Tag Archives: wenger out

Lowest Emirates Attendance Expected for Arsenal v Sunderland

I am not going tonight. Neither is many people that I know.

The game has been on sale for weeks. It went to Silvers, then to Reds, then to family and friends – allowing current members to buy an additional 4 tickets. And now it is on General Sale. This is the first time that I can ever remember tickets being available for an Arsenal game on general sale since the membership schemes came in place back in the mid 90s.

Due to the game going to general sale, the ticket exchange has also not opened. So not only are there a few thousand tickets still available, there will also be a few thousand season ticket holders who do not make mid-week games unable to sell on their ticket, therefore leaving their seat empty.

I am going to make a bold prediction. The stadium will be no more than 2/3’s full. That will be around 40,o000. Of course, the club will announce a 60,000 sell out as they announce tickets sold, not people through the gates. Laughable but actually every club do it.

The Sunderland end will also be half empty. With the game moved to mid-week, I imagine they have already only taken the lower allocation, leaving more tickets for Arsenal to sell.

Do Sunderland fans really want to make the 4 hour train journey (or 5 hour drive) down to London on a Tuesday when they are already relegated, to watch their side lose again? Probably not. The away end could be at its emptiest since Wigan had one man and his dog turn up a few years ago.

So why so are so few people turning up?

Unhappiness

The primary reason is it is people’s dissatisfaction with the state of the club at the moment.

I spoke a few weeks ago how I was mentally drained with Arsenal. How I was done with football for the season. Whilst I went to Stoke City away – and the Stoke game did remind me why I spend so much following the team over land and sea (it was a great drink up with some good people) – I am not going to Sunderland. I have paid for the ticket as part of my season ticket, but I am unconcerned with not going to the game.

I feel many other fans feel the same with me. They can not be bothered to go to a semi-meaningless game on a Tuesday night.

The poor performances this season, the managers arrogance surrounding his contract, the lack of passion shown by players, the overall poor management of the club, the embarrassing actions from the club, the manager, the players and the fans. I just can not be bothered.

This unhappiness with the club is why I am not going, why many season ticket holders are not going.

General apathy towards Arsenal.

Boycott

Alongside the general apathy at the club, a boycott has also been called by Arsenal pressure group No New Contract.

Pricing

The club have been greedy categorising the game as Cat B.

To limit the losses on us season ticket holders having larger refunds due to missing out on two cup games, the club made the decision to make Sunderland a Cat B game. It is usually Cat C. This means that the cheapest ticket is £36.50. That is a lot of money for a mid week semi-meaningless game.

I would imagine the majority of these cheapest tickets have already been sold. What is remaining is a lot of upper tier, expensive tickets, the majority of which cost in the region of £50. That is a hell of a lot of money for a semi-meaningless game on a Tuesday night.

The club invited fans to bring along their family and friends. If a father decided to bring his 2 sons (or a mother her 2 daughters, in this PC world we now live in), you would be looking to fork out nearly over £200 by the time you buy 3 tickets, pay for trains, a bit of food, etc. And all this on a school night for a semi-meaningless game.

Had the club have got the pricing right and made it Cat C, then tickets would have been as low as £26. The most expensive would have been £38.50. These would have sold out, and then dissatisfied season ticket holders could have put their ticket on the ticket exchange, which would have also sold out.

The club have messed up big time. In an attempt to limit the refunds for season ticket holders, they will now be embarrassed by having a game in front of a half empty stadium.

Scheduling

The game is semi-meaningless. We have a chance of a top 4, but not much else. It is a pointless game on a Tuesday night. With GCSE’s starting this week, university exams going on, and it being a school night, today was always going to be a hard sell for Arsenal.

Mid week games often have a lower attendance than games on a Saturday. I rarely go to a mid week games. I get up at 5.30am for work. To then go to a game and not get home until gone 11pm, to then still need to have dinner and a shower before bed means that on mid weeker, I do not get to sleep until midnight. That makes it a long day, and then 5 and a half hours later I am back up for work.

I do not even go to big mid-week games. This year I skipped Bayern Munich and PSG. I do not remember the last time I went to a Champions League game.

There are many fans like me. The chaps who sit next to me live in Basingstoke. They do not go to mid week games as the commute is too long for them with work the next day. Same for the chap in front of me who commutes to every game from Birmingham. Then you have the lad from Northampton who sits behind me.

These are not people who should be told to support their local team. They are all North London born season ticket holders who have moved out of the capital for work / family.

