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Ian Wright
Gender Male
Nationality UK
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc From the Hackney Marshes to Highbury Wright’s story is the stuff of fairytales. An all-round, out and out striker Wright scored every type of goal, famously breaking Cliff Bastin’s Gunners record despite spending his first seven years at Crystal Palace. Only Thierry Henry has more in the famed red and white

Affiliation

|:——————|:———————-| | Org | England National Team | | Club as Player | Arsenal FC | | | Crystal Palace |

Relationship

Son Shaun Wright-Phillips
Grandson D’Margio Wright-Phillips

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Ian Wright on Thierry Henry] A footballing monster in respects of ability. He (had) everything

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] [A] leader and natural-born winner. He has everything you could want from a midfielder. He can attack, defend and score goals. He’s brilliant at taking the ball in tight spots in the middle of the park and starting attacks

2016 02 03 Retrieve

[On Dennis Bergkamp] An amazing player with sublime skill; comfortably the best I’ve played with. Not only did he score brilliant goals, but when he played, those around him scored more

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[on Tony Adams] Captain. A great defender and a great leader. He was so inspirational and was able to get the best out of those around him. Great in the air and not bad on the floor as well; with him around the defence would definitely be organised

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] He had unbelievable ability and he could have won everything if he’d looked after himself. Everything could have been so different if he’d gone to Manchester United instead of Spurs

2016 03 24 Retrieve

[on Alan Shearer] Shearer was the archetypal centre-forward, who could head, shoot with his left and right foot and hold the ball up as well as anybody in the world. He was a heroic type of player too - the one others in the team would look up to

2018 01 06 Retrieve

[Ian Wright talks about Egypt and Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah] I’m not saying he’s as good as who I’m going to say. He reminds me of Messi, the scampering way he plays. He gives me a Messi vibe. He’s short, his style. He’s got a Messi vibe

2018 11 29 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Red Bulls have a ‘difficult mountain to climb’ against Atlanta] […] a very difficult mountain to climb. We were speaking the other day and he [Bradley] was worried that they [Atlanta] beat them [NYRB] twice in the season and that there was going to be a backlash to that. I was hoping that they were going to manage the game a little bit better, but anything can happen. If they start well and start quickly, the nerves could hit Atlanta.

They [NYRB] are playing at home, they need to fly out the blocks but need to be careful not to leave the back door open. As we’ve seen with Atlanta, they have the capability of hitting them on the break and scoring goals very rapidly. They’ve got no choice simply because of what the score is but it’s going to be very difficult

I do watch a lot of it [MLS]. I try to watch it in passing. I’ve got so much I need to keep in my head because of the Premier League and Championship stuff, but I do obviously make sure I see the Red Bulls games. You get a really good highlights package here now, so you get to see what’s going on. Atlanta’s emergence in the last couple of years is literally phenomenal. The team, the fans - it’s amazing what they’ve done in the last couple of years

2018 12 22 Retrieve

[Jose Mourinho was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] We all know Manchester United have quality players. Cardiff could not get close enough to them. That is the Manchester United I expect to see. You expect that attitude and effort. They have the players to do it and they should have been doing it. It is an unbelievable start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and with the games coming up it could be a good run for Manchester United

2019 06 04 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Arsenal have been told they need to bring in Daniele De Rossi from AS Roma] Arsenal need to bring in De Rossi from Roma. We’ll get 15 games out of him, it won’t cost hardly any money, and the experience he could pass on to the likes of Willock and the other youngsters could be invaluable and money well spent

2019 06 11 Retrieve

[Ian Wright admits Arsenal have been left in a little bit of a mess] Decisions were being made, in respect of Aaron Ramsey’s contract, before it was starting to run down and were being made by people who were no longer there. They’ve gone on to pastures new and left Arsenal in a little bit of a mess. In the contracts they’ve given people, it was very top heavy in the squad and we can see that in the way the guys are performing. As much as Arsenal have to take a massive amount of blame for that, there was a stage where they must have known he was not going to sign. So we are talking about a £60 million player that should have been a case of ‘OK, we will have to sell you now’ and not let it get to a stage where it has got to.

You have to look at Aaron Ramsey as well. He’s getting to a situation in his career where he can run down a contract and Arsenal made him an offer that was a good offer but when you consider what he has been able to get and has been documented he has got, then there’s no way are you going to be able to match that. If he knew he was going to get that there was no way he was going to sign.

[Wright added on the challenges facing the Gunners] I remember having arguments with Arsenal fans and trying to say to them ‘we are in danger here’, ‘we are going to be in problems like thinking about finishing fourth’ and ‘are we going to be challenging anymore?’. I remember saying those things, but people don’t want to hear it at the time and we are in that situation now. Right now Arsenal are in a position where it is interesting what is going to happen in the summer without the money to spend or qualifying for the Champions League and going back into the Europa League. Have the players improved? Has the mentality improved? What system is he going to play now? There’s a lot of questions to be asked and you just have to hope something happens

2019 06 11b Retrieve

[Ian Wright insists that Arsenal should snap up Daniele De Rossi while he is available] Arsenal need to bring in De Rossi from Roma. We’ll get 15 games out of him, it won’t cost hardly any money, and the experience he could pass on to the likes of Joe Willock and the other youngsters could be invaluable and money well spent

2019 06 13 Retrieve

[Ian Wright talks about how he first started as a professional at Crystal Palace, relatively late for a footballer at 21 years of age] I remember incidents when I’d go down for dinner, and I’d get teased for ordering sirloin steak and sauté potatoes and stuff like that. There’d be comments like ‘Do you have steak at home, you don’t even know how to spell sauté potatoes?’. This would be from guys calling me ‘a 20-minute player’. I remember those times. It was really intimidating to the point I stopped coming down

[One specific person, however, started to notice. And it is a person that Wright credits with changing his entire outlook on football, and even life: his manager] Steve Coppell came up to me and asked ‘Why are you not coming down?’. He explained to me why you cannot let people dictate your life to you, and make you feel you have to act differently. ‘What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t like you any more than they do already?’ He was the one that made me realise I want to face that problem. That was the kind of person he was. He always spoke to me in a way where he was telling me something, to do something right

[He is joyously comfortable in himself, and he credits people like Steve Coppell for that] You’ve got to remember, I came in straight off the building site, straight into Steve. He was somebody that obviously recognised I might be able to do something, and he was somebody that was always very strict with me. It was what I needed

He also told me ‘If you don’t know, just ask. Whatever company you’re in, if there’s something you don’t understand, ask’. He gave me that kind of wisdom.

