Tuesday 9 November 2010

Are You A Fan Or A Supporter?

All day (in-between work off course) I have been intrigued in the on going debate about the differences between a fan and a supporter.

I will not go into analysing the game or provide a match report because others are far more qualified to provide one; however, I do want to dig into the issue of fans and supporters and also the general atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.

Being present at every single home game this season and most home games for several years, the atmosphere is something that comes into question quite often by other fans and now has even become a talking point with our own fans.

The game on Sunday against Newcastle was a bad one if you’re a follower of Arsenal football club. The week in general was a poor one. Funny how one week we win at the City of Manchester stadium and at St James’s Park then the next week we lose back to back against Shakhtar and at home to Newcastle.

The atmosphere was shocking on Sunday against Newcastle, their was no noise, chants were not lasting very long and at times it was even a struggle to hear two claps in a row! People that were not there may think I am exaggerating but I assure you, I am not!

Me being me, I tried to start some chants up and the lad next to me always joined in but apart from him and my mate who came to the game with me, no one else seemed interested! It was a struggle to even clap to chants for some people!

Yesterday, I heard many reasons on why the atmosphere is so bad and suggestions on how the atmosphere can be improved. Some say because of the increase in ticket prices since the move from Highbury, it has meant some of the working class followers are priced out of the market and been replaced with either the upper class (who some have said rather do crosswords then watch games) or new comers who are so used to success that when it does not come, they get frustrated. Suggestions wise, I have heard that the club level should be removed in the north bank and clock end, season ticket holders who sing should be separated covering each block and to remove the sales of pies and hot dogs so people are forced to sing rather then eat! Some have also called for some sort of an anthem for the club, where people can really get involved and sing up, like at Anfield when ‘you’ll never walk alone’ is played and sung. Even in the away section, I have shivering when listening to the Kop sign their anthem when I was visiting Anfield.

Some of the suggestions could work. Some suggestions were light hearted (like the pies and hot dogs) but some were deadly serious. To re-arrange the stadium would prove very difficult as the club level is quite established with season ticket holders and moving normal season ticket holders would be hard because each block has a different price etc.

I did think the price factor in general was important. Being someone who goes to every home game and quite a few away games, it sometimes is a struggle. With the Emirates, many new comers have come to watch games live and getting chants together are getting harder and harder. The prices I paid at Highbury were much less then the prices I am paying at the Emirates. I do feel sorry for kids between the ages of 16-21 because football is an expensive business. When you’re young, you get concessions but once you are over 16 years of age, prices increase and for students, it is very difficult to attend many games. So that is a reason for the lack of atmosphere because the same crowd do not always attend games and even though the stadium is always sold out, the crowd varies so people cannot learn songs as they do not go often enough.

I understand that some people may just be to shy to sing up or some may not know the words but the least they can do is clap along, there has been times at games, where I have started a song with a mate and people have stared at us like we are speaking a different language. Sometimes, if people do not get to away games, they may not have heard some of the songs but chants like ‘Arsenal’ ‘Arsenal’ ‘Arsenal, when a corner is awarded is not even being sung anymore.

My dream is to run and manage a fans group where every member has to take a test, which includes singing a song (the na na na na na Sammy Nasri song would do!) It would be nothing major but would be for people that CARE about the club, I would want young people with fresh ideas, I would want the older generation that have the knowledge and experiences from watching the Arsenal for years and also have the middle aged people who have seen a lot but want to do something extra to help the club; but for now, that’s just a dream!!

The fan and supporter thing did make me think. For me, a fan is someone who likes the club but a supporter is someone who loves the club. The fan will come to watch the team and be entertained but a supporter will come to do exactly what the name says, support the team. A fan will be loud and proud in the good times but a supporter will be loud and proud in the bad times. A fan will sing when we are winning but a supporter will sing when we are losing despite how badly. Before this turns into a poem, I will stress, that this is only my opinion. Until this morning, I thought a fan and a supporter is the same thing but after listening to other people on twitter, I think there is a slight difference.

Call me arrogant but I think I am a supporter.

