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On not going to Arsenal v Tottenham, and do we really need journalists at matches?

By Tony Attwood

The rules are quite simple: anyone with a season ticket at Arsenal can apply for and get a ticket for League Cup games.  The price is £10 to sit downstairs, £20 to sit upstairs, with a 50% discount for the over 65s.

But despite the low price and the fact it is a game against our local rivals I’m not going.  Nor is my pal who I normally attend matches with.  Nor are several other people I know.

The reason that my friends give is the atmosphere; that it has become so nasty that it actually removes the fun of the game.  I’ve held out against this view, perhaps insulated in my front row seat upstairs whereas they have seats in the North Bank.   It is pretty much all season ticket holders in my part of the ground, and mostly people of a certain age range.  Not totally, but quite a lot.

Yes we make a bit of noise and occasionally get very excited or angry or frustrated, but of course we don’t do racism, or anti-Semitism or anything remotely like that.

Maybe that’s why I’ve stayed with watching Arsenal v Tottenham longer than some of my friends.  Except that on the tube on the way to and from the ground for the League game between the two a couple of weeks back, I experienced it full-on.

The police who were at Arsenal station in numbers did nothing – and indeed there was nothing they could do.  The exit route away from the trains within Arsenal station is packed and if the police who stand in that long tunnel did anything it would bring chaos and panic.  On the way out of the ground towards the underground station the streets are solid with humanity; again any move by the police would be impossible without risking panic.

So the racists and the anti-Semites can do as they wish – and they did before and after that recent game.  It was far, far worse than anything I have experienced since… well back in the 1970s I think, when I did indeed find it uncomfortable, but perhaps because of my youth could put up with it.

Of course I am not directly affected: I’m a white athiest.  My only problem with religion occurs where members of a religion want to stop me enjoying my life within the law.  So I’m with Rowan Atkinson on this one when he said that as a person who’d made a living out of making fun of religious people he could hardly condemn Boris Johnson for his jokes about the way some Islamic women dress.  I didn’t condemn that either.  I just want equality: they can do as they want, I can do as I want, and we don’t interfere with each other.

Anyway, whatever the rights and wrongs of my private logic, for the first time I’m not going to Arsenal v Tottenham.  Tipped into not going because of the move by my pals, and by the fact that it seems there is nothing to be done about the atmosphere and chanting.

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I’m glad the man who threw the banana skin was caught and thoroughly applaud Tottenham for banning him for life.  But can we do more?  I am not sure what.  Instead I’m going to a dance and will forget about the game.  Obviously as ever I want Arsenal to win, but I’ll leave it at that and check the result on my way home.

As for the match: I am not sure there is any more to say on the teams – we really won’t know who is playing until one hour before the game.

What we do know is that lots of people are talking up Mauricio Pochettino going to Manchester United.  Or is that Real Madrid.  Or Barcelona.  Or somewhere largely explained by the reports of him getting a bit miffed about the delay in the move to Newhl* and comments about him not being able to sign anyone in January.    So far he has given Tottenham one final (in the league cup), and a couple of semi-finals in the FAC.   But surely, if fourth is not a trophy, nor is being a cup runner up, is it?  I don’t think we count them, at any rate.

As for the game itself, there were eight cards in the recent match at Arsenal Stadium, and the referee is Jon Moss who hands out more cards than any other of the infamous PGMO brigade.  You could play a game of whist with them I suspect.

Arsenal seem to be favourites to win – but only just.  It looks to me as if Tottenham are just going to throw everything into attack, which means if we can use our potent forward line to the best advtange it could be a high scoring game.   Then I’ll regret not being there.  Of course the media won’t comment on the anti-Semitism on the way too and from the ground either because they have a policy of not doing so, or because they simply don’t know it happens, tucked away in their own zone.

And here’s a thought: if we got rid of the special space for journalists, with its table in front of each person and their own personal way in and out of their zone, we’d have room for over 1000 more fans in the ground.

Just a thought: do we really need journalists at the matches?

 

 

8 comments to On not going to Arsenal v Tottenham, and do we really need journalists at matches?

  • Ray Burns

    Do we need journalists at matches? After a lifetime of attending games and reading the reports afterwards I often wonder wether they do attend matches .

  • Menace

    Nice article Tony. Enjoy your jive before you drive and I hope both give you equal pleasure.

