Toxic Arsenal fans have to take some blame for the defeat by Olympiacos

The Arsenal Fans Didn’t Help Last Night by Dan Smith

I write this on the coach travelling back from our Europa League exit wondering what aspect to focus on. I have written too many times about our weak mentality. I could question some gooners who say Leno is the third best keeper in the Prem and the Auba debate goes on, is it enough to be putting the ball in the back of the net or should your striker be doing more in 2020?

What frustrated me throughout the evening though, even when we were on course to qualify was our fans. Winning two-legged football is all about your game management and we as Arsenal fans play our part in that.

I’m not expecting us to rival Olympiakos’ incredible support but let’s compare how they encouraged each of their men. They know they are not the best side in the world and for long periods had to watch a lot of defending, but when they won a corner in the second half it was celebrated like it was a goal. They understood set pieces were their most likely route to success and encouraged the visitors, feeding belief into them..

What about us Arsenal fans?
When they went 1-0 up with half hour to go, we acted like it was 5 mins left. The nerves had grown at half time with everyone fearing what a goal for the Greek Champions would mean. In reality they had had one shot on target and at the interval we were doing enough.

Do you think a Man United or Man City would get so nervous when leading on aggregate? Do think a Chelsea or Liverpool would panic if they had 30 mins and then extra time with their fate in their own hands?

Arteta must have spoken about the danger of an Olympiakos goal, how that would make the Arsenal fans at the Emirates edgy. And that’s a problem, the anxiety in the air (not for the first time) made it hard to play in, and teams know that. Olympiakos knew at the interval they had the crowd where they wanted them and were going to use that to their advantage.

I don’t get that this campaign, of all campaigns, why Arsenal fans would be getting impatient, like we have a divine right to be 4-0 up inside 20 mins. We have been so poor this season you should be supporting, because in reality we are not good enough and some of our squad need as much help as they can get.

Why some would act so shell-shocked that we might concede a goal baffles me. We dropped points at home to Southampton, Brighton, Sheffield United, Palace, Chelsea, City, etc. So of course it was possible the Champions of Greece might be competitive against a side 9th in the League table.

I saw Pepe try and make things happen, but his touch kept letting him down; I saw Saka lose confidence; I saw Lacazette miss a sitter, and no one brave enough to make a run.

Shouting and swearing at these lads won’t change things, it’s actually self-deprecating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s up to those on the pitch to lift us but as much as the visitors were inspired by what their followers did, we make it harder for ours?

Look at Leno’s mistake; A bread and butter pass back. Boot the ball long and we are in the last 16 but he takes such a poor touch, he gifts them a corner. Yes, he panics, which is a reflection on his character – but why is he so nervous? This wasn’t a World Cup Final…

It’s because for 120 minutes he sensed how toxic it was and let it consume him. He feared failure, knowing the grief he and his peers would get if the worse was to happen and it crippled him. If he felt relaxed, he kicks that ball away and we are through.

There’s a reason why Anfield sees so many comebacks in Europe and equally why teams always feel we will give you an opportunity.

There’s a lot wrong with Arsenal FC from top to bottom. Every department should look at themselves and ask how can we do better? Including the Arsenal fans at the Emirates…

Dan Smith

32 Comments

  1. s says:

    not buying it. WE DO NOT SIGN PLAYERS TO SHIT THEIR PANTS IN FRONT OF 60,000

    1. Reggie says:

      No i dont think the post is relevant or a true reflection. All fans get nervous and twitchy, thats what last night was all about and its not specific to Arsenal. The players have to be strong enough to play when fans are nervous and the atmosphere is tense. The truth is the fans cant help being nervous when this lot perform but you cant blame the fans. It was an experienced team out last night, internationals, league winners, champion league winners, world cup winners and they let everyone down. I dont think the atmosphere has been toxic since Arteta took over, i think it has been much improved but if the players dont perform it gets the crowd going, thats football. There are standards to be met and the players are not meeting them, you cant expect fans to not get twitchy but that isn’t the problem but a symptom.

    2. Loose Cannon says:

      These players are paid thousands per week to do a simple thing as kick the ball away from your side to the player in your jersey color. Good that we are out of European football as these “senior” players if they cannot win at home, then what’s next? Fans want their team to win honors, we have reached this level because we were taught to accept 4th place as a trophy and get dumped out in the knock out stage of the UCL. Shame that the younger players have so much passion and drive to win while our senior players limp about making mistakes after mistakes. Some got carried away win 2 EPL match victories and were of the view that Arteta was the man to lead us to glory with these players.The man is as deluded as some of the fans.When defending a European game of 1-0 at home the best should have been a fiery attack, knowing that we have casual error prone players, and a penalty/red card/error leading to goal is just around the corner.

