Arsenal v Udinese: the Catering Report

By Peter D’out (our man with a bun)

These days I tend to partake of my refreshments vis a vis matches either at the Auld Triangle (previously the Plimsoll) on St Johns Road, and within the Emirates itself.

For the Udinese game I did both, sharing a pint or two with Ian and Mark.  I bought the first round, and Mark the second, which was extremely generous of Mark given that he was on lemonade.

The Triangle has, I am certain, taken to putting the prices up considerably on match days, and then rounding prices up for buyers who are not regulars.  Two pints and a lemonade for £11?  A little over the top I feel.

But then into the ground.   I partook of nothing prior to the match, as we arrived to the playing of “Wonder of You”, and took our seats, but at half time I nipped down to the catering facilities between blocks 99 and 100 and ordered a meat pie and a cappuccino.

And lo and behold.  They were fresh out of cappuccino.

Now let me stress this.  This was half time in the first game of the season and they were out of cappuccino.  Leaving aside the technicality that it is actually against Fair Trading rules to advertise something you don’t have, how can you run out of a standard drink from a machine by the opening minute of half time.  I was after all, only the third in the half time queue.

“What else do you have?” I asked

“White coffee and black coffee” came the reply.

“I will have a chocolate,” I said, and I got one.

But Mr Delaware North who runs the franchise for drinks in the Ems… let me ask you this (if I may be so bold).  How can you run out of a product at the start of half time on day one?

I mean to say…

Actually Walter always tells me he finds the chocolate too hot and not sweet enough, but I must say it was fine for me, so I guess everyone has their own taste.  BUT WHERE WAS THE BLEEDIN CAPPO?

Then it got worse.

I mean, really worse.

I was given the pie in its plastic bag, and I said, “where’s the forks?” there being none on the serving bench.  The young man said, “over there” and pointed vaguely.

I walked to the position by one of the internal walls where such items can be found = but no.  No forks.  Lots of stirring spoons for the non-existent cappuccino but no forks.   I walked on to the benches near the outer wall, and looked.  Sauce and mustard but no forks.  On to the next one.  Eventually I found one tub of forks and got just about the last one.

Turns out that hordes of Arsenal supporters were on the prowl looking for plastic forks, and there was only one tub.  Quite possibly there was a major uprising.  Shouting in the corridors, that sort of thing.  Calls for the resignation of Mr Wenger, I’ll be bound.  Disorder in the lower levels perchance.

As for the meat pie it was fairly revolting.

And the game… well there was the issue of Djourou coming on and going off again.  Some say he was injured, but I thought he was brought on by mistake, what with Mr Wenger being in the stand on account of being hit by a UEFA official and daring to glare back at him (or whatever invented offence it was in the first place).

What is true is that when we brought on Frimpong to play along side Song as two central defensive midfielders, then, and only then, did Ramsey come to life.   I think the season’s plan is to play Jack and Song behind Ramsey, and on the basis of the last part of last night’s game, it will work a treat.

Of course I found it hard to focus on the closing sections of the game, what with the lack of cappuccino, but somehow I made it to the end, Ian helped me out, clearing the way with shouts of “ancient blogger leaving the stadium”, and we got back to the car, just.

A sad experience in the Catering Dept.  Sort it out guv.

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31 Replies to “Arsenal v Udinese: the Catering Report”

  1. Perhaps Mr Capello has been calling in a few favours to try and punish Theo? And as for that Natale fellow, he fair made me spill my skinny latte on occasion, the way he got penetrated our defenders!

  2. I blame Arsene for this – he should of spent some money on some chocolate.

    I am also fearful for the Liverpool match as we now may be low on tea too! I have looked on the web and Tesco supermarket has some, no negotiation needed. I know the tea want to be at the Emirates.

  3. Barca cut down on colour photocopying, we’ve cut down on posh coffee. I can only assume there’s a very expensive player with the river Thames running through his vains desperate to return to the club of his youth… like good coffee, I’m not bitter.

  4. Yes, I have made feelings known on the internet for almost an hour now, but still no reply from the club. We have billionare owners, but still no chocolate, it’s a joke.

  5. Unfortunately, I cannot blame Wenger for your catering experience, Peter.

    I’ve just spent a year living in the Netherlands and paying €5 for a half litre of beer is one of my only gripes about my time there. However, it makes London seem dirt cheap now (apart from on matchday of course!).

    I was wondering whether the authors on this site would consider writing an article on the merits of playing two up top rather than a lone striker, would any of you think about it? I reckon the time has come (after a season or so of not making the most out of our possession) for Theo to partner RvP. This might sound a bit bold of me, but I also think that if… sorry… when either of them gets injured that Bendtner or Chamakh might be prove more effective with a strike partner.

  6. Obligatory middle-aged / old bloke comment:

    11 quid for two pints and a lemonade???!!!!???? Was that two pints of vodka?

    I bet the cost of the pie and coffee wasn’t too far off that.


