The Gunners are a club adored and followed by a majority of the Nigerian population who enjoy watching football in a relaxed environment. Hip-Hop actors and stars like Banky W, M.I and other music greats in the country are huge Arsenal fans because of their style of football.
Arsenal’s fan base in the country grew even more when Arsene Wenger signed the Nigerian superstar Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 for approximately £4.15 million. Kanu’s career at Arsenal saw him lift up 2 F.A cups, 2 Premier League titles, and was part of the ‘Invincible’ team during the 2003-04 season.
Even though a lot of people accuse Arsenal of not being a trophy winning team, the overall majority confess, that Arsenal play the most attractive football in the English game. However, the same can’t be said about Arsene Wenger’s management style. Wenger had been accused (in Nigeria) of featuring only French players in the starting line-up even though better and fitter individuals were available. There was a lot of frustration aimed towards him for doing this, but it’s good to see the Frenchman not continuing this trade as much as he used to in the past. Wenger isn’t their favourite manager in the world, only a small number admire and respect the Frenchman’s managerial abilities, due to his decision making and reasons stated above. The most respected coach in their eyes is Jose Mourinho.
Numerous fans in the country believe that Arsenal should be spending more money in the transfer market; their unwillingness to do so is a general reason why the club isn’t as supported as the other big teams within the Premier League.
A big reason why the North London club are appreciated in the African country is because they uncover relatively unknown African players and have (and continue to) develop them into world-class players. The likes of Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Emmanuel Adebayor and Alexander Song are prime examples of this.
On national television, if a Premier League or UEFA Champions League game is to be shown, matches featuring Manchester Utd and Chelsea will take priority due to their massive fan base. However, No matter how many titles Manchester Utd, Chelsea, or even Liverpool have won in the past, Arsenal are certainly the team loved by all in Nigeria.
Follow Me On Twitter – http://twitter.com/echethealec
‘Fans wanted’ – If you would like to write for Gunnersphere.com and get your views and opinions across, simply message me on Twitter