Arsenal FC have today confirmed that they will cover the cost of one away game for the fans who travelled to Old Trafford yesterday.
After a quiet first half, Arsenal fans sang “we love you Arsenal, we do” repeatedly for a good ten or fifteen minutes in the second half, once the game was beyond them. Sadly for them, United scored three goals in this time, and their singing died down again.
“Sunday’s result was obviously disappointing for everyone connected with the Club. Our travelling fans were magnificent throughout and we want to recognise their fantastic support.”
Whilst the club is certainly trying to make a nice gesture here and appease already disgruntled fans who had the watch the total humiliation first hand, I do wonder what message this sends. When you compare what we heard yesterday with any United away game, it was a poor showing. Obviously, United don’t tend to concede eight goals on the road, so credit to Arsenal fans for not booing, slitting their wrists or calling for Wenger’s head, but there was nothing “fantastic” about their support yesterday.
Away fans are more often than not the hardcore of support, not the people there for a day out. Both Nasri and Fabregas talked of the lack of passion at the Emirates but that is something United fans can relate to to a certain extent at Old Trafford. You have tourists and people there for a day out. But your away fans should be the ones to redeem your support and that is certainly the case for United. You can’t say the same for Arsenal.
I sit in the opposite corner to away fans, so tend to judge how great away support is on whether I can even hear them or not. Arsenal fans were very quiet in the first half but really started singing in the second half. “We love you Arsenal, we do” was that chant of choice and it was sung loudly on repeat for ten or fifteen minutes. Fair play to them. United were banging in the goals throughout this period and they carried on. But once we scored six, they shut up.
If yesterday’s showing was an example of Arsenal’s “fantastic” support, I’d hate to hear them on a bad day. I’m pretty sure their fans would prefer the club bought them a world class player or two, rather than a free ticket to watch that dross again, but what do I know?