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Wenger’s “lost soul” claim will resonate with Irons fans

Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t run anything Arsene Wenger had to say about Arsenal but his words on the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium will resonate with many Hammers fans. So here goes!

Whilst many clubs have moved, Spurs being the latest – and  are struggling by their recent standards – it’s a little difficult to know why it’s done for anything other than business reasons.

Some would argue Upton Park was falling apart and that it would cost far more to upgrade the ground than to make the move to Stratford.

That probably had more to do with it than anything else but as is the case with Arsenal, according to Wenger and fans across most clubs including ours of course it’s a decision which clearly means the club’s soul is left behind.

To his credit, the French boss is not shy of admitting it and he made his point while  working as a pundit for beIN Sport during Liverpool’s win over Manchester United on Sunday.

After moving to relocate 450 yards away from the ground they called home for 93 years the Gooners  failed to replicate the on-pitch success of Wenger’s first decade in charge.

He said: “I moved from Highbury, which was similar to Anfield, but there was a soul in the stadium.
“We built a new stadium but we never found our soul – we left our soul at Highbury.

“We could never recreate it for security reasons. The distance from the pitch to the stand had to be bigger as we needed ambulances to come in.

“The inclination of the stands had to be smaller all those things together that we didn’t find to recreate the atmosphere.”

There’s few of us who would disagree with those sentiments!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

4 comments on “Wenger’s “lost soul” claim will resonate with Irons fans

  1. Nothing to do with having a great team at Highbury with “the invincibles” a kind of one off freak combination of good fortune and timing and incredible players like Berkamp and Henry, and then moving to a new stadium with a lesser team and what I think of as the disappointing Ozil years. Nothing to do with the drop in quality of the team on the pitch. Let’s blame it all on the stadium. Excuses excuses. Bla bla. Sorry Wenger but if you’d had a team capable of winning a title on the pitch the new stadium would have been just as buzzing as the old one.

  2. Yes Arsene is spot on. However having been to both they have what I would call a football stadium which is closer to the pitch, something in their club colours and something they own.. You can’t say that about the Olympic stadium. Stuck next to a shopping centre in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think they (Sullivan, Gold) would have bought the club if they had to redevelop Upton Park. It was possible though I understand. Anyway it’s all gone now sadly, I think Everton fans will regret moving from Goodson Park. It’s all about money, money, money!!

  3. Every time I read on your excellent site about the move to the London Stadium it is almost always negative. I bet the folk who now have season tickets who thought they would never get one even if they grew to be very old don’t think the move was such a bad thing. I have only been once, I now live a fair way away, and I thought it was pretty good.

  4. I’ve only been once also as I live over 1000 kms away. I have to say it was a great experience. I bought a ticket in the lower Bobby Moore J 154 section and the view was brilliant except for the far end of the pitch. The concourse gets quite crowded at half time but it’s still possible to queue up for 2 different kiosks before heading back inside for the 2nd half.However this was the Bilbao match and was only 3/4 full, I guess. A Premier match ticket costs a bit more but you’d be up in the clouds far from anything. The worst thing of all is the marathon walk after the game all the way around Westfields shopping centre. I’d definitely go again but can only manage summer friendlies. WH should listen to their ST holders and take heed. They are the life & soul of the club- without them they’d be nothing.I still live in hope that athletics will be transferred somewhere else and WH get permission to revamp the seats accordingly.

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