Frank Lampard thinks Arsenal fans may find it a bit weird being in the Europa League after so many years of Champions League football, but he says supporters need to get behind the team now.

Lampard was writing in the Evening Standard ahead of the Gunners’ game against FC Köln on Thursday. The former Chelsea midfielder said that the fans and the players have a joint responsibility to help secure a win this week, saying: “It is up to the team to start well against FC Koln and try to generate a buzz, however Arsenal supporters can play a part.

“They can all have an opinion on the manager and the players, it’s their right. But when they start playing, they really should get behind the team. I’m sure they will, but sometimes it feels with Arsenal recently like it’s 50-50 – that they’re going to support but also half be there to protest.

“I think they need to get that out of their system because Arsenal are capable of doing well in the Premier League and in Europe this season.”

I believe when fans get behind the team at the Emirates, they can help create an intimidating atmosphere that can lead to more positive results. However, when fans go into a game unsure of whether they’re going to support the team or not, the players seem to sense it, in my opinion.

An example that springs to mind is the opening day game against Aston Villa in 2013. Fans were unhappy at the Gunners lack of spending, only bringing in free transfer Yaya Sanogo, and chanted for the club to spend money during the game. Arsenal lost 3-1 that day.

Of course, there’s a case that fans respond to poor performances by the players, rather than the other way round. But going into a match assuming you’re going to be disappointed by the team, and not planning to support them fully, seems like a recipe for disaster to me.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.