Advertisement

Ian Wright left Arsene Wenger ‘angrier than ever’ after one of his ‘greatest moments' at Arsenal

Ian Wright
-Credit: (Image: YouTube/The Overlap)


Arsenal icon Ian Wright has reflected on one of his "greatest moments" which marked the beginning of the end for him under Arsene Wenger.

Wright was still a prolific goalscorer in the Premier League when Wenger arrived as the club's new manager in September 1996. He would go on to finish that season second in the scoring chart, finding the back of the net 23 times.

But he made Wenger "angrier than ever" with his off the field antics, with one particular incident being earmarked as terminal for his Gunners career. It saw Wright rollerblading through Highbury's iconic Marble Halls.

The 60-year-old was asked if the story of him being caught by Wenger was true on the Stick to Football podcast, co-host Gary Neville during their MythBusters episode. He replied: "Yeah, he did - this is one of my greatest moments.

"This is when I knew it was over for me with Wenger. It was the year before we won the Premier League, and I remember I'd just gotten into the roller blades.

"At Arsenal, there was a bit where we used to park our cars that was smooth. I was doing my rollerblading there - I went there an hour earlier than I normally had to be there so I could do some rollerblading.

READ MORE: Arsene Wenger lands unusual new job six years after Arsenal exit

READ MORE: Edu eyes £157m double Arsenal transfer to complete Mikel Arteta's dream midfield

"I thought I didn't need to take them off, I'd just take them to the dressing room to Vic [Akers, Arsenal kit man] to hide them. I thought I could just go through the Marble Halls because no one has ever done that."

What Wright hadn't considered was who else may have turned up for the home match early - his boss. Via the Express, he continued: "I opened the door, and as I skated through, Arsene Wenger came past looking at me.

"As he was going past, he said 'Ian, this is not acceptable'. That was when I realised how livid he was I've never seen him that angry. Even when the guys came in, he mentioned what I did and called it unprofessional.

"The thing is, I didn't even think for one second it was irresponsible. It was the day of a game, I could've twisted my ankle. I didn't even think for one minute how irresponsible I was being."

Wright, who netted 185 goals in 288 games for Arsenal, remained for another season, during which they clinched the title. However, a meeting in Paris with Wenger and vice-chairman David Dein led to him being informed of his impending sale that summer, two years before his retirement.

Reflecting on the rollerblading episode, the former England striker admits regret. "That's one I'm not proud of because obviously the year after that I was gone, didn't even know," he expressed.

Wright concluded his illustrious career with short stints at West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Celtic, and Burnley, adding just two more international caps to move to 33 for England before retiring in 2000.