Home  >>  News >> Sport >> 

Arsenal Fans’ ’Time for Change’ Protest: 10 things they want to see Happen

On Saturday against Norwich, Arsenal fans have been urged to show their dissatisfaction with the club by holding up banners saying ‘Time For Change’.
Prominent supporters’ group REDAction is behind the protest and the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and Black Scarf Movement have also pledged their support for the public display of frustration.


The protest is not explicitly anti-Wenger - although today’s outburst blaming a "difficult climate" at home games for the club’s failure to challenge for the title - but an attempt to show that fans want the club to take a different direction amid high ticket prices and stagnant performances.

So what is it exactly the supporters want? There is not a complete consensus at the Emirates, but there are some changes that large groups of the club’s faithful want to see.

Fans are disenchanted with the club’s frugal approach to transfers and reluctance, with a couple of exceptions, to spend big on marquee players.

Arsenal is reportedly lining up a £35m bid for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.

Last summer Arsenal didn’t sign a single senior outfield player and two years ago on the cusp of the title; the only January arrival was the injured Swedish veteran Kim Kallstrom on loan.

Losing the dead weight.

In December 2012 Arsenal tied down a British core of players to long-term contracts with the hope that they would be the future of the club.

It hasn’t worked out that way though and of the five that signed deals that day only Aaron Ramsey has come close to fulfilling his potential.

Best of British? Arsene Wenger had such high hopes.

The others - Jack Wilshere, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - have all had a mixed few years and all could be allowed to leave this summer, with the probable exception of Wilshere.

Theo Walcott is another who many fans want to see let go, and although in support of giving young English talent a chance, fans are more concerned with having players of the necessary standard to win the Premier League.

Proper ambition to compete in the Champions League.

For the last six years Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage, and on many of those occasions they’ve been comprehensively outclassed.

Against Barcelona this season they were dumped out 5-1 on aggregate and what upsets the fans is that there is not even an attempt to match the best teams in Europe.

Wenger can say he believes in players but he is not stupid. Did he really think Yaya Sanogo was good enough as a starting striker to beat Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich two years ago? Did he really think a team containing Per Mertesacker and Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Mathieu Flamini coming off the bench, could get past Barca in this season?

Fans want to know why the club seems content on simply qualifying for the Champions League rather than actually winning it, or even getting to the last eight.

Less obsession with the balance sheet.

Rightly or wrongly, the fans’ perception is that the Arsenal board care little for results on the pitch so long as the coffers are well stocked.

It is this attitude that fans believe accounts for the lack of European ambition and reluctance to spend big on stellar players.

Fans stayed away for the home match against West Brom last Thursday.

Shake-up at board-room level.

Arsenal fans are especially disenchanted with majority shareholder ’silent’ Stan Kroenke, who they believe cares little for whether the club is successful on the pitch.

Many Arsenal fans are vehemently anti-Stan Kroenke.

CEO Ivan Gazidis is similarly unpopular, especially as like Kroenke, supporters believe he allows Wenger to do exactly as he pleases.

A new manager.

Though Saturday’s protest is not specifically anti-Wenger, clearly the manager’s future is fundamental to the direction the club is going in.

Broadly there are three schools of thought in the Wenger debate: One says he should be sacked, one says he should be allowed to stay but hopes he will resign in the summer, one believes he is still the right man for the job.

Things look bleak for Wenger.

There is no consensus but there are precious few people who are in the third category and more and more think he should be sacked at the end of the season.

Better scouting.

Leicester City’s remarkable season has been built on players cheaply bought like N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez - precisely the sort of signings Arsenal used to make.

Wenger even admitted earlier in the season that he had overlooked Kante, prompting disbelief from the club’s supporters.

Arsenal overlooked N’Golo Kante last summer.

Many believe the problem lies in deficiencies with the club’s scouting system, and Arsenal did in fact bring in Ben Wrigglesworth from Leicester earlier in the season as first team video scout in an attempt to improve the club’s recruitment and analysis.

What supporters can’t understand is how Wenger can say he hasn’t bought a new striker because the quality is not out there. How they wonder can Arsenal’s set of scouts not have found a better replacement for Robin van Persie than Olivier Giroud in the last four years?

More commitment from the players.

As well as Leicester, Arsenal fans have looked on enviously at rivals Tottenham, and especially the way their players seem totally committed to the cause.

Player for player Arsenal are superior to Leicester and Spurs and yet they trail them both by 12 and 5 points respectively.

Last week against Sunderland Theo Walcott appeared to jump out of a challenge with Sunderland’s Younes Kaboul when an almost certain goal was his if he had collected the ball.

For many it was a gutless move that summed up exactly what is wrong with Arsenal currently, at a time when every single Leicester and Spurs player seems to be giving everything for the cause.

A different mindset.

A recurring theme for Arsenal has been the way they have defended naively and thrown away promising positions.

Yet again this season, Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot by gifting their opponents goals with lapses in concentration or by over committing.

In the Champions Leg against Barcelona, Arsenal were in a decent position at 0-0 in the first leg after 70 minutes but bombed forward as if desperately needing a goal, and were mercilessly picked off by Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Arsenal still give goals away too easily.

A damning stat for Arsenal is they have scored an impressive 10 goals in away matches at Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham this season, and yet due to woeful defending not won any of those games.

It’s been the same pattern for almost every year since 2005 and drives the club’s supporters to distraction, who feel a more pragmatic attitude is essential.

More appropriate ticket prices.

A bugbear almost since they moved to the Emirates in 2006, Arsenal supporters are incensed with what they are feel are extortionate ticket prices.

Discontent is growing at the Emirates.

Arsenal have comfortably the most expensive tickets of any club in the country, which is pricing out many of the club’s fans and feeding the perception that there is a complete disconnect between the board and the supporters.

Under pressure from supporters, Gazidis confirmed in January that prices would be frozen for next season, but the memory of recent price hikes still angers disgruntled fans.

By Robert Muriisa, Sky Sports.

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

Leave your comment

Your Name

Your Email

Your comment

Close X