Arsenal play on a Monday night yet again after watching all our closest rivals gain points over the weekend, so the pressure is on our out of form players to get all three points against Middlesbrough tonight. The Gunners have dropped to 7th in the table, but our games in hand could put us right back in the fight, but of course we have to win them all!
Arsene Wenger and Hector Bellerin are the cheerleaders ahead of the game in calling for the fans to get behind the team, instead of abusing them from the sidelines, like they did with Hector in last weeks defeat at West Brom. “In other seasons, we’ve gone through bad patches, but probably not as bad as in this one,” Bellerin said on Arsenal.com. “You need to learn to deal with people saying bad things about you and you need to learn to deal with stuff that’s not happened before.
“It will make me stronger, that’s how I see it. Some people can be destroyed or collapse but I think I and everyone at the club needs to look at it positively.
“We just need to do our job on the pitch. We know that fans are angry, we know that people want results because we’re Arsenal and that’s what’s expected from us.
“But it’s been a long time that we went through a patch like this so we need to make sure that we recover from it. Trust me, we’re trying as hard as we can.
“Everyone is training hard but sometimes when things don’t go your way, it just doesn’t happen for you. There’s a lot of doubt, we’re not as confident as before but we just need to get ourselves together.
“It’s important that everyone at the club unites – the players, the fans, everyone outside. We have to be as one together because if we’re not, people are trying to divide us and that’s what’s going to make us break.
“We just need to be together and then if we want to push forward, that’s the only way.”
Jeering instead of cheering is hardly going to encourage the team to play better, and Wenger also came to the defender’s defence. He admitted that the young Spaniard had not recovered completely from his injury earlier in the season, but the abuse was uncalled for. “I think it’s unfair because he’s a guy who is genuinely Arsenal and wants to do well,” said Wenger.
“I agree that for a while he was not the Hector Bellerin we had seen at the start of the season. He has not come back to his level since he has been injured.
“Then you get bad habits and you forget that your job first is to defend and win challenges because you protect yourself a little bit. I think now he is trying to focus on again what is important, to defend well. After he can give us the extra bit [going forward] that is important as well.
“The fans want to be behind the team and the way we respond on the football pitch will decide the attitude of the fans. The fans love the club. It’s a good period to be united and not divided. Historically Arsenal has been about that. One of our values is to be together. There’s no better period of the season than to show it now.”
Yes it is true that the fans want to be behind the team, and that we can be the 12th man during important games, but it is very hard to cheer on a team that doesn’t seem to show any passion or fight on the pitch. Get the team playing like they really want to win and the fans will follow…..