Arteta explains the difference between an Arsenal fan and a supporter

This is an interesting discussion which we have had very many times on the pages of justarsenal, where we have on the one side, the ‘fans’ that vilify some of our players even if they play well, and want nothing more than to get Mikel Arteta sacked, without worrying about what will happen afterwards once he is gone.

Then, on the other hand, I have my philosophy that I have explained before on here; that is “In my world Mikel Arteta is the manager chosen by the club, and whether we like it or not they have no intention of sacking him any time soon.

“As long as he is the manager I will support him and hope he brings us success. Once he is gone I will support the next man that is chosen in exactly the same way. In the same vein, any player that takes to the field in an Arsenal shirt should be encouraged in every way I can, until they no longer play for Arsenal.

“I simply want success for Arsenal, and if the Arsenal management think that Arteta is the right man for the job, then who am I to argue.”

Now that the government has allowed crowds back into the stadium, Mikel Arteta has seen at first hand how the crowd have behaved, and tomorrow will be the first time he is in charge of the North London Derby and he is looking forward to it very much, and on he explains the reasons why: “To be fair, I can’t wait to have that experience. Even right now, after such a long time without them, I have experienced some London derbies but without supporters, and I am saying supporters because I think that is the word to describe the people who are behind our football club. What they have done in the last few weeks has been pretty special, they only want what is best for the club and it is very different to just being a fan.

“A fan and a supporter behave in different ways and what we have experienced in the past two games is pretty unique and is related to our history, its people who respect and want to promote the values that have been instilled in this club by many people who have been in charge here. It is just a privilege to see how they are able to understand, the intelligence they have shown because it comes from the knowledge that they know about our history, they know what we want to do, what we want to achieve and they are fully behind the team.”

Now I know I’m going to be attacked in the comments by some ‘fans’, who will say that they criticise players and want Arteta sacked because they only want the best for the club.

Well, in my opinion, if we SUPPORT the players and the manager from top to bottom, we are much more likely to see success, than we will if they have a constant tirade of insults thrown at them every day, not just from the media pundits, but also from our own “fans”.

Who agrees?


  1. I have always been a keen fan and supporter of our club, for well over 50 years.

    It is counter productive to boo or jeer our own players, team and manager, regardless of our feelings.

    It only fuels the other team, drops confidence and morale = poor results

    1. 👍 Val, sensible behaviour on matchday!
      Disagreements should be left at the turnstiles/gate and once you walk into the ground to support Arsenal you support the manager and the players.
      Too bad if the owner and Board don’t show the same “support” in their actions.

      1. Honestly we should learn from how liverpool fans behave on the pitch. They can somehow create crazy atmosphere for their players..

        And please we need to ban aftv from entering the emirates. I honestly really hate them..

  2. Arsenal fan or Arsenal Supporter?. Well peoples’perspective will be different. What matters is performance and results. If both are not forthcoming, then the manager deserved to be sacked. Although Arsenal Management style can be funny!

  3. All fans want to see progress. In my opinion, there are two types of fans based on this notion:

    1. The ones who want to see the progress as soon as possible, regardless of the predicament Arsenal are or were in

    Arsenal should’ve been implemented stricter measures and punishments to prevent diseases/ red cards among their players. But controlling a bunch of immature millionaires is very difficult, if the club doesn’t have the financial power to make a high personnel turnover

    2. The ones who’re more willing to wait for slower progress and to think why Arsenal had huge setbacks

    Basically, we shouldn’t have shot ourselves in the foot by spreading negativity or making unconstructive comments about the team, while we’re still having an unbeaten streak. Remember, NLD has always been tough since Wenger’s time and Spurs have one of the best CFs in EPL or we can say in the world, so keep cheering for the team as long as they don’t lose there

  4. Totally agree mate…biggest problem we have is with so called overseas fans who plaster social media sites with their criticism of the club, the players and manager.
    Criticism that the anti Arsenal media are all over with headlines of “Arsenal fans” demand this and want this player/manager sold/sacked.
    What true and genuine fan would post sickening comments online, and even on the official Arsenal facebook, not only demanding Wenger was sacked but hoping he and his family would die of cancer!!??
    Now those same comments can be found aimed at Arteta.
    Real fans support no matter what and no matter how bad things get.
    Real fans don’t demand or expect success on the pitch in retuturn for their “support”.
    Real fans like those at teams who have little hope of ever seeing their team win any kind of Trophystill turn up every home game to support their team even those up the seven sisters road in Middlesex!!.

    1. If it was an English fan that plastered social media sites with criticism, i assume it would be a lesser problem. The biggest problem in your post is the racist touch in the first line. A fan that criticizes constantly and demands success in return for their support is indeed a problem, wherever he is posting from. I am an overseas fan/supporter, i criticize my team’s planning, players, coach and i want to see improvement in all areas. Not in return for my support, but because i know we can do better. Constructive criticism. That being said, the point of my post is that being an idiot is an international thing, it does not stop in any borders.

