Mkhitaryan thanks ‘real’ fans for their support


Henrikh Mkhitaryan has played four games in Arsenal colours at Emirates Stadium since joining from Manchester United in January. His home debut against Everton aside, those matches have been played in front of swathes of empty seats.

While the majority of seats in the 60,000 arena were technically sold for the matches with Ostersund, Manchester City and Watford, thousands didn’t bother turning up.

Low profile opposition, snow, travel problems, frustration with results and the manager and apathy have all played a part, further killing the matchday atmosphere at a stadium that’s hardly made a name for itself on that front since it opened in 2006.

You wonder what the players make of it, particularly new boys Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan who’ve experienced the spectacle of Borussia Dortmund’s ‘yellow wall’ at the Westfalenstadion.

For his part Henrikh, who grabbed his fifth assist and second goal for Arsenal in the 3-0 win against the Hornets on Sunday, says the team will always play for those ‘real’ fans who make the effort during the good times and the bad.

“We’re always playing for the fans, it doesn’t matter if they could have come today or not,” Mkhitaryan told beIN Sports.

“We’re always playing for those who come and support us; [those] who are really coming and supporting us are real fans.

“[To those] who are coming to the stadium just when we are winning we have nothing to say. Just thanks to the fans who were supporting.”

It’ll be interesting to see if the stadium is nearer capacity on Thursday when AC Milan come to visit. Usually, you’d expect a full house for such prestigious opponents but the way things are going, that’s far from a given these days.

It’s a real shame to see such a great stadium so empty, even if the football has been tawdry at times this season.

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160 Comments on "Mkhitaryan thanks ‘real’ fans for their support"

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Wise comments from Mikh? Surely risking some backlash?

my name is bob

*eats popcorn* can’t wait for this debate

Twisted cuntloks

what flavour?
can’t be arsed to even comment on that statement


It is a pretty dumb ass comment at best. The fact players are saying stuff like this should set off alarm bells for a club that treats its fans with contempt. Football would be nothing without people willing to pay to watch it, the behavior of Arsenal fans is not a knee-jerk reaction, it’s a product of years of the same old shit at the leagues highest prices. Keep it up and they will make a sacrifice of their cash cow.


Talk about blow it out of proportion.

Mayor McCheese

I hope not. Mkhitaryan seems a good fellow.


He probably is but it’s not like he has done anything to deserve it, he just got here

I for one am very pleased to have him in the team


Some people would say the fans are supposed to support their team through thick and thin. If that is what he means then perhaps he has a point …


Here’s another empty platitude for you – the club is the fans. Means nothing when there’s no fan ownership and negligible opportunities to get tough questions answered.

Messages on planes are rightly laughed at, but it’s a bit much to shame people who are staying away to make a point, and losing paid up money on season tickets to do so.

I like Mkhitaryan, but there’s some fairly obvious context he’s choosing to ignore here.


What is the context exactly? It used to be that we spent no money. Is it just that we’ve been a bit shit? The real context is that Wenger has just lost 4 games in a row for the first time ever. Despite that, us long suffering fans are on the back of a 10 year crisis. In which we finished in the top 4 for 8 of them, qualified from our champion league group in all of them and won the FA cup 3 times. The context is that too many of our fans are entitled snow flakes demanding success and simultaneously disrupting our chance of achieving it by creating a negative environment in which its nearly impossible for our players to play with freedom and confidence. Stan may well be a cunt. It may well be time for Wenger to leave, but for fuck sake support your team or stay away and take your misery somewhere else.


Everyone knows why the fans are frustrated, let’s not do this list of pros and cons for the millionth time.

No fan wants to stay away from a game that they’ve paid for. If large numbers are now doing so, maybe it’s time to stop with the “support your team” cudgels and start supporting your fellow fans.


Not saying I don’t agree with some of your points, but the moment you use the word “snowflakes,” like an alt-right bro, you lose all credibility.


Alt-Right is now being applied in the UK as well?

Who knew?

And lacking the self awareness that is just as much a term lacking as much credibility as you assign to “snowflake”

For Christ’s sake I hope this identity politics from the US doesn’t migrate over here.


I’m not alt right, I judge a person by their deeds an all that, and to be honest I’ve no idea where the ‘snowflake’ thing even came from. Just seems pretty fitting for the way some of our fans act like they’re some kind of victim when their football team lose.

Die heart gun

I agree


I remember being amongst 10,000 Arsenal fans in Avenell road chanting up at the dressing rooms that we wanted Don Howe sacked. He got sacked. I pay nearly £1,400 a season for my brief and I didn’t go Sunday. I have a choice and not going was my way of using my voice. You would have to be some sort of John Terry or Pedant to say I’m not a real supporter. Followed that team they call The Arsenal all my life.


Well that’s one way of getting out of future media assignments. I could tell instantly this guy was crafty.


From who exactly? Considering they might not be there ?

Otherwise that would be some backlash for this backlash

The Far Post

For good or bad, nowadays fans do not have to show up in stadia to voice their opinions. 😉


Well I just don’t agree with him because at Dortmund, fans can make their feelings felt in other ways. They literally have a stake in the club. For us, with Silent Stan sitting over there in the heart of Trumpland not giving a shit about us, all we can do is vote with our feet.
Mind you I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, just that it’s the only real option left to us to register our discontent. Not to mention the exhorbitant price of tickets.


The snow was a real problem because the trains weren’t reliable unless you’re local. Sunday was mothers day and it was a lunchtime kickoff which made it a problem for a lot of fans.The annoying thing is that the fans who don’t go don’t put the tickets on the exchange so someone else can. I’ve got one for Thursday and hoping for a full house.


As a season ticket holder, I can confirm (1) that you can only post on Ticket Exchange if the match is technically sold out, which is not a given these days and (2) because of Mothers Day, I couldn’t go to Watford game and – while in this case it was, ahem, ‘sold out’ – there was no buyer for my two tickets on the Ticket Exchange.


