The Emirates Library …. sshhhhhh ……

Written by CarlitoII

Who wasn’t excited to hear about the Arsenalization process of “The Mothership” as I call our beautiful stadium? The reinstatement of the North Bank and Clock End, the murals and all that other jazz designed make the stadium more of a fortress was our CEO’s shining hope to create more atmosphere and add to the uniqueness of the stadium. Does anyone feel it worked?

I, for one, feel that the atmosphere at the Grove has been even flatter this year than in years past – the only game that really got going was the game against Birmingham. Now, we’ve never had the loudest fans at home but those away boys do us proud, don’t they? So why is it that the lads behind me barely murmer along to the songs even though they’re barely 20 years old? Why is it that the guys next to me comment to each other as if they’re watching the game in their front room?

Before I get into my explanation, it has to be said that it’s never a flat atmosphere when the spuds, chavs or manks turn up- but against West Ham, West Brom and in particular against Aston Villa last season I felt that the whole stadium and overdosed on Nytol on the way to the ground!

Reason 1: Ticket prices. I pay about a month’s salary for my ticket. In practice, a lot of the members in and around me sell their tickets on for the less glamorous fixtures and this means that we get a lot of football tourists – possibly not even Gooners – coming to watch a game. My choice of verb is important here. They do not seem to consider the need to support the team, and I often find myself becoming part of the show for these good people (“ooh, he’s a colourful character – look at him shouting”)! I won’t blame them or the season ticket holders for selling on. Anyone who likes football would want to come. But if true Gooners could afford to go every week there would be a far better atmosphere.

Reason 2: Easy access. You can get from outside the ground to your seat in about 90 seconds – except you can’t in the 5 minutes before kickoff when everyone’s had the same idea and the turnstiles get blocked. The culture of getting into your seat/ grabbing your spot on the terrace has disappeared so the atmosphere doesn’t build up.

Reason 3: Booze restriction. If you could take your pint to your seat you would stay there, wouldn’t you? The irony of a tournament being sponsored by Heineken and Amstel having a booze prohibition is a matter for a different blog – but I cannot see any reason why I shouldn’t take a beer to my seat for a premier league game!

Reason 4: Plastic fans. I hate to say this but there are too many fans who were not with us before Arsene Wenger’s revolution. The “sing when your winning” mentality has to stop. We need to sing louder when we’re losing. I think this is the main reason why we are doing better away than at home – the real fans sing louder.

This blog is a bit of a rant, but I really believe that the team shouldn’t always be held responsible for the atmosphere at the ground. It’s our part to support the team and inspire them to greater things – we really lack the 12th man. I hope the CEO will take look at some of these factors – even putting “Come on you Reds” on the screens like they used to a Highbury would be a start!

Finally- what is the deal with the food? North London has fantastic food from Bagels to Turkish food, Indian, Thai, Italian- you name it. What do we get inside the stadium? Nachos. Hotdogs. Popcorn in the name of all things holy! This is only going to encourage people to treat a match like a trip to the cinema. Let’s make the stadium a reflection of the supporters and not the corporate ideals of the board- murals schmurals – let’s get ‘em singing!

135 Responses to The Emirates Library …. sshhhhhh ……

  1. Morning

    Carlito – that is a fine rant and any of us that visit the Ems regularly will appreciate the frustation that comes with sitting amongst silent supporters.

    Lots to discuss there, season ticket holders giving up their seats because they can’t afford to go must be the saddest I reckon.

  2. E says:

    Agreed, it has to stop!

    It frustrates me that someone will start to sing and everyone then looks at them as if they are crazy! surely these type of fans should just stick to watching MOTD instead of taking up seats from the true fans!

    Saying that the board dont care they just want to see money rolling in and they couldnt care less if they are noisey!


  3. stonroy says:

    Great post..

  4. rosso says:

    1.make blocks 5-6 terraced (first off) to test the water….i think its crap due to safety resons all grounds must be seated…..clubs make it all seating due to the fact they wont be able to charge 40 quid to stand!

    2. stewards….need to get a grip with the fans…..if we are 1-0 to manutd and start standing to lift the team…they come out telling us all to sit down…..this needs to be sorted!

