It seems that securing Champions League football year-after-year just won’t cut it with Arsenal fans anymore.
Since that ‘invincibles’ season over a decade ago, Arsene Wenger has failed to bring home another Premier League crown, and it is clear to see that it is frustrating the Arsenal faithful no end.
The Gunners saw off West Bromwich Albion to go third in the table on Thursday, but it was clear to see from the TV cameras that empty seats flanked the pitch.
The normal influx of people before the game begun didn’t happen, and the stadium felt subdued – like an atmosphere-less cauldron of disappointment and apathy. Thankfully, an Alexis Sanchez brace saw Arsenal move above Manchester City to go third to somewhat raise spirits, but why did so many supporters stay away?
To be honest, it seems as simple as that the fans are just a little bored. They’re not in the title race as the season comes to an end and this was the season where Arsenal could have done it.
Whilst Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur have been excellent, the Gunners had the opportunity to launch an extremely strong campaign thanks to the shortcomings of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. But they’ve choked on so many important occasions this year, and it seems that some supporters are just a little fed up.
Spurs have taken the bragging rights for the first time in years and we’ve seen a few ‘Wenger out’ banners in the stands numerous times. Some supporters used to mock the few that didn’t support the Arsenal stalwart, but now it seems the tide is turning and more are growing frustrated with the Frenchman.
Take the game against West Ham United. 2-0 up and seemingly strolling to victory, the Gunners let England’s sixth choice striker to score his first hat-trick in years. It’s just not acceptable for a self-proclaimed title contending side.
Whilst the club claimed 59,568 people turned up on Thursday night, it’s hard to argue that’s fact. Whilst it is impossible to know quite how many stayed away, some have mooted there were around 15,000 empty seats. The worst thing is that Arsenal were expecting a strong turn-out on the night. They didn’t take into account the amount of people actually not in attendance, rather going by the amount of season tickets that are active.
A big worry for Arsenal is that this wasn’t an official protest – it seemingly just happened. People are fed up and just stayed away, and Wenger’s response? ‘Come and support the team, you see the quality’. What defines quality though?
They’re a side full of quality players, granted, but they’re not pulling it together on the day. They’ve bottled it again and Arsenal fans have been left with another gutless, slightly lukewarm title challenge attempt.
Just how long will people put up with it?