You’re one of the good guys Clarky, a lot don’t even try. Sunday was a difficult day, especially for a lunchtime match.


It’s also tough on fans because we’ve only got one Saturday 3pm kick-off left this season.


Any reason for the down thumbs to an entirely factual post? Just to add that, in the past couple of seasons, I have put my tickets up for sale only when away on holiday or for whatever reason (work etc) it was impossible to attend. I have ALWAYS managed to sell through the Ticket Exchange. This is the first time I haven’t had a buyer. Maybe one match doesnt prove a trend but – looking around the Emirates recently – I think I know the reality.


PS. It was only when I posted the Watford tickets on the Exchange that I remembered their face value was £55 each (whereas its about half that for the Milan game). Thats also something to consider when wondering why tickets don’t sell on Ticket Exchange, ie, the huge monetary price we pay vs other clubs for our support.

That cost is IMHO absolutely fine when we are playing well and entertaining … but its been slim fare recently and I can understand others not rushing to pay £55 to me to see us play Watford .


Arsenal do not help. You can transfers tickets to another membership on your network up to 24 hours before kick off. I attempted to do this Friday night for friends and it was unavailable (I was leaving the country 4am Saturday) as a result my tickets were not used. There is no reason why Arsenal should not have allowed the exchange Friday night.

Petr C

I totally agree. Who are these so called fans that can afford to say shall I go to football today? Nah I’ll waste a £60-150 ticket. Put it on exChange for some people who want to support the team and manager through thick and thin! And if they’re making some point about dissatisfaction? Well they’re making the situation worse.


Or not as the case in question may prove.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

The problem is the game needs to sell out before ST holders can put it on Ticket Exchange and then they hardly ever sell. I haven’t been able to sell a ticket on Exchange for at least two seasons, and have even offered my seat FOR FREE on social channels to supposed Arsenal fans on with no takers. And I’m not alone in this.

I think the club could be doing far more to promote the availability of tickets on ticket exchange or give the option for fans to donate then to local schools or charities if the remain unsold. The ticketing system generally is awful – for a game kicking off on Sunday, that clearly had a lot of tickets going spare on TX, the fact the club closes off sales at 3pm on the Friday is madness.


While I get the player’s views on all of this a lot of the issue goes back to Gazidas’ comments a few years ago about the fans telling when it was time to make change at manager. If the board had acted like a real board the past few years (I would argue this year it looks like they are in that they have finally prepared to move on from Wenger by bringing in Sanhelli & Sven) then I would suggest the environment wouldn’t be as apathetic/ toxic. It does seem like something has changed this year & baring a Kroenke no this will be it for Wenger.

Mayor McCheese

I just think I’m confused. I thought in not showing up, we were showing solidarity with players who did the same! Were we not all of us, players and fans alike, joined in a common cause here?


I’m afraid there’s a significant portion of our fan base that want things to go tits up so they can show that they were right all along. I’m glad mikh’s spoken out – it’s about time.

Mein Bergkampf

This narrative that you are either for Arsenal or against is really quite embarrassingly reductive. Categorising us into real fans and fake fans, it’s pathetic. We are all fans, we all have opinions and we are entitled to express ourselves as we see fit. I hardly think that the Wenger out brigade has been overly zealous in what has been a pretty tough time for everyone. I’m really not keen on these insinuations that in order to be a true fan, you must support, smile and cheer regardless of the performance of the club.

Mein Bergkampf

I’m also not overly keen on the “Phew, thank god that’s all behind us” attitude displayed here. Anyone who watched the Watford game would’ve seen it was far from plain sailing and we still have gaping physical and mental holes in our game. Don’t worry though Mkhi, I still think you’re a fucking great footballer mind.


I am quite sure it isn’t all behind us I just can’t see the point in getting upset about it any more

We are where we are and we’re a lot more fortunate than most to be fair


That’s the thing isn’t it – fans aren’t getting upset about it at games like they did last season. They’re just voting with their feet.

Over the last year there’s been a number of comments left here from fans saying ‘this defeat was the last straw’ and they wouldn’t go back until Wenger left. Not sure why any of us are surprised tbh.


I couldn’t agree more. If the team play like they couldn’t give two shits we the fans will say something. I must be a fake fan that pays for the most expensive match day ticket in football to watch us not be the Bayern Munich of England, while the real fans chat in the corporate seats.


Not sure he was saying you are against Arsenal. He’s just saying you’re likely a fair weather fan. I don’t see supposedly ‘lesser’ clubs having trouble filling stadiums when in a relegation fight. We are an incredibly lucky bunch to support such a wonderful club which over the course of history has had a lot of highs (and yes a lot of lows), but we are incredibly short sighted.


I think the point is many people including myself don’t support the manager anymore. Will always be blessed that I was brought up in Highbury and born into an Arsenal family.


Exactly, S+B. People are expressing desperate anger at Wenger to a deaf board who haven’t listened, not bailing on the club. Sending a message. Mhkitarian here is way off base, very simple-minded.

You could even say that people protest and get angry BECAUSE they love their club MORE than the ownership and the coach and players, and want BETTER for it.

I’d do it differently, personally, by holding up a sign at the game. But mother’s day, sun’s out, fuck it. Ticket paid. Make your statement and that’s it. To call such people, who are protesting the assholes at the top and a stubborn coach who won’t put the good of the club and its fans ahead of himself, “fair-weather fans” is ridiculous.

People can also protest to reclaim a central role as part of the club. Without the fans, the team wouldn’t exist, and vice-versa. You take away power from the fans, you get an unhappy scene. Dortmund fans have much more say in things.

Expensive tickets and merch, a glorious history/high expectations, and foreign ownership all put strains on things. A complex situation. Simple-minded shitting on fans who are already frustrated is just the wrong thing to do.


