

    On Keown (and this is a rather innocuous point), but EVERYTIME I see his face or hear his name, I always remember his screaming face against Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s after the latter’s 2003 penalty miss that maintained our unbeaten run. Oh I love this picture:

  • Stroller

    All of these so-called pundits know about is kicking a ball. None of them have managed (except Tony Adams, and look what a disaster that has been). Some may have a coaching qualification but that doesn’t give them any basis for saying how the club should be run or how AW should build his team.

    They are all in the same boat now in that they are being paid to give out opinions that suit their employers. Critical comments about Arsenal generate more interest and activity from their audience, than positive ones. It’s as simple as that.

  • Bootoomee

    Ian Wright is a crowd pleasing gunner who tries to speak for the common man on the street. The problem is that the common man’s wisdom isn’t that great and his feelings are very fickle too. If Arsene wins the EPL with the under 21 team (not saying he would), all this noise about spending the f**king money will die down. Arsenal fans are not really crazy about star signings, they just want some trophies.

    The clamour for signing is now rampant because people like Ian Wright have been telling gooners since around 2007 that the reason why we are not winning trophies is because we use “kids” and won’t spend on stars that will guarantee trophies. But after signing the golden boot winner of Ligue 1, two German internationals with about 200 caps between them, a current Spanish interational midfielder and a current Spanish interational left back, the clamour remains unabated.


    Because we haven’t won a trophy yet.

    I hope we do this season so that we can have some peace.

  • Ben L

    I am interested to know if the ex foreign players of Arsenal are as critical?
    Is it worth creating an article about it?

  • Bootoomee

    Ben L,

    The foreign ex-Gunners are very positive and thoroughly love Arsene wenger! Even Bobby Pires who is now an ambassador of some sort.

    Ray Parlour is a very pro-Wenger and positive English ex-Gunner as well.

  • That Terry Enry fellow is always 100000% pro-Wenger. That’s why he doesn’t get much media time although he is very erudite.

    Incidentally following the comment “the fans are turning on the manager whether you are blind and choose to be obivious to this is your choice.”

    This sort of comment is very commonplace and always supplied without any evidence. The Emirates games this weekend are fully sold out – and they are just friendlies. The waiting list time for a season ticket is still eight years.

    Yes lots of the AAA people are talking it up – but they have been doing that since before we left Highbury. And every year the same people say that they are throwing their season ticket away. The stadium should be empty by now. But guess what…

  • Bootoomee


    Are you coming on Sunday? It will be an honour to meet you.

  • Mick

    You are right to say Ray Parlour is pro-Wenger but I wish he would stand up to the Talksport bullies a bit more, especially the despicable A Durham.

  • bob

    In the summer of Cesc, Ian Wright was an enabler of the “Wenger Out” campaign. Complete opportunist at best. His media profile and any mobility are rooted in his usefulness as an “Arsenal man” who reliably can produce an anti-Arsene slobbering. Oh, the (faux) irony – ‘geesh, must be true,’ the easy-to-manipulate fan is supposed to think. Same as S. Robson. Geesh, even S. Robson de former Arsenal man thinks dat AW has lost the thread. Such opinions have been the stuff of the nasty media cottage industry (line of business and income stream) known as Arsenal ba$hing.

    To find that other former players would accept the higher media profile is either (probably, imo) a sign that the media powers want new ex-AFC faces to spout the same swill (– and hey, it’s a football job with face time in hard economic times, in’it–); or, a sign of AFC’s relative importance (in big media terms) as a (return to the fold) big spender. Their biggest risk, as readers here well know, would be to provide anything close to genuine balance with an outright pro-AFC commentator/presenter.

  • bob

    as a follow up:
    Big sports-media noise-making control would do well up the pro-AFC factor a few notches with Nigel Winterburn (who they sometimes allow on SportsShite) and our man, Adrian Clark, who so aptly has replaced and far exceeded Stupid Robson at the current Arsenal Player – a real model of constructive criticism and real joy in our success. And, btw, it is pressure from below from places like readers here that, imo, were perceived as a “Robson Out” campaign by the AFC higher-ups and clearly succeeded with great results (in getting our former Adrian Clark).

  • bob

    p.s. the two above comments are also hellos to former and future Untold Media cohorts bjtgooner and Stevie E. Cheers, mates.

  • Mahesh

    I am somehow not too shocked to know about Wright’s negativism. I am more in a shock to know that you have a “Sun Subscription”!!! I wish you well knowing that you have to go through that! “Just remember that you are aiding the very organization that has(had?) Kastrinakis” 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    Super Singh, spot on!

  • Marvin

    Tony, that’s a lie. My friend recently got his and he was on the waiting list for five years. Selling out at the Emirates Cup is nothing to crow about. Come to me when they are taking a battering from the likes of manure

  • Jambug

    I used to bemoan Wrights overt dislike and critisism of all things Arsenal back in the days of the old BBC chat site that was closed a few years ago. The day I gave up all hope was when he had a 2 page spread in, yep you’ve guessed it, the Sun, encoureging TH14 to leave us. I wrote a big piece back them citeing several occassions of Wrights blatent anti Arsenal articles. Many critisised me claiming he was a loyal ‘gooner’ who loved the club. I begged to differ and I have no doubt that a few who rounded on me back then must now surely realise he has nothing but contempt for all things Arsenal. In fact he actively agitates and encourages the anti Arsenal feeling that is so previlent on all media platforms. He should never be allowed near the Club. I hate the man.

