Once again Arsenal have bottled their chances to take the Premier League title in what has been one of the most open campaigns for some time and again there are expected to be protests against Arsene Wenger this weekend.
However, Wenger appears to have already hit back at the critics by saying a “difficult climate” has cost Arsenal the title this year, clearly referring to the atmosphere inside the Emirates.
Arsene has even gone as far to suggest that Arsenal fans have been “manipulated” into turning against him and suggests that they be more like Liverpool fans!
Wenger has admitted that he was “very frustrated” by the decline of Arsenal’s season, however he said that disappointment “cannot go too far”, and said that the negative atmosphere at home games had cost Arsenal the title this year.
“When a club cannot enjoy anything anymore, it’s in trouble,” Wenger said at his press conference this morning. “We have to stick together. We lost the championship at home against the lower teams, but we played at home in a very difficult climate. We have to realise that, away from home, we are championship winners. At home, against the smaller teams, we lost the league.”
Wenger mentioned that premeditated protests had been stirred up and told his supporters to look to the example of Liverpool fans, who were more behind the team.
“Liverpool are a good example to follow,” Wenger said. “They’re a big club. We are a big club. I can understand the frustration of our fans. But, despite that, they want to support our team. The best chance they can give our team is to be behind our team. Some groups of people try to manipulate our fans, and I believe apart from an agenda, a personal agenda, a big ego, there’s not a lot behind it.”
Only by supporting the team, Wenger said, could the fans hope to see more success in the future. “This club does have special values though and one I’ve experienced over the years is to stick together and support the team,” he said. “There’s no success without that.”
As a Liverpool fan myself, that’s quite flattering. These words are coming from one of the best managers in the Premier League era (in my opinion anyway!) but I’ve noticed a slight stigmatism when it comes to Arsenal fans: they’re spoilt.
Arsenal have hade huge players over the years, most of them have gone on to win major competitions. Not with Arsenal, mind, but still Wenger has consistently put them in a position that recently Liverpool, Spurs, Everton and now Manchester United fans have dreamed of – that’s a top-four finish.
Not only that, he has taken his team to European Cup and FA Cup finals as well as being involved in a lot of Premier League title races; he has a bit of silverware to go with that.
So, Arsenal fans, when you’re not wiping up your tears with the ribbons of the FA Cup just remember that you’ve had a dedicated manager that perhaps would have won more if it wasn’t for Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho’s dominance in the Premier League era.
You could have ended up like Blackburn or Leeds in the hands of a lesser manager… so get behind him, show your support and let’s see what he can do for you in his final year. God knows, you’ll likely never find a manager that loves Arsenal as much as him.
Until Thierry Henry eventually lands the job, obviously, but let’s ignore that for now, capiche?