The Rewind opinion column: What we learned from Arsenal v Hull City – just say no to shouting ‘who’ at away substitutes

20:38 13 February 2017

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game

EMPICS Sport

Layth Yousif reviews Arsenal’s weekend action in our weekly Rewind column.

Buy him a pint

Alexis Sanchez. Again. It’s fitting the livewire Chilean’s home town of Tocopilla means ‘the devil’s corner’ as the forward has been a demon for Arsenal. His brace on Saturday against an increasingly impressive Hull City in bitterly cold temperatures now means he has been involved in 15 goals in his last 13 Premier League matches. Without those 10 goals and five assists to make 19 goals in total this season where would Arsene Wenger’s men be? They’d be in a devil’s corner of their own that’s for sure.

Get your coat son

Not a player as such. More a specific shout from some fans. The players can’t be faulted in picking up three vital points. They all battled well in difficult conditions. As Wenger said confidence was not high following those two damaging defeats against Watford and Chelsea. And as such it was no surprise the early kick off saw a subdued atmosphere. So you’d expect any loud cheers to be aimed in support of the players rather than wasted on having a pop at the opposition.

So why oh why do a considerable amount of loyal Arsenal fans continue to chorus ‘Who’ in unison at away substitutes? Not only is it tedious and unfunny it also shows a complete lack of respect – not to mention ignorance. Particularly the chorus of ‘who’ aimed at both Ahmed Elmohamady and replacement Omar Elabdellaoui late on, with the game still very much in the balance at 1-0. The issue was raised on Twitter – if not in the ground – and the response was a resounding no to the tiresome practice.

In case you don’t know Elabdellaou is on loan from Olympiacos. The same Olympiacos who managed to win 3-2 at the Emirates in September 2015 in the Champions League – managed by now Tigers boss Marco Silva.

So when normally sane, rational people shout ‘who‘ they’re only exposing their own ignorance. Someone retorted with ‘it’s funny’. Yes, and I suppose some also think Mrs Brown’s Boys is hilarious. So let’s start a campaign – just say no to shouting ‘who’.

Magic Moment

Alexis Sanchez’s fizzing crossball pass to Mesut Ozil. I know there’s a school of thought which says ‘Hollywood’ crossfield balls are intended to look showy and are not actually useful most of the time. And I would tend to agree. Most of the time. But when Sanchez plays a perfectly weighted 60 yard ball with a low trajectory at speed which lands on the foot of his German teammate it looks utterly beautiful. And on a cold day in a game even Sanchez will forget in a few weeks you need moments of joy to warm the soul. And that’s without even mentioning the sublime cushioned pass Ozil played to an onrushing Bellerin a moment later. Of course nothing came of the move – but it was flair which momentarily elevated the afternoon above the mundane.

Let’s just hope Sanchez continues his great run of form on Wednesday in Germany against the might of Bayern Munich – otherwise Arsenal’s season really will be in a devil’s corner.

For comprehensive Arsenal coverage from the crucial game in Munich visit Archant’s Islington Gazette, Ham & High and Hackney Gazette websites.

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