I have always been keen to listen to people older then myself about how life at Arsenal used to be and always want to learn more about the history of the club. I do feel that younger fans, the same age as me, have been spoiled because they are so used to having success. Being 22 years old, I gained an interest in football and Arsenal in 1995 and from 1996, I have been a keen follower of the club, so Mr Wenger is practically all I know, however, I have learned about the history of the club. I was very used to success because of the double in 1998, the cup finals in 1999 and 2001, and the double in 2002 and off course the unbeaten season in 2004 which was followed by the FA Cup the year after. Even the Champions League final run was very special. Even though I have been spoiled, I have never taken it for granted and that’s something others must not do. Before the title win in 1989, there was limited success. The last time the league was won (before 89) was in 1971 where Arsenal did the double. So the club went from 1971 to 1989 without a league title, Arsenal did win the FA Cup in 1979 and the League Cup which was known as the Littlewoods Cup in 1987 where the record of Liverpool always winning when Rush scored first was broken but that was it when it came to silverware in between 1971 and 1989. That puts this drought from 2005 to 2010 in perspective.

The club is well run, the finances are in order and we do not rely on Russians, Sheikhs or Americans for investment. We built a brand new training ground and a stadium rather then getting one for next to nothing like certain teams have or will (you can have your commonwealth games and Olympic Games stadium’s because we built our own!) So sometimes you have to deal with the bad times (even though some would argue, being in the top four every season and playing in the Champions league isn’t all bad) to get the good times.

So if success is the reason why there are more ‘fans’ then ‘supporters’ or why the crowd are so quiet then some sort of perspective is needed. As a supporter, I will be ‘loud and proud’ every time I watch the Arsenal, never mind the score line.

I would love the Emirates to be rocking like it was for that Champions League game against Manchester United (for a few minutes at least) or rocking like it was when Thierry Henry scored the winner in the 93rd minute against the same opponents Manchester United.

I know Highbury was known as a library but that season when we got to the Champions League final (last season at Highbury) was special. The atmosphere before, during and after the game against Madrid, Juve and Villarreal was unreal.

The best atmosphere I have seen was in 2004 when we beat Liverpool after Thierry scored his second goal when he ran through the Liverpool defence. We had just lost to Manchester United and Chelsea in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively so there was a big sense of relief about the victory because it set us up for the league title and off course we ended up going through the whole season unbeaten, an achievement which has never got the praise it deserved. The longer time goes on and the longer this record is never matched, people will see how special the unbeaten season really was.

I have gone on a bit in this post as the subject was suppose to be about the atmosphere at the Emirates but it has ended up being a bit of a rant. There is no offence meant to anyone in the blog because we all want the same thing. We want the team to win and therefore I would like to see the atmosphere improved at the Emirates because I feel it can help.

Having a good atmosphere can only be a positive for the team. The Kop at Liverpool is a great example, I am convinced that the Kop has won Liverpool games, the energy they provide during games has urged their players on and they truly are like a 12th man. Even though Pompey is in bags of trouble, I was most impressed when visiting Fratton Park because of the atmosphere; they really did get behind their team. We saw it last week at Shakhtar too how intimidating an atmosphere can be.

Let’s try and get behind the team and get back on track. I will not be at Wolves but will be present at Everton but let’s support the team like usual and especially on our travels, because our away support is brilliant. Let’s help the team bounce back and let’s try and add some silverware to the honours list!

Come on you Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Great post Akhil! I made the same distinction between 'fan' and 'supporter' but was told I had got it the wrong way around..I don't think so, it's is exactly as you say - it's even in the name 'support'

  2. Good blog Aks...agree totally

  3. thanks guys. LadyArse, thanks as always, its a matter of opinion though,not saying in any way i am right.

    Cheers King P!

  4. Interesting post.

    With the size of the stadium and the seating now established I think its a very hard problem to solve.

    Having been to only a couple of away games my experience of other stadiums is limited, but, I am not sure it is any different at other clubs grounds. The away support are normally the only ones that really sing and the home crowd wake up for the goals.

