Football is not a matter of life or death, it is more important than that

My Idea

I have already written a page on the subject of the Arsenalisation project and have to start this page by saying I may have jumped the gun a little, because it is fair to say the Arsenal are not nearly finished and the first main project, the massive banners that wrap the stadium are continuing to go up and will not finish until we play Chelsea at the end of November. A total of 32 players will be featured and when I made my comment it was after 24 players were up. So eight more, so maybe my one concern will be answered.

However sometimes in life it is easy to just sit back and have a go, to be the critic, but that is not my way, so here is my idea for the overall project. Now right from the start of writing this down let me please state for the record, I honestly do not know if the Arsenal have already thought of this, and this is an idea I have had for about 4 years, from the moment I first walked around the new stadium before it was even opened.

For me I had always hoped the new ground would be named “The Stadium of Legends”. And I think it is fairly obvious why, after all, everyone one of the 450+ people who have worn the red & white are just that, Legends. But no that is not my idea, here it is:

24 bronze Statues, twice life size, that surround the stadium. Statues of iconic images of iconic players. Imagine a massive statue of Charlie George, on his back, soaking up the sunshine and reminding us all of that day in 1971, or Tony Adams, arms stretched out, reminding us of the goal vs Everton at Highbury, T Henry on his knees in front of the North bank, kissing the grass on the last day, or best of all, Michael Thomas standing on his head celebrating that goal, on that Friday night in ’89. Of course I would have to have one of Mr Bergkamp and the image of his goal celebration away to Leicester, hand over mouth would do it for me, big time.

I would also do a “group” one. When teams arrive at the stadium they drive in under the stadium, on the concrete panel above them, I would put the world famous “Arsenal back 4”, Winterburn, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Bould, the five of them looming large over all who enter, that’s a goal start from the off.

Now on the off chance that anyone from Arsenal should ever read this, I have thought this through, this idea would cost a bundle, but there is a serious payback, a return on the investment. You could create collectables. Firstly a set of 24 plastic editions for the kids to collect, then mini bronze versions for the more affluent supporter. I for one would buy the Bergkamp one the moment it was available, regardless of its cost. Photographs or even paintings of the 24 images could also be created and sold to recapture the costs. There is just so many different ways to use these to generate spend. Even the creation of this idea could be great content for, image the battle to choose the 24. Just who would make the list, 24 legends from 450+.

However the biggest aspect of this idea is the impact it would have, image a walk around the stadium, seeing these huge statues, icons, legends, looming large over all. Inspiring all. Home fans would arrange to meet under one, away fans would just dream of having such inspiration, young players would dream that one day they would have a one of themselves. If the dream is the Arsenalisation of the Emirates, then this would provide the past links plus, the future inspiration.  


© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.