That was the kind of person he was. And I recognised that really early. He was really honest with me. He said to me, when I was having all the problems at Palace early days, ‘Listen, things will change, and you are going to be a big part of what happens here. There are going to be people that will not be here, and you’ll see how easier it will be for you. Like I’m saying to you, trust yourself’

And you know, I was there ‘What are you talking about man?’ But obviously next season, Mark Bright came in with the rest of the guys and made me a component in the team and all of a sudden you see what he’s been saying

[There was a time when he felt restrained on a football pitch, too. That, however, was one reason why he came into the professional game so late] I felt confident to a certain extent, I was playing Sunday morning football and I was doing OK, but every time I went for trials, 12 to 17, [Leyton] Orient and all these places, Charlton [Athletic], I didn’t get into them. My confidence was low. The only football trial I ever got through was Palace. Once I got there, I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to do my thing, I’m going to play how I play’. And I remember, after, the first trial, Steve Coppell spoke to me - because I was trying things; skill; shots from ridiculous distances; scoring goals; going past people - and he said ‘Never change the way you approach a football match’

Coppell always told me ‘They don’t want to lose the ball and have to chase back towards their own goal because people will roast them, so they’re blaming you for not protecting them. It’s natural. Don’t worry about it, but don’t change the way you play. Have confidence in what you do, because what you do is what a lot of people out there can’t do’. He gave me the confidence to make me feel I was the only person out there who could do what I could do

And remember I was going into the professional game, so I’d start a game and it wouldn’t work out so well, then I’d come on for 20 minutes and do well, so they’d say I was a ‘20-minute player’. Of course I had major doubts, thinking ‘This isn’t going to work out’. Remember, when I signed for Palace, it was only for three months. Steve Coppell wanted to sign me for more, but Ron Noades, he genuinely couldn’t afford it to the point where he had to wait to see if it was going to happen for me. Steve Coppell always said it was going to be fine. I wasn’t used to it at all, somebody having total faith in me like my teacher Mr Pidgen, somebody that you don’t want to let down

[He believes Coppell’s influence goes even deeper] He was always hard with me but fair. If I for instance started to get above my station in training, he’d always pull me back, and he’d do it in front of people. It was something I could easily accept, because it was someone who saw me from inception. So he’s the one who moulded me, out of everyone, the one who made me what I am, my work ethic, how I treated people, how I treated trialists

So when people like John Salako came in, he was a nightmare some of the time, shooting and not crossing, then you’d have a go at him, Steve Coppell would be saying: ‘Don’t you remember what was happening to you. Don’t pass that on’. So we made sure we took him in. Steve Coppell changed everything about how I am as a man today

[Dein then helped changed what Wright was as a player, and took another leap of faith in him] David Dein was the one that got that extra 250 over the line. He showed faith in me, right from the start. I remember David Dein saying to me: ‘You are going to be magnificent here. The fans are going to love you, you are exactly what we need’

He used to come in and see us all before a game started, shake everyone’s hand, and would say to me ‘There’s a goal in you’. And he’d say it to me every time, with a smile. He’s somebody I now speak to every day. We text. Any problems I’ve had, I could phone David Dein at two or three in the morning, and he’ll answer the phone. Problems I’ve had in the last five or six years, without David Dein I wouldn’t be where I am today. When you see what David Dein is doing now with the prison system, trying to give people a chance, that’s his whole life. He’s got an MBE, he should be knighted

[It was because of Dein’s intervention that Wright got to learn from two very different managerial and paternal influences: Graham and Wenger] The way Arsene Wenger was, we’re talking about someone who was up there with the very best. He got it down to the fine detail, to the point where he spoke about where your toe should go down in your boot, to play better. He took it to a scientific place, whereas George Graham was very much mental, and carrot and stick

It was like being on a chain gang. ‘You work because if you do, that is what will happen, then you’ll get this’. I remember with George Graham, my league debut at Southampton, I scored a hat-trick. I’m not sure how many Arsenal players on their league debut scored a hat-trick. All he said to me was ‘Well done, good game’. I remember afterwards, the lads, I’d only been around them a week, so they all came over, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Well done’ but ‘Don’t expect anything from him!’

He was that kind of father figure in your life, where you could never please him, but all he’d need to do was look at you and smile, and you’d feel like a million dollars. That’s what some dads are like, and then when you get older you realise why they were doing what they were doing

Whereas Arsene Wenger just wanted to pass on wisdom. He’d talk to you the way your granddad would speak to you in respect of giving you wisdom. You just wanted to please him. Giving you a responsibility about what you do. Two different things, and I needed them both

[He also feels young players in modern football need this kind of greater guidance now, precisely because the game has changed so much from what Wright came into. It actually makes the issue all the more relevant] With the modern player, from the age of eight or nine, they’re in academies, they have all the football kit, they have this regimented way about them, everything is perfect … but if things start going a little bit awry, they’re looking around ‘What’s going wrong here, what’s happening? This isn’t the perfect world, this isn’t right, this isn’t how it’s meant to be’

I think that the modern-day footballer, because everything is given to him, especially if you’re an elite player in the academy, your hardship is going to come when you start playing for a top team, and you get criticism, and people are going at you. ‘Why isn’t this happening for me? Why’s it like this? Why am I getting so much abuse?’ It’s more difficult for them because of the way they’ve been brought through. They’ve been guarded and shielded from the real world, until they get out there, and all of a sudden social media is in your face like you never believe. It’s something you have to deal with there and then, and that’s why you see some of them struggle to deal with it

When they get in touch with me, I tell them exactly what I think. I make sure they know I love them so much, but I’m going to let them know ‘You’re not doing this, you’re not doing that, and the reason is it’s in training, are you doing this, are you doing that, what you doing late at night, are you getting rest?’ I say all that stuff. The lessons have been invaluable

2019 07 04 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette would be disastrous for Arsenal] Hopefully that doesn’t happen because that would be disastrous.