    With the 20,000 extra seats over Highbury (which was rarely loud) we have added alot of new people who were never able to go before. A fair chunk of those will be "part time" and will pick and choose the games attended, which at the cost of going who can blame them.

    One idea would be to increase the percentage of season tickets sales, but the gaps at many of the recent games (and then full attendance declared) shows many may be part of the problem now.

    Another would be to have a middle price point for 17 - 25 year olds to encourage a younger mix, but the result would be less gate money and therefore less profits.

    We get to witness (most times) some of the best football in europe and pay a high price to do so. Like it or not football is "entertainment" as well as a passion and that is why AFC have no trouble in "selling out" when Chelsea struggle. As entertainment the crowd need something to happen before they interact (goal, bad tackle). The rest of the time we enjoy the show.

  5. Great comment Dom. enjoyed reading it. I agree, in every ground, the away section is always louder but feel the arsenal home support is slightly worse then other grounds. You are right though because every ground has the same sort of issue but i think ours is just a little worst.

    Price is a massive issue and as i said on the post, i cant really argue with people who cannot make it because of it, it is very expensive and i dont blame people. I am at a age and in a situation where i can go, i will try and go my whole life but no one knows what is around the corner, i may not be able to afford it one day.

    Sometimes you are right, crowd need something to happen before they cheer and chant but when the games are tight and things are not happening, to much fustration is shown and if i was playing, i wouldnt think it would help much.

    thanks for your comment, really enjoyed reading it. its certainly a hard issue to solve!

  6. I started watching football since 2002 and I can see the difference in highbury and the emirates stadium. Though emirates is twice big in comparison to highbury the atmosphere level is not even close to 20%. I'm a supporter . Hope all arsenal lovers do their best to improve the atmosphere after arsenaltried the arsenalization!

  7. Good post.

    When I do get to games (not as often as I would like) I am always annoyed by the lack of passion. Last game of the season last year I sat in the lower North bank, It was a good atmosphere, albeit the game was `after the lord mayors show`

    When I went to the West Brom game and me and my son even moved seats (from the upper west) to find a bloody atmosphere.

    I think half the problem is Arsenal being based in London is it has become a sort of tourist attraction.

    "Oh were in London, so lets do the London eye, the O2 arena & the Emirates"

    As a result not many visitors (In my opinion) know the chants, history or meaning of the games.
    It`s a shame, as I would sell a left bollock to get a season ticket to go to every home game. Still, food & shelter for the family come first.

    I think to encourage more participation they should at least insist on scarves & hats in the clubs colours. Too many grey dour faces who are as you say, filling in the Times crossword.

    Daryl booth

  8. Hi Akhil,

    Great post. I have been following Arsenal from 2002 and I must say, This s one of the best posts. I am from India and would love to see a match in Emirates one day. But when I come, I promise u that I will be shouting non stop from start to end.

    We love Arsenal...We love Arsenal!!!

  9. Thanks all, Daryl, as you said, somethings are more important but the fans that are in the ground could make a bit more of an effort. Clapping to chants is a start! I do think the Emirates has become a tourist attraction too as its so new. Club Colours help, flags help, scarfs etc, the Man utd game because of those flags was buzzing! it was fantastic! it was a big game so everyone was excited but at the moment, every game is big! im just as nervous before the west broms, newcastles of the world as when we play chelsea and united!

    Thanks maheshfab and Rajasimhan for your comments too.

  10. As u mentioned the man u game in UCL being filled with electric atmosphere , it was mr.wenger asking the fans to make an awesome atmosphere , well he can't be saying that again and again . Too many newcomers is not nice forth atmosphere but is good revenue wise , new steps for arsenalization of the stadium could be started by mr.wenger himself.

  11. Would be great but only so much Mr Wenger can do. He should control the team and us as supporters should try and make things better in the ground

  12. Also have to ask, are the club fans or supporters of those who come? Look how long it has taken them to make the stadium a 'home', then look at the attitude of the players that walk away and don't recognize those that come to watch, then look at the high prices, then look at the rough stewards, then look at the club not giving those that come a voice to air what they want.

