26th April 2016: Fans’ protest planned for Norwich

Evening all. A quick round-up for you tonight and I’ll start with the back page of today’s Evening Standard which says: ‘Asenal fans to target Kroenke as supporters groups plot protest for Norwich game‘.

According to the report, fan-groups including The Black Scarf Movement, REDaction and the Arsenal Supporters Trust are encouraging supporters to hold up banners which read “Time for Change. Arsenal is stale — fresh approach needed” in the 12th and 78th minutes, in reference to our 12-year wait for the Premier League title.

If Twitter and the wider online Arsenal world is any kind of gauge of fan sentiment, a planned protest such as this has been a long time coming. What surprises me is that there haven’t been more. That said, I’m not sure how much of an immediate difference it will make in the thinking of those running the club but obviously the louder the fan-base’s discontent grows, at some stage, you’d hope it’ll be heard.

I also like the wording if I’m honest, because a ‘fresh approach’ is exactly what so many followers are crying out for and rightly so in my opinion. Although, given Arsene Wenger has categorically confirmed he’ll remain in charge next season and Stan Kroenke is unlikely to sell his controlling stake in Arsenal any time soon, that fresh approach has to take the form of new players and perhaps quite a few of them.

Call it blind loyalty or whatever you like, but I still want Arsene to remain Arsenal manager – providing he overhauls his squad in a major way this summer and brings in the best available players he possibly can. A protest like this weekend’s then, may just make that more likely. Let’s hope so.

After all, we’re a football club and our primary focus and aim should be on building the best team and squad we can to win football matches. What we need is obvious – more players of the quality of Alexis Sanchez for instance, and speaking of our Chilean forward, Per Mertesacker has been explaining why he thinks the south American is so special. He said:

When he was out, the statistics were not that bad for us – I think we played 10 games without him and won eight or something like that. We had quite a good record but over the whole season normally we need him healthy. If he is on the pitch, he always creates space for other players because he draws so much attention and that is key to any team. He is a key member of our side and, if he is fully fit, he makes the difference and that is always the case. He is that type of player who gives everything to the team. Those team members are well appreciated.

Another well-appreciated team member is Petr Cech of course, and the experienced goalkeeper has been telling Arsenal Player how he puts off his opponents. He said:

There are many ways you can intimidate people during a game. With your aggression is one way, but nobody likes to have no time. You press them all the time and put them under pressure. Any player that has time and feels comfortable to control the ball and play, obviously can play much better. If you don’t give them the time and put them under pressure, then it becomes much more difficult. I try to find ways not to give people the chance to feel comfortable in a situation when they face me, then it means they might not get a goal. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that what you are doing is the right way when you go to the game and you are ready.

Right. That’ll do for tonight.

Back tomorrow.

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