[Wright believes Zaha would be a useful addition, while he also wants to see Emery’s squad strengthened from back to front] We’re trying to get Wilfried Zaha, which would be magnificent. You want competition for places. Defensively, I think everyone can agree, we need some strength in there. You can always strengthen in the midfield. Aaron Ramsey’s gone. We need that midfielder who is going to join the front guys and try to contribute with goals. Goals are a premium so you always want to be linked with a striker that might be able to come and help

2019 07 05 Retrieve

[Ian Wright once raged] How can £40,000,001 for Luis Suarez - who went to Barcelona for £75m and made them better - get through the different levels of management? For that to come out into the public domain? There’s massive problems at Arsenal

2019 07 15 Retrieve

[Ian Wright claims Laurent Koscielny’s decision to defy the wishes of Arsenal and push for a summer move is damaging his legacy at the club] He’s given us unbelievable service, we’ve seen him play through pain and build a legacy and legendary status he deserves. It’s the time in the season where everybody is meant to be together. We are in for a tough season, a transitional period, we need a lot of catching up. For our captain to refuse to go on a pre-season tour after nine years of unbelievable service, to destroy your legacy a little by refusing to play for a club is something that is baffling me.

Why Laurent? Who are your advisers and what are they saying to you? I am so disappointed in your decision to do this at this time, if your agent sees this, and I hope they do, shame on you, shame on you, for doing this to him and convincing him. No way you can tell me he will come up with this on his own. You’re the one we chose as our captain, our leader, and now we’re going into pre-season with our captain refusing to go on the tour. This is something I cannot get my head around and I pray to god it can be resolved sooner rather than later. It doesn’t set a good example, Arsenal need to do something quick and disciplinary. I love you Laurent but this is a poor decision

2019 07 16 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright told his personal YouTube channel of an unfortunate saga of Laurent Koscielny] He’s given us unbelievable service, we’ve seen him play through pain and build a legacy and legendary status he deserves. It’s the time in the season where everybody is meant to be together. We are in for a tough season, a transitional period, we need a lot of catching up. For our captain to refuse to go on a pre-season tour after nine years of unbelievable service, to destroy your legacy a little by refusing to play for a club is something that is baffling me. Why Laurent? Who are your advisers and what are they saying to you? I am so disappointed in your decision to do this at this time, if your agent sees this, and I hope they do, shame on you, shame on you, for doing this to him and convincing him. No way you can tell me he will come up with this on his own

2019 07 31 Retrieve

[South London native, Ian Wright, also spoke to discuss his view of the area in which he grew up] It was vibrant. I didn’t realise how good it was. We are talking about being brought up in Brockley, but I was able to move down in New Cross, Lewisham, Deptford, Lee Green … you go all around those places to all the different parties, and it was a good time.

It was a good time growing up, even off of my estate there was me and David Rocastle. I don’t know what it is in the water in south London, to bring so many people through. But I think south London is a hotbed of football, because everybody just played football

2019 08 13 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not underrated] I don’t think [he’s under-rated]. We’ve all known that Aubameyang has been a top goalscorer - everywhere he’s been he has scored goals. At Saint-Etienne, 41 in 97, at Borussia Dortmund, 213 games, 141 goals. For Gabon, he’s got 59 caps, 24 goals, so I don’t think he’s underrated, African Player of the Year. I think he gets the way he plays, he’s on the edge of things, on the periphery of things so you don’t see him doing anything else other than the most important thing in the game, scoring goals and he does it so prolifically. He’s someone that I believe if he was at Arsenal a few years ago, then the records would have been in danger because of the rate he scores. I don’t think he’s underrated at all. People didn’t want to take a chance on him, for whatever reason. He’s come to the Premier League and he’s more than capable

2019 08 27 Retrieve

[Liverpool (1) vs (3) Arsenal. Arsenal legend Ian Wright has hit out at the tactics of Gunners’ boss Unai Emery during their comprehensive 3-1 defeat at Liverpool last weekend] It was one of the things that I was baffled by. Before the game I was hoping to see [Alexandre] Lacazette, Pepe and Aubameyang, as I believe that Liverpool playing with a high line were there for the taking and I was really excited about that. And then to see the diamond or triangle giving up space to Alexander-Arnold and Robertson was confusing for me

[Emery eventually brought on Alexandre Lacazette but not before the game was effectively over at 3-0 down. Lucas Torreira restored a little pride with a late goal] I don’t know if he’s doing it because he might use that system against lesser teams and it might work as he wants to keep it narrow. I thought against Liverpool it was a tactic that was handing them the incentive and I thought we played a bit too deep. The chances we got were mistakes from Liverpool and in the main Liverpool were in control of that. I would rather we just go there with the potency that we have and show them this is what Arsenal are about now, this is how we are moving forward. But it was a confusing one for me

2019 09 01 Retrieve

[All out attack! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe can pile pain on Spurs] Aubameyang’s goal record makes him the more potent player but Lacazette makes my team every week. They both do! You can’t have that goalscoring threat and not have them on the field. You have to find a way to get them on the field to get them to do what they do. Lacazette should start every week. The three of those guys - Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette - bring something different