    The fans/supporters aren't stupid. You say the club is well run, but do they listen to us? Will the club be prepared to take a hit financially to create a good environment? Will they be prepared to ask those who want to sing to move to certain sections?

    No because all they want is pound and pence, and bottoms on seats to achieve that.

    I think it is unfair just analysing us fans, the club or the players don't get examined as well, let alone the coach and board.

  13. The original song for when we have a corner is COME ON YOU REDS.I will tell you why the football experience has completely gone,for one there are far to many women going these day's,2 your average man has been priced out and instead you have got some complete lemon who takes his crossword,or pack of sweets with him and passes them around like they are on some picnic,this is football f.f.s where were these people when it was kickigng off on the terraces and outside,i tell you where they were,to scared to attend football matches,football is for your WORKING CLASS MAN not these rich pratts who think this is some lovely day out at the footy,fcuk off back to rugby.

  14. Thanks for your comment mate.

    The reason why i am concentrating on us as fans/supporters is because we can only do what we can control. The club part is beyond my control so i didnt concentrate on it, BUT you do have a point.

    When you build a fantastic new stadium like this, its always going to hit the pockets hard because it needs to be paid back. All the making it a home by re naming the stands, the clock etc, is all in the mind in my opinion and hasnt really made much of a difference. The players do clap the fans at the end, some more then others. I do have a issue with them at away games though because often they have not come to us after a defeat or a draw and that is harsh because we travel for hours to watch them and when they do not come, it does upset us.

    Ive never come across any problems with stewards but that may just be luck. I agree there is no real way of getting points to the club apart from fans group. Are you apart of any?

    Moving people gets complex because it would take a major thing to start moving people and if some are moved, others will argue because they may be paying more then the person sitting next to them etc and it gets confusing.#

    But in regards to your general point, the club dont do enough and do need to do more, but the reason why i have not spoken about them is because i have no control over them. I can only do what i can do. Thats more a job for the Fans group and shareholders.

    thanks for your comments though, i am sure many agree with you, all about opinions at the end of the day.

  15. m8 i know people who only go to away games because of the p,poor support at home.

  16. Yeah, well i make a big effort to go to away games because i enjoy them more too, i still go to every home game but enjoy away games much more.

  17. No mate, I'm not part of any fan groups, i am not rich enough to be in one, £10 just for membership is steep for me at the moment.

    However I know those that are involved in them, and the voice they do have is not listened to in general. Gazidis says he will listen, and the best they can come up with is painting pictures and renaming stands and a replica clock? That is all cosmetic, we need to address these issues head on, it's becoming a cancer.

    I disagree on moving seats, at the start of the season, send circulars out on who wants a singing section, who is a vociferous supporter, and then group them all as close as possible, top and bottom stands. We are all supposed to be one movement, one body, but the truth is, the club has one idea, the fans another, the team another.

    The club want to pinch pennies, the fans want new players & performances, the team expect us to treat them like gods.

    The fans will sing their hearts out and get behind them if the team would put 100% in, not turn up and expect to win. There is lost trust now, and the only way back is if we all, club-team-fans unite and resolve this issue head on.

    We can theorize on who is a fan or supporter, or if we should sing and not boo, the fact is it has gone on for a long time, and collectively we haven't resolved it. It's a collective failure.

  18. The idea about doing it in the summer is a good one, certainly cant happen mid season but in the summer there could be a big revamp....wouldnt be easy but perhaps do-able.

    Understand what your saying. all good points and matter of opinions.

    Thanks for the comments.

  19. think this is not an easy issue to solve, the importance placed on commercial side of the ticket sales, i.e cooperate boxes etc has contributed greatly for this..I came across a suggestion about having a signing stand, cant remember by whom on twitter, and for me that sounds right, we need more songs and chants and your nasri song is a beginning of that..we need to pick up

  20. yeah having a stand or a block or 2 that are just for signing would be good,as long as the same people come to every game,hard to organise but id certainly be apart of it!!

