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The Emirates: a view from the cheap(er) seats

Sometime ago Untold ran a grumbling piece about the man from row 15 who couldn’t be bothered to applaud the team even after we had despatched Fenebache (and Fulham the weekend before). He was still urging (very quietly it has to be said) M. Wenger to ‘spend some f***ing money’. Well, his wishes were answered and Herr Özil arrived as the signing of the summer.

Since then we have lost three games (Chavski, Dortmund and Manure) drawn one (Baggies FC) and won 12. Understandably the atmosphere at the Emirates is much improved upon that evening in late August (and even more so than the opening game of the season against Mr Aston Taylor FC).

But I still notice plenty of things that amuse or disturb me in my regular visits to Arsenal (I’ve seen every home game this season including both days of the Emirates Cup). In this post I thought I’d share my thoughts and observations.

I sit in the lower North Bank. I’m amongst those singing (well shouting mostly, I doubt many would recognise it as in any way musical…) ‘We’re the NORTH bank HIGH BER REEE!’. Most of the singing is orchestrated by the RedAction mob to the right – the seats (not that we use them as seats much this season – more on that later) over the corner flag – but the central north bank is getting more involved. As are the fans on the left and in East stand, and we can often here the Clock End too.

This is A Good Thing.

The songs are pretty standard: ARSENAL ARSENAL AR.SEN.AAAAL! ; We love you Arsenal, we do; and We’re by FAR the greatest team, are favourites, with the occasional Good Old Arsenal and The Famous T******* H***** went to Rome to see the Pope etc and lots of Nananana GIROOOOOOOOUD; Super Jack, BFG, and songs for Rambo and others.

The anti-spud songs are there but less pronounced recently – well let’s face it they aren’t the threat they were last season perhaps.

More people are standing – this is another GOOD THING in my opinion. It encourages singing, it keeps you warm, it’s more involved, less passive. So I was amused by two fans last night – two blokes about 40-50 years old – who clearly don’t come very often.

They spent ages before kick-off taking photos of themselves (nothing wrong with that). But as the ground emptied (more on that to come too…) they sat down and declared that the club should rip the bloody seats out; what’s the point in paying for seats when you have to stand?

Well I’m sorry but if I could stand on a terrace I’d do that every time, but at present the law doesn’t allow that. I’m just glad the stewards are being sensible and not enforcing the sit down rule. People are standing because the team are playing great and the crowd is involved. Go with the flow, enjoy it. Standing for an hour and a half won’t hurt you. Nor will singing.

Nor will getting there on time or staying to the end. This is my big gripe with football fans (Arsenal or anyone else).

Last night there were lots of new faces around me – I guess some ST holders sell on their tickets and again, I have no problem with that; football is expensive.

But several of those that bought a ticket last night were dressed in smart suits and overcoats, they arrived ten minutes after the game started (missing Jack’s wonderful goal), they then nipped off five minutes before HT and returned late for the restart. They then buggered off with five minutes (plus 3 minutes injury time) to go.

Tony and I have nearly a two hour journey home. We walk up to Archway (25-30 minutes) take the tube to Finchley (10-15) then the motorway to Northampton. Last night the M1 was full of lane closures and an accident and this is normal.

But from our seats in different parts of the stadium we stayed and applauded the team off just as we do every home match. I got home at midnight, Tony at 12.30am.   The ST holders to my left also stayed and they live in Brighton. Goodness knows what time they got home and one of them has to be up at 5 each morning for work.

By the time the final whistle went the ground was probably a third empty (and it wasn’t full to start with). Touts are asking for tickets outside and the place sells out really quickly at the moment. These are good times to be a Gooner. So please can those that come to the games make a bit of an effort to make the Emirates (or the Grove if you prefer) a fortress. The atmosphere is much improved but it can better. The team are doing their bit, as are many of us.

Will the real Arsenal fans please stand up and make themselves heard – your club needs you!

Blacksheep

The books…

The sites from the same team…

24 comments to The Emirates: a view from the cheap(er) seats

  • mutiu jimoh

    Well said………. But I still beleive to win a trophy this season the players need the fans behind them shouting like what we use to see in Dortmund ,Bayern Munichen ,Nou Camp etc. so that we can together make the Emirates a fortress for any team that comes there because I hate seeing Arsenal loose at home. Our away form is good better than the Emirates atimes.

  • Rafael

    It is a shame really… Of course we can’t do much about it because they are in their rights to leave early. It just bothers me that some people think that football and supporting a club are entertainments like any other one. Well, i think you can view things like that, but you kinda miss the point… Maybe the beautiful football Arsenal tend to play has a relation to these “theatre fans”.

    And all this from a Brazilian Arsenal fan who would do anything to be on the Grove every match…

  • Eddy

    Totally agree with your sentiments.How do you teach “fans” to care?! It should come with the territory.I reckon,anyone arriving 10 mins into a game,clutching overpriced food should be given a “lesson” from the Club on what supporting a team really means.We have a new bunch of “supporters”,who are the worst sort ie no passion and no knowledge.In some respects,I would rather be surrounded by gormless buffoons that occupy the stadiums of some of our rivals than the spineless jellyfish that have taken over large sections of “The Emms”

  • hemed

    nice piece

  • Mandy Dodd

    Can only agree with your words. Would be great if one day, Arsenals home fans could again be allowed standing,or safe standing as it is now termed. Something that would improve the atmosphere in one go for so many reasons – maybe cheaper tickets,families, groups of friends could regularly congregate in one area more easily…maybe like the wonderful Dortmund fans …but even if possible in our ground, thats another shout for another day

  • Sammy The Snake

    i always wonder why Arsenal do not have “cheer-leaders” through the game in order to encourage and synchronise the singing by the fans.