Nah, not avin it!!! Who does this lad think he is after having played for the enemy just a short few months ago to come ere and tell us we’re not real fans for being fed up with the ineptitude of the club at large. Most fans will accept defeat if we’ve done everything in our power to win a game, on the pitch and off it. When you’ve got players jogging around or the higher ups being content with top or less seemingly then yh I don’t care newbie if you think I’m a real fan or not. Sell im!!!


As Blogs has spoken about the atmosphere at Dortmund I just wanna remind everybody that Dortmund was nearly bankrupt about a decade ago and have played more or less with a youth team and finished somewhere in the middle of the table. The stadium was always full at that time. It would be sold out if they’d play in the second division. Because they love their club. A big part of the Arsenal fans just love to see themselves winning. That’s it.


A lot of fans are simply frustrated that the same mistakes are made year after year with no consequences for either players or the manager. Most simply want to see the club competing & heading in the right direction. That doesn’t somehow make them lesser fans.


If they stop supporting their team due to their frustration, yes, it makes them indeed lesser fans.


well berlingoon a big part of the issue is that Arsenal has been a very dysfunctional club for at least the past few years. Gazidas was pretty clear that fans would ultimately decide when Wenger’s time was up so people feel like that is the only real option left to them – show they are unhappy the situation by simply not showing up. That is very different from someone cheering for their team to lose. You really can’t compare English teams to German all the time b/c German teams are largely publically owned. It’s a totally different scenario.


It’s so typical for Arsenal fans to explain their very own shortcomings with the failings of the club. It doesn’t matter who owns the club, it doesn’t matter what decisions have been made, at Dortmund there have been decisions made that nearly ruined the club. The fans would have had any right to show that they’re unhappy with the situation. But they always put their club first, not their personal interest. And its harming for the team if instead of 60.000 only 40.000 turn up. That’s why no Dortmund fan would ever consider not to go to a game out of protest. And the business model of the club has nothing to do with the quality of the support. Stop looking for excuses why the support is shit at Arsenal. Try to improve it, if you call yourself a supporter. Because guess what? That’s your fu**ing job in this game. You’re no politican, you’re a supporter. And if you don’t go when the results are bad, you’re a bad supporter.


berlingoon – stop comparing a publically owned team to one that has an individual owner – they are not even remotely close to the same thing. If you are unhappy with how Dortmund is being run you can go out and buy stock and bond together with different stockholders and vote for new directors. Ultimately you have a means to affect change. Arsenal is held by one man who alone determines the direction of the club – literally no one other than Kroenke matters. I have no problem with fans letting Kroenke and the club know that the club is not even meeting basic standards this season. The players have a duty to at least put in maximum effort – that’s the minimum requirement of any professional. Yet on several occasions this year it’s been pretty obvious that the players weren’t even taking that seriously. That is not a fault on the fans part. It does not somehow make fans “bad supporters” to let the players, manager and owner know that they are unhappy when not even minimum standards are being hit. This is a professional club. If you don’t care about results and winning go support a non league side.


Just excuses and the usual self pity. We are the best supporters in the world and have deserved sooo much better but our team fails to reach the minimum standards so even if we’re the shittiest fans in the world, as we don’t even turn up to the games anymore and abuse our own players and manager constantly, we’re still the best because Kroenke won’t go away. And if you think you’re a bad supoporter if you stop supporting your team, you need to support a non league side, because… well, it makes no sense at all but I thought it sounds good.


berlingoo what utter nonsense. wanting change and fans feeling like they can affect it by not showing up to games to demonstrate their unhappiness is in no way self pity. I repeat arsenal is a professional sports club whose primary purpose is to compete for championships. fans pay the highest prices in the world to support this club and they have a right to show their displeasure with the current situation. I would argue fans have actually been a lot more supportive than a lot of fans would have been with the current situation (which has been going on for years)


Yes, it was really horrible winning all these cups in the last years. And maybe winning the Europa League this season. Other fans would have thrown in the towel way earlier. Tottenham haven’ won a shit for 50 years and I’ll guarantee you they’ll sell out their stadium from next season on. As Liverpoool does week in week out. Even in the years where they’ve been far away from CL spots.
And once again, it’s not the purpose of a supporter to express his displeasure at games. It’s about supporting your team. If you can’t do this than of course you think stating your opinion is more important than the success of the team on that day. What is this if not egomaniac self pity?


Anfield’s capacity is 54,000. Their avg attendace is 53,000.

Emirates capacity is 60,000. Avg attendance 59,000.

And you’re also claiming Spurs fans are better than us now? This is why I don’t take you seriously. Always wrecking your good arguments by going too far.


Have you ever seen that many empty seats at a Liverpool league game? EVER? What are you talking about? According the the official numbers the Emirates was almost sold out against City and Watford. Everybody has seen that it was half empty on both occasions.
If the Arsenal fans will continue like this there’s a good chance that Tottenham will become bigger over the years, yes. They have big disappointments every season and they would bite anyones hand off for our 3 FA cups in the last 4 years but they will get more than 60.000 into their stadium every week regardless.


For goodness sake Liverpool and Utd have done well to keep a higher proportion of their seats affordable. And L’pool have had a few empty seats for end of season games when we qualified for the CL ahead of them and they were out of the title race early.

And fuck ever comparing us to Spurs. That tells me everything I need to know about you.


I had every option to go to the Watford game but the tickets I got offered were around £70 each. For myself and my partner to spend £140 on 90 minutes of potential rubbish just isn’t worth it.

If however they were £30 each I probably would have gone.


Maybe if the Dortmund fans had protested against the club almost being ran into bankruptcy something would have changed earlier. Did you ever think of that? Congratulations that they almost supported their club into non-existence.


Maybe they wouldn’t have come back to where they are now after the almost bankruptcy as the only thing they had at that time have been their fans. That was the reason why sponsor deals etc have generated enough money to get through this period. They’ve saved their club by their loyalty. And yes, I thought about that for a second but then realized how stupid it is. Should have done the same.


It had nothing to do with having a good manager at the helm? It was all the fans. Riiiight.


