Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may be approaching his final Premier League game with Arsenal this weekend, with the Frenchman still coy on his future at the club. The Gunners will line up against Everton in the final Premier League fixture of the campaign, with Arsenal’s chances of top four and Champions League qualification slimmer than ever.
The Gunners have had brushes with missing out on the Champions League before and this season was record breaking for Wenger who saw Spurs finish above Arsenal for the first time in his management at the club. Arsenal have managed to pull it out the bag before, but this time there seems to be little hope for the club, with both Liverpool and City likely to easily win their respective fixtures.
The players have shown a different side to themselves in these last few games and although your tempted to say ‘too little too late’ you cannot fault the efforts to make a late push for European qualification. Unfortunately for the Gunners it does seem too late and therefore although the players certainly haven’t given up, many of the fans already have.
It was well noted by the media how many empty seats there were at the Emirates on Tuesday night, when relegated Sunderland came up against the Gunners. An official attendance of 59,510 was given, but a figure much lower, some reports suggesting around 20,000 seats were left empty for the fixture. It’s worrying to see that Arsenal has become a club where it cannot sell out or even if the tickets are sold, then many fans cannot be bothered to turn up as a result of our lacklustre performances this season. During this campaign most fans have had enough of the disastrous turmoil the club finds itself in, with much desire for change and as a result of this it is only natural we would see a fall in attendance.
With ticket prices being sky high and little left to play for in the league this season, I’m not surprised to see many fans not wanting to travel to the Emirates to pay the extortionate prices for 90 minutes. This is especially so on a cold Tuesday night. In past times fans would’ve turned up no matter the weather, but for many of us, it simply isn’t worth the time or money to make the trip and that’s why we see so many empty seats these days. It doesn’t make the fans any less of a supporter mind, because realistically it can be understood.
The understanding nature is an approach Arsene Wenger has taken, after he said that he wasn’t bothered to see so many empty seats at the Emirates. In a SkySports report, Wenger is quoted as saying: “No, it’s Tuesday night against Sunderland. Everybody expects us to win and I didn’t count the number of people who were in the seats. We have to focus on our job and not look at how many people are in the stands. When you’re a football player, you ideally want to be playing in a packed stadium, but we are quite spoiled with that at Arsenal. Overall, it’s a Tuesday night and people may think Sunderland is an easy game and that’s why there were less people.”
Wenger isn’t obviously going to come out and say that he’s disappointed with the turnout, at the end of the day he doesn’t want to rile the fans up anymore than he already has done this season. I don’t think the amount empty seats is too concerning, I just think it goes to show that the fans are disappointed with the club’s activities this season and don’t think that going to games are worthwhile at the moment. I agree with Wenger that watching Sunderland wouldn’t be the most exciting of games, but if anything it should be a game with plenty of goals and that should be even more of an incentive for the fans to make an appearance, shouldn’t it?