Tag Archives: Ian Wright

The Fabric of Football | The Arsenal: This is Home

“When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.” – Dennis Bergkamp

There are many different routes to becoming an Arsenal fan. Whether you were born into it or they were your local club. Whether it was because of Kanu or Thierry Henry. Or whether one day you were watching the 1991 FA Cup Semi Final on TV and decided to support the loser.

Regardless of how you become an Arsenal fan, what is important is that you found a place where you belong. You found a home.

As part of the new Arsenal kit launch, Adidas have produced a short film giving an in-depth look at the identity, community and values that make the club so unique.

Fabric of Football: This is Home calls on the experiences and insights of club legends, current male & female stars, hopefuls of the future, as well as fans to explore what makes The Arsenal a global club with local community at its heart.

The film – the second in the Fabric of Football series, following a similar look at the values of Real Madrid CF  – celebrates the progressive and inclusive mentality of Arsenal, with club legend Ian Wright speaking with typical candour and passion about the role of the club in his experience growing up in London.

As well as Wright, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Mattéo Guendouzi, Vivianne Miedema, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs & Per Mertesacker, all reflect with pride on their own journeys with the club so far.

This is that film

SheWore

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Saturation of Statues Spoil the Significance

Arsenal have recently been running a poll about what 1970’s legend’s name should be engraved on a bench that will go outside the stadium.

This led to a reopening of a debate as to who should be next when it comes to statues outside the ground.

As you are probably aware, currently there are 4 statues around the ground. Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Following the bench naming, there has been a lot of talk about who should be next. GC had his opinion:

This led to an afternoon long debate in a WhatsApp group as to who should be next. GC was adamant that it should be Rocky and Wrighty. A few disagreed, a few put forward other suggestions.

Now with being too disrespectful, I questions why Rocky should have a statue. Why not Paul Merson or Ray Parlour? Two players who were at Arsenal longer, won and contributed more.

Why not Robert Pires? He might not have been home grown but he actually ended up playing more games than Rocky.

GC was adamant, Rocky should be next. And this where the issue now arises.

Everyone has their own legends. Icons. Greats.

Now if you look into it, the majority of these will be from their adolescence. When they were a late teen or early 20s. When they were growing up and have an idol, a role model, was a thing. When they were going week in, week out, before they had other priorities like families.

Ask someone what music they love, I bet they usually say it was the music of their youth. That current bands were not the same. They were inferior. Nothing will beat The Who, Weller, Oasis or Arctic Monkeys, depending on what era you are from.

Football is the same.

And this is where the problem is when it comes to statues.

GC will ask for Rocky, as he is the icon of that generation. Someone older will be asking for Liam Brady, Charlie George or Frank McLintock. An even older generation (possibly no longer with us) would ask for Clif Bastin or Alex James. Someone my generation already has their hero, Tony Adams.

Ask a 14 year old in 8 years time who they want and they might say Alexis Sanchez.

We all have different ideas on who should be the next statue.

What is the criteria? Is it objective? Is it subjective? Is a player who played for us 7 years deserving of a statue? How about David O’Leary? Our record appearance holder?

If someone breaks Thierry Henry’s goal scoring record, do they automatically get one? It really is a minefield.

Herbert Chapman is perhaps the most important man in Arsenal’s history. He deserves his. Adams as our greatest ever player and most successful captain, he is Mr Arsenal and fully deserving. Likewise Henry, our top scorer, and perhaps the best player most of us have ever seen.

We then get to Dennis Bergkamp. What is the reasoning behind him having a statue? Yes, he was a great player, a modern day great, but was he any more deserving then Bastin, James, Brady or Rocky? I honestly do not know.

Outside of statues, Geordie Armstrong has a pitch at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground named in his memory. Should he be in the hat for a statue? What about Kenny Sansom?

Then we come to Rocky himself.

The Hale end Academy in Walthamstow has already named after Rocastle. The David Rocastle indoor centre  was opened up in August 2006. So Rocky already has an honour within Arsenal, and taking into account he was an academy graduate, it is a very touching one.

Now this is not to say Rocky, Armstrong, Brady, Bastin or anyone else is not deserving on an honour, or are more deserving than others in the list. It is simply a show of how problematic it can be if you open up a discussion on who should be next to get a statue.

And if you leave it in the hands of fans to decide, it will be even worse. We all remember the Gunners Greatest Players list. It was horrendous. Marc Overmars above Rocky, Sylvian Wiltord above Geordie Armstrong, Anelka above Ted Drake (another who is in the statue hat) and Kanu above Alan Smith.

We can not be trusted to make a decision.

I am of the simple opinion that no one should be next. That the more statues you have, the less value each one has. That if you accept what everyone wants, you will end up with 100 statues all around the ground.

There is one statue that does need to go up, however. Or when I say a statue, I mean a bust. George Graham deserves his place next to Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger.

Keenos

Pointless Statistics

 

am a stats man and many do have their place in football. I do follow the money ball theory and have read countless books on statistical analysis on football. But you can go too far with football, and as media outlets attempt to find the new thing they can end up inventing a statistic that is simply pointless.

Recently the BBC have created (or adopted) a statistic called “Expected Goals”. The idea being that it shows how many goals should have been scored against how many were scored.

This is pointless as all the matters is the goals actually scored.

Against Manchester United, Arsenal were expected to have scored 4.6 goals based on the chances. Manchester United 1.9 goals. Ignoring the fact that you can not score a decimal point of a goal, Manchester United scored 3 goals, and Arsenal 1.

Now I understand the stats surrounding chances created, shots on target, etc, but how the analysts decided Manchester United should only have scored 1.9 goals when all 3 of their chances were fairly routine is beyond me. It is a baffling statistic.

I have even seen a league table of expected goals – ie how the table would look if each match went to the expected goals rather than the actual. It is like those league tables which are altered to show results if shots that hit the woodwork went in. Or that Chelsea one from years ago which took out all goals by black players.

It is pointless.

At the end of the day, there is only one statistic that really matters, and that is the score at the end of the game.

Keenos