    2. Brian, obviously overseas fans/supporters should bankrupt themselves flying to and from London every home game.
      What is the capacity of the Emirates? Good luck financing an EPL Club with a supporter base that small unless the club is owned by a country or oligarch!
      Wake up to yourself and don’t disparage overseas supporters/fans.

    3. If you have something against overseas fans don’t make things up to voice your grievance.

      We didn’t ask for the Premier League to come to our countries it was you who brought it. You pitched us a product and we bought it.

      So it was overseas fans who wanted Wenger out? It was social media fans who hurt the great one so much he doesn’t want to return to the club? Those planes with Wenger out fliers which country did they come from? Jamaica?

      Was it social media overseas fans who wished Granit the worst to his family?

      So there are no English fans who are critical of the club, the manager and the players? (Rightly so if I may add).

      How do you know the social media supporters are not English? Do you check their profiles one by one?

    4. Good luck with supporting an Arsenal only comprised of British fans then. When the club loses revenue overseas and increases the ticket prices then I wonder whether you would turn up at every home game and support the team. Nice view also, castigating overseas fans for not being able to watch Arsenal games at the Emirates.

    5. The fans/supporters interview weekly at Emirate stadium after matches by AFTV and on AFTV channel programmes venting their anger and demanding Arteta’s sack week in week out should be oversea fans going by your submission.
      Arteta is not the right person to tell us who a true fan/supporter is, he will celebrate beating Arsenal if he joins a rival team tomorrow but the true fans/supporters remain whatever happens to the club even when circumstances demand they vent their anger.

      1. Well said. Who is Arteta to comment on the real fans. Arsenal team could be much better if not for the stupidity of Arteta and Edu.

        1. Right, that needs to be challenged…

          Please explain the reasons why you think they are “stupid” and how you could manage the club better than they can?

    6. The Wenger Out posters in the stadiums during Wenger’s last years were also by us, overseas supporters, I guess.

  5. A fan according to the Merriam-Webster, is

    1: an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
    2: an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)

    While we should of course discourage the consistent slandering by some, anyone who (proudly) tags himself a “fan” isn’t a hater, the antonym.
    The club pays no one for being a fan but rather, the club earn from them. Most people tagged non-fans only tend to exhibit their negativity mainly because they are frustrated by the actions of the club.
    Fans are supporters and despite their differences, want just one thing for the team – success.

    Mikel should focus on getting the results by playing well, and that’s what everyone wants.

  6. Real supporters will always support the club irrespective of the results. But if the performance levels are dropping, the manager starts taking decisions which are harmful to the team and certain players start behaving in a lazy, erratic and irresponsible manner, I believe it is the duty of a true supporter to point out the factors which are responsible for the downslide of the team. Of course, it should be done in a diplomatic manner so that the message is conveyed without being rude or bad or vindictive.

  7. It all comes down to if he is a good manager and a good coach, no matter the amount of support he receive.

    I can’t sing, I have no talent for it. If my family and my neighbours and the whole country cheer for me and support me it will still not make me even a little bit acceptable singer.

    I have started to see the tide is against anyone who is critical of Arteta right now to the point of our love for the club being questioned. Because we are not okay seeing the manager taking the club to the ground. It is a strange world we are living in.

    It’s fine no problem, personally I will now stop critiquing Arteta for good. But in the end he has to deliver and repay that trust he is given. And if supporting Arteta no matter the result is loving the club, I expect Arteta supporters to continue doing so until the end of times no matter the results.

    I will not support him if the results continue to be the same and if that makes me not a fan then I am not!

    1. To be honest I have seen this trend also HH. Those who are slightly critical become targets of jibes by some posters. Delusion, no position of authority, no experience, young, naive, ignorant, fan but not supporter etc are usual replies. In the same vein I have also seen people supporting MA getting replies like ignorant, lowered standards, spuds supporter, not a fan etc. At the end, just a game and just a football team (no matter how much I love Arsenal, still just one of so many football teams). This place would be nicer if people could politely disagree without coming to arms with verbal jibes, lol. Why fight with someone who we dont even know in most cases? Just politely disagree with their opinion, present yours and move on. Anyway they dont have any authority to question your love for the club or you theirs.

        1. Nice post Sid. It cuts both ways and would be great if there was more respect between folks who think Arteta should be given time to build something and folks who think he’s been given too much rope.

          1. Thanks, Voyageur. Honestly tiring when your experience or authority is called in question or your love for the club is questioned when you present an opinion lol. I am happy with the intelligent banter but constant fights here re Arteta are downers lol. For example, I see you usually support MA. I have presently an opposite view wrt that. In most cases I won’t reply to your post, because I won’t have suitable;e replies to your well-thought-out posts(and they are well-thought-out). If I wanna reply, I would put my point forward, or banter regarding some player(Ben White mostly lol). I do the same thing with Jon also sometimes.