  2. John0711 says:

    I’m sorry dan players on 1,000 and bought for millions do not need fans to do the bare minimum and work hard. From the first minute the players seems sloppy and took the game too lightly.

    This is on them I’m afraid
    And the only good point I hope is MA will have learnt a lot

  3. Mike says:

    Fully agree with this article sections of our fan base have become toxic sometimes I ask myself if some of us really understand what it means to support our team. When we win everyone is over the moon but as soon as we loose certain fans become so mean they attack the players, the coach and fight amoung each other and this really need to change for us as a club to become a force in the premier league again. COYG let’s get behind our coach and our team not just when we win but let us pick them up when they loose.

    1. Goonster says:

      We have no won the league since 2004.. Went for nearly 10 years without a single trophy.. Been a 4th place struggler club since 2006..
      Been getting 5-0, 6-3, 6-0, spankings.
      We became a selling club.
      We have been out of the Top 4 for 3 years. We are in 10th position. Been in the bottom half of the league for nearly the whole season. Still struggling big time.
      Been buying basement players.
      etc.. While we pay some of the highest ticket prices in the league and around Europe.
      Why do we buy weak ass players that are not strong enough? Players that all kinds of excuses have been made for season after season. Players on massive undeserved wages.
      So we should just sing and pander to these weak players even if they are giving us nothing to grab onto? Play well and then that will give us something to shout about.. But they are mostly giving performaces 5/10 seaosn after season and we are being blames for their lack of fight and improvement?

      You have to earn it first..

      I bet you some of these players are going to start talking about how they deserve and want to play champions league football, hence why they will not sign new contracts etc.. The irony. They have been here for seasons and have not earned it due to their poor individual performances.. But they expect it to just be handed to them on a platter.
      Smh..
      Sorry..

  4. Goonster says:

    Why should Fans take any BLAME?
    What a joke? What are we meant to do? We have been loyal to our club for decades. We have been a joke for more than 15 years but we keep being optmistic..
    But these overpaid over hyped players keep draining our clubs resources without giving us anything in return..
    This is the case of VICTIM BLAMING…
    What more can we do apart from buying merchendise, buying very expernsive Sky Sports Packages in order to support our club.. Turning up to games home and away whenever we can afford to.
    But these players earning between £100,000 – £350,000 are just living a life of luxury while we the fans are left powerless.
    Some of us were blamed for some particular players underperfoming season after season.. “Oh, it’s the fans fault that so and so player is performing poorly. He is the type of player that needs an arm around him, he is sensitive, needs the whole fanbase singing his name and told that he is the best, then he will perform. Blah blah”
    It’s our fans fault that so an so is underperforming.

    When are these primadonna going to start earning their exuberant wages for our club?

    May be we should just keep sending them off to DUBAI every week so that they can indulge themselves in luxury. What more can we dofor these losers to give back to our club?

    For real. I have heard it all..

    I am fuming..

    1. Dan says:

      Did write an article mate how this winter break would not help in any way

      1. RicSAAlao says:

        You can see the reactions already. Denial, reactionary, easily provoked, those are the signs. Always quick, ”regurgitating” past failure, can not see into the future, how near or how far.

  5. RSH says:

    Divine right to win, of course not. To go 70 minutes without a shot on target with players on big wages? That is a concern, and if these were players that did not consistently let down I’m sure we’d be way more forgiving. Even during our barren run of trophies fans were way more receptive to the players. They had the right spirit, and even when we weren’t winning there was still an overall positive feeling in the club. So why have things gone south recently? I’d say since around the time of AW’s final two years. I think the fans look at these batch of players and dont see Arsenal, truthfully. We’ve always had underperformers but the amount of sulkers in the squad are worse than ever. The amount of overpaid players that dont perform is more than ever. Forget being in 10th, the football has been bad to watch since the time I’ve mentioned. Accompany bad football with an underperforming side and fans are bound to get upset.

    I think it’s unfair to think that being a fan is just being okay with everything your club does. This is an unpleasant time to be an Arsenal fan. Simply the truth. It’s easy to write that if we were more positive, the players would be more positive, but these guys on the pitch dont need to be babied and know what is required of them. The fact that a good amount of them have been laying stinkers for years and are still here… that’s frustrating.

    Overall, I think fans are just frustrated and tired of seeing frustrating players that dont play good football. I have hope Arteta can steer us in the right direction. And for as negative as many of us can be, we are still overall very positive about what Arteta can do for us in the future.

