Arsenal fans need to stop creating scapegoats and adding pressure

The Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka is currently with his national team preparing for a crack at the World Cup, but he is still being asked if he felt that the criticism he has received from the pundits have begun to annoy him. “No! I can deal with it,” he replied.

“Although I do not always understand the critical tones, and occasionally wondered who said everything. But there are speeches from former greats, for which I have great respect.

“In the mental aspect, the pressure is enormous. I am not surprised; these are the conditions under which I moved to England. The enormous esteem that I feel within the club is proof to me that I did not do so much wrong.”

The fact is that the media do have an agenda against Arsenal and do their utmost to pick scapegoats on an ongoing basis, and Xhaka and Bellerin, and maybe Ozil as well this season, have been subjected to much vitriol, and it can’t be easy for the players to listen to the gripes against them all the time.

The big problem is that many Arsenal fans start to join in the chorus and slag off our own squad as well. Xhaka admits that this is normal when you play for teams that expect regular success. “Arsenal is extremely interesting to many people,” he said. “That’s just part of being a top club. The supporters and fans can expect a lot, that’s their right. Our demands are high too.”

But should there even be scapegoats. If the team lose then surely it is a collective responsibilty. It is a team game first and foremost and everyone is responsible and have to work together. Every player has good days and bad days, and should be helping each other out, just like the fans should get behind the team when they are winning or losing. Xhaka is no more or less responsible than anyone else picking and on him is not going to help him, us or the team. It is good that he strong-willed and can take the pressure but why should he be forced to?

In our next campaign can we be a little more tolerant of errors on the pitch. Nobody is perfect! Not even YOU!

Sam P


  1. Muffdiver says:

    Hugely let down by him and mustafi
    Xhaka at monchen an for Swiss was quality . Very xabi Alonso esque .
    Here he has lapses gets caught out doesn’t track
    His discipline is just mehhh
    He has had two seasons an has failed

    Stick or twist ?

    1. kev says:

      I hadn’t watched before he came but I thought we were buying a very solid DM so I assumed it was him.Then all of a sudden people start telling me he’s not a DM then I knew we were doomed..
      He’s a liability and we should sell because he cannot play DM nor will he ever be good enough be at CM for us.Note I said ”good enough”.He’s gonna be very deficient at basically every position we play him in.Here at Arsenal it take us about three to four season to really realize an average player is average so from what I’m seeing it’s normal.

    2. Trudeau says:

      Mustafi and Xhaka are two peas in the same pod. There are very good players in there but the mental mistakes are killing them (and Arsenal). I’m really interested to see if Emery can sort out their brain farts – not overly confident but definitely interested.

  2. Sue says:

    All that pressure! It’s a hard life being paid hundreds of thousands each month to play football for a living!!
    Us fans give credit where it’s due, but are also entitled to have our say if we witness a below average performance!!

    1. John Wick says:

      Couldn’t agree more Sue! ? Pressure they don’t know what pressure is.. they live in a different world from us normal people!

      1. Sue says:

        Too right John ?

        1. John Wick says:


          1. Ozziegunner says:


      2. Andrew E says:

        In the case of Mesut Ozil it’s each WEEK. At the risk of sounding like an anorak my calculator tells me he earns £1.3m per MONTH plus add ons. Assuming his weekly wage is £300k. I wouldn’t mind being his agent on 10%!!!!

        1. Sue says:

          That really is crazy money!! Why didn’t I become a footballer??!! ?

          1. Andrew E says:

            It’s never too late Sue. It’s hopeless for me though unless they create an over 80’s team championship. Too expensive though, they would need 22 defibrillators for each match!!! Chance for you to put on a few more emogees (I haven’t worked out how to do it yet).

          2. Sue says:

            I’d be hopeless out on the pitch Andrew ?
            I’m better at darts (nothing to do with the alcohol ?)
            You’ll find them soon enough, if I’m stuck with anything to do with my phone or computer, I ask my kids!!

          3. Andrew E says:

            I’ll keep looking!

        2. Invisible says:

          Wouldn’t mind 1%

        3. Rudy Garcia fan says:

          350000, not 300000.

          Umtiti + Jordi Alba + Iniesta earned a total of 340.000 per week this year. Just a comparison 😀

    2. If it isn’t hard to be a professional football player, why don’t you do it? I’m sure you could outclass Messi, because it is so easy to talk shit and not have to back it up with anything.

