Another day, another day with Arsenal and with Liverpool winning the FA Cup Final yesterday we know for sure now that we are in for a cnut-fest when it comes to the FA Cup Final this year. As someone said on Twitter yesterday, when you want Chelsea to win the trophy, you know that football is broken. (When reading back over this to check for errors I had left out the word ‘win’ – my subconscious knows.)
News and there isn’t that much around. Rosicky has been talking about how the players now feel like they’ve connected with the fans and just as there has been a tangible shift in the attitude of the players so it has been with a lot of the fans. As Sagna slotted home against Sp*rs with an attitude of ‘fuck this’ the fans at the Emirates that day seemed to feel the same. They seemed to get the fact that sometimes the players need the fans in the ground to lift them just as much as the fans need the players to give the crowd something to cheer about. Something had to give, and thankfully it gave in the right way. The Emirates, long derided as a library where the Arsenal fans sit in silence looking to be entertained, is not that place any more.
“Recently the atmosphere at our home games has been absolutely amazing – the team can feel it and it is a big help for us,” he told Arsenal magazine. I’ve been to the Emirates many times, though nowhere as often as I’d like, and I’ve been stared at by others when I got too noisy. Speaking to many others online they had the same experience, but that isn’t what’s happening any more. I don’t know if we’ve lost a lot of the ‘corporates’ and so-called plastics due to our poor start and trophyless years, but something has changed for the better.
He added “It is a great feeling to have the supporters so passionately behind you for the whole 90 minutes” and we know this wasn’t always the case. Moans and groans were more likely to meet a misplaced pass than cheers of encouragement but the change has brought us an extra dimension to the point that when a Liverpool troll yesterday tried to mock the atmosphere at the Emirates I was confident enough to be able to call him out on it. We all benefit.
This team has went through a number of changes, like a child growing up it showed flashes of brilliance interspersed with immensely fragile confidence. Booing was never going to help and, in fact, only helped achieve the very thing the boosayers were booing about in the first place – poor performances. Now the crowd seem to be able to sense when the team need a lift and try their damndest to offer it, the home crowd is taking on the form of our amazing away support who can never and should never be questioned.
Long may it last.
I’ve addressed this point before and managed to piss off a few people who said they went regularly so I want to clarify that I’m aware it was never all of the home support, just large sections of it. There have always been plenty of Arsenal fans at home games willing to get behind the team vocally, the points made above were not about them. I want to be clear on that.
With 24 goals scored in our last seven home games and only three defeats in all competitions The Emirates is finally becoming the fortress it should be and the part the home crowd play in that should not be underestimated.
Beyond that, there isn’t really much else to talk about. Rosicky also talked about the importance of focusing on our remaining games. “Wigan beat Manchester United on Wednesday, so that’s an indication that it will be a tough test for us, We’ll have to be on top of our game to win, no doubt about it. Wigan have some very good players and a good young manager, so this will be a very tough match for us.”
There’s no doubt that Wigan will be a hard game and Martinez has got his team firing at the business end of the season. He added “We have a great chance to stay in [third] position, but now we have to make sure of it. That starts against Wigan on Monday – and make no mistake, it’s a very big game for us.
“People might not usually regard a match against Wigan as such a big one, but they are still battling relegation, so there is a lot at stake for both of us. We saw what can happen against a team fighting for its life when we played away at QPR, and we expect the same kind of performance from Wigan on Monday. We have to give 100 per cent to get the result.”
I like to hear them referencing QPR, it tells me they haven’t forgotten how a misplaced handbrake can derail any hopes we have of third and St. Totteringham’s Day. I said a few months back that I still felt we’d be celebrating St. Totteringham’s Day this year and took a lot of abuse on Twitter for it, ‘delusional twat’ was one of the more common insults hurled. We aren’t home and dry yet, but I’m certainly dusting down my gloat coat and getting it at the ready.
My how I do love a good gloat coat.
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