The managers during that time have been van Marwijk , Röber and Doll. True masters of the game, yes.


Good points Atom.

Listen berlingoon there’s a difference between constructive criticism and just slagging off huge numbers of people you really don’t know. You’d be much more persuasive if you learnt that.


Not showing up to the games is definitely no constructive criticism. It’s sad that I have to explain that to football supporters.


You’re right. We should all get together and write a strongly worded letter to Mr Kroenke outlining our grievances….


To be honest, I’m not so sure why everybody thinks Kroenke is that bad. On the one hand everybody is slagging off Arsene as this team should play way better than it is and on the other hand they’re slagging off Stan as he’s responsible for the fact that we have no competitive team. We spent significant amounts on players over the last years, we have increased Özils wages massively and also pay guys like Mkhitaryan and Auba way more than we used to a few years ago. We have brought in top and surely not cheap guys in Mislantat and Sanllehi to improve the club. Why is everybody acting as Stan shows no ambitions? It’s nonsense. I think he’s a very unsympathetic person but I think in terms of investment you can’t really blame him. But we have to be dramatic. We have to believe there’s somebody out there who wants to ruin the club. Otherwise we could hardly justify all this self pity.

Mein Bergkampf

Berlin goon, I take it you’re from Germany? Which way did you vote back in 1933?


You had nothing better to say?


I‘m usually a friendly person but I’d like to smash your face really hard for that question. What an immensely shitty person must someone be to bring up the worst thing in human history during a discussion about the meaning of support (Especially someone with that username). You’re a fucking cunt and I’ll never reply to anything that comes out of your cuntish mouth again.

Mein Bergkampf

Ah come on mate, I’m only playing. You hear worse on mock the week. Sorry if I caused offence.


This is probably the most disgusting comment I have read on the blog. You really should be ashamed. English smugness at its best/worst. I really don’t think you want to bring up history to slam someone else’s opinion. It’s not like the english are innocent.


What’s your constructive criticism – that Spurs and Liverpool fans are better than Arsenal fans?

Such bald-faced hypocrisy.


@Atom. My comment is short.

Atom = Fake Fan.

Always making excuses.


A P – congratulations on your first comment ever on an Arseblog post! How about you thumb through a few articles to see how it works and read through the comments before making statements such as “always” does this or that. Anyways I’m sure you’ll find Arseblog enjoyable.




i’s hard to compare the two, it’s a lot more affordable to support Dortmund, that’s for sure. I also think it’s easier to watch young players trying their best than an old manager making the same mistakes. I love our team and count myself a supporter, but at times it’s really hard work trying to be positive, and it’s draining for our season ticket holders. Nobody wants to see empty seats, and I hate to see them, but I can also understand why.


You are not a real fan. So there


berlingoon has arrived to lecture Arsenal fans on how they don’t love their club enough and how Germany is the football utopia. Here we go…

Most intelligent people know there are differences between British and continental football culture. And differences between *regional* clubs and *big city* clubs.

The North Rhine-Westphalia area of Germany consists of about 18million people. Dortmund’s only major Bundesliga competitors in this area are Schalke (there are other smaller teams). Dortmund’s capacity is 81,000 and they have Europe’s highest average attendance at about 79,000 per game.

By comparison London’s population is roughly 8 million people. We compete with West Ham, Palace, Chelsea, and nosy neighbours Sp*rs. And in a stadium with 60,000 capacity Arsenal’s average attendance last season was 59,000 (2nd only to Utd).

As our nosy neighbours have shown by filling up Wembley, with affordable pricing, availability and maybe standing zones, Arsenal would have few problems filling a stadium the size of Dortmund’s.


Although I don’t really get what point you are making (because berlingoon’s point was nothing to do with Germany being a football utopia, only with supporting your club through bad times), I’d like to take issue with your misleading assessment of the North Rhine-Westphalia football landscape.

Dortmund, Leverkusen, Schalke, Cologne and Mönchengladbach are all in the top tier of the Bundesliga. (For example, Köln are rock bottom of the league and get average gates of just shy of 50,000 this season). Then there are 4 or 5 more teams from the area in the 2nd tier, including very well-supported teams like Düsseldorf.

So your hypothesis that Dortmund is sort of the ‘only’ big club in an area of 18 million people, and that’s why they have so many supporters, is not supported by the numbers.


Thanks for the added context Wolf.

But you’re wrong that my point is about Dortmund – it’s actually about Arsenal operating in a single city that has 12 football league clubs.

You’re talking about Schalke, Dortmund, Koln etc – those are multiple independent cities.

With Dortmund, we’re really talking about the Ruhr area which has over 5 million people and only Schalke as the biggest local rival. And Schalke is in Gelsenkirchen which is a different city within that area. The entire North London area contains about 1.2 million people!

The point is: Arsenal get an avg of 59,000 fans in a much more competitive catchment area with a direct local league rival on our doorstep. Ours has been the 2nd largest avg in the UK over the last decade.

Add Sp*rs Wembley avg this season of 78,000 and you can see that North London can easily match Dortmund’s when stadium capacity is increased.

Overall, berlingoon’s narrative of “Arsenal fans only love their club when they’re winning” and constant comparisons with Dortmund are nothing more than a juvenile deflection, when what’s actually happening with the empty seats is a direct revolt against Wenger’s time at the club. (There are other differences that goonerink mentions below).

Everyone knows what’s going on. Let’s stop acting dumb.


These days the local/geographical element of why people become (and more importantly, stay) supporters of a club is much smaller than it used to be. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it’s the reality.

I live near Brighton and I’m sure you know how packed the train up to London is on match days. Why do those people not go and see BHAFC? Because they are Arsenal supporters, for whatever reason. But they live in a place that is much further away from the Holloway Road than Dortmund is from Gelsenkirchen. There is even another very traditional club, Bochum, in between BVB and S04 geographically.

So that whole argument about who is more successful in a “catchment area”, as you call it, doesn’t work. Arsenal’s catchment area is pretty much global these days.

