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Arteta reveals reason behind giant new Wenger picture at Arsenal's training ground

21:10 GMT 10/11/2021
Mikel Arteta Arsene Wenger
The Gunners boss played under the legendary Frenchman and wants to bring his presence back to the club

Mikel Arteta has revealed why he made Arsenal install a giant picture of Arsene Wenger at the entrance of the club’s London Colney training centre.

The picture, which is from floor to ceiling and shows a smiling Wenger raising his hand, is the first thing the players see when they walk into the building ahead of training every day.

And Arteta, speaking at the premiere of ‘Arsene Wenger: Invincible’ told GOAL why he was so determined to bring Wenger’s presence back to the club that he has not visited since he left in May, 2018.

What did Arteta say?

When asked why having Wenger’s presence at the training ground was so important to him, Arteta said: “For me it’s something that we lost and we have to recover. 

“I wanted that picture and a phrase that is very inspirational at the entrance because it was a big part of what he did at Colney and how everything started at the Emirates. 

“He had to be there.”

High fives from the players

Since the picture was put up at London Colney, it has become the norm for Arsenal players to give Wenger a high five as they enter the building each day.

“You see the reaction of the players,” Arteta said. “I knew they were going to high-five him. 

“You just look at his eyes and it’s as if he’s there. He has this capacity, he penetrates when he looks at you. 

“The players really benefit from it.”

Will Wenger come back in person?

It’s been more than three years now since Wenger left Arsenal, yet the club’s most successful manager has not yet returned to the club in any capacity.

Speaking during the upcoming film, which is released on November 22, the Frenchman revealed that he currently does not feel there is "any special reason" for him to go back to his former club.

But Arteta, who played under Wenger, hopes his former boss can become more of a presence again in the future and believes his currents quad would benefit from seeing him around.

“I would like him to be more present at the club,” said the Spaniard.

“I think the players would love him, they will benefit, they will be inspired to have him around and I think for the club it would be a huge boost.

“It was so intense for him for over 20 years and you need to get away a little bit, but I think it would be so beneficial for all parties to have him more present."

Further reading

Arsene Wenger: Invincible will be shown at Picturehouse cinemas in Finsbury Park and Hackney from November 11.

It will be available  to watch via Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Google Play or Apple TV from November 22, the same date that it will go on sale on DVD and Blue Ray.