Mark Chapman couldn’t believe what Chris Sutton said about Arsenal fans on BBC Radio 5 Live last night.
Mikel Arteta’s men are flying high at the top of the Premier League and moved five points clear after beating Manchester United 3-2 on Sunday.
The Gunners have a game in hand over Manchester City and are looking like the side to beat at this moment in time.
The bond between Arsenal fans and their team has arguably not been as strong ever since they last won the title under Arsene Wenger.
But Sutton has suggested that the Gunners faithful could still turn on their side if they go on a poor run of form. And the former Blackburn striker’s comments left Chapman baffled.
Chapman baffled with Sutton’s comments on Arsenal fans
Both Chapman and Sutton spoke about the improved atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium this season last night on BBC’s Monday Night Club.
The pair discussed how the club has helped to engage fans by bringing in banners and working to improve the atmosphere.
Yet, Chapman couldn’t believe what Sutton said about the possibility that Arsenal fans could yet turn on Arteta and his side.
“It’s working because they are a brilliant team and the harmony within the team and the belief every game, they have this siege mentality, but that may bubble over at some stage,” Sutton said.
Chapman responded: “No, no, no – hang on.”
“The stuff with the fans, right. The Arsenal fans are happy, they are delighted with the way the team are performing with every game and with every performance the confidence is there,” Sutton argued.
“They love seeing this young group of players and the way they are playing. But don’t be fooled too much into this, because if Arteta goes on a run and Arsenal lose eight or nine game on the spin, which probably isn’t going to happen, but if it did – let’s not go down this ‘oh they’ve been nicer to the fans, they’re not going to turn, because they will’.”
But BBC presenter wasn’t convinced by Sutton’s argument and pointed out that Arsenal fans are in fact contributing massively to their team’s recent success.
“No – no! Hang on a minute. There are two things there. Maybe they are performing at this level because of the atmosphere created within that stadium and around the club,” he said.
“You only have to look at poisonous atmospheres to see that players struggle! So if you’re playing somewhere where everyone is up for it and everyone is pulling in the same direction you are going to perform at a better level.
“And the second thing is that they’re not going to lose eight or nine on the trot, but if they were to lose two on the trot there is not going to be anywhere near the same discord of disconnect!”
But Sutton stuck to his guns and argued that football changes quickly. He feels that if Arsenal were to go on a poor run of form, the mood at the Emirates Stadium could shift.
He said: “Football is a fickle game. Let’s not kid ourselves on and pretend it’s going to be harmonious forever now at the Emirates.”
While Sutton makes a good point that things do indeed change quickly in football, it doesn’t seem likely that Arsenal will go on a poor run anytime soon.
Arteta’s men are already exceeding expectations by the simple fact that they are in the title race and Arsenal fans seem to be fully behind their team.
There has been plenty of occasions this season where Arsenal have fallen behind and the fans have rallied behind them.