As Arsenal fans once again prepare to march on the Emirates and demand the head of Arsene Wenger, Isaac Hayden has been comparing and contrasting his former and current clubs, as well as the respective fans.
Newcastle fans are called delusional about their ‘expectations’ for questioning two relegations under Mike Ashley within seven years, whilst the media almost applaud Arsenal supporters for protesting against a manager who has delivered 3 Premier League titles, 6 FA Cups, 6 Charity Shields, a Champions League final and 19 consecutive top four finishes and Champions League campaigns, which have financed the excellent Emirates stadium.
This month could see Arsene Wenger deliver a third FA Cup win in four years and tomorrow, a 20th in a row Champions League placing in the Premier League.
In an excellent interview in The Times, Isaac Hayden declares ‘Arsenal are a massive club but it doesn’t have the same aura as Newcastle’.
As for the supporters, the midfielder says ‘It’s almost like a sense of pure passion from the Geordies, compared to the Arsenal fans’.
Hayden does temporarily lose the plot a little when he says ‘Don’t get me wrong. Arsenal have had a tough time as well…’.
However, he quickly recovers, saying ‘I didn’t get the feeling when you walk out at the Emirates as when I walk out at St James’.
Isaac Hayden speaking to The Times:
“The last few years have been terrible for the club but now we have the right manager definitely in place. It’s a special feeling here. Arsenal are a massive club but it doesn’t have the same aura as Newcastle.
“I pulled on the red-and-white Arsenal shirt — maybe not enough times to fully appreciate it — but it’s almost like a sense of pure passion from the Geordies, compared to the Arsenal fans.
“Don’t get me wrong, Arsenal fans have had a tough time as well and been great, but I didn’t get the feeling when you walk out at the Emirates as when I walk out at St James.
“It’s a different vibe. At Newcastle, it’s like I’m representing the guy in the stands. When we lose, I know 50,000 people are not going to have a good weekend. They make me feel like I’m representing them directly on the pitch. I didn’t get that at Arsenal or Hull.
“There were times (last season) when it was massive pressure at home. I f you play for a club like Newcastle you have to ride the storm. The fans will be edgy but they are fantastic.
“I can’t go anywhere without somebody talking about football. I could go to a garage and fill my car up, people would come up and go: ‘Isaac, Wahey…great result at the weekend.’ I’ll be standing there having a conversation with somebody about Newcastle for 10 minutes, and think ‘blimey, I’ve got to go’. Its lovely.
“I don’t think there can be a question that they are the best fans in the country. We have an average of 51,000 for a second division team. I don’t believe anybody who gets relegated would get that.
“Look at Sunderland, would they have that loyalty?
“Even in the Premier League, when you watched them there were red seats everywhere. I don’t think they will get 40,000 in the Championship when they don’t fill the stadium in the Premier League.”