    3. I cant see booze being allowed where we sit…yes they allow it at rubgy…..but i think it’s down to the reputation football fans have

    4. Your right with the food too…..never have i bought a 4 quid pie…wots wrong with introducing european style vending machines in the stadium? seving hot food? they would make a packet!

    5. They should open up some kinda ‘beer only’ kiosk…. selling bottles already opened…ready to serve…..quite annoying when ya queing up for a beer and the woman in front want 2 hot chocolates 2 teas and 1 coffee…..ohhh sorry can i have 1 more coffee!!!!!!!!

  5. rhodri thomas @loxi25(twitter) says:

    Nice read. I don’t get to the grove as often as possible due to the fact I live in south wales and its hard to get tickets. I’d love to be in the middle of the fans and singing my heart out. Looking to getting a red membership and take in a few away games they seem top notch!!

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Good post Carlito and a subject close to my heart.I moved to the Clock End at Highbury when the North Bank was rebuilt and remained there it primarily because the atmosphere was so much better.

    However, I am now an armchair fan though I retain my season ticket. I rent my ticket to my cousin and go to games when in England. My seat is front row circle Clock End and the atmosphere around me is dreadful. The s/t holders around me talk incessantly about work issues, and only get animated when a player makes a mistake. So it isn’t just a question of “plastic” fans.

    I think the problems lie deeper. It is to do with the attachment to the players and the club. If the club perceive the fans as a cash cow and “clients”, the fans respond accordingly.

    Where have we seen the best crowds in recent season’s? East Europe. Why? Because the football club represents more than just an afternoon’s entertainment.

    And the fans do not get the opportunity to develop a relationship with the players. In the “old days” we would sing the players songs from 1 to 11 and they would all clap and acknowledge the fans. None of that anymore, just the obligatory clap when leaving the pitch. So IMO it is a two way relationship.

    Oh and “shoot the DJ!”

    And I hate to say this but the Taylor report killed much of the atmosphere at grounds. Sitting on a cold day doesn’t encourage singing, whereas standing wedged in a crowd who are swaying and singing ………

    Even the world famous Liverpool Kop is silent these days.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Very good point about the ease of entry into the ground

  8. Chris says:

    I agree with your first point, but a lot of these “tourists” are Arsenal fans, it’s just that they don’t get to come very often, and don’t know the songs.

  9. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Carlito, you won’t find many disagreeing with you re plastic fans. In the past few years, I’ve felt more dislike for fellow Gooners than I ever have done before. I’ll admit that some of those who’ve become anti-Wengerites are genuine fans who feel upset at the way the team has been going (though I reject completely the criticisms). But as you say, plenty of our current fans (at least those who go to games) just don’t have the history or pedigree to know what it is they are witnessing.

    At the Newcastle game, I took a client, an old Hungarian guy who loves his football and remembers Puskas etc. He flew over from Switzerland to see the game, and rather than use my season ticket, I used my firm’s seats in the Club Level. It was my first time up there but I have to say it was ruined to an extent by the two Notting Hill trustafarian types who were sat in front of us, and who arrived late, left to get drinks mid-game, chatted intently throughout and barely paid any attention to the game. True, it wasn’t our finest hour, but we could have won 7-4 and these guys wouldn’t have noticed. The fact that these types of people can get tickets but proper fans often can’t afford it is a real problem. I hated the hooliganism of the old days but the fact that we are all expected to shell out so much just to go to a game these days means those who can attend are necessarily more middle class and older than they used to be. Football is the national game and we should all feel we can go to a top level game once in while.

    But is it a shock that we have this problem? The club (like all others) has to pay the extortionate wages of the players we idolise, and that means high ticket prices, Sky TV subscriptions and ever more merchandising. We may be unhappy at the atmosphere at our ground but frankly, it’s about the same at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, St James’s Park, Anfield etc. When there’s a big game on, no problem, but at other times it’s quiet.

    I’d like to see us follow the German example, with controlled standing sections, cheaper tickets, fan involvement in the clubs etc. But a lot of it still comes down to the attitudes of the fans themselves.

  10. v says:

    This frustrates me like nothing else at the Emirates.

    The atmosphere is terrible!!!