Pepe can beat people one-on-one with his fantastic pace, while Aubameyang is brilliant on the shoulder and if you can get the ball to him, he’s literally unstoppable. My mind is all about attacking and I want to get those three guys the ball and let them get on with it. Lacazette should not be on the bench against Liverpool. You come to this country to play in these games against those teams. You want to start in those games and I’d be disappointed if I was him

2019 09 03 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Granit Xhaka may soon find it difficult to justify ongoing inclusion in Unai Emery’s plans] He shouldn’t be named captain, he should be focusing on his own game. The captaincy and all the responsibility that comes with that, he makes the mistakes that, if I’m on the pitch and Tony Adams is on the pitch making mistakes like that, I’m thinking ‘what are you doing?!’. He made so many fouls [against Spurs], he could have easily been sent off. I saw [Matteo] Guendouzi make a challenge in the box where he saw the danger, started to ease over to him and he intercepted it. He doesn’t recognise danger, Xhaka. I do feel like we’ve come to the stage where Joe Willock is pushing him, Guendouzi is definitely pushing him, picking up the ball from deep and doing the job that he’s doing and alongside David Luiz, whatever anyone says about him, he sprays some unbelievable balls. The fact is, I think he slows it down now

2019 09 07 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright was in attendance for that contest, with the former Gunners star looking to offer the benefits of his considerable experience to Nketiah] I feel like in the last year or so he’s started to communicate a lot more’. He messages me, asks me how I am, how I’m finding things up in Leeds. It’s a dream come true to have one of your heroes speaking to you. It’s about expressing myself and (giving) tips for being a striker. It’s been like an arm round the shoulder, being nice and friendly, comforting me, seeing how things are going

2019 09 08 Retrieve

[Arsenal star Ian Wright is convinced Harry Maguire is worth the money United paid for him] He’s a good footballer, he’s a very good footballer. He’s gone up the leagues, he’s got better. Now he’s got to Man Utd and it’s the pinnacle really. They’ve paid that money for him because he’s worth the money

2019 09 19 Retrieve

[Ian Wright on Lucas Torreira’s performance] Torreira is the guy we have been looking for in the past three or four seasons. Arsenal supporters wanted to know when are we going to sign a defensive midfielder. We have got the guy we needed

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[After seeing French midfielder Guendouzi put in an all-action performance during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United] If you are going to take any positives out of it then the form and the emergence of Matteo Guendouzi is fantastic. He’s somebody that is driving the team forward. When he came in, for his first season to play that many games, I thought it was too much, I thought it was too many. But now you’re seeing somebody that looks totally in control in what he’s doing.

He’s getting himself into great spaces, against Tottenham he was fantastic, got the assist for Aubameyang. He’s somebody who is continuously driving forward and making sure that he is trying to help the team. And, for me, I know they’ve chosen the captain but Xhaka should not be captain in front of this guy or Aubameyang, for me. He is leading by example for a 20-year-old. We know Tony Adams was a captain at 20, maybe Unai’s not strong enough to give somebody like Matteo Guendouzi [the captaincy]. When you look at him here and what he’s doing, that is taking the game by the scruff of the neck and driving Arsenal forward, and he’s not been made captain or vice-captain. It’s crazy, for me

2019 10 01b Retrieve

[Ian Wright, another former Gunner, was disappointed to see the coach pick what he felt was a negative team, with Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira lining up in a midfield that was better designed to stifle than thrill] No Mesut Ozil, no Dani Ceballos - creative midfield players. No one to really get the ball and control the game from an Arsenal perspective so they can get on the ball and maybe get their players into it

2019 10 05 Tweet

[In a clip released on social media following his switch to France, Koscielny is seen removing the Arsenal shirt to reveal the Bordeaux jersey he’s wearing underneath] This hurts. The level of disrespect. You should be ashamed for the way you’ve left the club after nine years! Got what you wanted and still trying to have a dig. Hope it’s worth it in the long run

2019 10 14 Retrieve

[Ian Wright blasts UEFA as Bulgaria vs England suspended twice] The fact is there are a set of people there who have got no respect, they have no respect. UEFA are not doing nearly enough. I am so proud at what we are doing at the moment. You can feel physically sick, but you have to continue playing through that and what we are seeing now is you don’t have to do that. It is a terrible day for Bulgarian people but it is a great day for tackling racism. What we are seeing is a set of fans who do not care and need educating. We have heard it for many years about walking off and it is something you do not want to do. You need your white players to do it together, when you see it happening it is powerful

2019 10 14b Retrieve

[Ian Wright slammed UEFA after England’s 6-0 demolition of Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying was marred by racist chanting] What we have seen happen today is we’ve seen that guy in the picture, Tyrone Mings, this could have been a day, had we not been able to implement the protocol, his debut would have been marred. It would have been a racial incident and it would have finished like that. That doesn’t happen [here]. This is a seminal moment, a fantastic moment. You know, I feel for the Bulgarian people, I genuinely do, but what you’ve got to look at is the [anti-racism] banners on the other side of the stadium, half closed down - it does nothing. We have said it for many years. UEFA do not really deep down care about the kind of punishment they put out. This should have been in place ten years ago, 20 years ago

Now we’ve seen what’s happened and what’s good about it is it has got a generation of players now, not just black players, a generation of players and people that won’t tolerate it any more. My generation was a generation of ‘turn the other cheek’, Martin Luther King, this is the generation of ‘by any means necessary’, a Malcolm X generation. They don’t need to take that no more. They’ve got their own platforms, now they’ve got the protocol to stick to. This is a great day, I feel really good watching this.

