I really did not think Arsenal got under people’s skin as much as they clearly do.
The criticism of Arsenal’s celebrations this season has been frequent and consistent.
Most of all, it has been rather embarrassing for all those in involved.
No matter the game, no matter the position in the table, Arsenal have had a target placed on their back by fans, players and pundits.
The win over West Ham United sparked yet more sourness which, to be honest, has become rather satisfying.
Labelled the ‘nice guys‘ too many times and it has been a part of the regression the Gunners have experienced over the course of the last decade-plus.
Mikel Arteta has instilled some edge and something that is evidently having a drastic impact on the perception of their biggest critics.
Arsenal are starting the become rather villainous it seems.
If it equates to furthering our goals and progressing, who is an Arsenal supporter to complain?
Former Norwich City and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton took to Twitter to voice his frustration at the Arsenal reaction to their win.
Tweeting, “Arsenal celebrating like they’ve won the league dear me.” For context, below is a video that Arsenal published at full-time of the player enjoying their win.
The irony and hypocrisy of Sutton’s criticism was that Arsenal fans quickly found a tweet from just under six years earlier in which the ex-pro had quoted a now-deleted tweet arguing how players should be allowed to celebrate with their supporters.
This follows on from frustrations voiced by Ashley Young of Aston Villa and Ruben Neves of Wolves.
Similar comparisons were made to the ‘celebrating like they’ve won the league‘ tag line.
Mikel Arteta has been questioned in the past about his players celebrating after the criticism from outside the club.
“It’s great when I see them hugging each other, touching each other, enjoying each other, celebrating with the fans who made a long trip to be with us for a 12.30 pm kick-off and showing their gratitude for them being supportive for me it’s great,” he said after the 1-0 away win at Villa that drew Young’s post-match criticism.
“The best moments as a football player are after winning a match. The atmosphere with your teammates, and they have to celebrate, of course.”
The reality is that for now, Arsenal sit in the driving seat for fourth place in the Premier League.
It would help the Gunners qualify for the Champions League and progress them toward their ultimate goal to elevate the club to its title-challenging pedestal once again.
If throughout the process individuals wish to point jabs and poke fun at the club, this should be nothing more than extra motivation to go further.
To rub it in their faces at the end of what we hope to be a transformative season for the club’s future.