  • bjtgooner

    An interesting article addressing something which I cannot fully understand – just why is he so so bitter. Probably we will never know. What we do know is that the media continue to be very negative towards Arsenal. There is something very unsavory in this approach by the media.

    @bob – cheers, hope the words are flowing as freely as ever!

  • nicky

    Allotments…..that’s the answer.
    It should be compulsory for professional footballers, when they retire, to take on an allotment on which to devote all their spare time.
    No pontificating allowed on TV, radio or in the newspapers.
    No advice to their former club(s) on why things went pear-shaped after they left.
    And if they need to write a book, let it be on gardening.

  • americangooner

    He says he needs two central forwards and contradicts this with two articles saying Rooney and Suarez should stay at their club. I am still searching for a quote or an article where he is saying ‘RVP should stay at Arsenal’.
    The media atmosphere is such negative and bias against Arsenal that people like Wright and Robson get a platform to voice their opinion, which I am sure is ridiculed more than praised. Maybe by sounding controversial they are attempting to stay relevant in the media.

  • Pat

    Spot on, Nicky!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Nicky – totally agree with you! Have always been an avid gardener since my youth ,and have found much joy,contentment and solace in planting and nurturing flora .
    This is probably due to some form of an atavistic calling – both my grandfathers were farmers in the old country (Ceylon).
    Whenever I am upset or troubled , I go and start a new ‘project ‘ in my garden .I never get any ‘lip’ from them and have a sensation that they are as glad to see me as I am them( what ,with their beautiful blooms and displays ).
    Besides my own garden ,I have landscaped my mother- in -law’s house and my masonic lodge .All at my own expense. What joy it not only gives to me but I assume also to the numerous birds , reptiles and animals that visit it.
    You young ‘uns ought to try it. Maybe one day I learn how to post some photos of my ‘creations’ and ‘visitors ‘ here , or send it to Walter to format it so that you too may see it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Take time to smell the flowers .An inspirational tale .
    Received this in my e-mail. Enjoy !
    The Brick

    A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his brand new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

    As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

    He jumped out of the car, grabbed a kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?” Building up a head of steam he went on. That’s a $65,000 new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

    “Please mister, please I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do,” pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop…” Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out off his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.”

    Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

    Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay.

    “Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child said to him.

    The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to his Jaguar…a long slow walk.

    He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A hypocrite , a pragmatic ,a realist or a ‘just couldn’t care a shit what you think’ist ? You decide .

    The lady was a Southern Baptist who attended services and taught Sunday School every week.

    One Sunday, an out of town acquaintance, a gentleman, was in the pew right behind her. He noted what a fine looking woman she was! While they were taking up the collection, the man leaned forward and said, “Hey, how about you and I having dinner on Tuesday?”

    “Why yes, that would be nice”, the lady responded.
    Well, the gentleman couldn’t believe his luck.

    On Tuesday he picked the lady up and took her to the finest restaurant in that part of South Carolina. When they sat down, the gentleman looked over at her and suggested, “Would you like a cocktail before dinner?’

    “Oh, NO,” said the fine example of southern womanhood. “Whatever would I tell my Sunday School class?”

    Well, the gentleman was set back a bit, so, he didn’t say much until after dinner when he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and asked, “Would you like a smoke?”

    “Oh, my goodness, NO!” said the woman. “I couldn’t face my Sunday School class if I did!”

    Well, the man felt pretty low after that, so they left, got in his car, and as he was driving the lady home, they passed the local Holiday Inn. He’d been morally rebuffed twice already, so he figured he had nothing to lose, so, he ventured forth with, “Ahhh,..mmm .., how would you like to stop at this motel ?”
    “Sure, that would be nice,”, she said in anticipation.

    The gentleman couldn’t believe his ears, and did a fast u-turn right then and there, and drove back to the motel and checked in.

    The next morning, after a wild and passionate night of the most incredible love making imaginable, the gentleman awoke first. He looked at the
    lovely Dixie darling lying there in the bed and with remorse thought, ‘What the h… have I done?’.

    He shook her awake and pleaded, “I’ve got to ask you one thing…..what are you going to tell your Sunday School class?”

    The lady said, “The same thing I always tell them — that you don’t have to smoke and drink to have a good time!

  • nicky

    Brickfields G,
    The torment of some of the comments (particularly those with an AAA flavour) is rapidly being disseminated by your amusing tales. Keep ’em coming, BG.
    ps During WW2, our base was near Trincomalee (Lovely country, Ceylon).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Always wanted to visit but due to the troubles there was unable .Was taken there by my parents as a toddler , who went back to fulfill a vow .
    Apparently tipped over a tumbler of hot water and was scalded
    over the chest and had a noticeable scar which is now covered
    by grey hairs !
    My mother told me that they had applied some traditional local salve over the area and left me out in the sun ( don’t ask !) and was promptly attacked and pecked by crows !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    More wisdom ?

    To all you OWLS – (Older Wiser Laughing Souls)
    Wisdom from Grandpa……
    Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg,
    depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries.

    Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earning’ his salt that he forgets his sugar. Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good.

    When a man marries a woman, they become one; but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

    If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never turn into an old nag.

    On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past – but never the present.

    A foolish husband says to his wife, “Honey, you stick to the washing’, ironing’, cooking’ and scrubbing’. No wife of mine is gonna ‘work.”

    Many girls like to marry a military man – he can cook, sew, and make beds and is in good health, and he’s already used to taking orders.

    Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

    Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

    How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up or leaks.

    Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don’t recognize you.

    Have a GREAT day……..and keep Laughing! It’s good for the soul.

    And remember my motto:
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, G & T in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

    Have a wonderful day!

    And pay the undertaker with a bad check!