So many games, you’ve played games like this where you’ve had this kind of racial thing going on and people say ‘just beat them on the pitch’ - it doesn’t do anything! Don’t beat them on the pitch, I’ve scored two goals against teams and they’ve still given me racial abuse, you don’t win. Today, they won. They’ve won today, because they had to leave

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[There have been reports that, should Emery leave Arsenal, Ljungberg could be a serious contender to replace him] All the youngsters you speak to - Joe [Willock], Reiss [Nelson], all the young guys - they’ve got nothing but great stuff to say about Freddie. I’m sure that Freddie, [and] his involvement now with the transition from the academy into the first team, is vitally important.

2019 10 22 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Wright can’t understand Dani Ceballos not starting as he calls for Bukayo Saka to do more] I think he’s [Emery] got to come here and Ceballos has to play. He’s played the youngsters and I’m pleased to see them in there, with Saka. But Saka, for an 18-year-old, if you’re leaving Ozil totally out of the squad, then we have to see more from him [Saka], we have to see more from Joe Willock. Unfortunately, it was a game where it passed them both by and then it comes down to the manager and his choices. He’s made the change at half-time, with Ceballos, so you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Why didn’t you start him in the first place?’

Start him. He’s someone that gets on the ball when they want to try and play out, [Matteo] Guendouzi’s got a lot of energy and get the boys playing. [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang didn’t have anything to play off because there wasn’t any creativity

[Wright added when asked if Dani Ceballos made a difference] Yeah, because he wants to try and get on the ball and he doesn’t mind getting on the ball anywhere to try and do his stuff. It’s a disappointing one simply because Arsenal could have gone third. It’s the kind of game where they can lay down a marker and they don’t and it’s unfortunate

2019 10 26 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright is hoping to see Mesut Ozil outstay Unai Emery at Emirates Stadium] Well, hopefully Ozil. He’s already said he doesn’t want to leave. For me, hopefully it’s Ozil

I’m very disappointed to see that [Ozil not in the squad] because I don’t think that Arsenal, when you look at Arsenal’s creative stats, they’re not up there. They’re actually not creating as much and they’re conceding more shots on target. So that says to me you need somebody who’s creative to be playing there. Mesut Ozil is that guy, I don’t know what’s going on with him and Unai Emery, but for me I think this could be the problem for Unai in the end if Arsenal continue to do what they’re doing. They’re waiting for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang or Nicolas Pepe, like the other day, to save them. The fact is he should be playing

2019 10 28 Retrieve

[Arsenal hero Ian Wright has told Granit Xhaka to apologise after the Gunners captain lost his cool with home fans in the draw against Crystal Palace] He should apologise. That’s the captain. He should have apologised already. [If he apologises] it’s not a case of that’s the end of it, but that’s the guy they’ve chosen as the captain and that’s not captain’s behaviour. Arsenal fans have showed a lot of patience with him and the performances he’s put in. He owes them a lot more than acting like that

[Wright questioned whether Xhaka’s confidence might have gone because of flak from supporters] Players getting booed is not the best at the best of times. I think they’re frustrated with the fact he’s not run off the pitch. I’ve seen him substituted before and he’s bolted off the pitch. This time he’s walked off. Now he’s goading them. We’re talking about fans that have watched him play, in the four years he’s been there, a handful of good games and he’s treating the fans like that

[Wright stressed that regardless of the fans’ views and the way they might express them, Xhaka was out of order with his response during Sunday’s game] He’s the captain, so he’s got the responsibility of being able to take that on board because he’s been voted as the captain. You can’t go like that. The amount of stick that someone like Mesut Ozil’s got, I can understand if Mesut Ozil came off and threw his shirt down, but [Xhaka] is the captain; the manager’s got faith in him

2019 10 28b Retrieve

[Emery chastised Xhaka in the wake of the game, saying ‘he is wrong’ to react to supporters] He should apologise. That’s the captain. He should have apologised already. [If he apologises] it’s not a case of that’s the end of it, but that’s the guy they’ve chosen as the captain and that’s not captain’s behaviour. Arsenal fans have showed a lot of patience with him and the performances he’s put in. He owes them a lot more than acting like that

2019 10 31 Retrieve

[When asked on who will outlive the other at the Emirates. Would it be Mesut Ozil or Unai Emery] Well hopefully Ozil. He’s already said he doesn’t want to leave. For me, hopefully it’s Ozil

I’m very disappointed to see that [Ozil not in the squad] because I don’t think that Arsenal, when you look at Arsenal’s creative stats, they’re not up there. They’re actually not creating as much and they’re conceding more shots on target. So that says to me you need somebody who’s creative to be playing there

Mesut Ozil is that guy, I don’t know what’s going on with him and Unai Emery, but for me I think this could be the problem for Unai in the end if Arsenal continue to do what they’re doing. They’re waiting for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Pepe, like the other day, to save them. The fact is he should be playing

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[On his appearance in the reality show, Wright joked that he was doing so to escape VAR] ‘ll miss football. I love football, it’s my whole life. I will not miss VAR. I’m going in there to get away from VAR

[Wright does lots of charity work that involves disadvantaged footballers within the BAME community in the UK] These young men and women are recruited face-to-face on some of the toughest estates in London. Nine months later, they believe in themselves and starting to make a real success of their lives. It shows you the power of sport and great youth work

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[After the defeat at Leicester. legendary striker Ian Wright publicly calling for the club to sack Unai Emery] Two wins in 10 in the league. No definitive style or plan. Negative goal difference. No improvement in the defence. Not creating anything. Why would Laca (Alexandre Lacazette) or Auba (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) renew? Can’t blame them! We have to make the tough decision Arsenal! It’s not getting better!