      Clearly you don’t know what it is to perform in front of a crowd. Of course there is pressure. Clearly you don’t play sports or do anything that requires focus and talent, because then you’d realize that if there are 50,000 people screaming insults, chanting slogans, or cheering, you would hear it and know how it can affect your performance. Try auditioning for a local theater, or trying out for a sports team. Even without fans, an audience or anything of the sort, you’ll feel nervous. Now multiply that times 50,000 and think of what it feels like to have 10,000 people throw nasty comments at you on social media because they think maybe you weren’t trying hard enough or even just abusing you on a whim.

      So what if the players are paid well? It’s because they are at the top level in the world. If you were exceptional at anything, perhaps you’d be paid more. You’re good at not making sense and not understanding perspectives outside of your own, but nobody gets paid for being retarded. But I do like your winning spirit, if the team loses, don’t support them, tell them you hate them and that they suck, that’ll motivate them to perform for you! Maybe you should be a motivational speaker! You could teach people how to inspire those around you with negativity, ignorance and glib comments.

      1. Sue says:

        Playing football in front of the whole world, they should be used to being criticised if they make a mistake. If they can’t handle that then they shouldn’t be doing the job! For the sort of money they’re on they shouldn’t make mistakes, they should be perfect…
        A lot of players are on more than surgeons that operate & save people’s lives…. That is exceptional & they earn every penny!!
        So if I want to criticise a player after he’s under performed then I will… because the money I pay to watch him do just that pays his wages…

  3. Haha Xhaka felt the pressure? From who? El Neny? What about Bellerin? Who gave him pressure? Chambers? Those guys were having it smooth sailing every week guaranteed starting spot, play super play rubbish name still on team sheet. Pressure was the last thing on their minds. Pressure is Monreal and Kolasinac feel, what Lacazette feels when he knows missing a sitter means Aubameyang will take his spot.

    1. gotanidea says:

      How about Ozil, nobody pressurizes him

      Ramsey still has Wilshere as his competitor

      1. kev says:

        Sokratis is now done £14m and a 3 year deal His medical is next week.
        I think he will be announced next Thursday however thats just my opinion.

  4. Muffdiver says:

    3 free agents currently available :

    Max Meyer
    William carvalho

    Cough ahem

    1. Sean says:

      Was wondering was Carvalho free!!

      1. Andrew E says:

        Not sure he’s free but always rated him. Reminds me of Patrick sometimes and with a change of club and good coaching he could be the DM we have been longing for. I can’t believe he hasn’t been snapped up by now, unless there’s and injury issue.

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          I agree William Cavahlo is now 26, has matured into a very solid DM and is good enough to play for Portugal in the World Cup.
          Unfortunately Max Meyer has left Shalke 04 and signed for Hoffenheim, so no longer available.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Watching YouTube highlights could be deceiving, but we can see how the players perform in a big match

      See whether Max Meyer is more suitable as an heir to Cazorla or not, compared to Seri:

      Bernard is very skillful, but he doesn’t seem to be as strong as Salah:

      William Carvalho:

    3. Sue says:

      Muff… I doubt we’ll get any of them!!

  5. Mickey Finn says:

    Hear hear. A lot of our hands have no idea what supöorting really means

  6. gotanidea says:

    Xhaka is right, Arsenal is a top club, hence the demands and the standard is high

    They did not perform well this season according to Arsenal standard, therefore they got a lot media bashings

    The scapegoats are underperformers for several years, it is time to replace them

    1. Nobody “underperformed” more than the fans. All they did was attack their own players and sabotage the club, team morale, and embarrass themselves and the club. If you want your team to win, support them. If you create rifts with your own players, abuse them publicly, insult them, undermine morale, then how the fuck can you be surprised if they lose? Arsenal fans are the worst, they shoot themselves in the foot and then are surprised when they can’t walk. If their own houses were on fire, they would cheer the fire. These people should be wearing diapers and bonnets, not Arsenal team jerseys, they are not worthy. Hopefully the legion of brainless morons that have been doing their utmost to undermine the team for the last 3 years stop shitting themselves and actually support the team. Stop bitching an whining and support your club you pathetic douchebags.

