Plan for Wenger statue finally reaches fruition

by Tony Attwood

If you are a regular reader of Untold Arsenal, you will know that our one great achievement in relation to Arsenal was to propose to the club that a series of statues should be erected at the Arsenal Stadium in order to enhance the notion of “Arsenalisation” as it was called in the early days.

The plan was put forward at a meeting between three members of the executive committee of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA) and Ivan Gazidis, who was chief executive of the club from 2009 to 2018.   At the time Arsenal had already moved into the new stadium, and, we were told, the club was keen to further establish the identity of the club within the stadium.

Being one of the three at that meeting, I took the opportunity to put forward the notion of statues saying that they would not only have within them the identity of the club, but also be a place where friends could meet before the game, rather than meeting up at the already crowded entrances.

I only suggested two specific statues, at the meeting, that of Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger.    As the plans subsequently developed the notion of the Wenger statue was dropped, as it was said that Mr Wenger felt it inappropriate not least since he was still at the club.

However my very good pal, now chair of AISA, came up with the idea of a banner instead.  Subsequently, readers of this website clubbed together to raise the money to have a banner with Mr Wenger’s picture on it along with his famous phrase, “Football should be an art” alongside his picture.  The names of those who participated are recorded in the Roll of Honour on this site.

The banner was featured on Match of the Day at the start of the report on Mr Wenger’s last home match.

For the Chapman statue, I suggested that it should have Chapman standing looking up at the stadium as if to say, “I made that,” and I have always felt that the designers of the statue encapsulated that totally.

And that is where the story stalled (although subsequently, Mr Wenger wrote the Foreword to a book that my publishing company published:”The Arsenal Yankee”) and did later admit that he rather liked the banner.

But now it has been confirmed that a statue of Mr Wenger will be unveiled.  Mr Wenger was of course our longest-serving manager, the manager who won more trophies for Arsenal than any other, the manager who had the highest win percentage of any Arsenal manager, the only Arsenal manager to win two doubles and the man who has won the FA Cup more times than any other manager in the history of football.

He is of course also the only manager since the first season of the League in 1889, to take a team through a whole season in the top division of the league undefeated.

It has been a long old time coming, but I really am so pleased that the notion of an Arsene Wenger statue has now arrived and I’m really grateful to the club for, at long last, taking up this opportunity.

(Oh yes, and I do hope they allow us to keep our banner up at the Clock End, as well.)

13 Replies to “Plan for Wenger statue finally reaches fruition”

  1. no matter what people said about him or where he’s working now, Monsieur Wenger contribution to the English football and especially to Arsenal is immeasurable and how he make English footballs known globally has give me the chance to fall in love with the club. he’s also a gentleman with top class attitude and work ethics, and also will always defend the players and club first. who can forget how he helping the club build a new stadium, so the least Arsenal football club can do is to honoring his contributions to the club by erecting his statue around the ground

  2. Well deserved! Mr. Wenger will never be forgotten by Arsenal supporters nor fans of the EPL. His influence on tactics, training even nutrition can’t be underestimated. Congratulations!

  3. Im really chuffed, love the man. An absolute legend and if there was a si gle statuę outside ES it should be of him.

  4. (off-topic)
    35 minutes to go: varane out (injured), saliba in – interesting it will be indeed
    benzema just scored an amazing goal, gliding through denmark defenders as though they were mere slalom poles; great touch by nkunku at the beginning of the move: how I wish we went for him, instead of solving the jesus problem for the oilers, and giving them for the boy the exact amount they needed to buy haaland, all of which looks very much like gonzo business to me

  5. well … it’s not exactly going well for our lad
    1-0 when he was brought on, 1-2 now, both goals scored by denmark’s CF – and bill looked very much like a kid against a grown-up, on the second one
    “there’s better days shining through”, the Boss would say

  6. with market values of 65 millions with couple of years left in his contract plus a bidding war, you need to shell out an excess of 80+ millions to get him, but Christopher Nkunku already said he wants to play in the CL plus he use to play for PSG and already stated his desire to go back there. unfortunately to some people now every club decisions is stupid, also some even raging and accused the club is kicking out players when in reality that players is still at the club is just ridiculous

  7. “ridiculous” …
    well, sorry to have upset you, @bushido; i’ve always read your comments with interest, so i’m going to answer to you, but please spare me the insult next time
    i don’t think i can be counted among those for whom every decision of the club is stupid, but i do believe that helping out chelsea or man city with their squad problems shouldn’t be an option
    as for nkunku, i wasn’t 100% sure about my positive comment about him, because after all, he’s only shone for one season, in a league whose level is very good, but undoubtedly below PL top-half
    on the other hand, what you point out about his price tag, and his intentions, highlights what is a real problem for our club now imo: on the transfer market, it looks as though we’ve given up even considering competition with the Big Boys, even though MA-Edu are now given enough money to put up a real fight with them
    lastly what sets my teeth on edge about gabriel jesus, is also the fact that if we bought him, it would mean that 3 more outstanding young Gunners at least (nketiah, balogun, biereth – since john-jules’s career seems to have come to an end before it even started) would be as good as lost for us (it would be the same with with nkunku, another reason for my hesitation about him)
    this is the kind of cost that is never added up to the recruit’s price tag – but which should; hale end is this club’s real treasure, and shouldn’t be dilapidated

  8. @LeGall,

    I’m a firm believer this is the time Arsenal need to stick to its guns and to its youth. I hope Eddie stays, becomes the starter. I’d be all for a more experienced striker as an ‘add-on’ seconding Eddie then some so-called superduper star who in fact cannot be so good because otherwise the club he plays for would not let him go….

    Arsenal need to strengthen the squad, this is for sure but not at the cost of pushing academy players down the pecking order.
    And if there is one player I think Arsenal should be courting, it’s Gnabry. Bayern are finding themselves in a complicated situation and maybe there would be an opening.

    Arsenal need to trust their young academy players and look at the picture 3 years down the road.
    Take it one step at a time and let the time grow together. When was the last time we had such a young and tight squad ?
    Added bonus : any young player looking at Arsenal would dream of joining a club where he’d have a real chance.

  9. @LE GALL, didn’t you said the club will kicked out Eddie, Flo and Mika? that’s the statement you make, not me. the way so said it is like the club already decide the players is not needed at the club and all that is just based on your assumption. Mika looks like player with much potential but he’s still playing youth level football and should probably better go out on loan first and foremost to gained match experience, even Emile has to go on loaned to prove himself before being integrated into the 1st team and not all players are like Bukayo and Gabi who can just jump straight into playing PL level football. i’m sure the club already has a plan for the next step of their career development and we just to wait and see, don’t just make assumption the club don’t need them and will throw them away. and yeah’ Emile and Bukayo never even played single minute of football under Wenger

  10. Although I’m generally not in favour of naming football stadium stands after managers/directors etc I think it would be, considering his influence on Ashburton Grove, only right to name one after Arsene Wenger. How this would work I don’t know but a statue is long overdue.

    Alex James next for me…

  11. Arsene Wenger is most deserving of a statue to crown his glowing achievements and accomplishments for the club.
    That he walked with us through some of the most trying periods of this club , will always mark my appreciation for his dedication and commitment shown. Above and beyond normal duty . I will always refer to him with due and deserved reverence as well as an equal measure of gratitude .
    Up the Gunners !

  12. If another statue is to be built , why not one for David O’Leary ? I believe that he was with us for 20 years , and played with such grace and poise . And he played many games with ‘our Tone ‘ when he was still developing his game.

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