Arsenal v Forest: watch the whole game again for free




By Sir Hardly Anyone

As you may recall the appalling Andy Gray was banned from Sky TV  in 2011 for making ludicrous and offensive remarks about women in football, and has since been plying his misogyny and sexism first with talkSport (who really should have been utterly ashamed of themselves for taking him on, but who never apologized) and then for beIN Sports in Qatar.  And since raging sexism is probably one of the things that Qatar is best known for (along with buying the world cup), that seems appropriate. 

Anyway, on getting the news that the entry system into Arsenal Stadium had failed – something that we didn’t actually predict, but is an issue we have been expressing concerns about in relation to the instruction that we should all be putting our membership cards on our phone – Gray proclaimed on his TV show that Arsenal should just open the gates and let all the crowd in.

Keys who was sacked alongside Gray for rampant sexism, was somewhat taken aback and said, and showing a level of judgment for which he has not been renowned said, “You can’t just open the gates. That would be even worse. Can I remind you of what happened at Hillsborough?”

And there was a real point there.  At first sight, it might seem that Arsenal is a lot safer than Hillsbrough was in 1989 given that it is all seater, but the fact is that opening the gates would mean a vast number of people piling into the ground at once, rather than in a measured manner through the turnstiles, with half of them then going up the stairs and rushing to get to their seats.

Since I was already in the ground (we chose to get there particularly early not least because I had no faith in Google Wallet properly, not having used that feature before) my pal and I were not affected by the announcement.

But what is interesting is just how many people believed that everything would work ok and there would be no delays.   Personally, I find such a trust in IT bizarre.   But maybe that’s because I work with it every day.

The fact is that new IT systems very rarely work as they are planned and what Arsenal could have done was have a series of pre-season games at home with crowds restricted but rising: 10,000 for the first game, 30,000 for the second, 40,000 for the third etc.

Now this would have reduced Arsenal’s commercial and marketing reach, which is what the games in the USA were all about, but it would have enhanced the safety situation and removed the vast crowds that gathered outside the ground as the wallet system failed to link with the turnstile electronic readers.  It was a case of profit ahead of safety.

Of course, what we don’t know is how Arsenal will be testing the system again prior to the next match in 13 days’ time against Fulham.  Will fans have faith that the system now works and so turn up just before kick-off, once more on the grounds that “it is all sorted now”?

What’s more, will Arsenal be asking themselves why people turned up late, in the face of a new entry system?  Was it that most of them use the Wallet system and are used to it working, and so had no doubts that everything would be ok?  Or had a lot of people not realised that a new system was in place and actually were turning up with their normal membership cards?

Of course, one possibility is that it was actually nothing to do with people arriving en masse and not being sure about how the system worked, but rather that the entire system is not capable of operating 60,000 admissions in a short space of time, and hadn’t been fully tested – see above.  

Sadly there is not a single thing about this on the official website.   But they do tell us that Arsenal started the new under-21 season (in what is known as PL2) with a 3-0 victory over West Ham.  It was a notable moment since I think it was the first time ever that all three goals in PL2 were scored by young men with double-barrelled names: Myles Lewis-Skelly, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji and Amario Cozier-Duberry.   The team was: Ejeheri, Sweet, Walters, Monlouis (C), Sousa, Ibrahim, Henry-Francis, Nwaneri, Cozier-Duberry, Sage Jr, Butler-Oyedeji.

And here’s something else that maybe has been there for years and I have missed it, or maybe it is a new innovation, but the entire match against Forest is now on   And I am particularly glad pleased to hear “North London Forever” is included in the film.  If you missed the match (or indeed want to see the whole thing again) it is there to watch.  I don’t know how long it will stay for, but it’s there at the time of writing.




11 Replies to “Arsenal v Forest: watch the whole game again for free”

  1. As far as know always has the entire match, usually in two halves. It’s where I do a lot of my match research.

    They usually have a 2 minute package, or thereabouts (goals). A 12 min package, or thereabouts (highlights) and the whole match in 2 parts.