    1. Goonster says:

      For me my optimism dwindled when the Cesc era came to an end in 2010..
      We have been a complete joke club since then.. Poor no direction, no style, mechanical type of football etc..
      At least during that barren time before 2010 when the likes of Cesc and Nasri left, we used to play some beautiful football. I would just sit there admiring the beauty of it even if wenger refused to address our defense..
      Since then I have never been confident in our team.. Santi and Sanchez made it enjoyable and to a lesser degree RAMSEY for standing up to lead us to our 3 FA CUPS.. I enjoyed those bits and pieces but that’s about it..
      It has been full on twitching since wengers ball ended in 2010 / 11..

  6. Shakir says:

    Certain parts of the article i can agree on.There was a clear difference between olympiakos fans and arsenal fans yesterday.I mean fans can get nervous,angry,hopeless but through thick or thin we should always be supportive.And i think we as arsenal fans have gone thdough a lot in this season but we have to keep pushing more and more.NOISE

    OT
    Norwich beat leicester,this season is really getting weird….And please watford…

  7. larry Gold says:

    Leno was to cocky, he done the same thing a minute before, and you saw their coach doing his nut, telling them to get closer, so the next time they were on Leno and he bottled it and kicked it out for a corner.
    As against Chelsea got cocky and made a bad error. Leno is a good goalie but gets to cocky and tries to be a bit flash. As for the fans, we tried the players were dead, lifeless, we never had a shot on goal till the 76th minute. We sang We tried to get the players fired up, but we were also shitting ourselves as we could see they were going to score. A lot of us never celebrated as wildly as the players when Auba scored as we knew there was 8 mins left. What more can we do?

  8. antonioro says:

    Good news Gunners…God was in our side to draw Wolves for the next stage of Europa League.Just as planned on our march toward the final.Which we,for sure,will win this time,getting the trophy and the Champion League spot as a bonus.Happy days ahead!…..Oh,wait…(does this qualify me as a toxic or plastic( fan,hehehe?)

  9. Rkw says:

    Or maybe we just have to many average and (particularly in defence) below average overpaid footballers in the team!!! Half the outfield should not be playing next season … And the thing is arteta already has options but isn’t using them … Think I’ve watched this movie before

    1. RicSAAlao says:

      ”Overpaid” comment is naive, and fans keep repeating it. It is a factor of Club’s financial, Status & class, etc. It is ordinary economics 101 guys, get an understanding.

      1. S says:

        We only have a single “overpaid” player in our ranks, cannot move him on because we foolishly agreed to that contract just months before Wenger left. Could very well be relegation with him still on the books.

  10. SueP says:

    Your post created one of the strongest and most heartfelt responses I have witnessed in the short time I have followed JustArsenal

    Some clubs have supporters that sing, play trumpets, dance about and go crazy watching their team regardless of whether what they are watching is sensational or shite.

    Regularly ( and mostly for me watching tv) the Arsenal fans are very quiet inside the stadium. Over the 50 years I’ve been going to the occasional matches I can’t remember wild singing and chanting like some fans do at other clubs

    That may have a negative effect but it is likely that the fans who are forking out a considerable amount of their hard earned wages feel distinctly let down by the prima donnas on the pitch and don’t feel like singing the Hokey Cokey when being fed pig swill in the name of entertainment

    I remember paying at the gate with my mum and dad. Years later I could do the same and take my two sons. When I was told that I had to pay to join to even get a sniff of a ticket I decided to watch MOTD and eventually signed up to paying to watch on tv and put my two fingers up
    Football has changed so much in my lifetime – I remember supporting any English club in European competition then. Now it’s a league and it became anti any team except your own. Players became more like film stars and earning power became obscene. They are so far removed from normal life
    As fans we are then expected to adore our overpaid players who can’t lift themselves to play with desire for the club, themselves and the poor bloody sods who turn up all through the season through thick and thin and pay a kings ransom for doing so
    It could very well be that Arsenal’s exorbitant pricing structure turns us all into statues when the offering is poor
    I would put that down to poor management at the highest level for taking the supporters for granted
    I Can’t afford £60 for a ticket plus Long distance train fares on a regular basis even if we were winning. No chance at all if I’m not being entertained.
    Sorry but I’m getting old and decidedly grumpy. The adulation laid at these young men is unbelievable and they should really be able to overcome their nerves if they want to step out at the Emirates

  11. Kieron Blandford says:

    Hmmm not sure about that really.
    But there is something to be said that the Emirates is dismally quiet and full of aggression and nerves. I think it’s the culmination of years of decline which means the majority can easily snd quickly revert to angry and frustrated easier than they can believe and feel postive.
    Sating this I just dont get it ozil largely had no runners off the ball but you didn’t see him berate the forwards or gesture his arms for someone to show for the ball. He can take responsibility by just doing that.
    There is something in our ground and fan base though as we definitely feel the pressure and creak when playing at home.

