Tag Archives: rocky

Who Next For An Arsenal Statue?

Tony Adams.

Thierry Henry.

Dennis Bergkamp.

Three heroes, a trio of icons, reputation forged in red and white – immortalised forever in bronze.

Found around the concourse of The Emirates, our home, these three statues are not only highlights of any fan’s trip to our ground – they are tributes to legendary feats of footballing – and all achieved in aid of Arsenal, the cannon – and for us.

What these three did outweigh pretty much every single other player who has ever pulled on the jersey – the question of if they deserve it has never needed to be asked.

One question that is pertinent though – who will be next for immortalisation?

 

Henry statue

There are plenty who could be worthy – and ask every single Gooner and they will have a different answer.

Here are five that could certainly warrant the bronzed treatment – what is your verdict?

 

Arsene Wenger

arsene-wenger-exit-arsenal

The man who dragged Arsenal to success from a period of malaise in the 90’s, to a European contender. The Frenchman won three titles, seven Cups and earned his own slice of immortality by masterminding the only unbeaten season in modern English football. Perhaps his biggest feat? Managing to keep his side at the top table of football despite having a budget that bordered on penniless at times. Defences with clowns, Midfields that had a miniscule amount of defensive presence – fighting teams that dwarved our budget. Wenger may have sullied his reputation in some circles in his last years, but can anyone overlook what he achieved? The distance he took our club? A more deserving name is hard to find.

 

David Rocastle

Rocky

The player known affectionately as Rocky to everyone was tragically taken from us far too early – but the super-talented Rocky had already left his indelible mark on our memories.

To this day, you will struggle to find another player who petrified a full-back like Rocastle. With a drop of a shoulder, or a faint touch on the outside of his boot, he had slipped his marker and was free to wreak more havoc. A scorer of extraordinary goals and beloved by teammates, we remember Rocky every year not just because we miss him – it’s because he was truly special.

 

Frank McLintock

Frank McLintock

The Scotsman is touted by a few to be on a par with Tony Adams when it comes to Skipper material – that is testament enough that McLintock is justified in this selection process. Our Captain for the epic Fairs Cup win in 1970 – our first cup in Europe – which included our famous win over an illustrious Ajax side in the semi-finals – while also leading us to our famous double win in 1971. McLintock has the respect of all and was a pretty fine defender too.

Ray Parlour

Romford Pele

The Romford Pele amassed more Premier League appearances for Arsenal than any other. Not only that, but he also adapted and played intrinsic roles in both the Graham and Wenger eras. Parlour was a fan favourite and his talent is often overlooked in favour of his loyalty. But a player who was utilised in both the central midfield and out wide under the watchful eye of Wenger couldn’t be an average player. Parlour in bronze, arms aloft after scoring his famous Cup final goal versus Chelsea? Wouldn’t that be fitting?

 

Pat Rice

Pat Rice

The Northern Ireland international was an Arsenal player for 13 years and earned nearly 400 appearances in that time. He was part of the team that won the Fairs Cup and the 1971 Double, and the unforgettable Cup win over United in 1979.

That wasn’t the end of his time with the Arsenal though. A youth team coach, Assistant Manager – even Caretaker manager for a short spell – all spanning 28 years. So 41 years in total for Rice as an Arsenal representative – and all done in a classy manner that embodied the Arsenal Way.

There could be plenty more who wouldn’t look out of place encased in bronze – who’s your shout?

Rocky Remembered

Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent.”

Sometimes, words fall short, but not the quote above.

Any attempt to give a label to the man who is responsible for the above quote is pointless, because sometimes, words cannot justify what we have, or had.

David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle is the epitome of the word ‘legend,’ but that oft-used moniker doesn’t begin to cover the impact the player and man has had on not only our club, but generations of fans.

How does a player become the equivalent of amber? Their story forever encased to enjoy, a yarn passed down to neverending eras of support.

Rocky is held up as the example to all of what we want from a player. He is the barometer for the swashbuckling, brave football we all desire.

He is the gauge for the devotion we want our players to have for the cannon.

He is the level with which we use to judge the man behind the boots, jersey and pitch exertions.

Rocky was cruelly taken from us far too early, and it’s painful to imagine what role he would have with the club today.

Because he would undoubtedly still have ties to Arsenal should he be around today, for his love for Arsenal knew no bounds. He had the skills to pass down to today’s young bucks, he had the sage mentality to make sure lessons were learned, he had the fierce will to win that should be embedded in all professionals. He would have been a fantastic coach.

He is already an ambassador to the club, despite him not being with us in tangible form. We hold Rocky up and embrace him as a symbol of not only the happiest of memories, but of gratitude that such a player graced us with his presence.

There are many fans not lucky enough to have seen him in the first person and what he could do to an opponent. His twinkling feet were a blur, his shifting of direction was subtle and ruthless, leaving defenders with no idea how to stop him other than a petulant kick. Even that was something that he could deal with. The reason? Because he was schooled in The Arsenal Way, and knowing he had his teammates backing him no matter what is one hell of a confidence boost. He never backed down, he never shirked a challenge, he never gave an inch. If he wanted something, he went and got it.

He gave us goosebumps with his exploits, but he also gave us so much more, even today. He’ll always be a hero to us.

He is immortalised as not only a blessed player who adored the crest that adorned his chest, but as a man too – and that speaks volumes. Rocky was the local lad come good, he was the wing wizard who bewitched us all, he was the man who displayed everything we wanted to be.

His famous quote is famous because not only does it sum up the man to a tee – but it is also a fine mantra for your own life. “Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent.”