  21. Just thinking about the earlier comment about me saying the club is well run, there is an arguement about the club listening to fans or not, but at the same time, we should not forget, what this club does for its fans. I am not an expert on other clubs but here we have:

    2 Members day for fans where they can watch the squad train.

    Players QnA and Signing sessions on these members days.

    Various other QnA sessions throughout the season

    Players signings at the Armory during the season

    Various parties for young fans i.e Jun Gunners.

    Audience with....older players of the club.

    Manager comes out and talks to the shareholders of the club TWICE a year in the AGM and Shareholders meeting.

    Ivan Gadizas does his annual QnA with the AST

    I am sure i have missed a few but there are many positives and things the club does for us, the fans.

    Just wanted to throw that into the mix too.....

  22. Excellent blog but I want to add my voice about the responsibility of the club on this issue.

    There's been lots of condemnation of the home support since the Newcastle game on twitter and on blogs like this -- all of which I agree with. Many of us gooners talk about the horrible home support we have so this isn't a new subject.

    However I do think we all focus a little too much on the fans and enuf on the club itself. The home atmosphere cannot be improved WITHOUT THE CLUB'S HELP.

    If we really want to improve this situation, then fan groups must seriously challenge the club to listen: change the draconian stewarding policies for one, come up with ideas to at least have cheering/chanting fans sitting closer together, and so on. The club prioritizes the big money customers (who are just that--customers, not supporters) and gives far less attention to the supporters. I know they have to do this up to a point - but look at the result.

    There's lots the club can do to improve all this. Either fan groups take this up with the club or we'll just keep tweeting and blogging forever about the poor home support. Because none of the idiots who abuse our players, leave early or just sit there silent when they need to be cheering our players on will respond to any blogs scolding them for their conduct. They don't read blogs like this and they don't give a damn.

  23. When we played at Highbury, I use to sit in the Clock End. The working class stand. I could bore you with a lot of funny stories from that stand over the years. It was always a pleasure being in the Clock End for home games. Now we are at the Emirates, how times have changed!

    Marcus, who posted just above this one, made a point I've been talking about for a few years now. The Emirates has too many customers. Sure, the money they bring it helps brings the debt down but, sadly, it's at the expense of the atmosphere. Too many people turn up at the Emirates sitting on their hands waiting to be entertained. In my opinion, the atmosphere wasn't helped when the club handed out free season tickets to anyone who brought property at Highbury Square or Hornsey Road over supporters who are on the season ticket waiting list.

    It's got a lot worse this season. I have people in my section booing Nicky Bendnter whenever he comes off the bench. That's support eh! Stupid individual comments are common at the Emirates. However, at the end of Sunday's game, I hear things took a turn for the worse:

    A small group of so-called 'supporters' chanted "Wenger, this is all your fault"

    Really? Has it really come to this? A bad atmosphere and not getting behind the boys is bad enough. Singing songs against the manager is a whole new low in support. I've never heard anything like that at Arsenal before. That's the sort of thing that mob in N17 would do. Not us!

    It's sad to say but, I don't think there is much we can do to improve the atmosphere. Too many regulars at the Emirates are set in their ways. Turn up, look to be entertained, no singing, leave.

    The best atmosphere I remember at the Emirates was when we beat Tottenham 3-1 in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg in 2007. The reason? A lot of supporters who don't usually get to go to home games were able to get tickets for this game. It made for an incredible atmosphere.

    Arsenal's away support is one of the best in the country. I doubt we'll ever say the same about our home support.

    Oh my beloved Clock End. How I miss you...

  24. Thanks marcus and stevie for your comments.

    Marcus, you are right, i dont think there is anything we can do without the help of the club.

    Stevie, i agree about the season ticket thing, you may have people who really dont give a damn about the club with a free season ticket.

    The jeering on our own players has always angered me. It would have never happened in the oldern days.

    I was talking earlier about the point you made stevie about the carling cup. I was at that spurs game and you were right and id imagine the same will apply to wigan at home. Fans who cant attend games will attend and want to sing their hearts out. I think we may get a decent atmosphere that night. I certainly hope we do to prove a point that it can be done!

