So on Friday Arsenal unveiled three new statues outside the Emirates Stadium, one of great manager Herbert Chapman, one of Mr. Arsenal Tony Adams and one of top goalscorer Thierry Henry.
Obviously with Chapman long deceased he was deserved of a statue to go with the bronze bust which has been around since the Highbury days, Tony Adams is one of Arsenal’s longest serving captains and second highest appearance maker only beaten by David O’Leary and although you usually only receive statues when you’ve passed on, Adams deserves a trophy as much as anyone. The oddity arguably is Thierry Henry, I wouldn’t doubt that in ten years Thierry should be given a statue, he’s my favourite player of all time and a player I idolised as a kid and was influenced by when I played on a Sunday Morning, even if my play resembled Francis Jeffers. Thierry who is only 34 and still plying his craft in the US league for New York Red Bulls is an odd one, I don’t doubt Thierry deserves a statue, its just is it the right time to honour someone, especially as he’s still playing?
My guess as to why Arsene Wenger wasn’t honoured was because he is still current Arsenal manager, and he will get one when he gracefully retires, although I still maintain Wenger will go the way of Chapman and manage the side on his death bed due to how much he loves this club.
However, there are many serious nominations for statues at the Emirates, I’m going to examine a fair few who may have been unlucky to miss out.
Dennis Bergkamp – If Thierry is the King of Highbury, Dennis is considered the God of Highbury, by far one of Arsenal’s most skilful players and one everyone loves, there’s not a Football fan around who can’t help but admire Bergkamp, His influence in the 1998 and 2002 double campaigns and then experience in the 49 game unbeaten run is unmatched and what a Manchester City lack. There wouldn’t be a ‘Dennis Bergkamp Day’ if he wasn’t that good now, would there?
David Rocastle – It pains me to think I was way too young to remember Rocky’s glory days at Arsenal, but he is another legend. One of the best midfielders England and Arsenal ever had, Rocastle was immense. It would have been nice of his first club to honour someone who passed away way too soon at the young age of 33 with a statue. No-one could argue Rocky is someone who deserves some huge recognition, because ‘David Rocastle Day’ is just one day, the memories of David immortalised in a statue is forever.
Ian Wright – 185 goals, some tap ins, others tremendous efforts of skill, Ian Wright is second only to Thierry in goals scored for Arsenal. His reputation has gone down slightly since his retirement due to his media career and criticisms of Arsenal in recent years. However, everyone still loves Wrighty and he is another 1993* and 1998 double winner who deserves recognition for their grand achievements and contributions to the club.
Patrick Vieira – The influential captain of 49, count them, 49 unbeaten games, Patrick left the club with a trophy, arguably one of the best central midfielders the Premiership will ever see along with the world, Patrick won two doubles, another league title (unbeaten of course) and two more FA Cups. The scorer of some absolute screamers along with some great midfield workrate put him up there with the very best.
There are still many more who could have statues made, I’ve gone for the four I can easily think of, anyway, its ten to one in the Morning, time for some sleep.
*1993 double is the FA Cup and League Cup double.