2019 11 21 Retrieve

[Ian Wright compares one aspect of I’m A Celebrity life to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal] I don’t think it’s five days yet and I’m already doing the… I’m struggling with eating. When Arsene Wenger first came to Arsenal, we literally changed from eating what we wanted to literally bland, I’m talking bland, food - almost similar

It’s almost taken me back to remembering how bland the food was

There’s nothing more frustrating than when you say no to something and someone continues to ask you. It’s annoying

2019 11 23 Retrieve

[Ian Wright on Lucas Torreira’s performance] Torreira is the guy we have been looking for in the past three or four seasons. Arsenal supporters wanted to know when we were going to sign a defensive midfielder. We have got the guy we needed

2019 12 16 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Arsenal are getting worse] It does make it very difficult for Freddie because Freddie hasn’t got anybody around him who are staff that he wants that can help him. Obviously the club have not given him the capabilities of having that. A decision has to be made because it cannot carry on like this because you’re seeing it’s not actually getting anywhere, it’s actually getting worse. Something has to be done

[Wright is concerned by the current state of affairs, adding on where he considers the responsibility for that to sit] No, they’re not [any further on than when Wenger left]. Whatever people say it was time for Arsene [to leave], simply because of the way the players were. It went stagnant, it wasn’t happening anymore for Arsenal. They tried with Unai Emery, it didn’t work out but you have to look at recruitment at the time and management of the club at the time under Gazidis and the mismanagement of funds and recruitment. This is where Arsenal are at the moment, I think they’re reeling from his time there, Gazidis. We’re seeing that we’re right in the middle of it now, the crux of it now

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Mikel Arteta will already know who he wants to move out of Arsenal] I can’t help but feel very excited about this appointment. It’s one that I personally wanted to happen maybe a year ago. Some of the comments, you just think to yourself some of our fans, what’s wrong with you lot man? Chill out man, talking about his experience. But we’re here now and what we need to do, and as much as people are saying it’s a risk, of course it’s a risk but as fans and as owners and everybody, we just need to back him, we’ve got to go in. It’s a risk of course, it’s a risk we have to go all in, we have to put all the chips on it. The people upstairs, from owners to fans to everybody. We’ve got to go in and support Mikel with everything he does, whether that’s in the transfer market, whether that’s the players that’s going to go out. That’s going to happen, there’s a lot of players at Arsenal that we need to get rid of. You know that and I know that. When Mikel comes in, he’ll probably know that when he’s watched them and he’s played against them. Even the other day he would have said ‘Right, I’m getting rid of him, him, him and him’. The fact is that we’ve got to back him in that particular instance

2019 12 30 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says There has been definite improvement at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta] When you look at the two games there’s definite improvement in Arsenal. You just think what they could have done had they gone with the appointment after the Leicester game at the international break. It’s one and two touch all the way and it’s really quick. Fantastic zip, the fans should be happy with what they’re seeing at the moment but give Chelsea credit for what they’ve done

Very compact. Very solid. I like the shape. They’ve had three different managers by the way. Different ideas, different voices. It’s the front players, when they go to engage I think they do that really well. Everyone is engaging really very well. helsea, with their system of three at the back, seem confused and Arsenal were really well organised hunting in packs. Everyone attuned to the system. I thought they did it really well

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says In-form Southampton striker Danny Ings could be Gareth Southgate’s trump card at Euro 2020] Ings is doing brilliantly. He makes a lot of goals out of nothing. I hope he can continue his form. After what he has been through he deserves it. When you see the goals he is scoring - brilliant runs, half chances - if he can continue that form he can have a Toto Schillaci or a Diego Forlan [tournament]

2020 01 19 Retrieve

[Ian Wright was left impressed by Martinelli’s performance in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United] He’s someone that the Arsenal fans are very excited about. He is someone that is constantly trying to get in the box, he has great movement. When you look at him, he’s sharp, always wants to get in the box, makes good darts into the box. He gets himself into a position and then look at his movement now and he gets the goal. I think he’s under a lot of pressure with Aubameyang not being available. Everyone is saying ‘he has to come in’, can he fill the boots for the game? I think he did

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Gunners icon Wright says Arsenal will find it difficult to keep Martinelli] When you see him you can see there is a hunger and a determination about him. I’ve been in contact with him with texts and things, you can see that all he wants to do is do well.

He’s so hungry. I think it’s only Jadon Sancho as a teenager who has scored more goals than him in the top five leagues so he’s somebody that has definitely got something in him.

We’re lucky to have him and if he carries on improving the way he is, then it’s going to be very difficult to keep hold of him.

If they can create chances, the way he moves into the box, he’s going to score goals and that is what we need to concentrate on with Arsenal, scoring more goals and creating more chances

[Wright is not overly concerned by that barren run and hopes that supporters keep faith with those scratching around for form under new boss Mikel Arteta] It’s a worry, when you consider what he does bring to the team, he’s literally the only striker at the club who can play the way he does with his back to goal but you can see at the moment that he doesn’t look like he is going to score.

His away goalscoring record is a little bit of a worry and then you add into that the fact he’s on a poor scoring run, you’re hoping he can get one because what he is contributing to the team, keeping them in that third of the team and linking play, is brilliant but you do need goals.

[Nicolas] Pepe, yes you need more from him in terms of goals because I think his form in taking players on now, he’s getting much better, and I think we’re going to see more from Reiss Nelson, Arteta has a lot of faith in him

I hope we’re going to see more from Martinelli. I think that he’s got to come from the left. Can Eddie Nketiah come in and play with his back to goal? We’re hoping so as he’s been called back from loan and he’s been impressive in training, hopefully he sees enough from him and gives him a go. You do need patience with Lacazette but with Aubameyang missing for another couple of games, the fans are saying we need goals from him, it’s a bit unfair, they’re totally dismissive what he does in holding the ball up for the team and attack teams. He himself will want to score because it will get his confidence going but I think they should have a bit more patience with him for what he does. We need him to be confident, he’s going through a hard time in front of goal