A game on a Tuesday or Wednesday means they will not go .They rely on selling their ticket on the Ticket Exchange. But with it not open, there seat, like mine, will remain empty tonight.

The club can not control the scheduling, but they should have reduced the ticket prices to Cat C when it was moved to attract more sales.

Fragile Membership

The club constantly bangs on about how many members it has. The number of gold, silver and bronze members is well over 100,000. Yet when it comes down to it, most of these memberships are unused.

I would actually like to see (and I am sure the club have these statistics) how many memberships have gone unused this season. It seems a lot of fans – especially those abroad – have silver and red memberships without any intention of going to a game. They just enjoy telling their friends in Stockholm, Dubai or Bangkok that they are a member of Arsenal Football Club.

Some may well have used their membership, perhaps been once in 10 years. But essentially their membership is as pointless as the millions of pounds left unspent on Oyster Cards by tourists who took their card home as a souvenir and have no interest in returning to London and using the balance.

An argument could be made that the club should not sell memberships to foreign fans, and if you membership go’s unused, it should be discontinued. But the membership is a revenue scheme.

I would bet that the club brings in between £2.5m – £5m from the renewal of Silver and red memberships. They do not care if the majority go unused as they already have the revenue for them.

A lot of members with cards who have no intention of going to a game. Just like a lot of fans on the season ticket waiting list have no intention of buying a season ticket.

This leaves the club with a fragile membership, and an even bigger reason why the club need to get pricing right.

Expected line up

Cech
Mustafi Gabriel Monreal
Bellerin Elneny Xhaka Gibbs
Ozil Ramsey
Welbeck

Match Odds: Arsenal 1/9 Draw 10/1 Sunderland 25/1
matchedbets.com tip of the game: Danny Welbeck to score 2 or more 3/1

Enjoy the game (if you are going)

Keenos

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The Arsenal Revival Continues

What is it about Arsenal performing once there is little else to play for? We have seen it time and again in recent years, a late end of season run when we have a dozen+ points off the title, off the pace from top 4, and then we put a run together to secure Champions League football.

It is almost as if our mindset changes when we start to be written off in the press. Disregarded by the footballing public. The odds on top 4 extending. And this season it is déjà vu.

After we as a club, a fan base, a team, hit rock bottom on a Monday night 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace, we were all done. It was time to pack up and go home. 4 wins in 12 games, 2 of which were against the might of Sutton United and Lincoln City. After the defeat to Crystal Palace, an FA Cup exit against Manchester City was on the cards.

A month to do the day of that defeat against Crystal Palace and things look a little better. A run of 5 wins in 6 games has seen us get into the FA Cup final and claw back points in the race for the top 4. The only game we dropped points in was that awful defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.

The revival comes as Arsenal moved to the 3-4-2-1 formation.

Personally, I refuse to give Arsene Wenger any credit for changing formation. It is too little too late. And this is where this positive happy blog takes a darker turn.

Just because I am happy Arsenal won, it does not change the fact that Arsene Wenger needs to go.

The fact he took so long to try out another formation is sickening. By the time we moved to 3-4-2-1, the title had gone, finishing ahead of Spurs had gone, we were 6th. Fans have been calling for a change in tactics for years, and it took an awful run for Wenger to react. It sums up Wenger’s second half of his Arsenal career. He is a reactive manager rather than a proactive one.

He follows other teams tactics rather than develops his own. If his side wins a game one week, he puts out the same side the next, not thinking about the opposition. He has struggled. He has been left behind. Winning 5 games from 6 does not suddenly make him a poor manager. Does not justify the 2 year contract that has allegedly already been signed.

Too many of our fans are fickle. The protests have dwindled. The noise on social media hushed. A couple of victories and everyone has fallen back in line. You do not have to be one or the other. You can want the team to win, whilst still calling for the managers head. Still celebrate victories whilst demanding Wenger Out.

I glance across at Juventus and see them in the Champions League final. Their second in 3 years under Massimiliano Allegri. Allegri flirted with leaving Juventus at the end of this season. He has since signed a new contract.

Was it just a power player to get more money from The Old Lady? Or was he genuinely looking to leave? It certainly felt on Tuesday, whilst watching them celebrate making the final, of a bit of Bully “here’s what you could have had”.

Did Wenger’s situation at Arsenal stall the club on making a move of Allegri? How many other top managers will we miss out on as Wenger digs his heels and stays? Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have already gone, Carlo Ancelotti and Unai Emery also recently made moves. Reports are today that Diego Simeone could be making a return to Inter Milan. Another we have missed out on.

