Should Arsenal have retired the Number 14 Jersey?

Eddie staying is all well and good but number 14 is for one man only!

There has been a lot said in recent days about the extension of Eddie Nketiah’ s contract and the number he has been given and I want to also say my bit.

Now I have nothing against Eddie, yet I do not think he is going to be the one to lead us forward and I do not think he will be an Arsenal legend in years to come!

And I certainly do not agree with the fact that he has been given the number 14 shirt.

Controversial I know but that’s how I feel!

I know he is still young and he may prove me and many of the other fans who have been critical of him previously, wrong, and I for one hope he does. But when it comes to the number 14 that he has been given, I do not agree with that one bit.

But then I blame Arsenal for this because when our iconic legend Thierry Henry left they should have retired his number because let’s put it this way, nobody can ever and will ever live up to the legend that Henry became and still is to this day where Arsenal football club is concerned!

He has a statue outside the Emirates stadium, he returned for a second loan spell and maybe one day he will come back to manage the club, but the day they unveiled his statue was the day that they should have retired his number.

I felt the same when Theo Walcott was given the number 14, it just didn’t feel the same, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I do with all of our players, but we saw it came near to working out with Theo but never actually did and this is why nobody else should wear the number 14!!!

Because this is what happens, when players take over an icons number, they are forever pitted against the icon and compared to them, and more often then not they do not rise to the same levels as the icons, or maybe they do in their own way but in life when you are used to one thing it is hard to accept or see anything even slightly different.

Now this is by no way a negative article aimed at Eddie, he is still part of our team and I will support him for as long as he wears the shirt and I am sure he will make some type of an impact in the side when given a chance but as for the number, in my eyes, there will only ever be ONE number 14!

Shenel Osman


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  1. First of all, yes, they should have retired that number the moment Tierry left for barca.

    What I think is the reasoning behind giving the number 14 to the least deserving footballer is a tactic to drive Saka out the club and collect a gigantic transfer fee.

    Number 14 along with a 100k salary to me seems like a transfer tactic to drive the top performers out and collect the spoils.

    Once they do, Pappa Kranky can further invest in his darling project – the LA Rams.

    2020s Arsenal = early 2010s Southampton. Prove me wrong.

    1. I love conspiracy theories as some form of entertainment not necessarily believing in them and I really like this one 😂.

      1. Thanks! 😁

        It’s definitely a stretch but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be true. Pappa Kranky said it himself that he is not in Arsenal to win trophies.

        Being a feeder club might seem as the most lucrative business for someone who knows very little about soccer as Pappa Kranky does.

    2. Absolutely disagree. What is the point ?! Why dont you offer your services to the club as a chief negotiator ? 31m for 5 years on Nketiah is a Win-Win situation for a back up option, homegrown. 5 years of laca cost nearly 100m. 3,5 years of auba 90m (first contract). Homegrown players come at a cost. Did you have a better option than Nketiah now ?! And would have come with a 10m price tag and would ask for 50k per week ?! Not sure about that. So he is not cheap, but thats the offer/demand, the market… and if he does not score goals, we will sell him for 15. He is not at all a bad piece of business from arsenal. The 14 shirt is another debate. But one that wont help us win anything.

  2. Disagree. My all time great is Dennis. Even Titi wrote he owed a lot to DB10. Should we retire ALL numbers from past greats? It may even give incentive to strive to honour TH14.

  3. We should have retired it after Martin Keown wore it so well. Utterly ridiculous idea to retire a shirt because someone wore it well.

    It’s a shirt and it’s a number just move it onto the next player that wants to wear it…

  4. The statues are a fitting celebration, and hopefully this ludicrous discussion will motivate Nketiah even more.
    I wish him and Arsenal the best.

  5. I disagree, however it should be given to someone who have proven themselves or at least got great potential.

    Nothing against nketia, but before that towards the ending of the season majority wanted him gone, neither did he wanted to stay as we were told he has been rejecting contract being offered to him, how could someone with such a scenario was given the most iconic number in our history.

    And don’t tell me he got potential now. he has been in the club for a while many of you didn’t see that potential, until last 7games of the season, then you all quickly mention potential.

    All in all, we need to support him and move on from this.

    1. Then we should have to retire the designation “Manager” after the greatest manager was sacked some seasons ago.

      The invincible players were legends, so the whole team jersey numbers will have to be retired. That sounds ludicrous.

    2. Also Frank McLintocks No 5 shirt, Denis Bergkamps No 10 shirt, where do you stop. No, no shirt number should be retired, they are only numbers…..

