Well good bloody morning to you all!
Me and a pal had such a nightmare yesterday, that probably says a lot about how bland the AFC experience is at the moment. Firstly, I was offered a ticket to the West Ham game via Whatsapp that I accepted. Then we remembered there are no season tickets for the Carboot Cup. Next I went to the Tollington, but the game wasn’t showing on TV. Then I went to the ground to buy a ticket, and they were sold out.
HOWEVER, we managed to pick up two tickets in the disabled area for £5 each. So we made it in.
… but damn, what a drab game.
West Ham are the absolute pits, but we made heavy work of turning them over. Our goal was hilariously awful, very Danny Welbeck. I have no idea what really happened, other than he made it first to a scrappy ball and Joe Hart didn’t really have enough about him to make it count. Our lack of efficiency in front of goal continued, we made 8 attempts at their goal, only hitting the target once. Not very good off 67% possession.
Wenger had picked a team that leant heavier into experience over youth, that meant the game was a bit clunky. Willock was the only kid who had a run, he made a good showing of himself, and didn’t make any mistakes. Chambers and Holding had good games. I enjoyed Debuchy fouling like a pro, and Kolasinac did well. The defence limited the Hammers to 1 attempt at goal and 0 on target, pretty much the only way to guarantee a clean sheet with Ospina.
We didn’t look much up top. We lacked creativity in midfield, watching Coquelin craft Songinho style passes was frustrating. Not as frustrating as losing Giroud to a hammy injury, our super sub is out for a few weeks now. A worry because Theo Walcott is so off the boil it’s frightening. His free diving header that he put wide of the post unchallenged typified his demise and drew customary groans from the home crowd.
Worth noting that the club really aren’t coping well with the ramp-up of games, even with heavy rotation. Wenger said this.
“It is very demanding, especially because we already have a tough schedule behind us,” he said. “We have to sit down and analyse what we can do.
“What is very worrying is when you start to lose players, like Giroud tonight. After, you cannot afford to lose another one. I have to look how I can manage the schedule.
“When you look at our fixtures in January and February, you cannot imagine we will always play with the same players in every game.
“Will I change from Premier League game to Premier League or only in the Carabao Cup? I don’t know yet – I have to look at the fixtures to see what I do.”
The team didn’t have a lot of style about them, they really struggled to click into gear. But hey, they got the job done and we go on to the semi-finals, which for the first time in a long time, is a pretty elite offering. It’ll likely be United, Chelsea, City and Arsenal. Nearly worth tuning in for!
Sad thing about this news is it means we’re unlikely to be making a final because all four of those managers will see the February cup final as a way of taking the pressure off themselves. We know Jose loves to win this trophy, Pep seems to be on a mission to win it all, and Chelsea are always a dark horse and will likely want revenge for the cup final humiliation from last year. But sheesh, I’m so negative, we took out Chelsea AND City last year, so maybe I’m being a whiny little bitch about nothing.
Back to the game. Now, I understand this has been written over and over again. But Arsenal claiming they’re sold out when they’re technically sold out, but the ground isn’t full is outrageous.
Along with some other bloggers about 5 years ago, the club shared some fancy IBM tech that would give fans more flexibility with tickets through things like the ticket exchange.
Now, I’m not knee deep in the apps, but I think it’s about time the club let you have your ticket on your phone, a bit like the Apple Wallet, or the way airline tickets are distributed via mobile.
You should have more flexibility with what you can do with the ticket. I should be able to pass my ticket to other friends who want to use my ticket (mobile to mobile), I should be able to sell it on the exchange, and I should be able to give it away if I can’t sell it.
There should be a ‘not going’ button on your phone. Meaning you can give the ticket back to the club and they can resell it through the app for people on the door or other members.
You could incentivise it. The club will resell the tickets for £5, £2.50 of it goes to the Willow Foundation. Maybe the club could build a loyalty card system, where you could earn points you could spend on other tickets, or on merch in the club shop. Make it worthwhile giving it away.
Basically, give me a kill button so my seat gets used. You could set up push notifications to remind people if they’re missing games on the regular. We need to have a system where you can always fill the grounds empty seats. Last night was beyond a joke, basically, the whole upper tier was missing. There must have been 100 fans outside the ground trying to get in but they couldn’t.
Arsenal need to upgrade their tech and make killing empty seats a priority.
Also, need to give a big thumbs up to the Gooners around me. We were right next to the West Ham fans and I have to say, the atmosphere was pretty electric. Hammers fans really are a joke, bowling around with their pork pie hats shouting IROOOOOONS channelling their inner Danny Dyer fantasies. Grow up.
Right, that’s me done, the next game is Liverpool on Friday. Should be a cracker!