Being in the Emirates for the screening: the great, the good but also….

By Walter Broeckx

As getting tickets for Wembley was not possible for most of the local Untold Arsenal writers and for me from far away places it was completely out of the question. So with a bunch of 4 other Arsenal Belgium members we went for the screening in the Emirates.

On each side of the pitch Arsenal had put up big screens where you had a perfect view.


Picture taken from my seat in the clock end lower tier before the match.

You can sit anywhere you want in the stadium. Of course with the way the screens are set up it is not wise to sit in the corners. As that way you will not have the best view. Also notice the fact that compared to last season they put a fence around the screens. A kind of barrier to make the difference between sane people and well…. later more on that.

You could have drinks but I honestly didn’t ask for any food. I had eaten something outside the ground and wasn’t feeling hungry at all. I must say that where we sat we had big drinkers or the amount of Carlsberg was too small. From half time on they ran out of it. Not that I had any trouble with it as I don’t drink alcohol.

The atmosphere was great. Lots of singing before and during the match. We stood up when we had to stand up. We sang about the greatest team the world has ever seen. A song that from now on has to be re-written when we play FA cup matches. From now on I will sing this version:

And it’s Arsenal, Arsenal FA

We’re by far the greatest team

the FA cup has ever seen.

And once we got in front the atmosphere went from good to great. It was all smiles and laughter were we sat. Everyone completely enjoying the occasion. But I noticed that just before half time the stewards had to guide someone out from the seats. Hell, is it so difficult to just enjoy things? Or was he not an Arsenal supporter?

The second half was of course one long festive moment. Arsenal performing in a Majestic way. The crowd singing and supporting the team. And then minutes before the final whistle the crowd began to run on to the pitch. One brave soul first who got caught but then the floodgates opened and they came from all sides and angles.

The announcer said immediately that they were allowed on the pitch but that for safety reasons they fenced area was a no-go zone.

Now I don’t want to say bad things about fellow supporters but on this occasion I have to.

after match1

I loved seeing the enthusiast on the pitch. As I have been there, played there I don’t feel the need to go out on the pitch anymore. But I feel happy for those who have their first outing on the pitch.

But why oh why is it so difficult to stay in line with what Arsenal is asking you to do? They asked not to enter the fenced area and yet hundreds of them went in that area. Now I know that such screens cost a lot of money. And some idiots even tried to climb the screens for some unknown reason apart from not being well in their head. On the picture you can also see some idiots climbing the constructions where the speakers were hanging on.

Just imagine if something happens there? Someone falls off and breaks a leg or get killed? The screens also run on electricity and lots of wires go from left to right. Just imagine someone getting electrocuted?

It’s such a shame that people will do as if there are no rules any more. And the funny thing was that the idiots who were inside the fenced area could almost no longer see what was happening on the screens. If we wouldn’t have started shouting in anticipation when the cup was going to be handed over to Arsenal they would have missed that part of the day.

Last year Arsenal didn’t expect a pitch invasion and the screens were unprotected. This time they anticipated and put up a fence. But some people are really out there to force Arsenal to stop the screening I think. Because next season Arsenal could opt to put some electricity on the fence around the screens or….to stop the screenings completely.

So let us not ruin the fun next time shall we?

Finally to make things completely bad another sad incident happened at my side of the stadium. When the screening had stopped we turned to go out of the stadium. And then in the corner of my eye I saw a steward removing someone from the ground again. I don’t know why and for what but suddenly the person who was being removed hit the steward on the head with something and the steward was bleeding terribly from a wound on his head. Other stewards rushed on to assist him and the person who did the hitting ran away at high speed. What pleasure do people get from doing this? For f*ck sake we just made an historic moment in the history of our club and people start fighting…. it’s a sad world sometimes. I hope the steward is all right now. But it sure put a downer on my feelings for a few moments.

But after that we went out and just enjoyed the moments together


But all in all it was great experience. I thank Arsenal for the chance they give that way to supporters like us who can’t make it to Wembley. And I must say that once the match starts it feels as if you are in Wembley. In fact the Emirates is better than Wembley so it feels even more at home during the match and when we won.

We sang the whole day, evening and night. And when we woke up on Sunday morning the 5 of us could hardly speak anymore. It was great out there.

Now let’s hope that Arsenal again will learn from the experience and will also continue to do this in the future. We will be back if we get the chance to be there.


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16 Replies to “Being in the Emirates for the screening: the great, the good but also….”

  1. Glad you enjoyed the day Walter-I had to settle for TV at home with some pals. Jamaica’s a long way from North London. But fun it was and a long way from the strife and nerves of last years final vs Hull.

    Unfortunately, there will always be arseholes and they will always spoil it for the good people. Life has taught me that there’s good & bad, sensible & stupid in all walks of life. The cost of life is ramped up by these arseholes who through their innate ignorance ensure that people who appreciate freedom and the respect for others have to pay the price for these idiots actions.