I still believe berlingooner’s was not about this at all. It is about what supporting a football club means. It means not staying away when there are problems (on or off the pitch), but to go (if you can) and make your voice heard but support the team. Because at the end of the day – as Mkhitaryan is trying to say – playing to empty seats is NEVER going to improve the players’ performances. And that is really why we go and watch and enjoy games of football, isn’t it?

Well, it sounds like Atom only enjoys winning: “If you don’t care about results and winning go support a non league side.” What nonsense.


Thanks Wolf. Completely agree with everything you said.


The simple fact is the core of Arsenal’s home support comes from the London catchment area. But funnily enough it’s probably people who regularly travel from further away who are not attending at the moment.

Some of you might not agree with the decision not to attend, but don’t pretend you don’t know why it’s happening and make this a debate about “love for the club”.

Atom’s wider point is correct, Arsenal are a Prem League club where expectations are extremely high. If we don’t want to be judged like a big club, let’s lower ticket and merchandise prices.

You guys need to stop treating Wenger like a novice manager who needs 60,000 cheerleaders for his team to perform well. He’s a veteran who’s been well-supported by Gooners than any major fanbase has given a single manager since Sir Alex.

But Fergie chose the right time to go. Wenger has been surpassed by younger managers as the club changes everything around him. His time has come.


A) You may be right. I would love to see some stats about that, but I doubt there are many available. I used to live in Highbury and match days brought boatloads of coaches with faraway places written on them to the area.

B) I don’t and I didn’t. Everybody has their reasons. I just think that *deliberately* not attending to *publicly* make a point is not helping the club in any way.

C) You turn supporting a club purely into a commercial transaction, ie “I pay more, so I want a better result, more wins, trophies etc”. That’s not how it works. You called Berlingoon childish, but with due respect, that is a very simplistic view. I agree that football and everything around it is far too expensive in the PL, but that is a completely different matter.

D) I didn’t say a word about Wenger.

My first (and real) love is a team from Hamburg, which in my time has had its fair share of chaos, bankruptcy, crap managers, incompetent boards, relegations, godawful players and so on. But I never considered not turning up at all. A couple of times hundreds of us stayed after the final whistle for an hour, demanding to talk to staff and players (only a couple did), but we didn’t “boycott” them. That never makes anything better.


@wolf – it’s fine that you have that opinion that boycotting doesn’t work but that doesn’t mean that someone who holds that view should insult everyone who disagrees as Berlingoon is.


@wolf – I grew up supporting a local US sports team that was literally bottom of their league for almost 20 years so I more than understand supporting a team when they are down. That team has a waiting list for tickets so long that my grandchildren wouldn’t receive seats.

What I take issue with is berlingoon’s comments that fans should simply accept the situation and that staying away is totally unacceptable. If fans believe they can affect change by staying away for a few games then that is their right. While I think the team is regressing under Wenger, my chief complaint this year is in more than a few games the team hasn’t even appeared to give maximum effort.

That said if we want to be a big club then we need to act like one = we do what’s needed to win. Whether that means changing managers, being less sentimental with players such as Theo or Jack etc. If we believe that winning is not essential and Wenger should be allowed to stay as long as he wants, etc. then we can’t complain when we continue to slide down the league (it’s really hard to drop below 6th given our financial situation and players we have). You can’t have it both ways.


Hello, fellow bottom-of-the-league-team supporter, I salute your loyalty! 🙂

As I said, my opinion is that staying away doesn’t help the *football* side of things. It might well hurt the decision-makers’ pockets and that may affect change. And sure, it’s everybody’s own decision what to do.

The starting point here was Mkhitaryan’s statement about needing support, and that’s what the players should get. I hold the opinion that professional footballers very, very rarely “don’t try”. They would not be at the top of their profession if they didn’t have an in-built desire to win games. Again and again disgruntled supporters seem to detect some sort of “traitor” who doesn’t stand up and fight, pursuing an agenda of sorts. I think that’s twaddle, personally, and when I asked a couple of sports journalists with inside knowledge of the game, they pretty much said the same.

Sadly, Wenger’s methods rarely work any more in the modern game, tactically and coaching-wise. It’s a shame because it’s a laudable concept and can make for exciting, entertaining football. For me, winning is not essential (I support my hometown club for many reasons, the quality of their football isn’t usually one of them!) but I agree that Arsenal are not going to go back to winning ways with this setup.


I agree it’s rare for players to do what Chelsea did to Mourihno and to effectively stop trying to get him fired. There are stories that Barcelona hated Enrique so much they talked about doing the same but decided not to b/c of professional pride. That said considering what it takes to get to this level, Arsenal players are some of the weakest players mentally you will ever see at the top level. Too many times you can see if the other team scores we simply go to pieces and it’s almost like they are simply resigned to more goals coming. You can see their heads and effort levels drop. They just don’t have the mental fortitude to stand up and fight when things get tough. We need a change of mentality more than anything that when things get hard the players don’t give up but really go hard to get it back – a belief if you will that they will win. They just don’t have that.


Excuses, all I hear. We are shit because of 1000 reasons but none of them has to do anything with us. It’s everyone‘s fault. Too less people in London, bad Stan, bad Arsene, bad Ivan, bad players.


blaming arsenal’s problems berlingoon on fans has to be one of the stupidest things ever said on this blog. look at the home vs. away record. if the fans really are so bad then why can we basically only win at home?


I haven’t blamed the clubs problems on the fans, just said that despite the problems I expect the fans to still turn up and support the team and everything else isn’t helping. The rest is your imagination. And if you really think the home record is down to the fantastic support you’re very good at lying at yourself. We’ve beaten Watford in a half empty stadium.


And fans expect club leadership to make proactive changes to the coaching and player staff to keep the club competitive, not just wallow in TV deal and stadium receipts cash.

The people with the most power in this situation hide themselves away in the club’s boardroom Well done for attacking everyday fans and making excuses for a bunch of greedy multimillionaires.