      1. Phil says:

        This from someone who guarantee has NEVER watched an Arsenal game in his life.Now I appreciate that with a global fan base it is wrong not to include fans who do not live in this country as true fans.If you support Arsenal then you are an Arsenal fan.As such we all have opinions and whether we agree with someone else or not you respect their right to have an opinion.YOU on the other hand offer what exactly?So supporters who criticised the Club are now entitled to be associated with the utter drivel you call us because we did what?I will tell you what we did pal.We got the Manager SACKED.We have the Owner and Board scared s**tless that we can conjure half empty stadiums when we need to show our contempt for their failings.We can provide media coverage globally through a single Arsenal fan (Stand up and take a bow Robbie) through Arsenal Fan TV that gives the fans the audience to air their views.What YOU don’t understand YOU ABSOLUTE F***ING MORON is that Arsenal fans care PASSIONATELY about their Club.More than YOU will ever know.
        So if I could ask you on behalf of ALL Arsenal fans around the Globe to simply F***OFF back to the cesspit you have obviously come out from and F***ING WELL STAY THERE YOU PATHETIC F***ING CHILD

        1. Midkemma says:

          I’ve been and watched AFC live, I watch EVERY game without fail as well, always somewhere we can find a stream if not shown.

          I think some of the fans was disgusting in the way they supposingly supported AFC, the best part of the protest was staying away. At least people who don’t get chance to see AFC often could watch AFC without hostility all around them constantly, some families can’t afford to take their children weekly to watch their team and it could be a special day… Ruined by people like you.

          Oh and you didn’t get Wenger sacked, he left after changes to how the club was ran happened, shortly after he had no say in the transfer window… Wenger was like “I’m outta here”. It can be likened to walking the plank, pirates threatening to stab you if you don’t walk forward… So Wenger walked forward and done a dive. Wasn’t pushed though.

          I can quote you and direct it at you, how wonderful ^.^

          “So if I could ask you on behalf of ALL Arsenal fans around the Globe to simply F***OFF back to the cesspit you have obviously come out from and F***ING WELL STAY THERE YOU PATHETIC F***ING CHILD”

          1. jon fox says:

            A so called fan who is so self eluded he will not even admit, not even to himself, that Wenger was SACKED. He did NOT walk. He was told”resign or be told to go.” Then , under that threat, he chose to announce he is going; having never ever in his life previously broken a contract. Ever! You really are a prize plonker if you don’t accept he was sacked. He was sacked because the vast majority of fans would tolerate his presence no longer and the owner got frightened by the constant empty seats. I forecast this correctly and almost to the exact week it happened , way before it was made public. As a real fan actually attending regularly for close to 60 years , I know how things work. Stuck away on your remote screen in the USA , you may be a fan BUT you have NO IDEA, how fans think and work. Try educating yourself about the real fan world! And THEN you can comment with authority. Til then , don’t embarrass yourself more than you already have.

        2. jon fox says:

          Raw passion and truth go together so well as you have just shown us all. Take no notice of Stephen Larose who I think has never ever seen a live game in the Prem and clearly knows NOTHING of what real fanhood entails. Well done for putting the idiot in his place.

      2. Sue says:

        Diapers & douchebags ???? dontcha just love the yanks!!!
        I do agree with you Phil… what a moron

        1. Midkemma says:

          I can’t agree with Phil, while we can have our say (no matter how harsh), we are responsible for what we say. I lose it from time to time and say stuff I regret, it is being human.

          I grew up in a working household, as a kid I never watched Arsenal at the stadium, it wasn’t till I was 18 that I could get to go. It was magical. I watched us beat UTD 4-0 in the cup and I still have the match ticket. People was singing and shouting with joy, I was one of the 1st to start chanting 1-0 to The Arsenal when we scored our 1st goal… I will remember my 1st game for the rest of my life.

          What about the kids who went to watch AFC for the 1st time and had to put up with the vile support? How magical is it going to be for them?

          Don’t you have kids Sue?
          Are they young and had their 1st live match?
          If not then would you like to think that their 1st time would leave them with positive memories, even if the team loses… Still enjoy the experience and crave to go again?

          Or would you be happy for them to turn up and listen to vile abuse being hurled and them not getting to enjoy the joy of SUPPORTING the team?

          1. Sue says:

            Midkemma.. yes I have 4 kids. They all came with me to watch Arsenal at Reading in the league cup 7-5 win ?) I had to listen to the Reading fans swearing & calling Arsene a paedo on the bus from the station to the madejski! In front of my youngest 2 (5 & 6 at the time) so not very happy to say the least.
            My youngest son (11) now comes with me to the Emirates (usually 5 or 6 times a season) I work every other weekend….we have a great time.. I don’t hear any vile abuse or swearing (apart from what do you think of Tottenham) we really enjoy it.. have just renewed our memberships & can’t wait to go again! I love going to the Emirates ?