  6. Disagree, it’s a slippery slope to having triple figure shirt numbers. David Seaman was a legend, but you don’t want #1 being retired. There’s a place for sentiment, but retiring shirt numbers is not required.

  7. it’s just a number, Henry failed to bring the champions league with that jersey for us. unless someone does something extraordinary with that jersey number I don’t see any reason it should be retired.

  8. No player is bigger than the club. It’s not the number made the player it’s the other way about. Thierry came back to wear 12, scored v Leeds so we should retire that too…

    It’s only a number. He could wear 64 on his back, makes no difference at all. When it comes to Numbers the only plus is when a players gets one of the starting 11 numbers permantly as its boosts confidence knowing your a big part of the plans going forward & time to step up.

    SmithRowe 10
    Saka 7
    Martinelli 11
    Øde 8

    If we retired numbers we would have nothing left regarding first 11. We have had so many great players at the club.
    Too much pressure is put on a number and thus whole getting at Eddie for no14 is embarrassing & a joke.

    Its a bloody number.

  9. What an utter ridiculous concept. If we retired all shirts over the years that iconic players wore, numbers 1-20 just wouldn’t exist anymore. It’s a number get over it. The next thing will be Fabio Vieira won’t be allowed to have Vieira on his shirt as it belonged to a legend, get a life and worry about more important things than who wears a certain number!

  10. Why has nobody also yet pointed out that he left for another club?

    If he had retired and finished his career at arsenal (or spent his entire career at Arsenal) then this might make a little more sense.

    1. Very right. He abandoned us for the shiny Barcelona in 2007.
      We gave him a status outside the stadium, we adore him bordering on worship etc..

      I just don’t get this over the Top dogmatism about a shirt number..

  11. The simple answer is no. TH14 is fresh in the mind but will mean very little to a supporter in 50 years time. For example Cliff Bastin wore the number 11 shirt and his goal scoring record stood for 50 years until Wrighty broke it in 1998. Bastin’s partner Alex James wore the 10 shirt and was reckoned by those who saw him to have been the best player ever. How manny of our young supporters have even heard of those two?

  12. Glad to see many fellow fans recognise it’s just a number. Placing sentiment on something that has nothing to do with the talent of a player. Yes when we all see that 14 we remember Henry just as when I see 8 I remember Wright but a statue and are memories are enough no need to take a shirt number away because another player won’t be the previous guy that wore it and of course he won’t be.

  13. The number 14 shirt is just a shirt with a number. Sadly, having watched Nketiah though his career he is just not up to Arsenal quality. Maybe as a sub he can poach a few goals… and that’s about it.

    “You can’t turn a sows ear into a silk purse”

  14. Americans do this, but they have very little history compared to the UK and long-running UK sports such as football.

    Over the last century, how many numbers would have been retired? What would they be wearing now in the starting 11? Lowest might be about 97 by the end of this century.

    And this will be controversial, but if someone leaves for Barcelona… are they really in the same vein as the guys who spent their career at a club?

    P.S. You’ll run out of room for building statues eventually as well (and they become meaningless to future generations). Now would be a good time to stop it.

    1. “Americans do this but they have very little history compared to the UK and long running UK sports…”

      I’m sorry but whaaat? We aren’t talking about jousting here although word has it that Henry the 8th had his codpiece retired.

      First football game – 1863. American football 1869. Ice hockey 1875. Baseball 1828. Basketball 1891.

      Google can be your friend.

      1. Google can be your friend if you use it properly. Try searching for the US franchises that have a history as long as Arsenal and many other ongoing clubs. There’s about 8 NFL franchises in 1940 that are still going today.

        Some were created in the last few years (Ravens, Panthers).

        Football has been going strong since the formation of the English Football League in 1888. Not a few random teams chucking a pigskin around, but a full league system of clubs that are still going today.

        Arsenal has been going since 1886.

        I prefer a calm, reasoned debate so I’ll leave you to further demonstrate your knowledge of jousting codpieces without any further involvement from yours truly.

  15. Rubbish..
    Retire a shirt number for what? So once we retire the No14 shirt then what happens? Our fortunes as a club will all of a sudden change?

    Stop this religious like dogmatism when it comes to football..

  16. This is reminding me of the good old Wilshere vs Ozil = Who deserves the No10 Shirt..
    Cringeworthy stuff..

  17. i dont agree with retiring numbers
    its just a number for god sake.

    ppl really need to lighten up.

  18. I’ve read some rubbish on here recently and this is up there with drivel of the highest order. If numbers worn by some of our most celebrated stars were retired then there would be none under 20 left at all. Numbers are not now or ever have been sacred. I doesn’t matter!!! And if you really have to get twisted over this then I’m very sorry for you.
    Grow effing up!!!