@berlingoon “we are shit b/c of 1000 reaons but none of them has anything to do with us”. there are only 2 possible interpretations of what you just said
1. you are blaming the fans which far and away is the most probable given everything else you’ve just said on here. that’s idiotic
2. far less likely but you are being serious and yes it is everyone’s fault but the fans. that’s exactly right. the issue is we have a manager far past his prime who has done a very poor job recruiting and coaching to the point where we are closer to the bottom of the league than the top. and it’s not a one off either – we’ve gone from competing for the PL and the CL to a cup team who no longer can mount an actual challenge in top competitions. and the fault with the board is that they have let this go on for so long.


His problem is the same one a lot of Wenger diehards have. It’s easier for them to criticise fans than accept that our club has a coach who’s past his best.

And it annoys them to death that fans think for themselves and vote with their feet instead of mindlessly turning up to applaud half-arsed performances from players who’re just going through the motions because they too, are absolutely sick and tired of this manager.


You wanna compare Dortmund with Arsenal, let’s include some context. But you’re a child who can’t have a civil debate so to you it’s “excuses”.

You’re a hypocrite who has no problem insulting Arsenal’s supporters while furiously defending Wenger from the mildest criticism. If Wenger deserves to defended, so do our fans.

Yes, even you Mr Superfan who you only sees 3 games a year.


Your context is acting as if Dortmund is a bigger city than London. If you take the North Rhine-Westphalia area you at least have to consider not only London but also the regions around so we’re talking about 14.000.000 people. The ”other smaller” clubs that you’ve mentioned are everything but small. Bochum, Essen, Duisburg and others are big clubs and if you’re from one of these cities you don’t support Dortmund. Also I’m not talking about last season. Last season we got 75 (15 less than the invincibles) points in the league and won the cup. Hardly a season that bad that people stop going. Man United finished 5th, 6th and 7th in the last 4 years. They’re a way bigger club than us. Nevertheless I haven’t seen such an empty stadium during that time.
And it doesn’t matter if I go to the stadium every week or once in my lifetime. I haven’t been on vacations for 10 years now because I spend all my money for London trips to watch Arsenal but that doesn’t make me a better fan than someone in Kenia who doesn’t have the possibillity to go to games. How much you love the club and the right to express your opinion about it has nothing to do with how much money you’re able to invest. It comes across pretty bitter to even mention things like that and as if you’re in desperate need of arguments.


But bitterness and obfuscating is all you have.

Why’d you bring up Dortmund in the first place, as if it’s easy to compare two clubs in different countries with different socio-economic backgrounds? And now you say “I’m acting as if Dortmund is a bigger club than Arsenal”.

No, I provided context to show that Dortmund has a catchment area of (according to you) 14 million people with less competing clubs, while Arsenal has about 8 million and many more direct local competitors. The main point is that we have the 2nd highest average attendance in the UK.

You going to 3 games away is relevant here – who the fuck are you to make blanket statements that Arsenal fans don’t love their club? Did you hear our away supporters in Milan outsinging the San Siro?

Bored of people like you because you exploit all the turmoil the club is going through, you give Wenger a pass, Kroenke gets a pass, Gazidis gets a pass, but fans who’ve support this club home and way for years get attacked by you just because you don’t agree with their opinion of how the club is run?

Whether you like or not, sticking with the same manager for too long has had a corrosive effect on this club. That’s the stark reality you’re too bitter to accept.


Wait… it’s bitter of me to mention you only go to 3 games a year while you’re disrespecting the entire fanbase for how they support the club? Did I read that right?



Yes, because it’s the same to fly over from Berlin for a game than to just go when you live in London, having already paid for the ticket and knowing that if you won’t go your seat will be empty. It’s absolutely comparable. And also so funny. Hahahohi. I go to bed now. This is going nowhere.


Oh now we’re talking about you I should be careful not to make unfair comparisons right?

You’re so happy to make assumptions about our fans but you can’t cope with any criticism of how you personally support the club.

Supporting a club is tough. Bitching online about supporters is easy.


I couldn’t give two fucks about Dortmund. I do take offence though when some John Terry who possibly has never been to a game takes the higher ground. Judgemental cunt ?


Did Berlin go on bring a load of mates to thumb up/down comments?
I’m really surprised that people tolerate his lack of respect for us fans on a website ran and specifically for us fans.
At the end of the day you can’t compare Arsenal with dortmund, there are way too many differences;
League difficulty,
Club location,
%of commuting fans,
Expense of ticket,
Expense of travel,
Expense of city,
Stadium atmosphere,
Stadium accommodation(seating/terrace),
Times of kick offs,
City accommodation,
League rulings on homegrown players.
… Are just a few examples.


Yeah Goonerink my thoughts exactly.


Kaius – most intelligent people understand the difference between knowing their shit and knowing they’re shit. I’m not sure you fall into that category…


Danny – I’m sad Wenger’s coming to the end too, I really am. I know you don’t agree, but I don’t think we should make the situation worse by attacking other fans because they choose to stay away.

It’s not worth it.


It’s a shit atmosphere at the best of times. I know times have changed but I miss Highbury.

Hereford Gooner

Maybe we should reinstate the old cardboard cut-out fans from when the Highbury North Bank was redeveloped, that’ll learn’em


When we were dire under Graham I went. I would love to be there all the time, regardless of our chances. But the only way Kroenke will ever pay attention is with empty seats. This tears me to pieces.


Stan is here to stay and doesn’t even pay attention. That’s a fact.

Now chopping off your ring finger won’t mean you are divorced.


Nice Mkhi’. Now get back to your £150k a week


Join the lemmings and down vote me…..


I thought it was pretty funny tbh


as you wish.


They earn astronomical sums of money because of what fans invest into tickets and merchandise.

Now we can’t have a little joke about their pay packets when Henrikh has a dig at fans not turning up to dead rubber Premier League games while the club’s still getting paid from ticket sales? Nah, f*ck that.


