It was obvious during Wenger’s waning years as Arsenal manager that the fans were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Same Old Same Old and the predictable fight for 4th place every season, and the end of his reign was highlighted by great swathes of empty seats at the Emirates.
No one doubts that Le Prof was our greatest manager ever but his originally revolutionary ideas had become stale and out-dated and the fans knew that we were going nowhere very rapidly. But Unai Emery has brought them back with his excellent tactical nous and extremely entertaining football. The Spaniard knows how important it is to have the fans on your side. He said: “We need to fit together with the supporters, with the club and the players and this mentality is very important for us and to show them our quality and strong work. Then together we can be happy, like today. We need their support, and they support us at every match and away from home. Even today, it is in London, but it is away and I think the players on the pitch feel their support every moment of the 90 minutes.”
Of course it helps when you win 9 games in a row, but surely when you see the sort of sublime teamwork that gave us the third goal yesterday, you can’t help but be proud to be a Gooner again. But Emery is not interested in his 9 game record, he just wants to make sure us fans are happy in the next game as well. “But sorry,” he said. “I don’t want to look behind. I think every match is different, every match is very difficult. Yes, we are on the table, little by little, giving ourselves a better position for our ideas and our objectives. But I’m thinking of our match against Leicester, at the Emirates, our home, with our supporters. And I want to give them, when we are playing in our stadium, a special feeling with each match and show them we are playing with our quality, playing together with a winning mentality also. Above all, with the commitment and with the behaviour like today.”
It is that commitment and winning mentality that has been missing for the last few seasons, and if the team isn’t committed then why should the fans be?
Now we can all go forward together. Onwards and Upwards!