Arsene Wenger Admits Concern Over Empty Seats Following Arsenal's Watford Win

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 12, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 11:  Empty seats are seen during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on March 11, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted his worry over the amount of empty seats on show during his side's 3-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday but pledged to win the fans' support back.

Thousands of vacant spots were visible at the Emirates in response to a rollercoaster week of results for the Gunners, but Wenger offered assurances over the diminished support, per The Independent's Jonathan Liew:

“Yes, of course, I worry. Because I want our fans to behind the team and be happy. But after what happened in that week, I understand a bit. We have to get the fans on our side, and do absolutely everything to achieve it. We need some more games. We had a nightmare week, and so overall we still have some work to do, but we are in a good way."

Arsenal have responded to their recent run of four consecutive defeats by winning at AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League and beating Watford in the Premier League, although attendance has still suffered.

Liew doubted the 59,131-strong Emirates attendance read out against the Hornets on Sunday, as MailOnline offered images that pointed to far fewer in attendance, irrespective of how many tickets had been sold:

James Olley of the London Evening Standard also highlighted the extreme dip in Emirates attendance:

The Europa League is Arsenal's only remaining chance at silverware this season, and they lead Milan 2-0 after the first leg of their last-16 clash, while their Premier League top-four chances are in jeopardy.

Wenger's men are sixth in the standings and remain 12 points off rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fourth with eight matches remaining this term.

Despite the overwhelming sense his position at the club is in danger, Wenger added: "There is a lot of negativity. It's like in rain in England, it's easy to get. I focus on my job, and I think I've shown in 22 years that I can do that."

The club has won back-to-back games for the first time since January, and Wenger spoke of his relief at emerging victorious after such a difficult run, via Goal:

Winter arrivals Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan each grabbed a goal and an assist apiece in the win over Watford, offering manager and supporters alike some assurances over the team's improvement.

It was a landmark victory for Wenger, too, as new faces rose to save the day for the veteran tactician:

The result served as redemption for Watford's 2-1 win over the Gunners back in October, when a last-gasp Tom Cleverley strike secured three points for the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

Many supporters will likely require some more convincing before they return to the Emirates, while an apparent lack of faith in Wenger may have severed the connection more permanently for other absent fans.  

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