‘Wenger should get a statue at the Emirates’ – Keown and Parlour agree Arsenal legend should be honoured

The two former Gunners believe the most successful and longest-serving head coach in the club’s history deserves to be immortalised

Former Arsenal stars Ray Parlour and Martin Keown agree that Arsene Wenger should be given a statue outside the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger managed the Gunners for 22 years and is the most successful and longest-serving head coach in the club’s history. 

The Frenchman led Arsenal to three Premier League crowns and seven FA Cup titles while taking charge of the club between 1996 and 2018. 

Wenger took Arsenal from their former home of Highbury to the state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium, which was opened in 2006. 

Two of Wenger’s former charges believe that the manager deserves a statue outside of the ground, insisting it may not have ever opened were it not for him.

“Before him, we finished 10th, fourth, 12th, fifth in the Premier League. Then we won three titles with him,” Keown told the Daily Mail. 

“That’s why he deserves a statue,” Parlour added. “He’s the one who created the Emirates, if you like. He’s the one who had that focus to say Highbury, as much as we all loved it, was not big enough.”

The two players believe that Wenger, who has not taken another managerial job since leaving the club, should also be given a position in Arsenal’s board room.

“Wenger was a visionary. He should be in the board room,” Keown said.

“Could he have done that? Wenger loved the day-to-day; the training; the matches,” Parlour responded.

“What’s the alternative, though?” Keown replied. “The alternative is what he’s got now — no official link to Arsenal Football Club when he should be sitting proudly in the board room. When I hear him talk, he still says ‘us’ and ‘we’. Have Wenger on the board and put his expertise to use.”

Following Wenger’s departure Arsenal appointed former Valencia, Sevilla and PSG boss Unai Emery as his replacement, but the Spaniard would last only a season and a half before being sacked in November 2019.

Emery was replaced by Mikel Arteta, and Wenger has expressed hope that his former player can help restore the “culture” that the club has lost in recent seasons.

“I believe there is a culture in the way to play football at Arsenal that I want to be respected, and I hope Mikel can get that back,” Wenger told talkSPORT.