Former Arsenal midfielder Arshavin criticises Emirates Stadium support

Andrei Arshavin has criticised the home support of former club Arsenal, ESPN has reported, comparing the noise generated at the Emirates Stadium to the more genteel atmosphere of the theatre.

Arshavin moved to north London from Zenit St. Petersburg in January 2009 and made an immediate impact on the Gunners with six goals in 15 games – although four of them came in one fixture, the 4-4 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

His Arsenal form petered out to the point he was allowed to re-join Zenit on loan in 2012 and though he returned to London for the 2012-13 season, was a bit part player and returned to Zenit permanently at the end of the season. Arshavin made nearly 150 appearances in his time with Arsenal, scoring 31 goals.

The 32-year-old has now questioned the motivation of the Arsenal crowd only days after Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas did likewise for the home support at White Hart Lane, although Villas-Boas’ complaint was that the supporters were too quick to turn negative. Arshavin, by contrast, believes the Arsenal fans don’t go to games to support the club.

The atmosphere was weird,” Arshavin said. “It felt like the crowd was at the theatre – good seats, expensive tickets and they wanted to see a show, not to support the team. It was like there was no advantage in playing at home,” he continued.

Many of the players – the leaders that were left from the club’s time at Highbury – often complained that the atmosphere in the stands was so bad,” the Russia international added.

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