2020 02 03 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Mikel Arteta now realises the enormous task he has on his hands at Arsenal] Mikel Arteta now realises the enormous task he has. The way they started, it looked like something was going to happen but then after that they slowly went further and further into their shell. It’s something he has to address because in terms of the calibre of player we’ve got - and you have to give Burnley credit for where they are - but we should be performing a lot better. We’ve got a lot of young players coming through that you hope can step up to the mark but we’ve got a lot of players there that aren’t playing to a level where Arsenal should be. That’s the job that Arteta has got, to get them back to that level. Whether or not he can do that with the funds that he’s got, which isn’t much, is going to be a massive, massive ask

[Wright is reluctant to point fingers at the Gabonese] You can only put it down to a little bit of rustiness. It seems like a very poor finish, a rushed finish. You would have thought a side-foot from where he was would have sufficed

2020 02 06 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Mikel Arteta deserves a lot of creditfor having turned Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi right around at Arsenal] There has been a change in organisation, closing down, intensity with the guys. People like [Lucas] Torreira, Xhaka, he’s turned Xhaka right around. He’s got something out of Mustafi - Mustafi played well against Burnley the other day. Things are happening, but it’s going to take its time

Unfortunately our defence was poor leading up to this and the defence is getting a little bit more solid, a couple of clean sheets, now we just need to convert the chances. I don’t think he’s totally happy with the defence, Pablo Mari has just come in, he might make a difference. Saliba is going to come back from loan next season, you’re hoping that those two can make a difference. [Kieran] Tierney will be a major plus for us. Soares is a fantastic signing as back-up to Hector [Bellerin]

2020 02 15 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Wright has hit back at Emery for making excuses, with the blame for further regression considered to lie at his door] Under the old manager it was like a regime, it wasn’t very enjoyable, they didn’t know where they were going, there wasn’t a lot of direction in what they were doing. And when you hear the quotes from Unai Emery … delusional comments if you ask me. Yes [they got to Europa League final] but it was the worst performance of an Arsenal team in a final. Because again, whatever he says, the players weren’t happy, there wasn’t a vision or direction, the communication was poor.

He can say whatever he wants about how well he’s done because he’s got the ‘facts’ there but that team was going nowhere. When you look at his record, for him to come out and say stuff like that […] This is the difference with Arsene Wenger, 21 years, he doesn’t come out and stay stuff like that. He [Emery] was coming in as the guy that was going to steer us back and everyone gave him the support. He was a gentleman when he was at the club, but to hear him say those things is quite sad to see. For me, he’s probably looking for a new job, trying to put himself back out there. Mikel Arteta has given Arsenal direction and focus now and that’s what he [Emery] didn’t give us

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright has spoken out about racism in football] With the emergence of social media, you can see [racism] happening. I don’t think it’s something that’s ever going to go away

People feel that if you’ve been a victim of it you’ve got the answers, but you don’t know [what to do]. You look at people who are accused of racism, they’re older people - people who should know better. I still think that education is key and that’s all we can do. But you’re just hoping that more and more people will out it when it happens. Then you need the proper kind of discipline and punishment so that people understand that it’s not acceptable

[Wright also spoke about his own education, and how a teacher named Sydney Pigden played a key role] I don’t know why [Mr. Pigden] chose me, but he did. He gave me responsibility, I used to collect the registers from the teachers, then they made me milk monitor. It was really good, I just felt important. He wouldn’t let me play football if he heard I’d been naughty in class. He just gave me a sense of feeling like I had some use. He was the greatest man in the world

2020 02 18 Retrieve

[Arsenal great Ian Wright branding Emery delusional after claiming Arsenal was a club on a downward slope] Under the old manager it was like a regime, it wasn’t very enjoyable, they didn’t know where they were going, there wasn’t a lot of direction in what they were doing. And when you hear the quotes from Unai Emery […] delusional comments if you ask me. Yes [they got to a Europa League final] but it was the worst performance of an Arsenal team in a final. Because again, whatever he says, the players weren’t happy, there wasn’t a vision or direction, the communication was poor. He can say whatever he wants about how well he’s done because he’s got the ‘facts’ there but that team was going nowhere

2020 03 07 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Arsenal without Aubameyang is a frightening thought] It’s so paramount, of paramount importance. Without his goals, Arsenal would be in a really desperate position. If you look at the goals he scores for Arsenal, he’s scored literally 50 per cent of the goals. He’s someone who had no problem taking the 14 shirt, that’s how confident he is. He’s coming up to 50 goals now in something like 75 games, it’s an unbelievable record for an Arsenal team which hasn’t been fantastic in his time. If you can get Arsenal’s creative players to get anywhere near as hungry and consistent as he’s been, then you’re talking about Arsenal getting in and around the top four. He’s been unbelievable, I don’t know what more to say about him. He’s been the most consistent Arsenal performer for some years now. It’s actually frightening to think of Arsenal without him if he does decide to leave. It’s something I haven’t thought that much about, but you’re thinking about it now because his contract is finishing now. But it would be a disastrous decision for Arsenal

2020 03 13 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Aubameyang deserves better than Arsenal] If you can imagine him in a better team, he would be winning Premier Leagues and vying for places in Champions League finals and I think he deserves that. You don’t see him particularly vocal on the pitch, [no] pointing and screaming, but it’s what he does in respect of his leadership with the goals that he scores. If you take his goals out of that team then they’re in a massive heap of trouble. Arsenal need a few more players to kick in with their form to help him. We’re talking about a goalscorer who is scoring at the rate of a Champions League player, a world-class goalscorer. We’re talking about the last big contract in his career. I just hope that the love that he has for the club and the fans have for him is enough for him but I wouldn’t want to be in his position because it’s a tough one for him.

