Expectations are high, but do Arsenal fans need to change their mindset?

Due to high ticket prices, busy schedules and working on weekends – it is rare that I am able to attend many Arsenal matches throughout the course of a season. 

On Tuesday night, however, the stars aligned and I was able to go to watch Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. The club subsidise the ticket prices for Capital One Cup games so it was a younger crowd, but still a very keen one – which is understandable after the team’s very impressive run of results.

It was an interesting game and nothing beats the spectacle of live football, even if it is the Capital One Cup. Chelsea’s ‘second string’ featured some world class players, and the best of that bunch was Juan Mata whose movement and control was silky smooth as he pulled the strings in the middle of the pitch. His goal, too, was a moment of genius and he clearly stood out as man of the match. 

But what of your beloved Arsenal, I hear you cry. Well, they weren’t as bad as the scoreline suggested but they took a while to get going and Nicklas Bentdner was very rusty indeed. Ryo Miyaichi looked completely out of his depth and Carl Jenkinson had an absolute shocker.

Was I disheartened about the loss? Of course. But more so because we had lost to Chelsea at home rather than exiting the competition. For the first time in a while it looks as though the Capital One Cup is not the only real chance of silverware this season so I remain optimistic for the season ahead.

It clearly isn’t a viewpoint that other fans share. At the game, the ‘fans’ sat behind me had nothing good to say throughout the whole 90 minutes and saved their worst for Bendtner, who was playing for Arsenal by the way. Incredibly, too, when he was subbed off there were many who booed which, in my eyes at least, is something that should never happen (booing your own player, that is).

There were similar overreactions on social media as well which is inevitable but also shows that many fans fail to view things in perspective. 

Maybe it is because I am an eternal optimist that I find it difficult to comprehend those who don’t get behind the team but surely that is the point of being a football supporter? Backing the team through thick and thin? Taking the rough with the smooth? 

Expectations are high at Arsenal Football Club but it doesn’t mean that the fans should lose their minds over a largely insignificant loss to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup.