Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger seems to have been on a quest to alienate as wide a range of the club’s supporters as possible over the past week.
Speaking in response to a banner reading “Arsene, thanks for the memories, but it’s time to say goodbye’ unfurled by fans in the wake of the Gunners’ 4-0 FA Cup fifth-round replay stroll past Hull at the KC Stadium last night, he was dismissive:
‘There’s nothing disappointing for me,’ said the Frenchman.
‘I do my job. Look at the history of the club, since the club exists, and you will see that I have nothing to be scared of.
‘I don’t care. I do not want to speak about that [the banner] because it is always the same story. It is enough now. If you have any questions ask other people.
‘Do you know someone who has won it [the FA Cup] more than me? We judge the season afterwards and I’m quite amazed so many people judge it so early.’
Five days previously he had rebuked former Gunners hero Thierry Henry for the pundit’s observation that he had “never heard the Arsenal supporters as angry” as at the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea.
“He [Henry] has not found the measurement of the fans’ angriness, of 60,000 people, straight away. Because he sits in the best seats of the stadium,” Wenger argued.
The question is which Arsenal fans’ opinions, if any, does Wenger value?
His assertion that those who sit in the expensive seats (expensive for the Emirates no less) are out of touch with the ‘real’ fans may elicit a degree of sympathy among the wider football public.
However, those who chose to voice their frustrations with what another former Arsenal striker, Ian Wright, described as a ‘muggy’ banner, had travelled 182 miles to Championship Hull on a cold, windy weeknight to support their side.
The former group happily fork out for the extortionately-priced tickets which help bankroll the club and, which the Emirates was built to cash in on, while the latter faction are the most committed of all Gunners supporters.