Are the Arsenal fans that boycott games “not real supporters”?

There have been many variations to the number of Arsenal fans that actually went to the game against Watford this weekend from ‘half-empty’ to ‘several thousand missing’, but whatever the reality it was enough for Arsene Wenger to admit that he needed to get the fans back onside. “Yes, of course I worry because I want our fans to be behind the team and happy,” Wenger said.

“But after what happened in that week, it’s a bit understanding – you know – we are in a job, we have to get the fans on our side and do absolutely everything to do it, to achieve it; that’s what you want to do after that.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan also noticed the empty seats, but he went a bit further and said that the ones that stayed away could not be considered ‘real fans’ compared to the ones that turned up despite our awful recent record. “We’re always playing for the fans, it doesn’t matter if they could have come today or not,” Mkhitaryan said.

“We’re always playing for those who come and support us; [those] who are really coming and supporting us are real fans.

“[To those] who are coming to the stadium just when we are winning we have nothing to say. Just thanks to the fans who were supporting.”

Is that a fair thing to say? Are the fans that didn’t turn up also being passionate and letting the manager and Board know that their feelings have driven them to stay away? Or is it just apathy after so many years of no titles?

Darren N


  1. FOxx missierek says:

    Well….he’s right about our support.Fair weather fans.Also I’m not seeing any qoutes about what Ivan Gazidis had to say at the AST meeting for example when he said that the cub is still holding funds back because of the stadium debt.Just wondering what the fans are expecting of Allegri or any other manager if they want to win titles.Probably expecting miracles…..just like we are now

    1. Muff diver says:

      What a. Load of ….
      How many times at highbury was half the stadium empty ?
      Perhaps arsenal shouldn’t have priced out the hardcore fans an swapped them for prawn sandwich neutrals who go to the emirates .
      Allegri has a much lesser budget than us .
      Our wage bill is amongst man city an United’s

      What miracle are u referring to ?
      Leicester ? All they did was gave there all an had a complete team…manager tactically astute.
      An we have 5 times there budget .

      We left highbury to compete with Bayern an barca -that’s an arsenal quote -remember
      100 million pound strike force
      100 million pound midfield

      Don’t talk to me about holding funds u tit

        1. Yossarian says:

          Yeah totally. Massive thumbs up.

    2. Jan says:

      Managers are not suposed to create miracles, they are suposed to do their freaking job for chist sake!

  2. Sue says:

    At the end of the day we’re all gooners. It’s up to the individual if they boycott or not. I’m not a season ticket holder, but go when I can.
    I want a new manager, and obviously all the fans that boycott do… this will be the only way to get the board to listen…. or will they???

    1. Phil says:

      It’s difficult Sue.We are all and of the Club and want the best for OUR CLUB.The natives are obviously restless and are voting with their feet but the empty seats highlight the frustrations we are all feeling.Before this season the ground was full(ish)for almost every game despite us failing to offer a realistic and sustained challenge for either the Premiete League or Champions League.Over the course of this season the ground has regularly been seen to have thousands of empty seats even for some of the bigger games.
      We support the Club And not the Regime.It is worrying that the players are talking about this as we are supposedly a big club.All fans should NOT boycott games even as a silent protest.We must do what we were born to do and support the CLUB and the TEAM that represents ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB.

  3. Adega Olatunji says:

    Arsen Wenger and his players should count themselves Lucky they are in Arsenal fc. Because it’s only Arsenal board can allow all they have been doing year in year out. Did any one see what happened at West harm over the weekend? I had that in Greece a certain club owner invaded the pitch with gun. That tells you how passionate people are to football. Those people who refused to come to stadium are the real fans of Arsenal fc because they are waiting for this to be over then another manager comes in with the new set of players who are ready to fight for the shirt again not for the money. People can not be wasting their money and be wasting their time at the same time without any kind of joy. Except you guys win us Europa league, to even watch you on TV will be so boarring not to talk of coming to stadium.

  4. Bill Park says:

    I’ve been a regular since I was 9, and a season ticket holder since 1978. I don’t need people telling me I’m not a real fan. The issue is not some poor results, its a decade of complacency – no urgency to address defensive issues, a boring possession game that is too easily countered, little development of young players, etc etc. We’ve fallen behind. Being a football fan is meant to bring some passion, thrills and spills, to your life. This is more predictable, slower moving, less dramatic, than a daily commute. So, last season and this, I’ve been attending a lot less regularly – less than half of all games.

