The reality is that Arsenal had four major dips in form last season, this time it has been one, or at most two (depending on results for the remaining games). That is a major improvement, and there is every reason to believe that further improvement will follow next season.
Plus eventually the case against Manchester City will be heard by the Premier League and hopefully that club will be sanctioned. Relegation to the Conference and a 10 year ban on buying anyone for over £1m would seem a reasonable punishment to me.
But there is some good news around. Those people who paid £50k for their ticket for the last match of the season are probably out there now trying to flog it for £100, and not finding takers. If only Arsenal could be slightly more targetted in who they claim is a tout and who isn’t, that might be sorted out too.
However what is most annoying is to have a journalist pontificate on the subject on why a small minority left before the end despite the stadium being “within a 15-minute walk of three different Tube stations.”
Yes that maybe so, but here’s the thing. One of those three stations is always closed after matches for safety reasons, (Holloway Road) – and a journalist who did ANY research into what he is scribbling about would know that.
Further, one of the stations was built before the original Highbury stadium was opened (Arsenal station, then called Gillespie Road), and was never designed to take the crowds that seek to use it after a game. I don’t normally suffer from claustrophobia but in those long tunnels with that level of crowding and no possible escape in an emergency, I most certainly can feel it.
As for Finsbury Park railway station, which my pal and I use, there is the case of battling across Seven Sisters Road before we come to the fear of being pushed onto the track by the sheer numbers on the platform.
So, Oliver Brown, Chief Sports Writer of the Teleegraph, may I suggest one day have a seat in the East Upper, leave at the final whistle, and try and make your way to one of the statons (including if you like, Holloway Road, which you have never noticed was shut).
Or alternatively simply ask some fans. We’ll tell you what is possible and what is not.
What do Arsenal have to do next season? Clear out the press box, and put in regular seating for fans. That would be a good start.
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