Premier League's Best Fans: Ranking the Supporters of All 20 Clubs
It's an arduous task being a Premier League fan. Those who support the top teams arrive expecting victory on a weekly basis while those of us who follow a bottom feeder are sent into a state of ecstasy if our beloved teams are able to scrape to a draw and a precious point that may well be worth its weight in gold come the end of the season.
Personally, I'm a Wolves fan and continue pray for survival and another year of Premier League football, but I'm sure you'll all have your own opinions and have your respective club at the top.
This is my opinion, it's not fact. It's based on observations and statistics. Feel free to share your views and grievances, but here's my ranking of the Premier League's fans.
Wigan's fans have one of the most demanding jobs in the Premier League. Their team plays in a town more concerned with rugby league and have to cheer twice as loud seeing as their stadium is always half empty and dire in atmosphere.
Wigan are bottom in attendance, and their numbers have dwindled since their greatest days under Paul Jewell. If they fall to the Championship, you wonder if anyone will show up to cheer on the Latics.
Blackburn's struggles have seen their attendance at Ewood Park fall well under its capacity, and away from home, it's not much better.
On the road, seeing a Blackburn fan is like seeing an endangered species of exotic bird, and their team's struggles will only see their numbers continue to decrease.
Fulham do well to attract the 24,000 people they do per game given the fact that the big names are just down the road at Chelsea.
A couple of years ago Craven Cottage was a fortress for then manager Roy Hodgson, but the Fulham faithful are known for being a relatively quiet set of fans and don't make any noise on the road.
Premier League football is crucial to keeping a decent gate at Craven Cottage.
Bolton are seventh in the Premier League and are currently battling for a place in Europe playing some resurgent football under the guidance of Owen Coyle.
However Bolton's on-field success hasn't been mirrored in the stands. Bolton average just over 22,000 fan per game, 18th in the league.
It's a real shame a club enjoying such success isn't being supported to its full capacity, and if it starts to go downhill for the Wanderers, many may want out of the club.
The Tangerine Army have had to go through a lot over their years. Finally breaking into the Premier League this season, Blackpool have embraced the role of "the people's team" with a real feel-good factor surrounding Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool average under 16,000 fans per game propping up the table in attendance, however, if they continue to succeed under the charismatic Ian Holloway, you'd expect more expansions to their ground and a rise in numbers in Blackpool.
15. Aston Villa
Aston Villa average a good number of fans at over 36,000 but don't make a lot of noise compared to others of a similar number and are outshone by their Birmingham rivals in my opinion.
Losing Martin O'Neill, many key players and their struggles in the league this season have demoralised many Villa fans, but the signing of Darren Bent and the progression of other young stars like Ashley Young and Marc Albrighton will hopefully rejuvenate the Villa fans.
14. West Bromich Albion
You saw what Premier League football meant to the West Brom fans in 2005 when they poured onto the pitch as you can see upon doing the "great escape." The Baggies were the first team to survive after being bottom of the table at Christmas and escaped on the final day of the season.
West Brom average a respectable 24,000 fans per game almost selling out The Hawthorns, and they'll need to be in full voice to try and help their team to survival once more.
This scene is from a couple of years ago as Wolves were promoted to the top flight of English football, and you can see how much it means to the fans.
This season has seen an average of 27,000 fans per game, very good considering their position in the table and they have beaten Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea at Molineux.
Even if relegated, the people of Wolverhampton will still turn up in their thousands to cheer on the Wolves.
For me the Blues' fans have always outdone their Villa rivals in the support department, and you saw what it meant to their fans at Wembley yesterday as they upset Arsenal to take the Carling Cup.
At St Andrews, they've beaten Chelsea this season behind their fans' support and average nearly 25,000 fans per game.
The Sunderland fans have endured a lot of glory and heartbreak as one of the perennial yoyo clubs over the past decade or so.
Now established as one of the better teams in the Premier League, Sunderland's fans have followed the success of their team, in the top 10 in attendance at just under 40,000 fans per game.
As Sunderland go from strength to strength it seems their fan base will follow suit.
Chelsea's fan base expanded greatly following Roman Abramovich's acquisition of the club and sell out pretty much every game.
However many criticise Chelsea for their lack of history and lack of passion in comparison to other big clubs who have enjoyed more historical success.
Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy recognises the fact that Tottenham need a bigger stadium to keep up with their ever expanding fan base, but the Tottenham fans showed their passion and loyalty by actively protesting against a proposed move to the London Olympic stadium in Stratford after the 2012 games.
As Harry Redknapp continues to lead his team to success on the pitch, Tottenham's fans continue to support them greatly off it.
8. West Ham
The Hammers dominate the East-end of London and have turned Upton Park into one of the most hostile and intimidating atmospheres in the Premier League.
The fans will sing, "I'm forever blowing bubbles" if they're 3-0 up or down.
Avram Grant will need to utilise all of his fans' support to stave off relegation this season.
7. Stoke City
The Stoke fans have turned the Britannia Stadium into one of the most difficult places to go and take three points in the Premier League.
They've embraced the Rory Delap throw-in building up each one before being projected into the box.
Stoke look set for another year in the Premier League, and that's thanks in large part to their fans' passion.
Everton fans have a bitter hatred for their Liverpool counterparts and have had to be committed to the Toffees' cause putting up with being in the shadows of their Merseyside rivals before finally stepping out of the shadows in 2005 as they pipped Liverpool to fourth place in the Premier League.
Everton have struggled this season but are now on the rise and still average over 35,000 fans per game this season.
5. Manchester City
Similarly to Everton fans, Manchester City fans have had to endure the trials and tribulations of watching their local rivals outshine them for a lifetime, however, maybe things are beginning to change.
City average 46,000 fans per game and even when they dropped to the second division averaged an incredible 32,000. That's commitment.
4. Manchester United
Manchester United is the hub of all glory hunting supporters. However, the core group of United fans are as passionate as they come as demonstrated by the yellow and green protests against the Glazer family's hold over the club.
United have the highest attendance in the Premier League and consistently sell out Old Trafford.
The Gunners' trophy drought is still yet to draw to its six-year conclusion after their defeat to Birmingham, but the Arsenal fans are still as passionate as ever at the Emirates packing 60,000-plus fans per game.
The Arsenal fans showed all their passion by looking like they were going to tear off the head of Emmanuel Adebayor after he celebrated in front of the visiting Arsenal fans as Eastlands a couple of years ago.
Anfield is one of the most historic grounds in world football and the Kop has reached iconic status amongst Liverpool fans.
Despite their disappointing campaign this season and the fact they're no where near the level they once were, each time they come together in harmony to sing You'll Never Walk Alone, it has a special resonance with the Reds' fans.
Not only will the Newcastle fans turn up for an away game at the other end of the country, but in the freezing cold, they'll stand topless for the whole 90 minutes and will bellow out support for their beloved Magpies throughout.
The Newcastle fans continued to cheer on their team despite playing Championship football last year and now back in the top flight are averaging over 47,000 fans per game, third most in the country.
For me, the best fans in the Premier League.