    Firstly when AFC decided to build this stadium, which plonkers idea was it to issue the highbury north and clock end fans tickets in blcok 6?they should have been allocated north and clock end apporpriatly!. this kills the atmos as all the ‘hardcore’ signing fans are in on corner of the stadium!

    also the fans sitting next to the away fans really need to sing!! I mean really!

    We only sing when we are winning! terrible.

  11. Erik says:

    I think allowing the booze in will improve it dramatically.

    Everytime I go I stay at the bar as long as I can and go back as quickly as I can during half time, most people do the same.

    I miss how stadiums in America work… you just sit there, people selling everything you are always want walking around the stadium… 5 beers here please! You dont even have to get up!

    I dont blame hooligans, I blame the media for blowing it out of proportion.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    26/5. Good comment but I have to pick you up on the class issue. Are you saying y middle class people don’t sing with as much enthusiasm as anyone else? The brilliant atmosphere at Twickenham would suggest otherwise.

    I agree that over the past 10 years football has attracted a different type of supporter, but as a young middle class lad I was as noisy as I could be!

    Could it be a reflection of individualism that has become so prominent in modern society?

    I cannot agree with the “new fans” and history point. We were all new fans once 🙂 And I am no more a Gooner because I have 50+ years under my belt than anyone who is a newbie

    What happened to the Wembley roar? IMO it has almost everything to do with sitting down at grounds and believe it is definitely time to introduce standing areas into grounds.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Erik. It was not the media blowing things out of proportion. I and many, many others have either had a kicking or witnessed one in those very difficult times. Something had to be done. Every ground had its share of nutters and violence was endemic.

  14. tommystout says:

    standing areas, cheerleaders, the blokey with the mic, singing areas… suggestions on the big screen “cmon you librarians, get behind your team” and a little volume courtosy of arsenal fc technical department.

  15. dandan says:

    Morning all, interesting post Carlito, I cannot imagine any sensible club allowing bottles or glasses to be taken to seats as it is just asking for trouble they are so easy to throw. As many of the older fans will remember from the days when the Glasgow clubs were our visitors it really was tin hat time. Water proof trousers would have been handy too LOL all that alcohol had to go somewhere and the were not going to miss the football. Even though with luck they missed your leg.
    Arsenal has always lacked a definitive song, Jimmy Hill tried with his good old Arsenal, but it does not resonate like other clubs songs even the spuds to be fair have adopted a decent one. And the Liverpool anthem gives you goosebumps.
    Find the Anthem and I think you will be surprised at the result.

  16. SIAG666 says:

    I very much agree with what you’ve said and all the comments especially about the terrace. I was at the FA Cup game in Cardiff a few years ago for the nil nil bore draw and it was the old Cardiff ground which was a ****hole but we all had great fun on the terrace.

  17. tommystout says:

    DD – i thought our anthem was “we love you arsenal we do”? 🙂

  18. dandan says:

    And what do you think of that tommy

  19. tommystout says:

    bloody louzy 🙂

  20. dandan says:

    Indeed and why is that, because all the real Anthems are tuneful and come from popular hits written by real musicians and pinched or adopted by fans, they are also singable in a choir situation which after all is what a singing football crowd becomes.

  21. king gooner says:

    for me a BIG part of the problem is the proximity of the fans to the pitch-the gap is almost like an athletics track has been built around the pitch & clubs who have had that(athletic track)have always had atmosphere probs-stick in another 2/3rows-fans closer to the action & more intimidating(in a nice way,he!he!)elsewhere tell the stewards to get a life-

  22. rosso says:

    we should move the family section away from the away fans…..its a no brainer really!!!!! stick the kids up in the top!….ohhh they wont do that coz they will lose money!

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Good point DD.

    But there WAS noise in the ground 20 years qgo and we didn’t have a song.

    In recent years Liverpool have taken Fields of Athenry and it is a great tune. Why can’t our fans find one?

    I guess the nearest was the Vieira song which got the whole ground singing.

  24. 26may1989 says:

    BR, there are vociferous middle class fans (me included) but, yes, on average, I do think the more middle class fans are less likely to get involved. In itself I don’t have much of a problem with that, it’s the de facto exclusion of much of the old fan base that annoys and worries me.