    1. Phil says:

      Bill I’m with you completely on this.Even I sometimes find it difficult to motivate myself to go every week but you and I plus thousands of others have seen leaner times than this.
      My first game was in 1962 aged 6 and I don’t need to tell you how barren those years were.I have held a season ticket since 1972 and have never ever thought of not going or renewing.This Club has been and will always be an Institution are respected worldwide for its traditions and values.This Club will go forward and will progress.We all know what is needed and we can only trust Ivan Gazidis is able to implement the changes and restructuring that is so badly needed.
      Keep the faith Bill.

      1. pires says:

        to the London based fans ,you’ so lucky to live there and see our beloved club week-in week-out,so enjoy and support your team.if you were living where I’m living you would give everything to see a single game of AFC.So thank God and stand behind the team

        1. Jan says:

          We are all AND ALWAYS standing behind the team!
          Arsenal is in crisis at the moment so (not attending games) is the best help by the fans the club can get.

  5. McLovin says:


    if you look at the last article, I said those transfer fees concerning Ronaldo, Mata, Hazard and Suarez were deemed too much by Wenger. And we all saw how that worked out. I was not saying they actually cost too much, what I meant was Wenger was just being too stingy.

    Sarcasm doesn’t bode well in here…

  6. Roxana Kelly says:

    How dare anyone say that fans staying away are not “real” fans. Mhikitaryan, I’m a big fan and glad you came to Arsenal but i’m afraid you are so missing the point of the Arsenal passionate. All the fans have left, in order to make any kind of real statement, to the Kroenke Gang & Board is to stay away. It is the only thing left – a deafening silence in the stands, not to mention e decrease in their ever so bulging pockets. I love our club, I love our players but I cannot stand to watch this pathetic “Stand By Your Man” as long as he is lining Kroenke & Board pockets and who has continually performed below par as a manager for the last 10 years. It is detrimental to his initial great tenure at this club, and Kroenke et al should not be allowed any longer to besmirch the club, the fans or Wenger just because he cannot be bothered to do what is required.

    1. jon fox says:

      wELL SAID!

  7. AY75 says:

    Of course they are, just like those that attend the matches anyway….. I believe that’s their way of showing discontent at the way the club is being managed. And if that’s what will get us back in shape, I implore the others to join them.
    OT: in reference to the previous article, does anyone on here truly believe Wenger would be able to win the title with city’s current squad?

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Wenger wouldn’t be able to win the title with City’s squad, because although Pep has spent a fortune, he does actually apply tactics, and he doesn’t keep players around for 10 years, in the hope they’ll FINALLY come good!

      Wenger rarely picks his best team, never takes into account form or ability, often uses players that do not fit his system, and almost always puts players in the wrong positions. I am not saying management is easy, but these are just the basic things you’d expect any manager to get right, let alone one of the highest paid, and most experienced managers in the world.

      1. AY75 says:

        My thoughts exactly

        1. Phil says:

          I’m with you TMJW.Wenger would NOT have the impact on the talent that is the Citeh squad.Pep may have spent the money but he has chosen the players to fit and adapt to his formations and tactics.This is proven with the results they have had both domestically and in Europe this year.Could Wenger have done what Pep is now doing?Not in the last decade he couldn’t that’s for sure

  8. Empero' says:

    I will foreever insist that the best way to make a point in the light of what has happened to our beloved Arsenal in the last decade is to stay away. We are not withdrawing our support, rather we are supporting the club with a different attitude. When you boycott the Emirates, the long waited shake up would be faster.

  9. John Ibrahim says:

    spud are finished tooo….highest season ticket with new stadium….

    dier, rose, toby are expected to leave…

    kane may stay for 1 more season max….

    spud has a tight wage structure and will not break it….

    when kane leaves…ali may leave and they are no longer a force

    1. Jan says:

      Who cares!

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    Well the ‘fans’ can’t seem to win whatever we do! We protest outside the stadium, and that gets criticised. We protest very lightly inside the stadium with banners, and that gets criticised. We’re now protesting with our feet by not turning up, and guess what, that gets criticised!

    So what are we supposed to do? Just carry on turning up week, after week for another decade or more, witnessing one humiliation after another, with a huge smile on our faces, whilst paying the highest ticket prices in our solar system?

  11. pires says:

    To the London based fans ,you’ so lucky to live there and see our beloved club week-in week-out,so enjoy and support your team.if you were living where I’m living you would give everything to see a single game of AFC.So thank God and stand behind the team

  12. jon fox says:

    Of course all season ticket holders are REAL fans. Sensible ones crave Wengers sacking , so stay away to pressure Kroenke to do what he should have done a decade ago and sack Wenger!

