Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck scored the only goal on Saturday, but the headlines largely belonged to fans and the protest against the running of the club.
The protest certainly wasn’t as loud as expected and actually rallied some support for the Arsenal manager.
Nonetheless, there was some hostility in the air and the players would have been well aware of what was going on, not that it affected them.
“I think it’s one of those things,” Danny Welbeck said after the game. “As players, you’ve really just got to focus on the match and not on the surroundings.”
Welbeck certainly did that, coming off the bench to instantly score the only goal of the match.
Though the protests had no impact on the result this time around, it can’t encourage the side to play in a hostile environment. That isn’t to say fans are, at all, to blame for poor results but Arsène Wenger didn’t explicitly blame fans on Friday anyway, as much of the media reported.
The importance of supporters was acknowledge by Welbeck but the forward made it perfectly clear that the players will just try to treat negative talk as background noise.
“Obviously the fans are so important to football clubs and it’s something you’ve got to respect. Everyone has an opinion but we’ve just got to do our stuff on the football pitch.”