Arsenal find themselves in a rich vein of form, their best since February 2020. Thus, results and performances are all the rage. Spirits are rising in tandem with the club climbing up the table.
Far from out of the woods just yet there is still genuine positivity around the club and the team as the 11th match of the season awaits before the third international break.
The overall atmosphere around north London has improved exponentially. Having tasted the bitter pill of (multiple) defeat the team is now dining on what it feels like to *checks notes* win football matches. This feeling can stay a little while longer.
But beyond tactical innovations, formation changes and the ability to call on a near full complement of players, there is something else brewing. Mikel Arteta’s side are being guided through the season with the help of others.
Arsenal: 4 reasons behind the incredible support this season as the Emirates Stadium atmosphere has improved tremendously in 2021/22
Across the campaign the general consensus is that the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium has been better than it has been in years. Criticised, sometimes legitimately, for being a quiet ground, this season has seen the noise levels cranked up numerous notches.
Arsenal have always boasted exceptional away support, with tickets sold out every fortnight and a chorus of signing and chanting backing the side over land and sea…and Leicester.
The concourse is rammed well before kick-off and it follows through well after the final whistle is blown. Why so? What is behind the best fans in the world being best…..er?
1. Younger Crowd + BOGOF
The pandemic has changed so much in the world, and football is no different.
What is noticeable in and around the Emirates Stadium now is a younger average age of supporters. Season ticket holders and other fans who’ve shied away from attending after seeing the club sink further down the Premier League table has opened up opportunities for others.
Younger fans who couldn’t normally attend are now getting their chance, and making their presence count. They crank up the noise, sing the songs that couldn’t sing with as much vigour from the sofa and it’s playing a big role.
COVID-19 limiting the number of tourists in the London has also played its part, as those seats are freed up for a similar crowd as aforementioned to arrive. The pubs before kick-off are also bouncing, something Arsenal have been looking at with their brilliant campaign to boost businesses in the area.
And, it can’t be ignored, introducing BOGOF (buy one get one free) on beer in the stadium was a stroke of genius. Seriously, it can’t be understated what a difference that has.
2. Coming to Terms With Arsenal’s Standing
Back-to-back eighth place finishes, after three seasons outside the top four, for a club that spent 20 seasons consecutively placing in the top four is going to have an impact. It can’t not.
Then, when the pandemic struck and Arsenal embarked on a horrible run during the winter months, expectations plummeted to newfound lows.
Throw in no European football of any kind this season for the first time in a quarter of a century and you’ve got valid reasons to be disheartened.
But on the flipside, as a supporter of any club, you aren’t going to down tools. Arsenal will remain with you for your entire life, through thick and thin, and the very definition of being a supporter means getting behind your team in even the darkest of times.
Home and away fans know booing, jeering and losing faith will only work against that which they hold so dear. This team will never climb back up the Premier League table and enjoy Champions League nights at the Emirates again without the fans right behind them.
That is filtering through. Arsenal have been sinking and nothing other than passionate, dedicated support will help them back into the upper echelons of the game. Without supporting them through thick and thin the good times can never return. Fans know that.
3. The Joy of Attending Football After the Pandemic
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Even if Arsenal suffered, and in turn made all us suffer in a sporting sense, throughout the pandemic, it didn’t stop the match going fan from missing the buzz of live football.
In some of the darkest and toughest times most people will ever have known as we stayed confined to our homes, missed, and tragically lost, love ones, things like going to watch your football team on a weekend offer an escape from reality.
Meeting up with friends at the pub, heading into the ground and then popping back to the pub afterwards to dissect every measure of the performance has been sorely missed.
Away days are special days and waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning to hop on a train in the general direction of north to see the team in action is all part of the beauty of the sport.
No football in the flesh for nearly 18 months and the sadness of seeing empty grounds all across the world meant the return couldn’t come sooner. Everyone will remember the first zero capacity crowd when Borussia Dortmund played. It was awful.
In the end everyone got used to it, but never truly used to it.
4. Arsenal Fans Have Bought Into Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal Team
While all of the aforementioned reasons have played their part, one crucial ingredient that has seen the atmosphere boosted both home and away is the team.
Watching ageing and low quality players clog up this squad for years too many, earning farcical wage packets and contributing little to nothing on the pitch, raised toxicity levels to the most we’ve seen. Results faltered and Arsenal slipped down the table, but looking at the team it was hard to feel connected with the direction being taken.
That has all changed, primarily over the course of the recent summer, where Arteta has overseen a full scale gutting of the squad and brought in players who are young, hungry, charismatic and, quite simply, likable.
The culture at Arsenal has undergone a drastic overhaul and the fans are firmly behind it. The feeling of being invested into the team is immeasurably motivating. This fanbase is firmly on board with the path the team is taking – and it shows in the stands.
Even something that may feel insignificant like having a goalkeeper who is in constant communication with the fans plays a huge role. Seeing Saka and Smith Rowe don the No. 7 and No. 10 shirts symbolises the direction.
This is the youngest team in the entire Premier League and while supporters know there will be unavoidable bumps of inconsistency along the way, they’re prepared to follow on that journey. Arteta has been adamant that he wanted to reconnect the fans with the team.