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Ex-Premier League ref describes Arsenal hero Ian Wright’s “complex” changes

Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter described Arsenal legend Ian Wright as a “complex” character due to his changes on the pitch.

The Gunners’ ex-forward scored 185 goals in nearly 300 appearances, winning the Premier League as well as two FA Cups.

He regularly keeps in touch with fans on Instagram, regularly praised for his good deeds.

But Winter has revealed how this was not the case when it came to matters on the pitch.

Writing in his autobiography The B****** In The Black, the ex-referee wrote: “Wright is a complex character. Off the pitch he is one of the loveliest people you could wish to meet. He combines wonderfully bubbly personality with being thoughtful and sincere.

Arsenal hero Ian Wright was a ‘complex’ character, according to former Premier League referee Jeff Winter

“But once he crossed that white line as a player, he was a different animal.

“The red mist descended the second things didn’t go his way.

“The language was colourful, and technically he could have been sent off virtually every time he opened his mouth.

“He came into the professional game late and maybe felt that he had to make up for lost time, and be a winner whatever it took.

The Englishman was described as a nice guy off the pitch but a ‘different animal’ on it

“I can’t knock that, but it was always an eventful ninety minutes when you were out in the middle with him.”

Wright left north London just as fellow Gunners hero Thierry Henry arrived from Juventus.

And the Englishman recalled a major concern the famous No.14 had when he arrived at Highbury.

Wright said: “When he first came, he had already won the World Cup. Everyone was talking about this winger and Arsene Wenger described him as the football equivalent of Michael Jordan.

“He could do everything. He didn’t score for a few games but once he got his feet in the Premier League.

“His physique, pace, skill. He got this hunger for goals.

“I remember when Arsene Wenger said he was going to sign him for Arsenal, Henry said: ‘Yeah, but I don’t score goals, I won’t score enough goals for you’.”

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/former-premier-league-referee-describes-21755336

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