  25. 26may1989 says:

    Rosso, as others suggested a few days ago, it’s the away fans who should be moved to the upper tier, our fans should be given preference in being close to the players (as other clubs do).

  26. tommystout says:

    I agree with you totally DD and how do we get one started.. its only a site like this that can get the ideas roling and try to do something about it. So maybe some sort of debate can ensue.
    Starting with a list of the other 19 teams and their anthems and who theyve nicked their tune from.
    Once this webblog is united on lyrics to what tune, then maybe we can get it across to the other blog bigwigs to get on board.
    I dont know other teams songs, and i dont want us to sound like them, but it needs to be simple and catchy and we all need to agree.
    Is arsenalarsenal as good a place as any for a starting point???

  27. tommystout says:

    26may i agree, arsenal got it so wrong with away fans, stick em at the back… best seats should go to paying gooners

  28. Andy says:

    Brilliant article/rant. I get the same; ‘oo he’s a colourful character’ look at the Emirates. The more of us in the quieter areas shouting our balls off the better. Eventually the mutes will get the idea

  29. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John O Sullivan, EpiKnightz. EpiKnightz said: The Emirates Library …..sssshhhhhh…….: Written by CarlitoII Who wasn’t excited to hear about the Arsena… #Arsenal […]

  30. tommystout says:

    Its like the library in here today! 😦

  31. wrightydenhenry says:

    I have a season ticket at the bottom of Block 6, and go to about 8-10 away games in a season. This year I went to Belgrade and their support was unbelievable but very stage men with megafones conducting the singing in the whole ground. They were still there 20 minutes after their team lost but the big thing was the players respected this and came out of the dressing room to applaud their fans.
    I would describe myself as being loud middle class and over 40 and the problems are:
    NO SONG – best seasons for atmosphere when we had Vieira and Freddie this were really memorable,
    STEWARDS – terrible this season every time we stand up 2/3 are trying to make every1 sit down
    BLOCK 6 clique – people further back only want to sing their songs and don’t tend to join in, and they are often not the usual ones and they never join in when we start songs up.
    PLAYERS – even away they don’t care about the fans polite applause is not what we want from them but to really care like we do, here Wenger is at fault too scientific not enough freedom for emotion.
    CYNICAL FANS – too many of our older fans kill the atmosphere, I remember a couple of seasons ago we were losing 1-0 to Fulham at home in the first game of the season and some guys behind me booed at half-time when we ended winning 2-1!!
    HYPE – we believe our own hype from other fans and the media
    FAN BLOGS – where are they only ever talk about the team not the fans
    I love away matches though bored of the North West looking forward to trips to West Brom, Newcastle and Blackpool this year

  32. SharkeySure says:

    Great post that Carlito !

    On the few occasions tat I do go I never expect to get involved omn a ful on sing song. I join in whenever I can, but these days you do almost feel the need to ‘sing quietly’ in case you disturb those around you.

    Sitting and Even patrons and choirs in Church stand!!

  33. tommystout says:

    WDH absolutley spot on mate, on all points.
    But inparticularly the Belgrade support, this is what i meant by cheerleaders, we need em.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent comment Wrighty

  35. gunnern5 says:

    Well here I go, I’m about to get jumped on for my views but I’ll state them regardless of the fallout.

    I’m now a non- attending overseas supporter and watch every Arsenal game on TV and frankly I’m appalled at the lack of atmosphere.

    The fans seem to think that it’s the teams job to encourage them and not their job to encourage the team. I hear more moans groans than I do roars and cheers. The crowd appear to be waiting for something to jeer about and are seldom pro-actively encouraging the team.

    I reject that other grounds have the same issue, you see being a retired old fart I get to watch around 10 games a week and many of the teams get huge support. The best grounds are St James, Anfield, Goodison, WHL, The Britannia and Old Trafford (at times).

    You see folks it’s not the other person that’s the problem it’s everybody at the ground. From what I read it appears that the general conclusion is “oh why bother – nobody else does” what sort of BS is that? What sort of team would we have if they displayed the same attitude – “I’m not going to bother to give my all because nobody else is”

    Every single person can and should make a difference – instead of feeling embarrassed because you are shouting and singing you should embarrass then because of their silence.

