Earlier this week, Hector Bellerin questioned the fans on Arsenal Fan TV as he feels the popular youtube channel revels in the failure of the club. The Spaniard took the unprecedented step to criticize the channel and question the fans who appear on it.
Arsenal Fan TV is an extremely popular channel and many football fans watch the channel. Bellerin is a player who frequently divides opinion on the channel, as many fans feel when he first broke through it looked like he was going to turn into a world-class right back. Fantastic pace and ability to bomb forward made him a real asset for the red side from North London. However, in the last 18 months, the Gunners faithful have started questioning his delivery and the way he gets caught out of position.
Arsenal Fan TV- Is it driving a wedge between fans and players?
There have also been questions raised by Arsenal fans about Bellerin with regards to his desire to be a top player due to Bellerin’s interests in off-field activities such as fashion and endorsements. These comments may have played a part in Bellerin’s annoyance at the channel. He is not the only player to have his off-field antics to be questioned. Alex Iwobi is also the target of frequent criticism.
However, For Bellerin to question the loyalty of fans on Arsenal Fans TV is incredulous. These fans have travelled all over Europe to watch Arsenal. They were watching Arsenal before Bellerin joined and they will be watching the club after he leaves. Arsenal is a club which has been widely criticised for a lack of character and lack of overall direction. Their joyous reactions when Arsenal win shows they are truly loyal and they just want the good times to return to the Emirates. These fans are entitled to question the lack of quality in the squad as these fans remember Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira teams. It is hard for them to compare the Invincibles with the likes of Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi.
Arsenal fans see that they have a fantastic stadium, world-class facilities and should be competing with the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Instead, they are languishing in sixth position and having to play Europa League football. Remember Arsenal fans pay the most in the whole of Europe for their season tickets. Most season tickets cost over £1000 per year.
To Bellerin that may seem a paltry amount but this a huge amount of the disposable income these fans have and they decide to spend it on Arsenal due to their love and passion. Also, this year Arsenal fans have almost lost their energy to protest due to the feeling they will be unable to change anything and that Arsene Wenger is untouchable in many people’s eyes.
The Fans and the Players
One of the biggest issues for Arsenal as a club is to reunite the players and the fans. Jack Wilshere is a fan favourite. He is performing well but also understands fan frustration. For Bellerin to criticize these fans will lead to more fans questioning his performances and a bigger wedge between the players and fans. The only way for Bellerin to build bridges would be too rediscover his form and help make Arsenal a force again.
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