  19. I absolutely reject as total nonsense, the silly obsession with a mere shirt number.

    I fail to see any relevance at all in why so many appear to me to WORSHIP a mere number; one that does not even represent the numbers one to eleven, which are the traditional numbers given to players through most of football history.

    My argument would still hold, if the number were, lets day, the number ten or two. It is still SIMPLY A NUMBER.

    There is in society today an obsession with trivia that surrounds players, instead- or, at very least, alongside – of the important debate on the merits or not of ANY player.

    The whole topic of the many OZIL WORDSHIPPERS, WHO USED TO INFECT THIS SITE , with their weird love for a player who was a failure for most of his time here and who was IMO effectively a hindrance and a retrograde player, whilst here, was sadly typical of the modern type of fan who is attacted by the player rather than by the club.

    It is noteworthy that a great many of those Ozil worshippers , now that he is gone , have disappeared from JA completely. I wonder why! Or rather I do not!!

    There is a far too unthinking and widely shared obsession with the individual player, RATHER THAN the love of the TEAM and CLUB, which is sadly common , esp among young fans.
    To me a player needs to earn his devotion by a long lasting use to the team. He needs to demonstate his keenness to help the team in any way he is able and THOSE players , having proved their worth , then earn my affection and esteem.
    But not and NEVER those who coast through games and/or cause trouble in whatever way they can.

    I also factor in that during THESE LAST FEW DECADES, THE UNDOUBTED FACT that all players earn huge and ridiculous salaries , indirectly from we fans and they NEED to give a lot back, to earn our love.

    That is my view of how life as a fan should work, at least for me. And as for loving a piece of cloth worn over the body, I am not prepared to “wet my knickers” about a piece of cloth with a mere number written on it. I love the club INSTEAD!

    I have no objection at all to names being written, as they help fans who may not be sure of who a player is , esp newer fans perhaps just starting out. Names are sensible , numbers, EXCEPT 1-11, are not!
    So the modern obsession with fashion(ugh!), meaning shirts and focussing on the , to them ,importance of NUMBERS(over number eleven), is IMO a false God and not one which I will ever “worship”!!

    1. Having posted my own comment above , I THEN proceeded to read all the posts preceding mine. I am tremendously heartened to see how very many agree with mine. I am now more sure still, that those very few who agree with this daft and pointless article, are from unthinking brains only!

  20. There is a very simple answer to the question regarding Ozil.

    As he no longer plays for The Arsenal, he is totally irrelevant to what MA is doing today.

    Why that is so difficult to understand, is beyond me…. but then, I have always supported the club and, as much as I remember the Invincibles, they are also just as irrelevant to MA as the No. 10 shirt…. unless he can produce another group of Invincibles and then we can compare the two No. 10’s.

  21. Number 9 is available, that’s a real strikers number, but I suppose that’s being kept for Jesus.

  22. I don’t know whether the writer is a Literature student. He should have read Shakespeare’s famous quote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose would by any other name smell as sweet.” Likewise I ask, What’s in a number? Many scholars have grappled with the distinction between form and content or essence but many human beings dwell on content more than essence. This explains where many errors of judgement are committed.

  23. Shenel I love your postings.

    You certainly provoke rants and at time brings out the conspiracy theories, which leads me to be a vivid reader on JA,

    Personally I don’t have an opinion on this matter but certainly enjoy the response you provoke.

    1. Then, by your own words, you enjoy stupidity! Not for me and not for almost all on here either, after reading what they say.

  24. Absolutely disagree. What is the point ?! Why dont you offer your services to the club as a chief negotiator ? 31m for 5 years on Nketiah is a Win-Win situation for a back up option, homegrown. 5 years of laca cost nearly 100m. 3,5 years of auba 90m (first contract). Homegrown players come at a cost. Did you have a better option than Nketiah now ?! And would have come with a 10m price tag and would ask for 50k per week ?! Not sure about that. So he is not cheap, but thats the offer/demand, the market… and if he does not score goals, we will sell him for 15. He is not at all a bad piece of business from arsenal. The 14 shirt is another debate. But one that wont help us win anything.

  25. I don’t think it matters too much, unless you are precious about the memory of Theo Walcott. Most pundits, and indeed some fans have missed the point about Nketiah. I, along with most of the older supporters don’t believe he is the answer to our goalscoring problems; but the point is, this had been a business decision in order to protect the value of our investment in the player. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if we accepted a good offer for his services.

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