    Try making a difference instead of excuses.

    I await incoming flak.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    TS. I recall in the very early Sky days they took cheerleaders to Highbury with the inevitable results 😀

    but the idea of amplification is good and used elsewhere.

    SS. the singers who remain seated tend to be very quiet …. acoustic guitar type chaps whereas we need Bon Jovi, Steve Perry types. Ajumpin and asingin

  37. Smith14 says:

    I agree with the various tales of punters that appear to be there as an act of cultural tourism, rather than to support their club. Unfortunately, Football is primarily an entertainment industry, now more than ever, so it will attract tourists. That’s just the way the games gone. Sadly, if clubs like ours want to fill a 60,000 stadium and gain revenue which allows us to pay big wages to star players; people like this are a necessity. We moved to the Emirates to accommodate more corporate clients to swell the bank balance. Again, that’s just part of the modern game that helps keep us among the elite.

    I also think there’s another issue which is that lots of fans, even die hards, turn up to games expecting us to win so, if we’re playing a team outside the top 4, if we’re not already a goal up in 10 minutes, we become frustrated and anxious. I don’t think it’s right and I’m always arguing against it. I just think that goes some way to explaining why the atmosphere is better against United, Chelsea and Tottenham, or a big European side. The same thing happens at Old Trafford. If you play a smaller side, you’re expected to win comfortably. I think our fans need a bit more patience and to be prepared to support vocally through the tough times as well as the good.

  38. tommystout says:

    GN5 you aint gonna get me jumping on you, everything you said i agree with. In fact i think today is a debate where everyone is gonna agree.
    Anyone able to tell me other club anthems? Except liverpool – we all know that 1

  39. Wodderz says:

    Yalright lads, only probably about my second time posting something on here but I like this whole subject!

    First of all, I do go to most of the games with red membership sales and ticket exchange, but I do sit on my own because my cousin sits up in the East stand.

    Thing is, when this subject comes up, people always are always saying, “Oh I’m always singing! It’s always other people that aint!”

    If you’re one of these people and you are in fact telling the truth, then good for you, long may I hope you continue to do so! But when I’ve actually tried getting a song on the go by myself or just joined in with one other person when they’ve tried but no-one else joins in after, my self esteem takes a battering and I end up thinking if you cant beat them (the mutes) join them lol.

    The point is, people that are up for a song/chant sparsely placed around the ground can’t get larger groups of supporters joining in!

    The away support is good, right? and since they most likely have season tickets at the emirates I think it would be a good idea to keep this lot together.

    From next season I think the club needs to have a reshuffle of who sits where; and all of those supporters that regularly attend away fixtures should replace those in that corner where the family and disabled supporters sit so that we have an “Away support” at home to counter the oppositions fans chants and songs.***

    Hear me out though; this new section (cheesey at it may sound) could even be officially called “The Gooner Section.” This would give these supporters a status, and to everyone else at the home games, they would have to see this lot as people they should respect as true gooners, since they follow the team around the country!

    This lot, as well as cancelling out the opposition support could also be the song/chant starters to the rest of the home support. And when support gets stale at the emirates; perhaps they can start a chant like, “Don’t sing, if you hate Arsenal!” to make all these no good “plastic supporters” I sit next too feel GUILTY into singing!

    ***I’m not suggesting removing the family area and disabled supporters from the emirates. I’m merely suggesting moving them to that other corner of the ground where it’s always f*****g quiet anyway!!

  40. Rasp says:

    Afternoon, thanks for giving us a chance to discuss the issue Carlito.

    I was proud of our fans when we cheered Bobby and Dudu on their return to THoF, but I am often appalled by the lack of passion and emotional involvement of some ‘fans’ I sit amongst.

    I though I was in madame Tussauds for the toon game. The guys either side of me didn’t stand and applaud when the team came on the pitch, they didn’t join in with (the admittedly lame) calling out the players surnames and pretty much just moaned under their breath – why come?

    I know Smith14 is correct that we need these types of supporter to fill a 60k stadium, but how can they continue to come and watch so dispassionately? you’d think in time they’d become more fervent.