    I’m a few miles away and not sure as to how I’m going to get the game. It appears to be low category & not on TV in India. I’m not sure if Arsenal Player is going to broadcast commentary but I’m sure I’ll find a stream somewhere.

    The love between the two protagonists is historical but carries so much social weight with pride of victory.

    Here’s to a good game with a win for the Arsenal despite the Moss that might slope the pitch.

  • John L

    It will be interesting to see how Pochettino fits Jonathan Moss into his starting line-up. Maybe in central midfield, like Dean, from where he can exert his decisive influence in both penalty areas.

  • ChrisC

    Tony, I support your standpoint on any form of intolerance in the game. In respect of the charge of anti-semitism which you make against the Arsenal crowd, I know the chant finishes with a word which is normally anti-semitic, however, I (as someone with a proportion of Jewish blood – enough for my father and grandfather to have fled Nazi Germany) am not convinced it is being used in an anti-Semitic way.
    The Spurs fans chant “Yid Army” very loudly, very frequently and very publicly. I doubt all those chanting that are Jewish. It is clear provocation to use the term back – we can say it, see if you dare. It is the name and tribal identity they are giving themselves, but no longer has any real roots in them being a Jewish club. It, to me, is an empty word.
    While I would prefer that BOTH sides stopped using the word altogether, I found it hugely hypocritical of the commentator at the Southampton game po-facedly pronouncing on the disgraceful singing of anti-semitic songs by the Arsenal fans.
    For how long were far viler chants levelled at Wenger at grounds up and down the country without comment?
    Our away support sounds on tv to be among the very best in the country whatever the state of the game – perhaps someone wants to gag them too?

  • porter

    John he will have to be in midfield because he rarely leaves that area anyway.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    For my suspecting that Pochettino could name a strong Tottenham Hotspur starts and at full strength to start tonight’s Carabao Cup match against Arsenal at the Ems, I’ve on my own part decided to name a strong final Arsenal starts and bench at full strength that I’ll want to see Emery name to have start and play the match.

    The Arsenal 4-2-3-1 formation game playing start starting XI and the 7 Gunners as substitutes on the bench for the match are as below.

    Starters:
    Cech;
    Jenkinson Sokratis Pleguezuelo Kolasinac;
    Torreira Xhaka;
    Ramsey Iwobi Saka:
    Aubameyang.
    Bench: Martinez Lichtsteiner Medley AMN Mkhi’ Ozil Lacazette.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The Gunners have to stop profigancy in front of Tottenham’s goalmouth but be burying the chances that fell to them in the game. For, if they continue to profigate in front of goal not taking their chances to be burying them as the match continues, they will have themselves only to blame and no one else should they lose this match on the ground of profigancy in front of goal to Tottenham who are known to defend a goal lead in a match to the end.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The clinically 2 goals scoring finishers, Tottenham Hotspur have put the hard working Gunners for nothing to the sword in the game tonight in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal match at the Ems before the teeming watching eyes of thousands of Gooners who came to watch the match but saw their beloved Arsenal team laboured and worked very hard in the game like donkeys that are carrying heavy loads but didn’t carry the loads to the designated place to have the loads offloaded.

    I was of the thinking that Arsenal have put profigancy in front of the opposition team’s goalmouth behind them when they lost 0-2 at home in the PL to Man City in the opening season day match of this season. But despite playing a goaless draw match at home to Sporting CP in the Europa League, the Gunners have been scoring in every match they’ve played since they lost at home to Man City. What has happened again to the Gunners that has made them to forget their goals scoring boots at home when there were coming to play at home against Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup match tonight? Well, I don’t know but the Gunners should know. But the earlier they know and start to remember to take their goals scoring boots along with them when going to play a match, and stop forgetting them at home, the better it will be for them and us Gooners too.

    I think Mr Tony Attwood and his Untold Arsenal friend mates knew beforehand that Arsenal could lose this match to the Totts. Hence is the underline reason for their not coming to the Ems tonight to watch the match and not for the anti-semitic song being sang by fans at the Ems when the Totts played against Arsenal last month in the PL. Hmmm. I think Emery should go back to drawing again to proffered a quick fix solution to halt Arsenal a 3rd match in succession when Arsenal host Burnley at the Ems in the PL on Sunday. A win in the Burnley match for Arsenal will restore confidence and sanity back to the Gunners and also us Gooners I suppose. But with this lose by Arsenal to Tottenham tonight, how will I get sleep to fall asleep?