He asked me to downvote him so I did.


So you’re a lemming then? Cool


At any rate I’ve joined them for a bit.


After the Bellerin comments you’d think the media would know better than to ask a player what he thinks about fans…


How about the fake players who get up and leave when fans start idolizing them? Or the fake players on fat salaries that can’t be arsed to fight for every ball. We should be over the hill cos you beat a mighty team like Watford and in the dizzy heights of 6th. No Sir, shut up and win something. Then you can gloat


“Thank you for your interest in our affairs.”

That was the club’s message to fans last season. As results didn’t improve this season, fans had to send the club a message all capitalists understand – they removed their bums from the Emirates’ seats.

Dortmund’s Yellow Wall is a phenomenon that doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a club literally forgoing profit for the good of fans. The Ruhr is a working class area of Germany and Bundesliga sides like Dortmund worked for many years to lower prices and improve match-day experiences. By contrast Premier League clubs have raced to monetise their stadia despite enjoying much higher TV deals than Germany, and now the Prem has more clubs in the Deloitte list of richest European clubs while the Bundesliga has the highest average attendances in Europe.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is right, but he’s come into the club during a tough transition. And let’s not forget it’s our fans supporting the club that made the Emirates the single most profitable football stadium in the 5 major European leagues.


spot on


cheers mate


Couldn’t agree more on this. Which brings me back to the argument you were having with Berlingoon above.

I thought I was getting an insight into Arsene’s world of not knowing when to stop when Atom was losing his debate and like Mkhi, you joined in at the wrong time.
I totally enjoyed the debate as I could only imagine what goes on in Arsene’s world only that unlike the boss you came in and saved Atom.
He even made a brief comeback when Berlingooner erred a little and all I could relate it to was the change to a back 3.

From the up votes and down votes though you could tell what everyone thought. But just like Arsene thinks he’s the right man and he has all it takes to turn it around despite what almost everyone thinks, you guys kept going.

I only wish Arsene had someone to save him from it all like you did for Atom.


“From the up votes and down votes though you could tell what everyone thought”

Okay then.

Eric Blair

Fandom in the PL has become more about being consumers rather than supporters, much like going to the opera or theatre. At Arsenal, because of the stadium move during this era, it is even more noticeable. Many fans will feel if they’re not getting their money’s worth then they will stay away. I don’t think this sense equates to success, more entertainment, which has been sorely lacking in Wenger’s teams over the last few seasons now.

It seems to me to be a natural phenomenon of all the money in the game now, with the PL at the pinnacle of it all. In the Bundesliga the fans are taken care of much better and allowed real influence at the clubs, which is then reflected in their attitude towards lean times. The fans stick by the clubs because for them it is not simply entertainment, they are the club.

Nic Bell

We maybe lacked a little bit of support because we were feeling a little bit entitled..

Mayor McCheese

Very nice, Nic, and suggests we’ve been in a relationship with Wenger so long that we are now adopting his speech patterns! (Even though I would have preferred you replaced ‘of’ with ‘the’, but I quibble.)

Nic Bell

Love our crazy, stubborn, old manager. He is pooping everywhere but I don’t want to send grandpa to the home.


Football is the only business that allows employees to insult customers and everyone is fine with it. Hope he gets booed by some real fan


I’ve worked in some pretty crazy drinking establishments and any one of them you swear at the employees you’re dumped on your skull unceremoniously off the premises.

Give no respect, get none.


Why won’t you boo him yourself, given how offended you seem to be?


Maybe it’s a bit of a two way street.

Fan stays away from the games because he openly says players are shit.
Player openly says that is not the real supporter because he wasn’t there to support.

Fan comes out and asks how dare the player say that?

Fan says ” I’ll boo him. That is if I make it there.”

” I wish those that go boo him for me”

On a side note I totally understand why some fans are not going currently. Same as I understand why a player would be frustrated with less support.

Just like the chicken and the egg. Whichever came first. Despite this egg having a tendency to concede silly goals, drop points and this chicken chickening out when the eagles fly by.


The best Arsenal player at the moment. Him and Elneny bossed the game on Sunday. Looking forward to see more from this guy..


Well we support real players … Stupid comments which highlight a huge part of this clubs problem. If I was a player and fans stop coming when I play and lose pathetically I would be highly embarrassed. Removed from reality Mickey.

Thierry Bergkamp

I haven’t been to a match since the 1 – 3 vs Monaco and have promised myself never to spend a penny on Arsenal until Wenger is gone. If more people had this mindset, things at the club might be looking better by now.


Some things are just logical.

If everyone killed a puppy, there would be no dogs to bite kids in the future.

Toxteth O\'Grady

Prossibly not the wisest think to come out with by micky. However, that people pay top, and I do mean top, dollar for tickets yet can’t be arsed to turn up speaks volumes. Something is rotten here.


I’ve been going to Arsenal since 1974.
We’ve been totally shit all season.
I’ll go when I want, you twat.


Other than a couple of games, we’ve been decent at home. Not sure what you been watching since 1974…. miserable xxxx


It’s an interesting debate, no doubt. What are we supporting when we go to watch Arsenal now – the team, the club, the historical institution, the idea of what Arsenal means to us, the current regime, or all of these things? If I choose to be more parsimonious with regard to the extortionate ticket prices at a time when the effort, organization and entertainment on the pitch and the vision and leadership off it have been so consistently poor, does that make me less of a fan? Probably, yes – in that almost by definition it means that I am less fanatical in my desire to go to every game come hell or high water than those who do. Does it mean though that I am not a ‘real supporter’? I don’t think it does, and I think that the club and players might want to be careful how they view and describe their supporters because, if this period is teaching us anything, it is that the group of “real supporters” willing to put up with any old shit to watch their team is smaller than the club might have assumed.


Excellent post Hi-brid.


Yeah, very good points.


