There is a different atmosphere inside Emirates Stadium this season — and now there will be a new look outside, too.
Eight giant pieces of artwork are being installed on the exterior of Arsenal's home as part of the first major revamp of the ground since it opened in 2006.
The new designs are the result of a huge project and months of consultations with supporters, club legends and leading figures in British art and design.
Replacing the existing legends motifs around the outside of the stadium will be eight pieces of art. Each is designed to "celebrate the club's rich history, community values and its relentless pursuit of progress", the club says.
The unveiling comes at a time of real excitement for Arsenal fans, with the Gunners top of the Premier League and targeting their first title since 2004. The project is also a deliberate attempt to rebuild a link between the club and its supporters that was strained by the European Super League debacle of 2021.
Arsenal reveal new 2023 artwork around Emirates Stadium
"It is fair to say post-Super League the relationship with our fans was really strained," says chief executive Vinai Venkatesham. "That was absolutely a motivator, that we needed to get our relationship with our fans back in the right way. We talk a little bit about this project being created by the Arsenal family for the Arsenal family. I can't remember a time where it has felt so connected and together."
The first steps of the project were taken in the Tollington pub, a stone's throw from the Emirates, in April last year. Fans had felt for a while that the old motifs, which depicted 32 male legends, looked tired and did not represent what Arsenal are today.
It was decided a change was needed, and Arsenal consulted far and wide. More than 100 fans from a range of supporter groups packed into the Tollington, along with club legends, including Kelly Smith.
"It was a bit of a trip down memory lane," says Arsenal fan Akhil Vyas. "We spoke about our favourite memories, what things mean to us, our favourite goals, players. I don't think any of us at that first meeting, including the club, really knew what it was going to look like in the end."
Arsene Wenger often described football as art, but surely he would never have imagined him and his Invincibles on the side of the stadium he played such a big role in designing.
That artwork is one of five pieces created by artist Reuben Dangoor, a boyhood Arsenal fan. Dangoor admits the start of the process was overwhelming and says his original sketches were like Where's Wally?, as he tried to cram in more than 100 years of Arsenal history.
Eventually, he managed to crystallise the pieces into key moments, drawing inspiration from the word "epic" repeatedly coming up in workshops. "I was looking at almost Napoleonic battle scenes and paintings, these grand representations," he explains.
No more is that evident than in the piece 'Victoria Concordia Crescit'. Male and female legends are stood by huge cannons, ready to go into battle, with an atmospheric red sky behind them. That design has been deliberately placed over the away fans' entrance, and deciding where pieces went was a key part of the process.
'Come To See The Arsenal', which has the words "welcome to north London" on it and was created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, will be visible on trains coming into the capital. 'Remember Who You Are', a recreation of Highbury's iconic east stand, will face the old ground.
The level of detail, however, is most clear on 'Found A Place Where We Belong', which is still being finished and includes the faces of 721 fans.
There will, of course, be an element of subjectivity as to whether fans like the art, but they should at least approve of the process.
"For us, it will become a bit of a template around what you can achieve if you consult the fans and wider stakeholders in the right way," says Venkatesham. "We are working to try to make it so that supporters feel like their voice is wanted, required and, most importantly, listened to."