    1. pires says:

      I bet Jon that no later than Thursday the stadium will be full of fans , and REAL fans.Fans well aware of the luck they have in living in UK and seeing AFC

      1. pires says:

        i don’t agree with Mikhi though ,he has to do his duties first(which ,i must admit,he’s dong well so far)before giving any opinion about the remember me a Movie called the FAN with DE NERO and W.SNIPES

      2. jon fox says:

        Mr. Fantasy is back I see!

  13. Richard Jeffery says:

    I have been a season ticket holder for 35 years now and yes I want Wenger Out and yes I also want the Board out but this is not the reason why I have only managed to attend less than 10 games this season. Fans are being forced to stray away due to the TV companies who arrange the fixtures on Non-Saturdays. I purchased my season ticket so I could go every Saturday at 3 o clock and watch a game, be home early enough to still be able to go out for the evening and spend time with the family. I am a football coach myself, train my team on Saturday mornings but can still make the 3 o clock games however how many of those have we had this season ? With more 2 more TV packages yet to be bid on we are now facing the prospect of a Premier League game every evening of the week. It is this which is driving the real fans away from football stadiums not the failure of the teams or the managers. The clubs and Premier League are to blame for low attendances and in my opinion things will only get worse with bigger stadiums.

    1. Admin says:

      Very good point mate

    2. jon fox says:

      While not TOTALLY accepting your point, as to the whole reason, I DO AGREE it is a relevant factor. It was one reason, perhaps even the prime reason, I gave up my own season ticket about five years ago , after 35 years having it. I then came most , but not all games, until early last season when SHEER DISGUST AT HOW US FANS ARE BEING CHEATED BY THE CLUB, INCLUDING WENGER, caused me to resolve not to give this corrupt run club another single penny of mine while Wenger remains. I am virtually certain , therefore, to resume attending next season, when hopefully we have a properly professional manager running the team. One who can and does coach for instance!

  14. AndersS says:

    Only fans of other clubs can’t see, we need to help force Wenger out. I am sure, if you are a spuds fan, your biggest wish is for Wenger to continue.
    If you boycott, meaning you deliberately stay away, to force change, you are possibly the greatest caring fan of all.
    If you stay away, just because you can’t be bothered to go, when we are not playing for top honours, then you are not a fan.
    Big difference between the two.

    1. jon fox says:

      Precisely! An intelligent and incisive comment!

  15. Kenny Rolfe says:

    The majority of fans that go to the Emirates now never went to Highbury (at a guess, I’d say five to eight thousand) and only know reasonable success, ie, FA Cup wins and continuous Champions League qualification and only read about the “Invincibles”, you can tell by the fact they never chant “come on you reds” which was a regular, extremely loud chant in the Highbury days and as ThirdMan pointed out are the prawn sandwich brigade mixed with the tourist support and there you have the empty seats.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      I’d also like to add the majority of the prawn sandwich brigade are there purely for the occasion and primarily not for the football.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Sorry correction: As Muff diver pointed out, not ThirdMan. Apologies.

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Every fan is entitled to react to any situation in a responsible and legal way. No one can tell another how to show their passion for their club. It’s down to the individual and their own beliefs.
          What have those gooner fans who have stayed away in protest, held up banners or protested outside the ground shown?
          The same for those supporters inside the ground who go to every home game and have a different opinion?
          Both sets show we have a different class of fan to those who run onto the pitch, use violence and ensure that families will not contemplate going to matches for fear of intimidation.
          Arsenal supporters have never stooped to such levels and long may it continue.

          1. jon fox says:

            KEN , WELL YOU ARE RIGHT IN THAT WE DO NOT HAVE THOUSANDS OF THUGS, WEST HAM STYLE OR MILLWALL, GOD FORBID. But the imminent change of manager is mostly down to empty stands and protests and the continuing almost certainty of this while Wenger stays. Some , including you, will never accept lifes reality. Rea;listic fans KNOW oyu mostly hurt a rapacious billionaire in his pocket. That does not JUST mean empty seats this season but the overall worldwide reputation and its monetary value shrinking if no change happens. If you think the sun is shining bright while the rest of us know it is raining hard, well , then you are way beyond help. Which is such a shame at your time of life!

