All Guns Blazing: Why many Arsenal fans can’t wait for this season to end
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
I had a lot of mixed feelings following the north London derby. On the one hand there was frustration that Arsenal blew a lead, on the other there was relief that we salvaged a point. For both teams, however, I think most fans will just feel we need to get this over with already.
I mean, look at how this season has turned out. Watching the continuing charge of Leicester, you almost wish you supported a team that had fallen by the wayside earlier, just so you could enjoy what could feasibly be the greatest story in the history of British football.
Why did it have to be last season that we blew our title chances before Christmas, only to watch Chelsea sickeningly stroll to victory? Why must it be this year that we’re clinging on to the flimsiest of hopes, when Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and even Liverpool have basically laid down to root for the feel good story to end all others?
Being eight points off first place in the table means we’ve almost certainly made a hash of our best chance to win the league in over a decade. Nonetheless, we’ve also managed to put ourselves in a position where – alongside Tottenham – we’re just within enough touching distance to mean recovery is not impossible.
Perhaps what’s most striking is that even at this stage, many Gooners have already had enough. In the past, fans have at least had the courtesy to wait until we’ve properly blown it to voice their dissatisfaction, but the amount of empty seats at the Swansea game was testament to the growing frustration that only the unlikeliest of comebacks could avert.
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It was interesting in the wake of the Tottenham game to hear Arsene Wenger talk about the “relentless” pressure from fans, amid worries it could affect the players’ confidence. But what else does he expect?
When a football club is charging ticket prices that are more expensive than those of West End shows, it’s not just the cost that bears comparison. Ask people to invest that much money and they will inevitably expect more return in terms of entertainment.
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It’s not the way a fan should think ideally, but when your football club is run more like a business, it works both ways – it can’t afford not to deliver. Especially when a club like Leicester comes along and shows it can be done without all the hassle anyway.
Follow me @alexbellotti