Why Arsenal fans to stay away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV’s Robbie Lyle and more to discuss

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Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Seeing the empty seats at the Emirates stadium has become the norm in recent months in the Premier League, Arsenal meanders to the end, but why would fans stay away?

The attendance of the Arsenal home games in the League decreased from gunners ‘ 3-0 defeat Manchester city in early March, when many season ticket holders wanting to miss games against Watford, Stoke city and even in the Europa League quarterfinals will compete with CSKA.

But what are the reasons for the fans of absences?

On the eve of Arsene Wenger’s side match with West ham, who lives in the sky sports Premier League on Sunday skysports.com asked former gunners Paul Merson and Alan Smith, Islington Gazette Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif, Gunnerblog’s James McNicholas and on ArsenalFanTV ‘s Robbie Lyle for their views…

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Arsenal vs West ham

APR 22, 2018 1:00 PM

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Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

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Players not good enough

Paul MERSON: you watched the first half of the game against Stoke in their last home game? That’s why! The performances just weren’t good enough. The fans pay big money and they have high players on the field. Too many of them are not good enough to play for the football club “Arsenal”.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

This team can beat these teams like Stoke at home, but the fans make their point by staying away. It is always dangerous to managers and clubs. I know they sold season tickets, but that’s not good. It’s very rare to see the Emirates half empty.

You’d have to ask the fans for the reasons they not going to, but they do pay a lot of money. When Arsenal played at Highbury, they have 38,000 fans, and it was £50 a ticket. They were Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Marc Overmars, Sol Campbell, Lauren, Jens Lehmann – I just listed however many world-class players. Then they move to a stadium with almost double the fans, and almost two times more to get in almost, and if you can name three world-class players who play for Arsenal you have done well. So what happened? I am truly worried for Arsenal at the moment, but on the other hand, if they win the Europa League, it’s a great season.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Fans are tired of

Robbie Lyle: I think there’s a lot of apathy. Fans just tired, and they’ve had enough. They saw a lot of the same problems continue year after year and at the moment they are voting with their feet.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

People who are far away-it’s season ticket holders. There are some circumstances, as having a great Sunday kick-off, but saying that in previous years we had games in the League Cup, that continues to be sold out. Every game was sold out and you couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money. Empty seats show that there is a problem and it can’t be ignored.

I personally don’t like people to stay away. I think you have to be there and to always try and get behind their team, but I understand it. There are a lot of fans thinking that they have not seen changes both on and off the field that they wanted, and they feel that they are ignored when they raise these questions.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Ian Wright said he was pleased that the Arsenal fans have left from the game against Stoke city last weekend to protest against the club

I think Wenger’s time is coming to an end, but I also think that it is time for the club’s owner, Stan Kroenke to stand up and start to do things. There needs to be more than just a change of Manager to deal with it. There should be a change of attitude at the club. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that the Manager will go this summer, but if he does, they should bring in someone who will have fans on their side. At the moment there is no connection between the club and the fans that need to be addressed.

Wenger is the problem

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

LAYTH YOUSIF: I think people, as a rule, it is enough Wenger. They are already underachieving in terms of fighting for the Premier League title and the Champions League. When the club moved from Highbury in 2005 the fans were in fact lied. They said that the club is moving to the Emirates to compete with the top clubs in England and Europe, but this did not happen and many people furious.

A lot of people look at the Arsenal fans and say they are not loyal fans. People say that they expect silver, but no Arsenal fan I know, and I have 35 years as a fan and journalist, expects silver. What they want to see progress. They pay some of the highest ticket prices in the world, and they want to see progress, but there just wasn’t under Wenger.

There’s no anger from the fans no more. There is resignation because they are so tired. Over the past 12 years the club has regressed so much and fans have experienced the whole gamut of emotions. If Wenger leaves after this time will be such a release of emotions and then the excitement about the new man. It almost doesn’t matter who the new man comes in it, but just the fact that it is not Wenger will step up fans and bring them back to the Emirates.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

Alan Smith 3-0 win Alex Scott analyze Arsenal for Watford and to discuss the problem of empty seats at the Emirates. Smith says he didn’t expect to see sold to the Emirates again this season

The club is stale

Alan Smith: lacking in passion, generally of the fan base. It is obvious that the team is not going to anything significant in the League, so nobody will be able to really get involved in the games that will decide who finishes fifth, sixth or seventh.

There is lethargy, and it surprised me to a certain extent. I expected in the League, but when CSKA visited the Emirates in the Europa League I thought that people can turn up, but they don’t even show it. It just goes to show the feelings of the fans at the moment, they are not happy with the situation.

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

I know there are a lot of people asking to renew season tickets at the moment and I think most because I was under the impression that they feel that change is coming in the not too distant future. However, the club is in limbo, as fans wait to see what happens and what direction the club in the future.

The question Manager that, Yes, there are deeper issues, but much of this relationship Stan Kroenke with the club and his willingness to stick with Wenger. Fans just feel that it’s all a bit stale at the club and there is a lack of ambition.

Tired of the same story

Why are Arsenal fans staying away? Paul Merson, Alan Smith, ArsenalFanTV's Robbie Lyle and more discuss

James MCNICHOLAS: if you look at last season there were so many protests and so much anger, but this time the absence of the fans are quite passive protest. I actually think it’s more harmful than banners and chanting, because it is an indicator of indifference.

Empty seats will have a higher impact on the club because this message Board can’t help but see. What’s interesting about this is that this is not a financial message, because most of the tickets have already been sold, but their availability is damaging to the club’s brand, especially at a time when they are looking to discuss a new set online and find the sleeve sponsor. Thousands of empty seats is not a great look for the club.

Much of the problem of Wenger is that fans are just tired of the same stories and the same flaws every season. If there is a change in Manager so a lot of curiosity because of the newness of the situation. People will want to see how this new person gets the first home game will be full to the brim. Whether that lasts is another matter. If all goes a bit David Moyes “Manchester United” is quite possibly the same problems could arise again, however, a sprinkling of novelty will ignite the large interest of the people.

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