  8. I would agree to an extent. Once in the ground the fans should support the team and hopefully the team will respond successfully. As for comments on fan sites, we all have an opinion. All opinions should be listened to politely. Those ‘negative’ fans should not be criticised for wanting more from our club in so many respects.

  9. Nope cannot agree with you.

    Club pays a lot and expect result. If he wanta time then as k him to accept an apprentice pay rather than a top wages.

    A fan or supporter is the same to me.

  10. Seems to me it comes down to what you support or are a fan of.
    The club? The manager? The players?

    I support the club first, always, and want what’s best for the club. It’s the manager and players job to fit in, not the club’s to change to suit them.

    If Arteta is best for the club and has us competing I’ll support him. It’s his job to uphold standards and be competitive, otherwise step down.

    Trouble happens when you lower standards for managers and players.

    Patience? A decade and counting.
    Standards? Been lowering for years.
    Competitiveness? Been lowering since Kronke gained control.

    Complacency set in years ago, and management should have consistently been adding players here and there over the years, rather than be idle and fall into a state of “rebuild.”

    Arteta’s fault? No. His responsibility now? Certainly, he took the job knowing the task.

    Finally recruitment is a positive direction, problems identified and addressed.

    Come season’s end Arteta and Edu will have shown after 3 1/2 years if they deserve to continue on or get the sack. Fans or supporters would both agree with that.

    1. Durand It will then be just two and a half years, not the three and a half you said!

      It is an important difference IMO, as two and a half years is not enough to turn the poor squad he inherited completely around, whereas the three and a half will and should be enough.

      Xhaka, for example, being the single most useless player still here as a regular whom MA inherited. Elneny is NOT a regular, so is less of a problem. I accept that Xhaka could and shouldhave been sold, BUT was there then proper money available to replace a player who though useless was still a regular!!

      We could not let ALL the Wenger and Emery dross leave at once, as we still needed a sufficient number.

      MA has also bought dross but seems intent on rectifying his mistakes, as far as money allows. William being HIS prime error of course!

      1. jon, please name all the “dross” Unai Emery brought into the Club, in his position for 18 months as “head coach”, where he was expected to coach the players provided to him by others?

  11. I want Arsenal to have a better manager not only to win games comfortably but also to get that Arsenal identity back….and I know the current manager is weak……but I support my team when they play and I want them to win….and I don’t want Xhaka to play…….soo…what does that makes me……..? ……….Will I be right to say a fan is an admire of the club and he can be a fan of another club as well and supporter is a diehard………..?

    1. Makes you a proper fan @jakes
      No fan supports every single decision that are made ,it does not make you any less of a fan for wanting the best for the club .

  12. Wow back with the Fan and Supporter classification, lol. This time the manager himself said it, now I hope he would be able to concentrate on his job amidst the vast amount of negatives he has invited from so-called fans.
    Back to the subject, without any classification, can’t we all agree that we love Arsenal and our opinions differ on all things Arsenal and they are not going to affect the decisions by the club? It is completely ok in my humble opinion to have different views, disagree civilly, and move on, rather than question one’s authority for that opinion, demand explanation, or just straight-up question their love for Arsenal.
    I hope all the Gooners going for the game against Tottenham have a great experience! This is coming from an overseas “fan”, and I assure you won’t find me on social media plastering negative things about the club I love, except maybe communicating them with my friends in private.
    Peace Out!

  13. I have supported Arsenal for 63 years, live near Highbury and the Emirates and besides having spent money for tickets, season tickets, etc and have spent a life time of emotional investment bound with the club. When the whistle goes I am emotionally behind the team and the players.
    I hope I am intelligent enough ‘Post Match’, to ‘see’ the truth, and be able to comment on what I “REGULARLY” see. Real supporters speak honestly about what they “regularly” see. Critique is reality and leads to the right actions, and better the ‘truth’ in the long run, than ‘seeing a mirage’. There are many levels of support, including some who look with a cursory glance at the result to those who have lifetime bound with Arsenal and big emotional investment. We supporters cannot be told what the truth is and what we can say. That would be a very dark day indeed. As in anything ‘discretion can be the better part of valour’, but when generals regularly lose wars they are replaced. We still want our country to win the war. Pre-Match we support, Post-Match we analyse, when poor play is REGULAR we hopefully take action.
    I love this club….and have done since 1958.

  14. Hopefully we will win about 2-1, but the Spuds Local Derby is a game apart and more unpredictable. Hopefully the Emirates plus the noise from a full house will encourage a victory. Not long to go.

  15. I am a day late due to being on hoiliday but find this a welcome and true definition from Ad Pat of the difference between a supporter and a fan.

    As Pat well knows( esp since he “stole” my own definition of the key difference between the two AND he is most welcome to use my idea, which he genuinely shares anyway!) supporters are for LIFE, while CERTAIN fans( not all, not by a long chalk) are fairweather folk, who do not truly understand the key difference between actually supporting AND merely claiming that they do.

  16. Finally some sense in an article. True question we have to ask ourselves now is… How many of us are fans and how many are supporters?

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