There was a weird atmosphere in the ground on Saturday. It was one that I have no experienced since the glory days at Highbury. It felt like I was at the theatre. Sitting there. Waiting to be entertained.
I noticed the atmosphere in the Twelve Pins before the game, it was fairly subdued. On the walk to the stadium, there was no electricity in the air. Sitting down in the Emirates before the game, there was a bit of chatter but very little excitement. And then throughout the first half, there was barely a whimper.
The atmosphere over the last 18-24 months (probably starting off back at the AC Milan home game) has been vastly improving, but this was back to the bad old days. The only logical explanation is this.
Arsenal fan’s expected to win. We sat their and waited for the team to win. Waited for them to score. There wasn’t any nervous energy. It was a case of ‘go on lads, this should be a routine victory.’ We as fans were complacent.
The complacency also went through the team. After blistering first 5 minutes, where we really should have gone 1-0 up, the team seemed to take their foot off the gas. Like the fans sitting their expecting 3 points with little effort, the team did similar. They clearly believed they could score at any time. Open up Fulham’s defence with little effort. However this is the Premier League, and no matter who you play, you have to put in 100%.
The complacency creeping into both players and fans is worrying. We are only 1 point clear at the top of the table. The league is not wrapped up. The Premier League has been full of surprises this season. Anyone can beat anyone. The players need to ensure they are giving 100% every games. The fans need to as well.
Up next is Coventry on Friday night. An FA Cup tie will always generate a bit of extra atmosphere. But for the next league game (I can be arsed to look who it is), ensure you give 100%. Do not expect victory, cheers your team to victory. And let the players know that anything less than 100% is unacceptable.