    A singing section is the most talked about but its very tough to do it now as people are set. When the ground opened it may have been the time.

    I just hope the wigan game proves a point, even if its a small one.

  25. Good post Akhil, me and my mate are season ticket holders and sit in the clock end upper, just to the left of the goal. I agree with some of the reasons you have highlighted about the lack of atmosphere in a lot of the games. I just wanted to raise an issue which nobody else has seemed to notice at the ground. Since the opening of the Emirates, both me and my mate have noticed that many who sit around us aren't even Arsenal fans. On numerous occasions, fans of the opposing team have sat next to, behind, or in front of us. Over the last few seasons, these have included, Manure, Villa, Man City, West Ham and even last week, two Newcastle fans. This leads to a distinct lack of noise around us when we get in the opposition half, or go close to scoring, and when the opposition score I can even hear some cheering. This has an effect on the atmosphere around me, not to mention that it may actually be dangerous for opposing fans if we were that way inclined. I really don't know what Arsenal could do to stop this, as it would be impossible to identify opposition fans unless they were wearing their teams shirt or colours. Sorry for ranting, but this is an issue which both me and my mate are becoming increasingly annoyed with.

  26. Great blog Akhil, and some great comments all around. It really highlights to me that we are in a truly pivotal stage for the future of this football club for the next century. In 2300 when we build our first floating, I imagine a new generation of fans will be the ones talking about similar issues.

    Akhil talks about people taking the success of Wengers first 6 years for granted. I made the fatal error of ignoring the team (but saying I was a fan) until they caught my attention in Christmas 2007, when we were a shoe in for the league. I've only truly known the Arsenal that comes close but suffers year in year out. I'd gladly trade decent A levels with seeing us win the CL at Wembley

    I think he makes a valid point, and the people that do recognise the success need to understand what's happened to the club over the past 5 years before they start booing Nicklas Bendtner and baying for Arsenes blood.
    The most important thing is that we can be patient with the team, and never let our support waver, no matter what the situation. It's only a matter of time Gooners...

  27. Hi Akhill, I've posted twice already here!

    Seems the theme of the club needing to play a part is one that many seem to agree with me.

    You listed some of the things the club does like members day, Q&A sessions, but aren't these things the club should be doing anyway? I don't think we should pay to see 1 training session, make it fully open and then get folk to buy merchandise. In my view, the club has become a place where if and only you have money are you welcome, others aren't welcome. Pre-Emirates, the club would be so fan friendly, not so much now :( .

    If we are really well run, look at German/French clubs, they have free end of season gatherings, open training sessions, lots of access to players throughout the season. Our boys are just there for 90mins, and then we wait until they play again. There is a reason why the Liverpool/Chelsea/Utd players are rarely booed en masse, their players have lots of access to fans. My mate at Chelsea says seeing Lampard around is easy and he is very accessible, even after a loss, our lot go quiet and run away.

    If the club charges high prices, people will expect the prices to reflect the product, once you decide to be an entertainment team, if you don't, you get jeered.

    Sorry to keep rambling, but this is a serious issue for me, i love the club as much as the next man, but this is not the club i fell in love with.

  28. Great blog Akhil. I'm a @CanadianGooner and have been a fan since the early 90's. One of the thongs that initially drew me to the EPL was the incredible atmosphere ie. the singing/chanting ect. I've been to Hignbury and the Emirates and I've seen the difference even since moving from our old home. We HAVE tk ring back the singing and we have to do it soon before it gets any worse! I'm with you Akhil and I'm behind you every step of the way! Also, trying my damndest to build a solid Canadian network of Gooners so give me a twitter follow if you can as every follower helps my cause! @CanadianGooner
    Keep it up Akhil, see you in the stands!

  29. The guy who posted about player accessibility, I think the club does a decent job of that, get an ATVO sub and you'll realise just how much the club tries to forge a link between players and fans.

    Akhil is always around the stadium and has pictures with most of the squad so he can comment on the day to day presence better than I can.
    Don't think that it has any bearing on the atmosphere though. Atmosphere is something that is triggered from nowhere. Plus, the kind of people that go to members days are already making what noise they can.

