Tomas Rosicky Challenges Arsenal to Win Back the Fans
Tomas Rosicky has had plenty of time to gather his thoughts.
The 32-year-old started his first match of the season in the Champions League clash with Olympiacos. He scored a wonderful goal—reminding everyone of his individual talent and importance to the team. Unfortunately, the Gunners slumped to their second defeat in the space of three days.
Arsenal fans aren't happy.
Under-fire boss Arsene Wenger seems to have lost the confidence of many. Despite suggesting he will consider his future at the end of the season, the immovable Frenchman has also vowed to extend his tenure at the London-based club (via The Telegraph).
Wenger needs to gather support quickly. He must call on the experience of veteran players—such as Tomas Rosicky—to rescue Arsenal from the worrying lull.
In order for this to happen, the Emirates' mood must change. Rosicky isn't an outspoken player—nor is he one to make too many headlines. At this disappointing time, the Czech Republic international felt the need to air his thoughts on the Islington boo-boys (via Sky Sports).
I can understand the frustrations, I am an Arsenal fan as well when I am not playing.
It is understandable but we have some young guys and this is not helping. We have to all stick together, which is what we did last season when everyone was writing us off.
The performances we produced against Tottenham and AC Milan [in last season's Champions League], you could feel the great atmosphere at the Emirates. Without doubt that was the best atmosphere I have ever played in.
We have to win the people again, that is the challenge. It will be difficult but we are capable of doing it again. If we are all on board, Arsenal is a great place to play football.
Rosicky's comments shouldn't be glossed over. He is absolutely right to admit an atmosphere of discontent is affecting the confidence of younger squad members. You can bet one or two of the senior players are struggling too.
Cast your mind back to Arsenal's recent 2-0 loss against Swansea City. Carl Jenkinson was at fault for the second goal. He knows it, you know it, and the millions of viewers across the globe know it. As the final whistle arrived, a chorus of boos amplified collective unhappiness.
These boos weren't specifically aimed at Jenkinson. Even so, how will he feel coming off the pitch?
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a surprisingly successful season so far. He has contributed across all competitions and proven himself to be a useful reinforcement to Bacary Sagna. One high-profile mistake and his progress is overshadowed with screams from the stand.
I'm not saying Arsenal fans shouldn't express their discontent. The Emirates crowd has a right to pinpoint technical failings, sloppy performances and a lack of desire.
In modern football, relentless scorn from the crowd has the ability to snowball. Players will exit the pitch to find messages of anger sprawled across Twitter, in match reports and repeated on highlight shows. The side effects are more intense and far-reaching than ever before.
Perhaps football enthusiasts in general need to reevaluate what it means to be a "supporter."
As Rosicky outlines, the Arsenal players understand what they have to do right now. Next up is a tricky Premier League fixture at home to West Brom. This is most certainly a potential banana skin—especially in the current climate.
A buoyant Emirates Stadium could make all the difference.
Do you agree with Rosicky's comments? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
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