ARSENAL’S team has improved almost beyond measure since Mikel Arteta took over as manager.
And so has the atmosphere at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have improved their relationship with fans immeasurably[/caption]
Gunners supporters have enjoyed backing their team this year[/caption]
Famous for being a “library” in the past, buoyant Gooners have made it as loud as it has ever been this season.
Match tickets became harder to come by, with demand growing as the team showed signs of life after years in the doldrums.
Those behind the scenes at Arsenal have actively looked to seize upon the change of mood.
Two-for-one offers on pre-match pints purchased within 60 minutes of the stadium opening have become a semi-regular ploy.
While prices for booze are down across the board provided fans get in early.
Incentivising supporters to be in the ground well before kick-off, fans can grab a Budweiser, Camden Hells, Camden Pale Ale or Magners for just £3.95 a pop, provided they are in within an hour of opening time.
Arsenal also saw a huge number of new, younger season ticket holders arrive last season.
At the start of the 2021-22 campaign, the Gunners offered existing season ticket holders a “holiday” – meaning they could defer their seat for a year if they had Covid fears or financial issues caused by the pandemic.
This enabled a fresh batch of supporters to take their places – providing fresh impetus and enthusiasm to the stands.
Noticing the improvement, Arsenal chiefs decided to let a number of the new season ticket holders retain their spots this season, even after the return of many fans that took them up on their “holiday” offer.
Rather than kick the temporary season ticket holders out, they opted to simply sell more – cutting into the number of tickets available to members match by match.
Arsenal have also worked with supporters that want to make the Clock End as loud as possible.
Fan group Ashburton Army have been determined to improve things at the Emirates.
Wearing matching T-shirts in a similar manner to Crystal Palace’s Holmesdale Fanatics, the AA are located in Block 25 of the Clock End.
They have been responsible for banging a drum and trying to sing throughout matches.
While they have also been attempting to produce tifos and get displays going.
Arsenal fans put on a display before their clash with Man United[/caption]
Supporters are being urged to get in earlier[/caption]
They can be seen marching to the ground in a large group banging their drum prior to matches.
As documented by Arsenal’s All or Nothing Amazon series, they also introduced new club anthem “North London Forever” to their pre-match playlist.
Performed by Arsenal fan Louis Dunford, the song went viral before being embraced by boss Mikel Arteta, who insisted it be played at the ground.
It has now also been taken to heart by supporters, who regularly belt it out at games.
A consistent theme in the improvement of Arsenal’s atmosphere has been a willingness of the club to engage with fans.
After months of consultations the Gunners started introducing fan artwork outside the stadium, contributing to the newfound harmony between supporters and the board.
They have still shown that they can get it wrong, with many fans fuming at clappers being left on seats before the recent Manchester United game.
But they have finally decided that engaging is more productive than trying to shut out the noise.
Arsenal supporters have largely been characterised by loud, angry AFTV rants in recent years – but some are now attempting to change that narrative.
With the Gunners top of the table and flying, fans have simply had no reason to moan.
And Arteta and Co have given them genuine cause to believe that their good times are back.
Arsenal fan and actor Ashley Walters introduces new fan artwork[/caption]