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I'm All Wright; Why Arsenal MUST not let ace Ian go!; The best in the business.

GEORGE GRAHAM has spelt spelt

Subspecies (Triticum aestivum spelta) of wheat that has lax spikes and spikelets containing two light-red kernels. Triticum dicoccon was cultivated by the ancient Babylonians and the ancient Swiss lake dwellers; it is now grown for livestock forage and used in baked
 out exactly why Arsenal cannot - and MUST not - sell Highbury hero Ian Wright For other persons named Ian Wright, see Ian Wright (disambiguation).
Ian Edward Wright, MBE (born 3 November 1963 in Woolwich, London) is a former professional footballer and current television and radio personality.

Former Gunners boss Graham describes Wright quite simply as: "One of the top half-dozen British strikers I have ever seen."

Wright has fallen out with current Highbury manager Bruce Rioch Bruce David Rioch (born September 6, 1947 in Aldershot) most recently held the position of coach of football club Odense BK in the Danish Superliga. A former player himself, he represented the Scotland national football team in 24 matches, becoming the first Scottish (by virtue of  and has asked for a transfer, as exclusively revealed in last week's Sports Mirror.

But Graham, the man who signed Wright for Arsenal, does not think the club can afford to let their star striker go.

In his book, The Glory and the Grief, Graham explains just how important Wright is to the Gunners.

He says: "You could not ask for a more genuine, honest professional than Ian Wright, who was 21 before he finally made the breakthrough into League football.

"This meant he was hungrier than most other players, and explains why he celebrates every goal as if it is a Wembley winner.

"Even in training, if he gets the ball into the net he will run around posing until some appropriate insults from his team-mates bring him back down to earth.

"He is a one-off who has a boyish enthusiasm and love for the game that I wish I could bottle.

"I would class him among the top half-dozen British strikers I have ever seen."

Graham recalls how he pulled off a major coup when he signed Wright from Crystal Palace for pounds 2.5million in September, 1991.


He says: "We had been tracking Wright for several seasons, and Crystal Palace reluctantly allowed him to go after their chairman Ron Noades Ron Noades is a British businessman. In his time, he has been chairman of Southall FC, Wimbledon FC who he led into the Football League in 1977, Crystal Palace FC and Brentford FC. Between 1981 and 1998.  had made some controversial comments in a television documentary about the attitudes of black players.

"Wright, black and proud of it, took deep offence at the remarks, and he was an Arsenal player 11 days later.

"Ian is a larger-than-life character who lights up the pitch and dressing room with the electricity of his performances and his personality.

"Some players you have to wind up before sending them out to play, using psychological ploys to lift and inspire them.

"With Ian, I had to try to douse douse 1 also dowse  
v. doused also dowsed, dous·ing also dows·ing, dous·es also dows·es
1. To plunge into liquid; immerse. See Synonyms at dip.

 the fire that was always burning within him.

"His bubbling enthusiasm could run away with him, but while getting him to control himself I had to be careful not to rob him of his natural desire to compete.

"People are surprised when they meet Ian for the first time off the pitch. They think he is some sort of giant because of the determined and aggressive way he goes about this business, but he is barely 5ft 9in tall and, by today's standards, quite small for a striker.


"But there is a lot of power packed in his muscular frame, and he has the courage to go in where it hurts if he feels his reward might be a goal.

"Wright won instant hero status with the fans by marking his Arsenal debut with a hat-trick at Southampton.

"He also scored four goals in the dismantling of Everton and in the final match of the season snatched another hat-trick (again against Southampton), his last two goals coming in injury time to lift him above Gary Lineker Gary Winston Lineker, OBE (born 30 November 1960 in Leicester) is a former English international football striker who scored ten goals in two World Cups for the England national team and is currently a sports broadcaster for the BBC.  as the League's top scorer and the `Golden Boot' winner.

"He had scored 29 goals in total, 24 of them counting for Arsenal after his move from Crystal Palace. And nearly every one of his goals was a gem.

"Ian is one player I cannot claim to have improved with my coaching. Everything he does is by instinct. He is a natural like Jimmy Greaves James Peter 'Jimmy' Greaves (born 20 February, 1940) is an English former football player, England's third highest goalscorer, and more recently a television pundit. Playing career
Chelsea, AC Milan, and Spurs
 and Denis Law used to be.

"As with Jimmy and Denis, he can never explain to you after a match how or why he scored a wonder goal.

"All he knows is that it went into the net, and like all great strikers, all his concentration and attention is on the next goal.

"It was often claimed that we had an Ian Wright complex because he scored such a high percentage of our goals. I encouraged the other players to try to match him, but he was out on his own."

Graham points out that there is an explosive side to Wright's character which sometimes lands him in trouble. But, if controlled properly, he reckons it only adds to Wright's game.


"You have to take Ian `warts 'n' all', and he has a touchpaper touchpaper

a fuse of dark blue paper on a firework
 temper to go with his fizzing fizz  
intr.v. fizzed, fizz·ing, fizz·es
To make a hissing or bubbling sound; effervesce.

1. A hissing or bubbling sound.

2. Effervescence.

3. An effervescent beverage.
 spirit," says Graham.

"There is not a thimbleful of cowardice in Wright, and he will give as good as he gets if any player goes beyond the boundaries of fair play against him.

"This means retaliatory tactics often drag him into trouble with referees, who do not see the original foul.

"In December 1992, a television camera caught him throwing `paperweight' punches at David Howells in a League match at Tottenham.

"The Press blew it up out of all proportion and the result was a three- match ban, and I got hit with a pounds 500 fine for letting the referee know what I thought of the way he handled the game.

"There was no excuse for what either Ian or I did, but anybody who has suffered the inconsistencies and incompetence of some referees will know why Ian loses control of his temper - and I lose control of my tongue."
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Silver, Neil
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 17, 1996
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