Ian Wright says 'one of my great' Arsenal moments left Arsene Wenger 'angrier than ever'

Ian Wright can smile about it now – but he infuriated Arsene Wenger (Image: YouTube/The Overlap)

Ian Wright has recalled the moment he knew his Arsenal career was coming to an end. The legendary striker pulled a stunt which left Arsene Wenger “angrier than ever”.

Wenger arrived in north London in September 1996, with a 32-year-old Wright still firing in the goals – going on to finish that season as the Premier League’s second-highest scorer on 23. But it was something he did off the pitch that year which jeopardised his future.

He was caught rollerblading through the famous Marble Halls of Highbury by his new boss, recalling the story on Stick to Football podcast. Co-host Gary Neville asked if it was true in their special MythBusters episode.

Wright 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. 

“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.”

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Wright reckons the incident was the beginning of the end for him with Wenger (Image: Daily Mirror)

‌That turned out to be a very bad move on his part, as unbeknownst to him he wasn’t the only one who had rocked up early to the home match. “I opened the door, and as I skated through, Arsene Wenger came past looking at me,” Wright continued. 

“As he was going past, he said ‘Ian, this is not acceptable’. I knew then he was livid – I’ve never seen him angry. Even when they guys came in, he said about what I did and how unprofessional it was. 

“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.”

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Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for the Gunners, would stay for another year as they went on to claim the title. But Wenger and vice-chairman David Dein informed him during a meeting in Paris that he would be sold that summer, just two years before he ultimately retired.

The 33-time England international admits he looks back on the rollerblading incident with regret in hindsight. “That’s one I’m not proud of because obviously the year after that I was gone, didn’t even know,” he added.

Wright finished his career with short spells at West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Celtic and Burnley, going on to play just twice more for his country before hanging up his boots in 2000.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1907194/ian-wright-arsenal-moment-arsene-wenger-angry