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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Arsenal mull 'guard of honour'

The Arsenal Independent Supporters Association feel the club were right to agree to a guard of honour for newly crowned champions Manchester United - in order to avoid accusations of pettiness.

Last Updated: 24/04/13 at 17:02 Post Comment

Robin van Persie: Promised a hot reception on his first match at the Emirates si

Robin van Persie: Promised a hot reception on his first match at the Emirates si

United sealed a 20th domestic championship on Monday night when they beat Aston Villa 3-0 and the title winners have traditionally been clapped out onto the pitch in their next match.

United did as much when the title-winning Arsenal side went to Old Trafford at the end of the 1990-91 season and AISA feel it would be churlish to do otherwise.

AISA chair Lois Langton said: "I think we have to give the guard of honour, as I don't want us to look as though we are being petty by not giving the guard of honour.

"For it not to happen and for supporters not to acknowledge the Manchester United team as they come out would actually boost Robin van Persie's ego.

"I would rather us just acknowledge them and then get on with the game - otherwise the focus will be on Robin van Persie, rather than the Arsenal team, which is what we are supposed to be going there to support.

"Having said that, the reality is he will get a hot reception.

"Football is a game of passion and emotion, and there are a large amount of supporters who feel very strongly about the circumstances in which Van Persie left.

"We had the seven years of him being injured with us, then he had his one injury-free good season, and at the end of that he decided to leave.

"The statement he came out with when he left, which I think he felt showed he identified with supporters, actually showed how very far removed he was from supporters.

"He completely called it wrong, he did not appreciate how Arsenal supporters felt about him and about the club.

"He alienated himself from supporters by the way in which he brought about his move, that is still felt very strongly by Arsenal supporters and is what is going to generate the response that he is going to get when he comes back on Sunday."

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