          2. Ken 1945 says:

            jon Fox,
            What a load of bull you come out with.
            Your arrogance shows no sign of diminishing and your interpratation of the situation to suit your opinion is breathtaking.
            The protests: Not one produced any impact at all, if they ever took place.
            The empty stands; Your prediction of 20 to 30,000 maximum for the Watford game proved that your predictions, like your views, are worthless. There were no “empty stands” as you so grandly announce. There were empty seats in every stand. I can vouch for that because I was there and I take no joy from that,unlike you.
            Then the classic: The clubs worlwide reputation and its monetary value; Waffle waffle waffle Go back to your doomsday year of 2007 and check where Arsenal were placed in the richest club league, then take the time to look at where we stand today.
            Not only in value, but in support worldwise and debt owed.
            You grandly state how you saw the end coming ten years ago, try to lecture everyone else that those that are not on the same wavelength as you to that they are way beyond help.
            If you try to be a little humble, you might find life enjoyable.
            By the way, your no spring chicken yourself are you, even though you tell me your a “modern fan”. Remember the tale about the Emperors new clothes? Fits you like a glove.

  16. Mikejohn says:

    Mkhitaryan is talking sh*t, those that boycott the game are the real fan that needed changes and want the progress of the club, even if I was a season ticket holder I don’t mind wasting the ticket to boycott a game, Wenger need to leave, his time is up and we need changes we need a new manager, simeone, Allegri, Enrique or jardim I believe we can get one of them and get us back to the top and make a title contender. Wenger is too inconsistence and need to be changed as soon as possible.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      What about giving up your season ticket with the knowledge of the waiting list being around 40,000 your never going to get it back. It’s not like the old days when you could chose your games.

      1. jon fox says:

        I made that choice , and gave it up, about five years ago, though I then still came most games til early last season. I will not get it back if I want, which, next season, I may wish. But thats life and most who really want to get in, even without season tickers, still can, if they are sensible and streetwise. Frankly , the corrupt way this club has been run since Kroenke bought it, has damaged the keen bond that many long term and older fans used to feel.

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Jon Fox,
          Much more than bull and waffle this time.
          If you made the decision to give up your season ticket in protest, then why on earth would you then carry on going for the next four years?
          You have said so many times on this site that you wouldn’t spend another penny supporting this “corrupt owner, board and manager” after giving up your season ticket and those that did were idiots, dinasours etc etc.
          Suddenly, out of the blue, you claim that you were actually paying money to come and watch this club right up until “early last season.
          How could anyone with an iota of common sense actually follow the ramblings of a person with such a mixed up memory? I’ll leave others to make up their own minds about this, but your plea to others to “not spend another penny while Wenger is manager” has been shot to pieces.
          Get ready for more bull in order to explain this contradiction, could it be that you are know going to claim that it was you who led the protests outside the Emirates?
          No of course it can’t be, because you have stated that you haven’t been to the emirates since you gave up your season ticket…but wait…
          Remember you need to have a good memory.

  17. David Rusa says:

    I don’t really like calling names or taking negatively of others because it is uncalled for. However much as some of us feel aggrieved we also need to be rational. How many of the clubs that consistently changed managers have ever won the title in the last 15 years apart from Chelsea, Man City and Man U? What does this show us? Since Arsenal’s invincibles, Liverpool could have had about 5 or 6 managers but have they ever won EPL title? Spurs has also shuffled its managers frequently but what are the results? Top four finish? Arsenal had that for 20 consecutive years and many fans criticised it and even nicknamed it the Wenger trophy. Now that the top four is gone our fans are yearning for it! You can’t eat your cake and have it at the same time. I am not suggesting that Wenger should stay at Arsenal. All that I am doing is to make the fans realise that Wenger’s exit may not necessarily signal instant success. It could be a few more seasons before Arsenal wins EPL again. Shall we again call for the manager’s sacking? Shall we again boycott games? Shall we again carry banners? These are very likely scenarios which we have to prepare ourselves for. Although Jurgen Kopp is a top quality manager he has not won any meaningful trophy at Liverpool neither has Mauricio Pochetino at Spurs. Luis Van Gall only won FA with Man U. So my fellow gooners we need to lower our expectations of what we expect from new manager lest we get disillusioned too quickly. Let us have optimism but also be realistic of the prevailing circumstances in EPL.

    1. Roxana Kelly says:

      Yes I agree with your sentiments David. Ken 1945 your vitriol for Jon is a tad over the top. You need to see what is behind it and it is the passion and disbelief of an Arsenal fan at what is happening at his club, our club. it is true, another manager may well come in and we may well not see a trophy for a season or two, however, that is not the point. The crux of the matter is this, a manager’s glowing career has steadily being chipped away over the last 10 years because a billionaire family haven’t got the necessary knowledge to do the job, and they are quite happy to allow Wenger to take the flack for their incompetence. As long as he made money for them, they didn’t care. That is the issue – Wenger has become a businessman and “forgotten” how to be a coach, or the coach part of the job has become secondary, take your pick. So, let us find a manager who has hunger in his belly for Cups & Titles and can transfer that hunger to his players.

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