It’s hard to know which fans are staying away. It could be that the Wenger’s philosophy of being there to entertain has backfired a bit. First it was a cynical attempt to justify inflated prices. If you set yourself up like a long running west end show the people that come are not really fans they just want to see a good show. Nobody goes to a theatre show to see the actors try hard or go through a dry spell where they forget the lines, they just want to be entertained. Football is different to that. And if some of the people who are choosing between football and whatever else entertainment are staying away then maybe that’s a good thing in the long run.


I’ve never seen the spuds reach a final or even win anything but their fans have been more vocal than us over the past two seasons and in both they’ve ended above us in the league table.

If arsenal fans could support the team blindly for 90 minutes (+ Extra time) and make life as difficult as possible for the opponents, then I believe the team will be forced to perform. There are times when the team has a nervous start which is then compounded by the fans who are simply just waiting for a mistake. Imagine if instead we sang the lads on and booed the opponents, who do you suppose would be more confident!

You have every right to critic the team (that’s how we get better) but please keep the critism for the time after the game. There are various platforms where your views will reach the players, coach & the board but please support the Arsenal during the 90+ Extra time.



We have only lost two league games games at home this season. We played brilliantly against united and didn’t deserve to lose. We were not terrible against city, they are just far better. You point doesn’t hold much im afraid. The issue is not home support.

Charles Charlie Charles
Charles Charlie Charles

Except home form alone has us above them in the league. Your point does not stand up to any scrutiny.


Another “support the club” poster that compares Sp*rs and Arsenal but doesn’t mention the different managerial situations. And thinks fans at the game shouldn’t be able to express their opinions.

If a manager with Arsenal’s resources can’t get a team to perform in front of a hostile crowd maybe he shouldn’t be managing in the Premier League. Stop making pathetic excuses – he has 20 years experience in the Premier League and gets beat regularly by teams with much smaller resources.

Anyway, home form is not the issue.


In the past the ticket exchange has been useful for the selling on of spare tickets, as for whatever reasons fans can’t make a particular game. However, this is about a breaking point in terms of cost. Who wants to spend £40, £50 or £60 to watch Watford in an almost meaningless Premier League game when they can watch the match on TV?

Personally I would always prefer to attend matches but the cost has become prohibitive for some of the most ardent fans!


So you’re only a real fan when you come to the stadium?
That is good to know.


I went on Sunday and sat in the Clock End upper. Behind me there were two guys who were there for the first time. I could hear their comments to each other – wow, fantastic, what a view, great seats etc. Exactly how I felt 8 years ago for my first game.

When the stadium’s not full it gives chance for new fans to attend and that’s how it should be. Arsenal will still be going long after we’re all dead and buried.


“[To those] who are coming to the stadium just when we are winning we have nothing to say. Just thanks to the fans who were supporting.”

Its a nice modern stadium, easy on the eye, Do we wish it would be louder & more intimidating


Those who leave when the going gets tough are loosers. Voice your opinion in the right places but ffs support your team through good times and bad times. Home fans can make a difference with their support in tight games and break the morale of their own team by booing at the wrong place or not showing up

Royston Reeves

There are a number of people who love the club but cannot afford to buy a ticket. They spend all week looking forward to the next game and every day in between reading every news article about the club they can find; and never miss the opportunity to see their team play when they can.

The point is, for a lot of people, there’s a huge, continual emotional investment whether they are able to attend games or not.

I understand there’s an implicit broader meaning to what Mikhi is saying (support the club, no matter what you think of the regime) but it’s not fair to take the concept of ‘real support’ away from those who don’t attend every game.

One of the most beautiful things about football is that it’s one of the few truly meritocratic industries in our world: it’s a chance for working class kids to achieve big things through hard work and dedication: do you think Romario, Rooney, Gilberto could have afforded to pay Arsenal ticket prices if they hadn’t been pro footballers? Does that mean they aren’t dedicated to the game?

I don’t think Mikhi had bad intentions in what he’s said here, but the way he’s expressed it is a little indelicate.


He said “whether you could make it or not”. That clearly acknowledges what you’re talking about. His statement to me seems solely directed at the glory hounds for whom the world turns to shit or they walk away if W’s aren’t guaranteed. I think that’s fair enough, and basically the definition of a supporter. Getting behind the squad on the pitch on the day.

This still leaves plenty of room for people to question the club and voice their say.

Royston Reeves

The quote literally says: “Those who are coming and supporting us are real fans”

Royston Reeves

Correct, he says “it doesn’t matter if they could have come today or not”… and he also says “those who are really coming and supporting us are real fans”.

To reiterate: I don’t think he had bad intentions in what he’s said, but the way he’s expressed it is a little indelicate.


How anyone can thumb you down is beyond me!


So by that logic are we only supporting the players who “turn up” otherwise they aren’t “true Arsenal players”?

Seriously this pampered lot make me laugh.

Teryima Adi

The empty stadium is a message to the Board, Wenger and Kroenke. We need change from the mediocrity they are churning out.


I’ve doubled down on my support for the team during this time. But my desire to see Wenger leave this summer has only increased. If I had tickets to any Emirates game, I’d go to the game, but I’d be a Wenger Out sign-waver.


Frankly, I think Mikhi’s right on the fucking money.


We will always support you but like every fan of any team, we would want an improvement in your performances to match up to the stature of the club. Arsenal is a big club and we expect our players to play for the club with pride and deliver the results that are acceptable.


It’s a two way street, isn’t it? I know how awful it feels when the team is playing badly, but it probably feels worse from the player point of view. When I have a bad day at the office it’s not in front of 60,000 people (not to mention thousands of keyboard warriors). I just don’t buy into this nonsense that the players don’t care and can’t be arsed, if that was the case they wouldn’t be calling meetings to try to fix things. We’re all human, and nobody is perfect, anybody can have bad days. I honestly believe the team needs our support, and I know how hard that can be sometimes. Unless things change we will continue to be the most divided fan base in the league, and the only oddities who sing about some other team when our own team are playing.