2020 03 26 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright is still hurting over the Gunners’ nightmare attempt to lure Luis Suarez away from Liverpool in 2013] It’s a nightmare to think about because there was a time when he could have gone to Arsenal but they made that ridiculous bid, a pound extra. He left a Liverpool side that should have won the league to go to Barcelona when they were amazing - and made them better. He’s amazing

He scored one of the best goals I’ve seen in the Premier League. People talk about Paolo di Canio’s but that Suarez one against Newcastle was unbelievable - [controlling] a 60-yard pass, on his shoulder

2020 04 11 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Ian Wright has recently admitted Aubameyang could be playing at a higher level] If you can imagine him in a better team, he would be winning Premier Leagues and vying for places in Champions League finals and I think he deserves that. You don’t see him particularly vocal on the pitch, [no] pointing and screaming, but it’s what he does in respect of his leadership with the goals that he scores. If you take his goals out of that team then they’re in a massive heap of trouble. Arsenal need a few more players to kick in with their form to help him. We’re talking about a goalscorer who is scoring at the rate of a Champions League player, a world-class goalscorer

2020 04 18 Retrieve

[Ian Wright has hit out at criticism of the Premier League’s discussions to restart the season amid the coronavirus pandemic] It seems like football is the punching bag. Lives come before anything, and the Premier League have always said, and they continue to say, [football will resume] when it’s safe to do so. When you hear people having a go at football because the Premier League are having meetings … they have to have meetings because at some stage things have to start again. Just because football is a game … it’s still a business, just like other businesses are making plans to try and get themselves going again.

2020 04 19 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Football should not be a ‘punching bag’ for coronavirus frustrations] It seems like football is the punching bag. Lives come before anything, and the Premier League have always said, and they continue to say, [football will resume] when it’s safe to do so. When you hear people having a go at football because the Premier League are having meetings, they have to have meetings because at some stage things have to start again. Just because football is a game, it’s still a business, just like other businesses are making plans to try and get themselves going again

2020 05 09 Retrieve

[Ian Wright speaks out against the abuse women’s footballers get on social media] It’s a very good product, the women’s game. It needs time to grow. But when you post about women’s football, the abuse and sexism the players get is abhorrent. It’s terrible. With the women’s game I’m going to champion it because I’ve got two girls myself who are looking to play

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Police investigating teenager after Arsenal legend Wright receives vile racist abuse on Instagram] I know I’m not meant to look at them but these messages still hit me so hard man. This is a child!!! This kid as [sic] a direct line into me & is able to send this without any worry

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says Arsenal could not fault Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if he opted to leave for Real Madrid] I hope so. But if I’m going to sit here and speak about Aubameyang at the stage of his career that he’s at, maybe wanting to win things, maybe one last chance and people are saying that Real Madrid are sniffing around him. He’s somebody with the way he’s scored goals in his career, he probably wants something to show for it … I know he’s won stuff in Germany. But if he did [leave] … if he was somebody that was tempted away, I’m not sure that people could really fault him at this stage because you look at Arsenal and the current plight, you have to say we’re going through a transitional period, coming off of [Arsene] Wenger, coming off of Unai Emery and now getting the coach that I believe is going to take us to the promised land. It depends totally on whether Aubameyang has the patience to wait for this to kick in but if he didn’t I’m not sure at his age what people could say, he’s somebody that deserves to be playing at a level where he’s able to win things. Depending on his ambition, his people around him and what they’re saying to him, how much he loves the club - and I know he loves the club immensely - you have to pray that’s going to be enough for him to stay. But I’m not going sit here and say anything other than I wish him all the best with what he does but I pray to God he stays at Arsenal

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[Ian Wright says of a long-running saga surrounding Aubameyang] If the season was still going and he continued scoring goals then he’d be in a strong position. But I think the position he’s in now - we’re talking about someone who’s going to be 32 next summer. He is getting into a situation where if he does see that contract out, are the same people going to come for him? The contract what he’s got on the table from Arsenal, is there going to be another club who’s going to give him the same kind of contract?

If he does say ‘I don’t want to sign a deal’ and then [Mikel] Arteta starts to use [Gabriel] Martinelli and he starts to score goals and do well, then all of a sudden Aubameyang’s position and negotiation point gets weaker. I think the longer he waits, in this time, the more it might affect him. Arsenal have probably got a deal on the table three, maybe four years, for somebody that for me, we need him to stay. We’re talking Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus. Is he going to go to these teams? I’m not sure

2020 06 17 Retrieve

[Arsenal centre-back David Luiz was sent off in a one-man horror show at Manchester City after giving away the first goal of the game shortly after being introduced to the action as a substitute. Ian Wright criticised Luiz for failing to deal with De Bruyne’s pass through to Sterling] Arsenal had done well to try to hold off a City side that once they got in their groove, they looked dangerous, it was ominous, you could see that something was going to happen. When you consider where this has come from, how far [the De Bruyne pass] has come from, it is poor from David Luiz. It’s unfortunate because to go in 0-0 would’ve been really good, it would’ve given them a little bit of confidence. But that, for me, you’ve got to attack that, we know that it’s raining, it might be a little bit wet. But a player of his experience should go and meet that, kick that out, he’s got himself in all sorts of problems and got punished for it.

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend Wright reveals ‘terrifying’ social media abuse] These aren’t isolated incidents!!! It’s daily!! This is what I received for posting and talking about #BlackLivesMatter yesterday. The abuse started a week earlier, the taunting is terrifying. Coming back and back again. Let’s show these social media companies how bad this has got, it’s ridiculous!!! So easy for them!! If you or a black friend has had online racist abuse then please post a tweet with the hashtags #NoConsequences and #BlackLivesMatter.

Football is the punching bag. When you hear people having a go at football because the Premier League are having meetings … they have to have meetings because at some stage things have to start again. Just because football is a game … it’s still a business, just like other businesses are making plans to try and get themselves going again

2020 07 13 Retrieve

[Earlier this year, a teenage boy handed himself in to police after the former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright also shared racist abuse he received online] I know I’m not meant to look at them but these messages still hit me so hard man. This is a child!!! This kid has a direct line into me and is able to send this without any worry

[The messages included a number of racist terms and one read] if I get corona I will cough in your face