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Wright: Adams goal summed up Wenger's way

22 Apr 2018
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Ian Wright believes Arsenal captain's strike in winning 1997/98 title showed players' freedom under Arsene Wenger

It was a goal that summed up the transformation of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger

Steve Bould, an old-fashioned English centre-back, chipped a through-ball over the top to his fellow traditional defensive partner, Tony Adams, who had marauded forward and slammed the ball home.

That goal not only sealed the 4-0 home win over Everton on 3 May, 1998 that earned Arsenal's first Premier League title.

It demonstrated the liberation that all Wenger's players enjoyed under the Frenchman.

"Arsene Wenger gave you the licence to go and play," says Ian Wright, who played in the match. "That’s the kind of thing he would say in his five minutes at half-time. He wants you to go and express yourself. 

"Even now, thinking back to the goal where Steve Bould chips it through to him, I can’t understand why Tony went up for a left-foot half-volley."

But, as Wenger announced he would be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, Wright revealed that the surge by his captain for the goal was not entirely spontaneous.

Adams had often practised it at the club's London Colney training ground.

"When we used to be training and Tony would see the opportunity to go forward, [Arsene] would say 'Go, go!' " Wright says.

"And people would just go. People would just play."

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