    As for the issues yesterday. I said exact same to Mrs N. They should of had some pre season friendly’s at the Em’s. I said the old fashioned Emirates cup format over a weekend with 2 matches on Saturday and 2 on Sunday, would of been ideal, especially as fans tend to turn up gradually depending on their desire to to see the first match.

    But alas commercial needs outweighed getting the system right for the fans.

    My issue, as always, is not that things go wrong, that happens, but how they are resolved, especially when it comes to dealing with the affected paying public.

    Sadly Arsenal FC are falling way way short in this regard, and it is just not acceptable.

    I mean, just manning the phone lines would be a start. It’s not much to ask is it?

  2. And this is my take on how we end up with the sort of mess we had yesterday, and it’s from somebody who hasn’t got a clue really, just my instinct, is that they:

    Outsource all this stuff to an ‘IT’ company.

    The company promise they can do x y an z for ££££?

    Arsenal say. How’s it going?

    They say yeah great, because they are under pressure to deliver on their promises, promises that won them the contract.

    They know it’s all under rehearsed, under developed and wont work but they dare not fess up.

    They just bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

    When it all goes belly up Arsenal say, ‘Sorry, but it was issues with our IT company’. In other words, not our fault.

    The IT firm will blame someone else.

    When I had problems with the 4 game pre season match pass, that was so obviously a problem their end, they said it was a problem my end. Have I tried this, that and the other, half of which I didn’t have a clue what they meant.

    I gave up.

    But basically it was MY FAULT, nothing to do with them.

    I love Arsenal, but I’m sorry this is just not good enough.

    £105 Million on a player. £50 on customer care.

  3. I am doing opposition research…and watching Chelsea-Pool!
    God is this a boring game.
    With 10 min to go, Chelsea 4 fouls 2 yellows, Pool 10 fouls 2 yellows… an’t remember if Taylor is an away or a home referee, from this game, it looks like away.
    As for the game itself….I’d say tennis football…long balls in diagonals, a few runs down the sides with no effect…. so little built-up play.
    It’s good to be a Gunners’ fan

  4. Chris

    Said the same to Mrs N, Terrible game.

    The one moment of magic was Salas touch control and pass for Liverpool’s goal. Class. But apart from that totally devoid of quality and boring as hell.

    These 2 sides need to improve dramatically if they want to challenge.

    So far Man City looked pretty good, well Harlaand did. Is it a case of stop him, or more accurately, starve him of the ball, and you stop City. We will see.

    Newcastle looked good. Villa are no pushovers and they put them away convincingly.

    We looked very good at times. Should of put Forest away but gave them a sniff.

    If Man Utd look decent tomorrow I would suggest those 2 today will struggle to make an impact, but it is very early days.

    Oh, you’ll notice I didn’t mention Spurs. Says all you need to know.

  5. @Nitram,

    I’ve been in IT all my life…so let’s just accept I lived through some crap-shit events and problems and solved mayn as well as failed on some.

    To me, seen from the outside, it looks like some piece of hardware or internet connectivity just went south.
    And the tech guys had to scramble to find out what was wrong, to change or reset the faulty piece and restart the whole system.
    There is no way, IMHO, that the issue was some software bug or design issue. In this case, no way it could have been solved so quickly.

    My take is that they did handle the problem pretty well, even if all these fans/spectators had to wait. And these fans/spectators, on their side, must be CREDITED with staying calm, NOT making the situation worse and in the end, the issue was resolved.

  6. Chris

    Obviously I bow to your superior knowledge.

    But here’s the thing, you are just doing what IT people do, which is basically to say ‘Not my fault guv’. You say:

    “To me, seen from the outside, it looks like some piece of hardware or internet connectivity just went south.”

    So not the IT people, it was the Hardware people.


    Not the IT people it was the connection people.

    Sorry but wasn’t it the IT people’s job to check the hardware was up to the task BEFORE the first match?

    Wasn’t it the IT people’s job to ensure good connectivity, or at least back up, BEFORE the first match?

