Arsene Wenger is clearly well aware about the protests being planned by the angry Arsenal fans for our Premier League match against struggling Norwich City at the Emirates stadium tomorrow, because the manager today issued a sort of rallying cry asking for us to support the team as he tries to avoid the complete disaster of dropping out of the Champions League places for the first time in his long tenure in charge of the club.
But in doing so, the Frenchman’s comments reported in The Mirror sounded to me as though he was actually laying the blame for the failure of the latest title challenge at the feet of the fans. Nothing to do with his decision to sit on around £200 million and only sign a keeper last summer then?
No, apparently it was the less than enthusiastic atmosphere at the home games, especially thos against the so-called lower teams in the league, that was the real reason why the Gunners let slip a five point lead at the top of the EPL table and are now 12 points behind unfancied Leicester City.
Wenger said, “We lost the championship at home against the lower teams, but we played at home in a very difficult climate.
“We have to realise that, away from home, we are championship winners. At home, against the smaller teams, we lost the league.
“This club does have special values though and one I’ve experienced over the years is to stick together and support the team. There’s no success without that.”
There was no success before the fans really lost their rag this season either Arsene. Four games without a win in January did not help our chances or the mood of the fans either, especially as there was a little thing called a transfer window open back then.
He went on, “Look, I can understand the frustration of our fans. But, despite that, they want to support our team.
“The best chance they can give our team is to be behind our team.
“Some groups of people try to manipulate our fans, and I believe apart from an agenda, a personal agenda, a big ego, there’s not a lot behind it.
“This team has character and attitude. Some people question them. I know them well, and they have less character than this team have.
“I saw them play and I know them very closely, and they shouldn’t question this team’s character. But when a club cannot enjoy anything any more, it’s in trouble.”
It was not until we lost lamely to an under strength Swansea in February that the fans really started to revolt. What do we know though eh? So if Arsenal do another ‘Crystal Palace’ tomorrow and fail to beat a team struggling against everyone else, don’t blame Wenger and the players, blame yourself.
Will the manager’s words actually have the opposite effect to what he wants and make the protest even bigger and more vocal?