  7. Sean says:

    Fans at Arsenal have to pay the dearest tickets in world football to watch these multi millionaires play half assed for our club, if they showed the passion for the club like the fans do then they wouldnt get as much stick, its a simple as that. Fans have every right to complain to a certain extent as footballers are human beings too with feelings, though paid handsomly, everybody has their bad & good days just too many bad ones so far for the club from Granit. I like the player alot & am hoping under new management could become better, if not then no hard feelings as we as a club cant afford to be carrying any player, Mesut & Mustafi included in that last statement too.

    1. John Wick says:


    2. Billy says:

      Well said Sean, if they give it their all and we lose we will not be critical. When they give up and don’t try then we have every right to critical.

      1. Ozziegunner says:


  8. Muffdiver says:

    Honestly mustafi ozil and xhaka would generate 110 mill or more


    Sell these failures

      1. Muffdiver says:

        Sue 350 K a week
        An he’s ‘unwell’ half the season
        Rarely turns up for biggest games
        He’s 29 and money from him buys us a young hungry dm and cm aswell

        1. Mobella says:

          Muffdiver, do you think we can ever pay that sum. There is no proof he is on that wages. It is just speculation. The only club in EPL daft enough to that kind of money is Manchester united.

        2. Sue says:

          I know what you’re saying Muff…. but when he does turn up & have a great game, I love it & him!!
          I don’t think any footballer should be on that amount of money, it’s ridiculous!! So if we’re willing to pay It, of course he’s gonna take it. I have to say I was buzzing when he signed his new contract, I didn’t want him to leave…. I am looking forward to see how he performs under Emery…. you never know he might decide there’s no place in the team for him ?

  9. Andrew E says:

    Constructive criticism is the right of all football fans provided it doesn’t get out of hand. On this website there is a good balance of praise and criticism of the team who should accept it because we are supporters and are willing them to do well.

    The same cannot be said fro the media who, i agree, have always had an agenda with our club. For instance, they slate us for not winning the PL since 2006 and ONLY winning the FA cup 3 times in the same period. There are 2 top four teams that haven’t won the title in 28 and 57 years respectively and they have declared one of them as the top London team for qualifying for the ECL. The same journalists ignored the fact that we qualified for the ECL 18 years running saying it was all about ‘trophies’.Then we win 3 FA Cups in 4 years and it’s written off as ‘it’s only the FA Cup’. Listen, it’s all ‘water off a duck’s back ‘ to me because I know we are the top London side in every way. Do you think Spurs supporters would swap their ‘success’ with ours? Silly question isn’t it?

    Onwards and upwards you Gunners!!!

    1. Ozziegunner says:


  10. barryglik says:

    1. GK.
    2. CB.
    3. DM.

    1. Andrew E says:


    2. Adam Criniti says:

      Will probably be these 3?


      Alhough I personally prefer

      Jonathen Tah—$35M
      Dembele (loan)

      1. Ken1945 says:

        Andrew E,
        My sentiments exactly sir.
        The sad thing however,is that our own fans moved the goalposts regarding our fa cup wins during the debate regarding our ex manager!
        With regards to us paying the highest season ticket prices in Europe, this is another example of media misinformation.
        What they never do is calculate the number of games (25) that our season ticket entitles us to versus, say Chelsea or Spuds.
        Also, season ticket holders are offered discounted prices for the league cup games.
        Yes I agree we do have high prices, but we are not the highest in Europe.
        As far as Ozil is concerned, can you imagine the backlash if Ozil had gone for free and he had stated that it was because the club refused to pay his salary demands?
        Hindsight is such a wonderful thing!!!

        1. jon fox says:

          Not as wonderful as foresight though, eh Ken? Foresight is what distinguishes the greats from the also ran managers. In any case no manager at Arsenal needed any foresight to see that we have needed top CB’s for many years past and a quality CDM since Gilberto left. WENGER HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO LOOK BACK AND SEE WHAT HAD NOT WORKED and still he did nothing to cure our ills. That is why he was forced out. Pure and simple. I think our fans were incredible patient; far more patient than rival fans of our top rivals would ever have been, in our situation! Too patient for too long , in fact, until we finally acted. Had we acted earlier, we might well be further down the road to recovery right now.

  11. bran911 says:

    We as fans have all the rights, we pay our money and our support, but in turn we only get satisfaction coz of the passion we have for the game. But those professional players have a very good life, win lose or draw, play well or shit, the end of the week is another payday regardless.

