Inside the de-Arsenalization of Emirates ground

No one exemplifies the term “Fallen Giants” as Arsenal does. The club have not won the Premier League title since their great “Invincibles” campaign in 2003/04.

While the team has won domestic trophies in the past few years, they have failed to make a stamp in Europe. Since 2017 the club has not participated in the Champions League, with them missing out on the competition next season as well.

Even with the domestic success, the large part of the previous two decades is seen as a period of decline. Emerging photos of club legend Thierry Henry’s statue outside of the Emirates stadium highlight this fall.

A Twitter user posted a comparison of the mural between 2012 and 2022. The statue is a reimagining of Henry doing his iconic knee-slide celebration. It was unveiled by the club on December 9, 2011, along with the statues of legends Herbert Chapman and Tony Adams.

11 years later the statue has faded in colour, with the black contrast that made it stand out amidst the Emirates stadium having heavily deteriorated.

Henry’s statue isn’t the solitary part of the stadium which is fading. Another Twitter user Layth shared how a mural dedicated to legends in the stadium has dimmed over the years.

The mural features 32 of the greatest players that played for the club. These include David Seaman, Nigel Winterburn, Robert Pires, etc. Unfortunately like good old memories of the past, even the mural is fading away.

Fans on Reddit have also voiced their disappointment about the deterioration of colours on the club’s crest, which can be seen on the mural from outside the stadium.

The mural was put up as part of the ‘Arsenalization’ of the Emirates ground during the 2009/10 season, though these past few years have seen a de-Arsenalisation of the club both on and off the pitch. Respect for the club’s spirit has dwindled with the new owners solely focusing on profits and recuperating losses.

Memorials dedicated to legends who made the club what it is today are being treated as an afterthought, which shows the disrespect or ignorance shown by those in charge towards what it means to be “Arsenal”.

Hopefully, the new decade marks the beginning of a new era. Some signs indicate positive changes are coming soon for the Gunners.

The club has already signed FC Porto starlet Fabio Vieira, with Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Leeds United’s Raphinha linked. Such investment shows that the board backs manager Mikel Arteta and his project.

Gooners will be hoping that improvements aren’t just restricted to the squad, but also the stadium’s conditions. Next season could be bright for Arsenal fans in multiple ways with all-around improvement.