    Off topic.
    I read tonight arsenal have just declares a 27m loss for the first time in many years and the talk is due to an extended run outside of the cl.
    Have the journalists and others forgotten the huge gaps in the Emirates stadium seating and loss or merchandise through the end of Wenger and Emery reign?

  12. Kieron Blandford says:

    Good reply Sue!
    I long for the says of football rattles remember? Now it’s all full arm tattoos, whis got the best haircut and shaved eyebrows!
    Divas most of them but the lack of atmosphere at the Emirates is a huge problem puts me on mind of the William hill add o think it is when to chaps in a box shout come on boys and prawn sandwich eating snobs behind them quietly clapping give them filthy looks. Your point about normal mainstream fans maybe being priced out or if not being grumpy as lacking value for their buck paid.

    1. SueP says:

      It is a huge problem Kieron
      I’ve only been to the Emirates a handful of times but maybe I’m being wistful here but Highbury was more intimate and any sort of noise sounded really loud. I mostly stood at the clock end and the jokes and entertainment from the crowd was as good as watching the match. Now everyone is an effing w*nker and it doesn’t take much for the atmosphere to change
      The easy answer is to have wonderful, brain fart free players who win all the time and then the Emirates would be rocking.
      Seriously there are other clubs that have toxic fans and often it is because of the owners. Sullivan and Gold haven’t won over the West Ham faithful and the Glazers at ManU too

  13. Durand says:

    So it’s fan’s fault we couldn’t muster many shots on goal? Fan’s fault players couldn’t get a result?

    Was unaware any fan’s failed to cover that corner kick. Also missed the part where the fan in goal got sloppy and panicked.

    Heard it all now, blaming the fans. Guess you’ll blame fans for transfer window next, or blame fan’s for the Sanchez debacle also.

    Blame the millionaires who got outplayed by the Greeks at home.

    Oh, and for any players who think their “talents” entitle them to play in Champions league should rewatch that game and most of the season, and then assess their performances.

  14. Kedar says:

    So Arsenal Declared 27 MN Loss in their latest financial reports…
    So now it’s 100 sure that we ain’t gonna buy anyone….
    We gonna become mid table team very soon..

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Why is that bad news? I thought we interpreted losses as “ambition” and “intent”. Anyway, on a serious note it simply means we must sell a couple of players to cover the deficit, unless ofcos Kroenke is willing to bail us out. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem though, we are still within FFP limits. My guess is we will sell either Ozil or Lacazette. Probably even Aubameyang. Anyone of those leaving will fix our financial problems.

      1. S says:

        Auba is the only senior we CAN sell. Nobody wants ozil unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. Same for laca. There are academy grads we can move on as well since they’re not on big money, like iwobi last season

  15. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

    I agree, fans have to support the team, not attacking players.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Are we supposed to mindlessly support for the sake of supporting? Are we zombies?

  16. Marty says:

    If you notice the crowd at the beginning of games are optimistic and cheering the team but then the level of football drags down the atmosphere. I mean, 1-0 up after first leg , Olympiakos at home the players should have torn into them and lifted the crowd. Instead they played negative football and went 70 minutes without a shot, and that’s with Pepe, Auba, Laca and Ozil in the team.

  17. Tony says:

    OT…..Had to laugh, on Thursday I took my 27 year old daughter to The Emirates. She’ll tell people she’s an Arsenal supporter but doesn’t know too much about football or our individual players.
    On Thursday night she said “who’s our number 10″ He’s awful, it’s like he’s in his own little world, he’s just strolling around doing nothing” Do you know what, she’s right!! Give us something to cheer about and The Emirates might just become a little noisier!!

  18. Sue says:

    Yes the Emirates should’ve been rocking, but then the players should’ve been up for it from the off!
    I decided not to attend, as it would’ve meant an early morning for me.. and tbh, after what I saw, I’m glad I didn’t.
    A really important night and we played like that!! We all know there’s a brain fart lingering somewhere, and what a time to have one!
    I was on tenterhooks at home, so can imagine what it must’ve been like in the stadium!
    One step forward, 4 back… ain’t this always the way? Until this changes, I can’t see anything else changing!
    Won’t stop me from going next week to the West Ham game though 😂

    1. Reggie says:

      Well said Sue.

  19. Dan says:

    Can I ask , did you go to the game ?

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