By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger has charged his team with the task of putting some history into Emirates Stadium this season.
Arsenal are just starting the fourth campaign at their ‘new’ home and a process of ‘Arsenalisation’ is under way. The Club provided scarves for every fan at the first home game of the Premier League season on Saturday to boost the atmosphere.
Pictures and graphics have already starting appearing in the concourses as the Club puts its unique mark on Emirates Stadium - something, of course, that 96 years of history did all by itself at Highbury.
Although Wenger is a firm supporter of Arsenalisation, he knows that trophies are also a crucial factor in a ground’s mystique.
"You want to transfer the history of the Club somewhere into the walls, and create a new history with the results,” said Wenger.
"At the moment we have maybe not achieved that, not outside or on the pitch. My job and that of the team is to create it.
"Highbury had a natural soul because of all the history. We have to create history here first by winning titles but also by making the place warm so you feel the history of the Club.
"The history of this Club we left behind in a different building. But it is important that in this new place the history and the values of the Club are kept alive.”
As part of Arsenalisation, there will be a Highbury Shrine, 12 ‘Greatest Moments’ walls on the concourses and, hopefully, 32 legendary players linking arms around the eight cores on the exterior of the stadium. It is hoped the changes will make Emirates an iconic stadium and Wenger is backing the plan wholeheartedly.
"I have met so many people who have been going to Arsenal for 50 or 60 years and had their heart and soul at Highbury,” he said.
“We have to give them something back here where they think ‘that is part of what I have experienced my whole life’.
"They want to see the faces of the players they have seen - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Cliff Bastin. That has to still continue here.
"The desire is there but not only from me, the board want to do it and personally I find it a fantastic idea.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Aug 2009