  8. Peter,
    An enjoyable report for us to read, although not entirely for you to experience. I know the blogs are mainly on footer matters but it would be nice to hear from you regularly on the catering front. Some of the prices you mention are simply horrendous but the publicity you are giving MAY bring them down (or at least improve quality).
    Or am I being naive?

  9. @Dan
    Both Bendtner and Chamakh are getting loads of stick, but I think that’s really down to they way they are expected to play at Arsenal. Both are essentially down-the-middle type front men best suited to playing on the shoulder of central defenders. With us they are expected to be Van Persie types with all the versatility and individuality that he provides by striking from the flanks as much as the centre.

    At Bourdeux Chamakh was the focal point of their attack and on the occasions I saw him he was dangerous and effective. Yet now he only seems to be a hold-the-ball and play-the-wall-pass player with an apparent aversion to getting on the end of crosses in the box.

    If we did go for two up front maybe Chamakh (probably too late for Bendtner) could be told to be more direct. On the other hand if Gervinho is classed to be a semi-striker rather than a wide man then this is unlikely to happen.

  10. LOL this was great post and some great comments. Really made me laugh. Okay maybe I have a bad sense of humour. 🙂

    Anyone has anything to say about the burgers? So I know what to expect when I come over on September 10. Maybe I need a to bring a thermos with some hot coffee then? Please give me suggestions so I will survive the trip. 😉

    Oh well a little wonder will do fine I think. Now this should get me a free burger next time I think…

  11. “ancient blogger leaving the stadium” classic one.

    Maybe they should have shouted: ancient blogger and match day program writer leaving the stadium.

    Congratulations Tony on your article in the matchday program!!!

  12. @ Walter there were enough burgers, the drinks are what have made me really angry, I might boo even if our team score a goal. As you can gather from my posts I am genuine fan that supports the club and so I know for a fact that Cesc left because of this and Nasri will follow, mark my words.

    I have been going to Arsenal for years, they used to pour drinks from large flasks and now since Arsene Wenger they use a machine. All Arsenal fans know the Spainish and French like to drink hot drinks. Arsene Wenger hasn’t a clue what drinks are available, he earns too much money, he should of made sure he offered Cesc and Nasri a beverage during contract negotiations. If we could get Paul Merson and Ian Wright in to replace Pat Rice too, all our troubles would be over, because they always make sense and know what is wrong with the club.

  13. @ man wit the bun Me thinks the lack of forks is a prelude to having to pay for them in the near future;-)

  14. what has the world become of lately. We are actually making fun of an “ancient blogger” his misery… 🙂
    To make it up I will buy you one when I come over in September. That is if there is some available…

  15. Keep in mind, Arsenal were playing an Italian club. Maybe their fans drank all the cappuccino.

    Who drank all the caps? Who drank all the caps?

  16. @ Walter I am very glad you are taking this all seriously, because I was begining to wonder if we might have to get that manager that drinks a lot to mention something at his next press conference. Of course the BBC would be excluded but I except this.

  17. First 2 PINTS AND LEMONADE £11? Seriously? what size was that lemonade? also And were those pints some local cheap beer? in Finland (unless you go some cheap local bar or classless place) that is close normal prize, I mean with basic 2 Finnish lagers (oh and our big one is smaller than pint) and small lemonade. If you want some different type of beer or bigger lemonade you pay more.
    As for Emirates I hope it ended up being something like order for some ingridient coffee maker needs didn’t arrive (it happens sometimes you know order something and it won’t come or some comes but not all… I work in restaurant and we have that problem sometimes had to change menu as we got wrong stuff from shop).
    Loving the article…
    Do you think they need a worker in Emirates as I could move there… wait I would actually have to work during every home match? No forget it I won’t do that.

  18. Maybe the person responsible for the cappuccino was just watching the game? Give that man a break will you. What would you do?

  19. Your round of drinks would have been only £9, except Abramovich came in and offered £12 then decided he didn’t want the beer after all.

  20. I was there with Peter and I can confirm it was two pints of Carling and a pint of lemonade for £11 at the Triangle. It is a disgrace.

    Thanks for the support for this new column, I will ensure that Peter D’Out will continue the theme.

    (Petered out – geddit?????)

  21. Enjoyed the post and the comments a lot. Thanks.

    Not related but has anyone got a chance to look at this >

  22. I did try to get hold of some new forks, but the best forks had already been purchased and I can tell you this; I will spend 20, 30, even 40 pence on new forks if they are the quality I am looking for. As for the pie, that particular pie was wanted by its original owner and would not agree to new terms, which left me with no option but to let it go for a very low price. We have lost a world class pie and will I purchase a quality replacement for it? I do not know, maybe if the price is right.

  23. Peter D’dout, ha ha ha, i get it!
    Spent about two minutes wondering why it wasn’t thomas d’out!
    Hee he he very funny! P.s the calibre of supporters has seriously deteriorated judging by the courtesy extended to a man of letters and a blogger, a good one but what can you expect with this cappuccino swilling, hoity toity, match day programme reading bunch? where are the barely literate, trophy fetishists when it matters?

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