  30. Ario, there is a big difference, on ATVO, it is just the presenter and the player, Arsenal with Arsenal, not with a fan in person.

    You hear the likes of Evra, as much as some fans at Arsenal hate the man, he goes out by his own free will to meet Utd fans, he says it makes him understand who he is playing for, what the club is about, that is why despite all his bad games recently, have you heard any bad words spoken of him? Ever hear him get booed? No because the fans know he breathes Utd, makes himself accessible and they trust him.

    Fabianski, Almunia, Denilson (granted he doesn't speak good english) etc etc, hear them come out of their own free will to meet us fans to know what we are about?

    Compare this team to Invincibles, they made themselves very accessible so we never got hard on them, we knew they breathedthe ethos of the club, we knew them, we trusted them.

    We don't know many of these players, they have little connection with the fans as a team, do they know who they are playing for every week?

    Without understanding that, they won't reflect it on the pitch, and it makes the divide bigger between the team and fans.

  31. Ano, thanks for comments. Im glad the debate has got to you as much me!

    In regards to the club being the only ones that can really help the atmosphere is something i can only agree with, only so much we can do.

    As to players etc, i must admit, I dont know what other clubs do, i wasnt aware that many other clubs did all the training sessions etc, i see the odd one on ssn like villa and newcastle, but not sure how often they do it etc.

    I can only speak for our players really and some of them after a defeat do stop for fans. Bac Sagna is my personal favorite because i have met him many times before and he is always polite. There are some that just get the hell out of there, dont want to name names, because they are our players but i will admit some just are not the type to talk to fans, but im sure every club has some like that.

    I was under the impression that other clubs do not do all the QnA and stuff etc but maybe i am wrong, will have to check that. It is an interesting point but personally i feel the club do enough and was under the impression they do more then other clubs.

    Ario, AVTO do a few things like the audience withs and the members sections do the QnAs so they do try. The photos i have got are a mix from them and some from just hanging about really! But ill assure you, some players do stop and talk to fans and some dont but its like that with most clubs i would think.

    Warren, ill happy give you a shout out on twitter, keep the community going. Great to have fans everywhere, thats what makes the club globel!

    Thanks all for comments. great debate

  32. excellent post mate ..
    really like it ..

    though i slightly have a different take then yours ..

    my view is that singing is not the only form of showing your support for your club .. yes, its probably the best way to show that you care and show your doing best to contribute but its not the only way ..

    In my eys its a little unfair to say the so called "fans" dont love the club and they only like it .. only a minority is like that i feel.

    In there minds "the so called fans i mean .." they think paying for there seats is showing support, taking time off to come and attend is showing support, and for some they might not think singing is all that important .. they might think the atmosphere is fine and ok as it is in fact .. and that there is enough people doing the chanting n singing for them not to be involved ..

    Now am not saying they are right, am just saying it doesnt mean they are not supporters or they dont love arsenal just as much as the singing people love the club ..

    Al Amoudi

  33. Oh i agree with you Al, when i say fans and supporters, i mean, most of the people that come to watch arsenal are supporters, only a small sections are more fans and just like the club. Most of the crowd are supporters because as you said, they pay their money and come. Singing isnt for everyone but clapping to chants wouldnt go a miss sometimes.

    I met someone in a pub before a game who was a season ticket holder in club level. Asked him about the team and talked a little bit about history and he said , 'if im honest, i dont live to far so managed to get a season ticket and come when i can and sell my ticket when i dont come'. That to me said, he can afford a season ticket, but did he really care? i was not convinced, that to me is more of a fan, like he did say he supported arsenal, but dont think he loved the club. Thats just 1 example, but tits only a small section but i reckon there are people like that.

    Its a complex situation and no one is right or wrong, matter of opinion really.