Wenger’s arrogance, his ignorance, his stubbornness is damaging Arsenal. It is meaning we can not move one. Then again, if you were due to earn £19m over the next two years, why would you step down?

Lets turn this blog into a shit sandwich and finish on a high.

Beat Stoke on Saturday afternoon and the pressure is on Liverpool on Sunday when they visit West Ham. Victory will leave us a point behind Liverpool, 3 behind Manchester City (assuming they beat Chelsea in the early kick off).

With home games against Sunderland and Everton to finish the season off, you would not beat against us sneaking into the top 4. 8 wins out of 9 will give us great momentum to face Chelsea at the end of the month. And ultimately that is the real trophy.

Give me the FA Cup over top 4, over progression any day of the week.

We are all in this together.

Arsenal Meme and it’s all Embarrassing

It is all just getting a little bit embarrassing isn’t it?

A couple of weeks ago we had Plane Wars as Arsenal banners fought it out in the air space above the Hawthorns. And then this weekend, Arsenal fans dragged the formally class name of the club further into the gutter with their actions.

Firstly we have the van.

Now I fully understand why people are upset, and I kind of understand the logic of having a billboard on a van driving around Holloway. It spreads the word.

One of the best recent protests was the billboard hired by the BlackScarfMovement back in 2011. It was simple, classy and effective.

The van on the other hand, whilst good meaning to the Wenger Out cause, was embarrassing. It lacked class. It ended up looking like Arsenal were on a political campaign. I was half expected a battle bus to turn up with Corbyn on the top deck waving to his followers. Next to him Donald Trump trying to hold on to his toupee. Boris slumped on the bank seat, drunk.

At the protest, fans were being handed out a step by step guide how to protest. How embarrassing and cringey can you become?

Actions included instructions to sign a petition, paying them more money (but they won’t tell you what it is being spent on), tweeting Arsenal sponsors (like the work experience boy who deals with the twitter accounts cares) and sending emails of complaint to the sponsors and partners customer services with #WengerOut at the end of the complaint.

It is all just embarrassing.

We then have fans fighting in the stadium. It made national news. Well done lads.

Then the attack on Arsenal Fan TV outside. Is there anything more embarrassing at Arsenal at the moment than Arsenal Fan TV? A bunch of attention seekers who want to be the centre of everything. One of the plonkers even grabbed a microphone at the protest, recording himself screaming down it. It is all about him, not about the protest.

Arsenal Fan TV getting attacked was actually a positive. They shame and embarrass the majority of Arsenal fans every weekend. The quicker they shut up shop the better. A brilliant concept reduced to embarrassing rants all for profit. None of them care about Arsenal. They only care for the profiles and how much money they can make.

Let the attacks continue!

Fans who record the arguments are perhaps worse than those who are willing to throw punches for their view are those that stand by and record what is happening for a few hits, a bit of attention, for their notifications to go off as their tweet go’s viral.

If two (or more) men (or women) want to has a punch up over their views on Arsenal , I do not actually have a problem – as long as no innocent bystanders get hurt. The problem becomes when people around the altercation get their cameras out. Those recording what is happening are grasses. The police and club no longer need to use CCTV evidence. It is all over Twitter.

The fans who attacked the cast of Arsenal Fan TV had it right when they pointed to the crowds saying they were the problem. People videoing other people videoing some melt doing an ‘interview’, that is embarrassing.

We are grassing on each other, getting each other banned, all for a few hits and 30s of fame.

When it became clear that the ‘In Arsene We Trust’ was paid for by a group of fans in Hong Kong, a lot of fans vented their anger. This was the problem with modern football. Foreign fans interfering. But now we have fans around the globe holding up Wenger Out signs. They have been spotted at events throughout the world, including at Wrestlemania this weekend.

Ignoring the fact that grown men still watch wrestling, which is embarrassing in itself, fans holding up placards at events where Arsenal are not playing is simply embarrassing.

Wenger Out not longer has a message. It is now a Meme.

There have also been responses from fans holding up Wenger In signs, bringing us full circle. The tit for tat infighting is embarrassing.

Arsenal Football Club is now a Meme. We are embarrassing on and off the pitch. We are becoming our own worst enemy.

I actually do not want to go to games for the rest of the season. It has nothing to do with performances on the pitch. Through thick and thin I am Arsenal. It has everything to do with the embarrassing fans off the pitch.

Your actions are shaming yourselves, your club, and your fellow fans.

Stop being an EMBARASSMENT.

Arsenal Football Club are not a Meme.

Keenos