The soundless crowd
Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1
The Emirates, a stadium that holds 60,355 seated football fans. The second highest in the league behind Old Trafford. Probably the most modernistic stadium in the league, construction of the stadium began in February 2004 and was officially opened in October 2006. Its since has accommodated for 117 competitive Arsenal football matches, and yet the crowd seem uninterested, unconcerned, almost blind to the fact their within the confinements of Arsenal Football Club.
Going to a home match was always the best feeling a fan of any age would have, that sense of being in the stadium of your football team, where your surrounded by thousands of others who share the same team, same feelings, same history, same passion as you. However, recently a minority of a majority of fans haven’t felt the required support being asserted from the crowd. The last few home games have been quite frankly frightful performances from the team. The one nill win against West Ham was deserved but was very sloppy, Newcastle well what more can be said? The team didn’t seem to play with the same urgency as they did when Manchester City were outstandingly beaten, or away at Blackburn a place we so frequently struggle to get a result. The team may just be reflecting the ambiance gathered from the home support, that laid back sense of ‘we’ll just be having three points today, thank you’. Yes their professionals and their getting paid quite handsomely for playing football, but part of being a footballer is the support you receive from the fans. It’s no coincidence that the two most successful teams in our country, Manchester United and Liverpool, both have an extremely large fanbase of which some noisy support is ejected from the stands. You always here players speak of the ‘intimidating atmosphere’ around stadiums, football players may be perceived as ‘dumb’ but surely they can’t be making up the emotions they get from the fans in the stands? It makes a difference, there must be a correlation between stadium attendances and the match result for home teams. Otherwise what would the players play for? Why would players buckle under the ‘pressurre’, they know your there sat in the stands, eyes fixed on their every move, their every pass, their every tackle. They can hear the ironic cries of ‘SHOOOOT!’ when they have the ball. They here the pockets of discontent within the opening minutes when a pass is misplaced. They hear the chorus of boos, pelted from the terraces. They don’t thrive on that, they thrive on thousands of their own fans chanting, supporting them as individuals and as a team. The rhythmic noise of the fans flows through their bodies, allowing them to step up and play with an army of fans behind them.
All we ask for is that the next time you decide your going to the Emirates, and you place your arse on that red seat, don’t forget that whilst your watching that movie or completing that crossword. There’s 11 men out there that need your support, and turning up just isn’t enough I’m afraid. You need to be heard.