It’s a familiar situation for Arsenal. They’re already all but out of the title race, sitting in fourth place in the league, and supporter frustration is at an all time high. They’re coming off two huge losses in a row — the first being a shocker dropped at home to Watford, and the second an absolutely soul-crushing defeat away at Chelsea — effectively ending their chance at a Premier League trophy with three months still left in the season. Arsenal fans are fed up, but Arsene Wenger says they need to be more like Spurs supporters and get behind their team.
The problem? He’s not given supporters much to believe in.
Wenger has done an incredible job in ensuring Arsenal make Champions League every single year, but his teams have lacked the backbone and winning mentality to push on in search of glory in the Premier League. Supporters have seen rivals Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and even Leicester City go on to lift the trophy, and they’re fed up with the team’s inability to make a real, legitimate challenge. Patience is running out with Wenger, and the prospect of yet another year without a Premier League title is becoming too much to handle for a number of supporters.
And yet …
“We have a big fight in the Premier League, a big fight in the Champions League, with a big game coming up, and we still have the FA Cup as well,” said Wenger.
“We need to respond and get our fans behind the team, because this is an important and very sensitive part of the season – and we have to respond to disappointment together.
Arsenal fans have been responding to disappointment for a very long time under Wenger, and it’s understandable that their frustrations have reached the boiling point. A large section of fans are calling for his head, but Wenger says fans should push past that and support the team no matter what.
“You cannot be a fan until last Tuesday and not be a fan anymore and not be behind the team this Saturday, it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “All the other clubs, everywhere we fight with Man United, Man City, Liverpool they have big expectations as well and big histories.
“We are in a fight, we absolutely have to be united or we have no chance. You have Tottenham Hotspur, everyone is in the fight and everyone is behind their team. We have to do exactly the same, even if we had two disappointing results.”
Wenger’s pointed comparison to Tottenham is an interesting one, but it’s a dangerous one for him to make. While Spurs still haven’t managed to finish above Arsenal in the league, Mauricio Pochettino has built a strong, attractive squad, they’ve looked increasingly dangerous every year under his leadership, and more and more it looks like this could be the year they break the streak and finish higher than Arsenal. They’re also doing it with a fraction of the money as Arsenal. Spurs fans have something to be excited about, and it’s only natural their support has been so fervent.
Arsenal fans are losing hope, and unless something changes, Wenger’s pleas for support are likely going to fall on deaf ears. It’s a tough time to be an Arsenal fan. Again.