Chelsea v Arsenal, a tiny problem

It was deeply shocking to find that some 800 seats were unsold for the game last night. Arsenal meandered into the knock out stages for something like the sixth year running, using mostly a reserve team (Ade, Sagna, Kolo, Eduardo, Rosicky, Nasri, Theo, Eboue… none of them could play). It does seem that it is hard to sell 60,000 consistently for the reserves. Shame that the early leavers missed a wonderful goal.

But we are not the only club to find this problem of poor attendances, as Jonathan Neale has kindly pointed out to me, by sending me the web link

If you read that you will see that the tickets for CSKA Fulham against Arsenal remain unsold – and that is within their capacity of 42,500.

This is not the first time they have had these problems – they had similar difficulties in the past selling tickets for European games and in recent years the average attendance has been 41,900 – not far off full, but still, not full in a modest sized ground. (The lowest was 3000 against Lincoln City, but perhaps that’s a bit unfair – the record attendance was 82,905 against Arsenal (of course) in October 1935.

Anyway, because I love arcane and stupid information, I want to reveal just a little more. Chelsea want to have a 55,000 stadium, so that Mr Abramovich has more room to spread his bodyguards out on the empty seats, but it is going to be tough to do that within the confines of Stamford Bridge. Like Arsenal the ground has got unmovable railway lines around it, but unlike Arsenal the area is not one that can readily take extra people under current health and safety regs. So a new ground looks more likely.

But, and this is the funny bit, in Chelsea, the Official Biography (2006, pages 91/2) there is the revelation that under the Chelsea Pitch Owners articles of association the football club (I use the phrase in its broadest sense) would have to give up the name ‘Chelsea Football Club’ should it move from Stamford Bridge

So maybe CSKA Fulham will actually come to pass officially. Or Chelsea Russia? Chelsea Finance? Money Money Money?

5 Replies to “Chelsea v Arsenal, a tiny problem”

  1. Did you that every single Chelsea fan has been going since the days of Kerry Dixon and they were all there when they were in the second division. Well that’s what every Chelsea I ever meet says.
    I think they must have the same genetics as starfish. They reproduce by splitting themslves in half. Either that or they are liars.

  2. Not a convincing win but win is a win, I will take it. Under Cesc’s captaincy we started with a win a clean sheet which is good. Cesc played a good game with determination and discipline, so did Clichy and Vela. I will also include Almunia and Wilshere as well. Wilshere kid has something special in him that makes him so cool and composed. I still don’t know why Ramsey was on the right. Wenger please do not destroy this wonderful player playing wide. Oh yeah, we had 4 CM playing in the middle park, what a shame. Can you guys even imagine Chelseki or Manu will ever play with four playmakers in the middle, I don’t.

    On this debate about Almunia and Bentdner, let me speak my thoughts.

    Almunia: He was a reject from Real Sociedad, a second tier team in the Spanish league. In four seasons, he had zero, yes zero appearance with the club when he was supposed to be at his peak. Now, he is our undisputed No 1. He is the worst Arsenal keeper under Wenger even Alex Manninger(97-02) who was shite is way superior to Almunia. He has been succesfull in replacing injured Buffon at Juventus including two clean sheets against Realmadrid FC. Simple, Almunia is slow to react, cannot command 6-yard box and poor in air far from making worldclass saves. Today he made a vital save but that was an easy save for an average keeper. I declared in the begining of this season Arsenal will not win anything with Almunia in goal and I hold my point. No clubs have ever won a premier league title in England without an international keeper and this trend will continue. As a 32 year old keeper he has never played an international game and a major tournament. Only chance he got to play in CL final 2006, he lost the game for us with 2 near-post goals. Some people argue that he is improving and getting better. The goals he conceded this season against Fulham, Sunderland, Tottenham(2), Astonvilla and Manchestercity has proved all Almunia’s admirer wrong. I didn’t believe when Spanishfry in yesterday’s blog stated that he should have been appointed our captain ahead of Cesc. Were you serious SF? He lacks class to be a successful Arsenal keeper. Let’s face it, Hull, Bolton, Blackburn has better goalie than ours. This shows our ambition.

    I totally rate Bentdner and he will come good in few years time.He has raw talents to be a good striker minus pace. But, understand many class striker’s like Bergkamp lacked enough pace. With his good vision & footballing brain, he will be a good No. 10. Last couple of weeks he has been very poor and it was due to wrong team selection. He can never play as a lone striker. With his national team he has been very good cause he plays as No. 10 just behind his strike partner. He is only 20, is not our regular starter, so give this kid a break. He is not 32 like Almunia who is past his best. He has rooms to improve like his first touch and finishings. Unlike Almunia he is a regular starter and one of the star of his national team. Denmark’s fans take him as one of the stars of Euro qualifying games and now World cup qualifying games. There is more to come from him but none from Almunia. Almunia starts every game for Arsenal while Bentdner is 4/5 th in the pecking order of striker at Arsenal. Then, why you keep bashing him, no reasons. Agree with you guys that he might not make at Arsenal but this kid will be star, believe me. He can be ruthless playing for other teams than Arsenal.

    Wilshere Gun!

  3. I think the lack of people at the ground is a good thing for some of us that haven’t got a chance to get in otherwise – if only arsenal would advertise the fact that there are seats available so we could make arrangements.

    I agree with teh comment about Almunia – compare with seaman. Saying that, i think he has exceeded my expectations – they were low to start with.

    Bendtner will be good, but is not there yet – he made a good impression as a sub, but does not impress when starting. Personally, I think all of our strikers are weak – RVP just doesn’t do it for me – the odd flash of brilliance is not enough in today’s premiership – he needs to consistently start scoring. vela, at least is very direct, as is simpson – I thought they both brought a new dimension to arsenal against Wigan.

    Tactically, we are too conservative – we keep the ball, but make no ground. This would be fine if we had people in the team to take advantage of the many corners and free kicks that we win. Unfortunately we are poor at set pieces at both ends of the pitch.

    Tactically, we either need to take some chances – risk giving the ball away in order to get past a player, or buy some big fellas, who can dominate in the air – if only we had bought santa cruz in the summer – we would be doing a lot better now in my opinion.

  4. It WAS a sell out, at most evening games some people with tickets wont turn up, plus for some reason the ticketexchange facility was not available for this game. That is why there were a few hundred empty seats. Many of the seats were in the lower stands, where the cheapest seats reside – these are always sold first so if there ever were unsold tickets they would be up high. Surely every gooner who goes to the stadium knows that the

  5. Hadley is right; for a lot of midweek games people get there late – or can’t make it – the gorund is always a sell out, but if you actually look at attendances for midweek games you will see that they are lower than the weekend.

    The attendance itself isn’t done on seats sold, it’s done on turnstile entrances, I’m a season ticket holder and I couldn’t make it, and couldn’t give my ticket away in time.

    It’s unlikely that we will have a problem seeling out in the near future, things don’t change that quickly!

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