… don’t worry people. It’s going to be ok. Just 5 more days until we’ll be lapping up some Arsenal goodness at The Grove. It feels like an eternity, that’s because whenever England play, not only do you have to bear witness to painfully poor football, you also have to deal with daily news stories in the newspapers about the said boring football.
Reading will come along soon enough and I’ll try and keep you motivated in between now and then with whatever skinny news I can pick up.
I went to my first rugby match yesterday, interesting to see how things are run there compared to how they’re run in football. I went to see the Saracens play in a top of the table clash. Now, removing the fact I was watching rugby, I find it amazing how relaxed the rules are around the sport. Allianz Park is a 10,000 seater stadium, you can wander around it drinking beer and picking up food from all sorts of fairly priced food stalls… and you can drink beer in the stands. The stewards are all volunteer fans, so you don’t get any of the arsey behaviour you get at Arsenal and the mood in completely different. Now, I know that rugby doesn’t have any of the tribalistic behaviour associated with football and the stadium is smaller than Arsenal… but I can’t help think that Arsenal could be doing more to foster a great atmosphere than they currently do.
A few things that spring to mind…
1) Tell the stewards to lay off the prison guard type behaviour. At the end of the day, we’re stakeholders at the club. The lifetime value of a season ticket holder is probably quite extordinary, to be treated in a dignified way and with a smile would go a long way
2) Price the food and drink at levels which encourage fans to get to the ground earlier. I know this has been on the agenda of the club for a while, but I haven’t found myself enticed into the ground early. There are a few barriers to entry for me… firstly they take card at only a few of the kiosks, secondly the food and the beer is of low quality (unless you’re club leveling and thirdly, they don’t do much in the way of pregame entertainment. I mean, even if you ran Arsenal.tv through the speakers so you got the Sky Sports pre-game feel.
3) Work to keep the fans in the ground post game. I’ve never fancied a post Arsenal pint at Arsenal. Why not though? If we win an important game, why not slash drinks at the full time whistle and continue the party in the ground? More money for the club and a better feeling from the fans who will think they’re considering them.
Chamberlain has been talking to the press who are obviously trying to get an angle as to how the young England player feels about being dropped. Answers need to happen. He scored for England against San Marino. Talent like that needs to be in the first team.
‘My season hasn’t progressed in a way as much as I would have wanted to because I always want to play,’ he said.
‘But I also understand the manager, in Arsene, will protect his younger players.
‘I remember speaking to Robin van Persie last year, and Theo Walcott before, and they said they had experienced the same thing.
All fair comments, he wants to play, he’s not because his form has been off key, he’s frustrated. Hopefully he’ll channel some of that energy and confidence into performing better for his club over the next few games. He’ll have an opportunity if Theo is out injured. He needs to take it. There’s n0 better place to get your chance than at home to Reading.
Arsenal have offered Arsenal fan Godfrey Oboabona a trial at Arsenal. He’s a centre back and he played a prominent role in taking the Super Eagles to the final of the ACN. He’s available for £1m, so it makes sense that at that price, we’d be all over him. My issue with deals like this is that we’re looking at price first and hopeful on quality second. Our defensive issues probably aren’t going to solve themselves with budget inexperience. There’s always the chance that you’ve unearthed the next Yaya Toure… but then again, he could be the next Christopher Wreh.
Risky business when you’re trying to push on as a club…
There’s a bit of Arsenal action on the NextGen front… if we win against CSKA, the next stop is Chelsea. Good luck to the boys and have fun if you’re heading down to the Emirates to watch it.
See you in the comments.