View From The Sphere

How do the country of Nigeria Perceive the Gunners?


Arsenal are the team widely loved in Nigeria, though overall, Chelsea have the larger fan base.

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.

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  • Barry says:

    Its nice to here that people in Nigeria love Arsenal. Hopefully one day we’ll be the most fan favourite team in Nigeria.

  • peter says:

    this article is not entirely true. It took d presence of mourinho and abramovic at chelsea and the trouphy wins of man u before these clubs actually gained prominence in nigeria. Prior to this neither man u or chelsea had more fans than my beloved arsenal. It must be said also that lack of big name player and trophys made arsenal supporters jump ship to chelsea and man u.

  • I’m a nigerian,i was born in nigeria before i left for Ghana in 2005.I started watching english premiership in 2006(on the champions league final day that was play in Paris.)That was the day i started supporting the arsenal and more respect to Manager Arsena Wenger.
    I love this team because we do not play with names, starts but we produce stars for their country(national team) Arsenal is a well supporting Club in Nigeria right now and i’m one of the great fan of Arsenal in Nigeria.

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