It’s a big day today, Arsene Wenger is aware of the protest, that of the ‘DO NOTHING’ variety, that may or may not take place this evening.
I don’t have a ticket, but I wouldn’t go. Dicking a few teams on their holiday’s after the total capitulation on all fronts we’ve faced this season (FA Cup is coming) doesn’t have me convinced Wenger is right to lead us forward. The hope for the fans right now is that Ivan can utilise the leverage he may or may not have going into the big contract negotiations post season.
One item he might be able to lean on is the lack of fans in the ground. I had some back and forth about this online. Some people are saying that not going isn’t a protest… err… kind of the biggest protest you can make as a fan.
Protesting outside the ground is a bit ridiculous when you think about it. It’s kind of like standing outside a restaurant you used to enjoy, waving your ‘HEAD CHEF OUT’ placard, then going inside, and ordering a bottle of red with the best filet mignon on the menu.
Choosing not to show up to a ticket you’ve paid for when we’re about to lose football for 3 months is literally the most agressive form of dissent open to a fan. An empty seat is symbolic. In fact, one of the reasons the Premier League has such mega TV deals is the PASHUN the home fans have for the game. 93% capacity across the land. Quite remarkable. Italian football is more technical than ours, but they play to empty stands. Outside the major clubs in Spain, you don’t get full capacity week in week out. So when people say the club won’t pay attention, it’s a nonsense.
If you’re a brand like Adidas, and Ivan is asking you for £70m to sponsor the shirt after Puma… what are you going to say to screw that number down?
“Mate, you can’t even fill your ground every week and the atomsphere if f*cking toxic online. Why would I put my brand there?’
Do you think Chelsea struggled to fill the ground last night? No way. How many times do you think Spurs had 12.5% of their home fans missing this season (average number of fans missing in 2014 can you believe!)? How many times have Liverpool struggled to fill their ground this season? Not many… but we have Arsene as our overlord, and he offers up a boring product. However, he does try and sell it as something special. This is him yesterday on the Bayern game and his lack of progress this season.
“I think we suffered a lot when we went out of the Champions League under special circumstances. If you look at just the first halves, we would have qualified.
“Would 75 points be progress? I don’t want to go into conclusions too early but it shows that if we can make 75 points it is good because I won the championship with 78.
“You had basically two leagues, with the top six and everyone else.”
Worst thing is some fans will be nodding along to this sort of tripe. This is the manager of Arsenal FC, one of the most prestigious sporting clubs on the planet, and that’s how he’s framing going out of the Champions League 10-2. Also, ‘special circumstances’, no mate, exactly the same ones for 7 years running at the same point in the competition. The special circumstance is you’re the only manager in Europe who can’t be fired for being a bad coach.
So anyway, back to my point. Don’t go this evening. Make a point. The media now know about it. Arsene knows about it. Every empty red seat will make and impact and attack his power at the end of the month.
It’s your last chance to make an impact in an easy game.
In other news, absolute banter that Wenger swiped at teams “being on holiday” when he’s overseen 3 easy victories against teams taking it so easy, they were sneezing mojitos. Mourinho even came out and said of the last few games, “in this moment the Premier League is just matches we don’t want to play.”
Well, Pep G came out and had a pop back at the mind games clearly aimed at derailing his City and Klopp’s Liverpool.
“I never saw one player in my life go to the pitch and don’t try to win the game and when the target is done, it’s done, but so if you don’t want that, win more games yourself, or qualify before or win the champions league, and after we don’t have the problems for the other ones.”
He also made the point that I just made a few paragraphs up.
“Yeah, but he [Wenger] plays against Everton and Sunderland, no? Both teams are done, no? One is relegated and one is in the Europa League, so it’s the same situation, so you don’t want to complain, do it better during in the season and you will not have this problem.”
There isn’t much to talk about regarding the starting line up, Sanchez is nursing a kicked thigh. Outside that, I’d be surprised not to see a similar side to the Southampton one. It’s going to be drab, Sunderland are awful and finished, we have perked up now #Top4 is on, so we’ll probably win. Let’s just hope it’s in a fairly empty ground so the focus of the match report is disgruntled fans.
Final ask, we’re running a podcast this evening, we have a number you can call to tell us what you think should happen with Arsene Wenger moving forward.
+44 020 3868 6265
Leave your name, where you’re from, and what you’d like to see happen as we close out the season. BE NICE.
Keep it snappy. Best one’s go in the pod!