    I think they should just chill and take everything as men, criticism or praise, should all be ok to them coz they don’t come from nowhere, either they played so well and we enjoyed, or they played poorly (and this happens a lot) and we surfer. Every outcome is the result they themselves created

  12. Rkw says:

    Xhaka is more goat than scapegoat … Hope he has a decent World Cup and sell for 25m and bring in a decent DM .. But not nzonzi not that he is bad but surely a club aspiring to challenge for top honours can do better than this

    1. Adam Criniti says:

      I personally rate the Frenchman, but $35M for a soon to be 30yr old is simply bad business imho
      when Carvalho and Torreria are younger options at the same or in the Uruguains case much cheaper price.

      Tah or Sonycu
      Dembele (loan)
      Lichsteiner (free)

  13. RSH says:

    Arsenal is only 2nd to Spurs in the top 6 of the least amount of pressure. There is next to no pressure to win anything here and that was due to Wenger overstaying his welcome and 4th place becoming the new normal for our club. Arsenal is supposed to be a big club, which means big pressure. We need to up our standards again and the players who aren’t willing to put in the effort should be out the door. I have nothing against Xhaka’s effort, I just think he’s not good enough, so in terms of his personality I have nothing to say, only in his footballing abilities.

  14. GB says:

    Talking of scapegoats, I’m interested to see how Iwobi plays tonight having been freed of Wenger’s instructions. I’m hoping there’s a decent player in there somewhere.

    1. Sue says:

      That will be interesting to say the least

    2. bran911 says:

      He just scored.. let’s see more from him, hopefully

  15. Yes we should stop complaining …
    This should be like this like that …
    Let s leave the football to the manager

  16. Ozziegunner says:

    What I find difficult to understand with Xhaka, and similarly Elneny and previously Podolski, is that when they first arrived at Arsenal they demonstrated a good hard shot from distance and often on target requiring a save from the goal keeper. Such shots may be deflected into the path of attackers following up resulting in goals.
    Quickly this appears to have been stopped by the manager and players reverted to trying to walk the ball into the goal.
    Hopefully we will see shooting on target from outside the box again under Unai Emery.

  17. Midkemma says:

    I read an article the other day about comparing Spud rumor headlines to AFC rumor headlines.

    If you wish to see how vile AFC fans can be, ones who can influence other fans into thinking that being abusive is alright… Just compare how Arsenal fans who write about Arsenal title their stories to other teams. Look at articles from Konstantein(spelling?) in the later Wenger years.

    Me personally, I get frustrated at people who was blaming Wenger for not being good enough then turn round and blame the players for not being good enough, if they was both as bad as they claimed then how did we stay in the EPL?

    Mustafi has bugged the hell out of me but he is statistically one of the best CB in the league! Poor CB or poor tactics? Could be both but if so then I wonder how we fin 6th… We may have had players making errors when played in the wrong tactics but is that the players fault or managers?

    I also wonder why Ozil pulls sickies for AFC but he doesn’t for Germany, German fans are not on his back like a rucksack full of poison, is this PART of the issue?

    I am a believer that all choices are made from MULTIPLE perspectives. One of the factors is the feel good factor. I wonder how good Ozil feels when playing in front of a bunch of people acting like grumpy old men?

    We have a bad CEO so I do feel us fans need to pick up that slack when it comes to players, we need to make them feel special because Gazidis will not, the board do not appear to be giving prep talks to players already at the club… New manager has a lot to do and we can make it easier for him.

    Up to you lot, make your choice and live with the consequences.

  18. Ozziegunner says:

    Midkemma, I appreciate your point of view; sometimes I disagree and often I agree. I just wish everyone on this site would treat each other with respect, despite our differing opinions and not denigrate others with words such as “moron”, “scoundrel” etc or tell passionate Arsenal supporters to change their allegiance to another club.

  19. jon fox says:

    Speaking entirely for myself, what I CANNOT AND WILL NOT TOLERATE IS NOT MERELY ERRORS . IT IS UNWILLINGNESS TO BE PROPERLY PROFESSIONAL AND TO PREPARE FOR SUCCESS BY LIVING RIGHT, ALWAYS WORKING AT YOUR UTMOST, CONCENTRATING FULLY AND ENGAGING ONES BRAIN BEFORE MAKING SILLY MOVES ON THE FIELD. I have never understood why a full back when under pressure on the touchline will usually try to pass back to the keeper who is then himself under pressure. Why not just find Row Z?

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