  • Stuart

    Great piece, I couldn’t agree more. I’m usually one of the last to leave (on the rare occasion that I go) and find the (often) silece around me quite unsettling. I do try and get an atmosphere going although I was very nearly thrown out once following my reaction to someone telling me to shut up.

  • bob

    A Thanksgiving remembrance for those gooners who can’t or can barely get in to stand up or sit down:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/opinion/an-unfair-game.html?ref=soccer&gwh=9AAD3E3A79D52F145AAB1B2543A5B6C2

  • John

    Agree with most of the sentiments, especially arriving late / leaving early. (although it may be genuinely unavoidable for some people) and I would add the annoyance about people leaving before half time to get to the bar, returning after the second half has started and then having to make additional exits to the toilets during the rest of the game.

    However, the comments about standing disregard the physical difficulty that this may cause for people with arthritis, sciatica, or back pain etc. Standing for 2 hours may not be so easy for them.

    I would be happy to stand in a designated area, having knowingly chosen to do so, but I would be annoyed at having to forego my seat simply to be able to see, because everyone else chooses to stand . There are ground safety issues which should mean that the stewards should be asked to discourage standing.

  • Bucks

    I think one of the reasons people sing the songs more often is because they hear it more often. Was speaking to an American online, he isn’t a Gooner but he has noticed the songs(We’re the North Bank/East stand/clock end) on TV for the first time this season.

    The more it is sung, the more people will know it.

  • Oliver

    I generally sit wherever I can on the ticket exchange. Aiming for the lower north bank, cheaper and the best atmosphere.

  • Gord

    Arsenal.com is reporting that Szczesny has now recorded 50 clean sheets, only the 11th Arsenal goaltender to do so.

    Clubs news
    Apparently there has been an influx of counterfeit tickets at the Emirates.

    On Wednesday, Dec 4, a strike on the Piccadilly line is planned.

    Gibbs is over his sickness. Podolski is about 3 weeks away.

    Arsenal has set up a hashtag for those of you that twit. #GetWellSoonPat https://twitter.com/search?q=%23GetWellSoonPat&src=hash

  • nicky

    An enjoyable post on an issue slightly off the usual run of things.
    There are so many cons against standing at matches, I don’t think we should go down that path again.
    People seem to leave early at all sporting functions, which I think has all to do with transport and getting home as early as possible.

  • TJ

    I would go even further and encourage those who can to get in early, create an atmosphere and get behind the lads while they are warming up

  • Yassin

    Blacksheep,
    Tell those couple there is a TV at home where they can sit, chill, and watch the game.

    Dont imagine for a while that what you all doing in the chants is something simple, in this hard season, I believe it is the little difference that will get us the trophy, we depend on you out there.
    If Arsenal wins something, u all have a hand in it just do your best.

  • colario

    Yassin
    I sent u an invite in fb.

  • WalterBroeckx

    TJ,
    on the rare occasions I can go to the Emirates I always want to be early so I can be there from the warming up. Just to suck up the atmosphere, the stadium, well the whole experience…

  • Yassin

    Colario
    I think you sent to the wrong one, am the one with no profile picture.

    I believe I found your profile, but i cant add you or interact in any way.

  • colario

    Yassin
    email colarioatpesonal.ro 🙂

  • colario

    Yassin
    sorry no correction colarioatpersonal.ro

  • stevegooner

    As an aside to people arriving late and leaving early, Tuesday was a nightmare for those travelling into London Bridge due to a fire in a signal box. Southern Region was disrupted for hours.

  • TJ

    Walter,

    Agree with you there.

    It’s not only being in this colossus arena and seeing the squad and each individual attitude to the warm up, it’s also the people around you and the chance to have conversation with, people you would never meet otherwise, or possibly ever will again. Often people who have traveled for a day and made great personal sacrifice to watch the Gooners. It would make you burst with pride.

  • Salem

    Hi all,

    I am a gooner from very far (Algeria) and each time I have the chance, the visa and the money to visit London … I plan to do so on a match day … A colleague of mine have a ST and helps me get a ticket and seat next to him every time … And to sit next a local gooner give much more of the experience … I love the grove but the grove is a very quiet place … I will not speak about the atmosphere on a match day here within the big clubs in Algiers … It’s just madness … When you have the chance to get to game and see such an amazing team playing some amazing football … All you have to do is to support the lads on the pitch as loud as you can … Before my first visit to the Ems I googled the arsenal songs and learned them … I went there and … I wouldn’t say song but shouted very loud I remember we lost to €iffy and it was Nasri’s first game with them … I was disgusted with result but proud to a gonner (from very).

    Keep up the great work you are doing and shout loud !

  • Amit

    Apologies Slightly off topic but i had to share this with Untold Gooner family Check the below Link Usamanov is the biggest Hypocrate wasnt this the same man who questioned about Arsenal needing change and how Wenger has sold his best players.What a looser i am glad my club is run by people with Integrity and class.Wat a diff it makes when we start winning y only say good things about wenger when we win y not support and respect the man for wat he has done for the club in difficult times

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2515878/Alisher-Usmanov-backs-Arsene-Wenger-restore-Arsenal-number-again.html