    This match wasn’t a rehearsal. If this IT company had given the go ahead on a ‘critical’ system on say an aircraft, would it of been okay for that to fail on the first flight? Sorry the planes come down but we lost the connection! Speak to BT! Or as is the norm, not our fault it was the plane itself, or in other words the hardware.

    In fact, didn’t it happen on the A340, or was it Boings Jumbo replacement? Sorry I cant quite recall. Planes kept misbehaving under certain conditions ending in a couple of planes coming down. First they blamed pilot error, then a hardware issue. Finally it was traced to a ‘cliché’ in the Software.

    Sorry Chris, this isn’t a pop at you, you are just kindly trying to explain it for me, but as I say, it does sound like every other explanation IT give, which is, it’s not us, it’s somebody else.

    Happened to me with my early bird pass. The tech firm suppling the pass point blank refused to accept that it had anything to do with them.

    And here’s the frustrating thing. What can I do or say? Nothing. All they have to do is keep saying ‘It must be something YOU are doing wrong’. How can little old me PROVE it’s them.

    Like yesterday. If they say it’s not ‘their fault’ it’s not their fault.

    This seems to me how the IT World works. They know it’s all like Chinese to most of us, especially us old fogies. Have you tried switching it off and on as they roll their eyes at the incomitance of us all. Have you emptied your ‘Cache’ whatever that is. Have you tried reloading your app? Are your drivers up to date.

    And round and around we go, but not once was it EVER considered to be a problem with the IT their end.

    Okay, they sorted it, but as I said, yesterday wasn’t a rehearsal, it shouldn’t of happened and it was an embarrassment.

    Sorry Chris, as I say, not your fault, you’re just trying to help but it just drives me nuts.

  7. @Martin,

    you are right, and I believe I am right as well.
    Thing is that today, IT departments – and this has been going on for years, are cutting corners and not building any redundancy into the systems. I remember some time ago a huge internet blackout in Switzerland just because some router or equipment like this – and nothing worth millions – failed and there was not a second one on hand to take over. Tens of thousands of households and businesses cut-off for some obscrure saving on equipement probably less then 100’000 €. Redundancy is not built in many systems anymore.

    The ‘arrogance’ of IT people in general is a known fact. And in developping software I’ve caught myself being arrogant like that, trusting that all will be Ok when there is potential for failures here and there.

    So I believe the switch to electronic tickets went ok from a software perspective – and enabled 60K+ people to come in, and the hardware or server had a serious glitch. And I’m pretty impressed by the end result – bar the one issue. Maybe some technical journal will sometime in the future have a story behind the scenes….

    And as I’ve written, I’m amazed at how peacefully the public took it.

  8. Chris

    “And as I’ve written, I’m amazed at how peacefully the public took it.”

    Thank you again for your help, but please don’t mistake ‘exasperated resignation’ for ‘peaceful acceptance’.

  9. The Arsenal ticketing system IT infrastructure hasn’t worked correctly for years. Even when I was trying to purchase paper tickets, they would always be sent to somebody else. Arsenal customer service people would simply say that there was nothing that could be done.

    A problem report should have been submitted to the application support team.

    The fault in this case is due to programming errors relating to database lookups.

    As far as I am aware, the problem is still present.

  10. My concern for Timber’s injury led me to follow the process of his injury and I believe the start of the injury was early in the 8th minute.

    Timber had his heel stepped on removing his boot. Most would remember the fact that Timber had one boot on when he tried to clear the ball. Neither the referee nor the VAR cared to look at this incident as a foul, let alone as the start to a serious knee injury.

    The muscle (Gastrocnemius) that connects to the heel bone also connects in two places on the knee. The injury to the knee manifests because the muscle is compressed and any ankle movement stresses the knee. The initial symptom looks like a calf injury and the knee gets the tug to the points where Gastrocnemius connects.

    I am not surprised by the ignorance of the PGMOL but I am disappointed with the clubs lack of understanding of muscular connection between heel and knee.

    Tony please pass this diagnosis to the Arsenal medics for consideration.

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