  34. Charlie, sorry meant to reply before. I know what you mean, i had a Sunderland fan 3 seats away from me on sunday!!!

  35. In the old days when supporters could stand anywhere it allowed huge groups of mates to meet up at the same spot every game, usually they had a few beers inside them and so the chanting was 'loud & proud'. Thats gone now, you might be at the same game as your mates and all of you might be tanked up but because everyones so spread out the chants die. The only way I can see it changing is having blocks of seats designated 'singing sections' and when these seats are bought it is understood that you are required to sing if you sit there! I expect this blog will be brought up on Arsenal T.V tomorrow, why dont you and Tom start a petition if this idea makes sence. Oziam Gooner.

  36. Footnote. With the Arsenal badge tattoo'd on one shoulder and a son named Brady I would say I'm a supporter!

  37. Oziam, you are right, sitting with mates always helps, i travel with 2 mates but we all sit seperate and we chant together in the pub but at the ground we get seperated. sitting in a group always helps.

    anonymous, i love it mate,sond called brady! class! i want to name mine thierry as thats the era i know or even Marc or patrick, not sure if ill be allowed!! good on ya though!

  38. Hi Akhil, worth reading about this article and it is really proved who we are.

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  39. Why aren´t we singing this song when the players are marching in?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ld2kOPDBGs (maybe we can skip the first part) I think that would be perfect!

    Maybe this will offend anyone, but I think the best thing who can happen would be if safe standing terraces could be allowed on Premier League stadiums. England can learn much from the German Bundesliga. I´m from Sweden and we still got standing terraces on our stadiums. It works almost perfectly during the matches. Sometimes there are some conflicts after the Stockholm derby matches. But it´s more often than not good atmosphere during the matches in the Swedish premier division. I know why you haven´t got any standing sections in England (Hillsborough disaster..), but come on it was over twenty years ago, it´s time to give it a try!
    Even UEFA wants standings. Their new rules says that atleast 80 % of a stadium`s capacity should be seats. That means 20 % standings (simple math).
    Maybe we can do something together with the other supportergroups in the Premiership. We can start a big campaign or something. If we do something together we can affect the government and FA.
    The atmosphere is way better when there are standings!
    At last, take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N66jOVp6lc. It would be lovely to see that on Emirates.
    (I´ve never been at a premiership match, I´m still a little too young. So maybe my suggestions sounds naive to you, but realistic to me.)

  40. The main reason the standing was taken out was because of fan violence, fans from other clubs could easier inter-mingle with home support and the fights would start. The main aim was to take the home teams 'end' and not be moved! When i was younger i was involved, now i wouldnt want to take my kids into an enviroment that i couldnt control. Im all for safe standing areas, but how do you keep them safe? Oziam.

  41. Great post on the important subject of singing and amosphere, I wish I had time to read all the comments too.

    It IS important because the louder our support the more the players get fired up. When we sing and roar we're practically with them on the pitch, ready to tackle the opponents, take the pass, make that run and score that goal. The players feel our passion and and it gives them strength. We're Upper North Bank and quite vocal and for me it's a big part of the fun. I love the singing and banter. I think you made a good point about people not being able to attend games and them being less affordable. We've got season tickets but we're not in London and don't have work cover any more so whereas we followed Arsenal to all the home, away and European games 3 years ago, last season we only manaegd all the home games and a few away. This season we've been able to get to 7 games. It breaks our hearts but there's no option when you've got to work. The guys I go with are so loud the people in front jump! So if there are lots like us not going it's bound to have an effect. Another point, it's been commented on plenty of times that the singing section aren't singing. And I think they get cheaper tickets? They should be MADE to sing.

    About the fan v supporter question I always thought of a fan as short for fanatic so I'm confused now :)

    Ann Patey

  42. Thanks Ann.

    To be honest, the fan and supporter thing was just used to stir it up a bit. I dont even know if theres a difference!

    with the recession and current climate, you cant blame people for not being able to come because providing for yourself and family must come first. I have mates who had season tickets but regularly have to sell their tickets because they just are short of money.

    Im not sure about the signing section, i didnt think there was one.

    A good atmosphere can only help, the chelsea game was amazing and the result went with it.

    It is a hard one to change though.

    thanks for comments


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