Arsene Wenger Blames Easter Holiday for Empty Seats at Emirates

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger blamed the disappointing attendance yesterday at the Emirates on the fact that it was Easter Sunday. Wenger believes that people stayed away from the Gunners’ 3-0 rout of Stoke City because it was a holiday; not because of Arsenal’s extremely disappointing season and the reality that they have little to play for right now domestically.

The official attendance yesterday was 59,371 but you know how ridiculously hyper-inflated most sporting event attendance figures are, and this one was no exception. Arsenal have been long out of the race for top four, and there really wasn’t a league title race ths this season as Manchester City took off right out of the gate and never looked back.

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Right now, Arsenal is playing to at least hold on to sixth place so they can least have some sort of European football next season.

“I think at home this season we have been exceptional,” Wenger told talkSPORT after a win that moved the Gunners five points clear of Burnley FC for sixth place.

“It’s been away from home that we have lost our chances. At home, if you look at the mathematical record and the number of goals we’ve scored, I don’t think the crowd can be explained by that (Arsenal’s disappointing season).

“It’s just the fact it’s Easter and people have been away. In the Premiership [sic] there are not many opportunities for us to now get in the top four.”

Obviously, anti-Wenger sentiment is very strong right now, and some who want his ouster are voting with their feet by not showing up. However, the embattled boss maintains that he’s not concerned about empty seats at his home ground.

“I’m not worried about that (diminished attendance). With my experience I can anticipate that; we don’t go for the championship or for the top four, we are in front of a big game (the London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur), it’s Sunday afternoon on Easter,” Wenger continued.

“All that can explain it.”

I guess we’ll see if he’s right or not down the stretch of the season, as the Gunners still have three more league games left.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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