Did Arsenal Actually Put Up The Right Statues?

When Arsenal announced that three statues were to be unveiled on Friday outside The Emirates the debate about their identities was bound to consume Arsenal fans, each with their own special memories, each with their own favourite players.

The trio of Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry were revealed but not all agreed. Most of the talk on the Internet predicted thatThierry Henry and Arsene Wenger would be accompanied by one other, the identity of which varied from person to person depending on their generation and therefore favourite players.

Writers such as The Mirror’s John Cross claimed that whilst the three figures warranted their place on the plinths so did so many other individuals such as George Graham, and Ian Wright. To a certain extent this is true.

Ian Wright was one of the best and most charismatic Arsenal players that I have witnessed in my two decades of watching Arsenal. In the latter George Graham years he was almost the soul outlet for a largely defensive side and the personality the exuded from both himself and his football made ‘boring’ Arsenal a pleasure to watch.

To break Cliff Bastin’s scoring record as he did was a remarkable feat considering he played in such a defensive side under Graham and he was unfortunate that his record was so short lived due to the mercurial Henry. But that is the point really. However good Wright was, and he was an exceptional talent, Henry was better and he not only broke Wright’s record but he beat it by more than forty goals.

I think that ahead of Wright in the queue would come Dennis Bergkamp too. Bergkamp’s move to Arsenal was a seminal moment not only for Arsenal but also for all English clubs. Prior to the Dutchman their had been few players from the continent who had come over to England with their best years ahead of them as Dennis did. Bergkamp encapsulated Wenger’s new look Arsenal perfectly and brought a touch of class to the Premier League that was rarely seen before and we have rarely seen since.

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