    There’s only ONE Arsene Wenger!……;)

  2. After the match we spoke to a Gooner outside the pub next to the underground station. He was at the screening and when they invaded the pitch he had left the stadium and had rushed to the pub because he feared Arsenal would turn down the screens as they did last season for a long time and so most of us missing the images from on the pitch after the final whistle.
    This time Arsenal was so kind to keep the screens on the whole time but surely one day someone will say: enough is enough….

  3. thanks for the report Walter. I nhad thought about coming to the ground with the twins since i was unable to go with Tony to Wembley. Now I’m glad I didn’t choose to be at the ground (although it would have been great to celebrate with you and the Belgian Gooners. I wonder why some people can’t control their alcohol intake and surely its another reason why the FA should reconsider putting the final back to 3 o’clock where it belongs.
    In other news I have bought tickets to both days of the Emirates cup so if you or any other Arsenal Belgium supporters are going let me know so I can come and say hi!

  4. Great stuff Walter [& Tony, too]. Sadly eejits at football matches are everywhere, even at the hallowed Ems. I hope that steward is OK now.
    BTW Tony [if you see this!] – I had also had to deal with an eejit @ Wembley. Right next to me! He didn’t have a good word for either Per or Aaron & he started up with this about 30mins before kick-off! I was willing Aaron to score so I could exult, but happy enough that Per did – needless to relate Mr.Eejit celebrated too. These blokes just want to be right or happy…

  5. Great stuff Walter, thanks . One day I’ll join you there .
    Cheers !

  6. Last year someone did get injured running on the pitch I think it happened when he was jumping with joy!! He was attended by lots of medics it looked serious.
    Anyway the funniest thing happened when he left the pitch on a stretcher he did the Theo two fingered gesture to the crowd just like Theo did against you know who it was bloody funny!!
    I was there Saturday again what a day!!

  7. Having read your report I have just realised that you were sitting right next to us! Still can’t work out how you managed to get cider after they shut all the bars. If I had known it was you I would have said hello.

  8. Been thousands of miles away from London, I enjoy as always memories of fellow gunners especially at UT which they share with us concerning our great club. Thanks Walter again for all these analysis.

    To digress a little, I saw this article written by an Arsenal fan and published on an Aston Villa web page and wish to share a part of it here. It was under the caption WHY ASTON VILLA FANS SHOULD HATE ARSENAL. It made mention of the “aaa father” Piers Morgan and moronic fans arguments on twitter and fan sites but the below sub-heading torched me most.

    Spoiled fans who don’t understand why they’re spoiled

    Arsenal’s one of the most decorated clubs in the Premier League, competing in the Champions League for nearly two decades uninterrupted and winning more often than not, even when not necessarily in the title race every single year. Obviously everyone wants to win stuff, but you’d think that people would have a little bit of perspective and remember that there are plenty of teams who’s love to get back to the Champions League, just once. Even when things are at their worst, they never really get that bad.
    Of course, that’s way too much to ask. Instead you get banners in the stands going in on the club’s best-ever manager. You get people booing him as he boards a train. You get a pack of morons putting trash bags on seats in the Emirates Stadium. This isn’t because the team’s struggling to avoid relegation. It’s not because the team isn’t trying to win. We’re not Newcastle. There’s no reason for it beyond petulance, and a tremendous level of entitlement and unchecked privilege. It’s very hateable.

    Hope you enjoyed the reading

  9. Rob, it’s a small world after all 😉 Well to be honest I don’t know either as it was the more drunk part of our group that went out and came back with something, anything… 🙂 🙂

  10. I had seen a report (Metro?) about the Cesc banner getting torn down at Emirates in all the “excitement”. Did you notice that Walter?


    Tony often talks about journalistic accuracy. On the BBC site, they have a story about the worst places in the UK to take a driving test. And in the article, the worst 3 (in a table) are Leeds, Enfield and Luton. Personally, I think taking a driving test at the bottom of Loch Ness has to be much worse than even Luton. 🙂

  11. Thanks Walter and I reckon that I was about seven rows and a goal away from you. I wish I had known because I would have brought my two children to say hello to you. Some go to enjoy the football, some the atmosphere and some just go for the drink. Only a very few can manage to do all three in a classy way but as Nut Loaf once said two out of three ain’t bad.

  12. Nice one Walter. The majority , including myself enjoyed being on the pitch, but you always get the idiots. I hope the team are in the final again next year, but if they are and if the club don’t screen it, the fuckwits will be to blame. What I saw was not malicious, just silly. Same in holloway rd, most of it just high spirits, but some of it bashing bus windows scaring the passengers. Still a great atmosphere in the Emirates and I enjoyed seeing one of the finest performances I have seen.

  13. Gord,
    About the Cesc banner: No I haven’t seen it and as for the parade the passage was blocked and we had to go a long way round on the streets I couldn’t see it the next day.

  14. I’m obviously late to the party. But it’s better late than never. Congratulations to Arsenal, AW, the boys, staff and all AKBs world over especially on untold.

    Congrats and thanks to Tony, Walter and all ‘Untolders’. Supporting the club, players and the manager indeed. Yes, we are the 12th man not the moronic aaa.

    1 Arsenal, 12 Victories, No Equals.


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