It has been a few months since I last asked Arsenal fans how they feel about the direction of the club.
Quite a bit has changed in that time period and it feels like a really good time to take the pulse of the fan base with an international break making for a nice chance with no matches to get in the way.
Let us take a look at the results from November and I will get back into the practice of doing these monthly. This months survey is based on responses 11/10 to 11/20 with a total of 525 people who took the survey.
Up first the overall approval ratings for Arsenal as a team.
You all have given Arsenal a 38% approval rating. This is slightly up from the last time I asked back in July where only 36% approved of Arsenal. The decline in people who disapprove is even larger going from 38% to 30%. This is down from the highs of March 2020 where 57% of people approve of Arsenal in general.
Worryingly people are losing confidence in the direction that the club is moving in. Currently only 40% of fans think that things are getting better, that is down from 58% in July and 77% in March.
Approval Ratings by Position
These match pretty well to my general feelings but are a huge change in how things were just a few months ago.
People who vied the attack in a positive light has gone from 72% in March, to 55% in July to just 6% currently. I don't think that these people are wrong because looking at the statistics Arsenal's attack has drastically fallen along with these numbers (people might have been a little too positive about the attack back in March but we had a new manager bounce still going on).
It is almost the exact opposite for the defense. In March on 17% of people thought this was a positive part of the Arsenal team, July it was still just 9% but now 70% of people see this in a positive light. I was an outlier in July, thinking that there were green shoots in the things that Arteta was working on to improve the structure of the defense but now it seems like pretty much everyone has come on board with that.
Perhaps it is my natural inclanation to be contarian but I am really starting to believe that the focus has swung too far towards playing in a rigid structure that will support the defense at the expense of Arsenal's attack. In an ideal workld I guess you keep both, but soccer is a game of tradeoffs and I don't think the balance is correct right now.
Lastly is midfield, this one has been roughly stable hanging out between 25% and 30%. Which again feels about right, the midfield has never been the biggest issue with Arsenal but it certainly isn't a strength. Like Arsenal overall it is just meh.
Approval Ratings for Specific People
Mikel Arteta still shows strong support among the fans. It is however starting to fall from where he was as the new manager bounce and FA Cup win moves further into the rear view mirror. His approval a great deal numbers have fallen quite a lot, it was 73% in January, 61% in March, 51% in July and now just 17%. There is also now a contingent of fans who disapprove of the job that he is doing where before at worst people were nuetral about him.
I think that this will be an interesting thing to watch, Arsenal have three matches where they should expect to get results if not wins to finish out November, before things get really crazy going into December.
For the longest time Edu's role wasn't well defined and peoples opinion reflected that with most people holding a neutal opinion of him. With Raul out, Edu is now firmly the person in charge of leading the recruitment at Arsenal and it appears that people are starting to form opinions about the job that he is doing.
The views of Edu match pretty well with what people think of the overall talent level at Arsenal and I expect that will generally stay the same going forward.
Lastly for this section is the fan's opinion of Arsenal's owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. It is not surprising to me that fans generally have a negative view of KSE, I am part of the 22% minority who actually hold a positive view of them currently but it looks like more people are moving in my direction.
In March the disapproval rating was 85%, droping to 75% in July and now just 57%. KSE are certainly not perfect, especially with regards to the bad PR they have earned with layoffs of staff but KSE have made steps to inject money, shoulder losses and restructure things to make money available to bring in players (even if I have major concerns about where that investment was directed).
More next month.