    It is true we are short of anthems and songs – but where do these things start, who creates them? It has to be the hardcore fans. The away fans have many more songs than most of the home fans know. And what happpened to the spontaneous new chants that would ring out at Highbury in response to a player or incident – like the ‘you’re just a fat Grant Mitchell’ to Steve Stone.

  41. Smith14 says:


    Just quickly on the issue of why corporate clients don’t get into it over time. I’d say it’s a) most of those seats are inhabited by different people week on week as they are taken to the game by people trying to impress them and wont be back the next week or b)it’s not in their blood. They choose Arsenal for the facilities, the food, the ease of access and the glamorous style of play but if we crumbled tomorrow, they would go to Tottenham or Chelsea. We may have 60,000 people in the ground but there’s significantly less who’d still be there if we plumetted down the table.

  42. Rasp says:

    I know you’re right Smith14 and it’s too late to change now, but if the hardcore fans from Highbury (which was 80% of us) had all been seated together in defined areas from the start, it would have been easier to preserve the atmosphere of old.

    It’s quite embarrassing when you join in with a chant from nother area and find yourself as a loan voice and others around you are cringing. Next time, you perhaps don’t bother. The silence spreads more than the singing it seems.

  43. Thats a very sad fact Smith14 but surely its just because we now have more corporate hospitality than before and although the spaces in those sections stand out when the seats are empty, I’m not sure its that many. In addition there are some real supporters in those sections too.

    Does anyone have the figures for Club and Platinum Level I can’t remember what they are.

  44. neamman says:

    Ahh Thailand. I am back on the board. About 2 weeks I mentioned something about Chinese censorship here, the next day i was unable to access this site, damn are they good!!
    I got back to thailand half way through the everton game, saw the second half. Got talking to an Aussia liverpool fan after the game and literally remember nothing until I woke up in my room the next morning. Luckily no robbery or anything weird, after a year of Chinese beer which is 3% I was drinking large bottles of Chang which is 6%. i was sick in the stomach for two days!!!
    Chiang Mai is 80 in the day and around 65 at night, beautiful weather. I miss the people in China, but life in China… no way!!!

  45. Smith14 says:

    It’s probably worth remembering that Highubry, although it was absoultely rocking at its best, was nicknamed the Library by other teams fans. I think there was just as much chance of quite home support at Highbury as at the Emirates, perhaps it just feels worse in a 60,000 arena?

    This is why I think it’s the expectation of fans that contributes to quiet periods or matches. I think the atmosphere tends to be ok before games but dies 10 minutes in if we aren’t winning. It obviously also tales off if we’re winning comfortably. We’ve been spoilt in the past so tend to think we have a divine right to win or to be entertained.

    As Wenger said “It’s hard to go back to sausages when you’re used to eating caviar”.

  46. Rasp says:

    Welcome back neamman, we’ve missed you 😉

    I understand where Raddy is coming from re the violence as well.

    I think the problem is Testosterone. It’s what is needed to bring out the tribal instincts, but if it is fueled by too much alcohol, or provoked by aggression from elsewhere it can erupt into violence. If we had to choose between a safe environment to take our families to or a boiling cauldron of emotion – which would be best for the Arsenal?

  47. Hi neamman glad to have you back, we used your post on Saturday – if you look down the side-bar you can click onto it and have a read.

    Nik was obviously so impressed by your idea to use him with Theo that he gave the boss a mouthful about it and wasn’t picked – footballers eh you have to love them 😆

  48. Rasp says:

    I think the term library was mainly a convenient rhyming couplet for oppostion fans to insult Arsenal fans. The atmosphere at Highbury was incredible (at least in the N Bank lower), the Emirates doesn’t come close.

  49. Rasp – are you saying there are too many girls there?

  50. Rasp says:

    Yes peaches, there are too many blokes who behave like ‘girls’ 😳

  51. tommystout says:

    I think wodderz had a good point about placing our away fans together, that would be a good start and maybe the singing could spread from there, or maybe 5 lots of 1000 arsenal away supporters in 5 areas of the ground, could be contageous.

  52. tommystout says:

    its a good job i aint paranoid 🙂

  53. Wodderz says:

    Yeah, I mean if they’re placed together and are in fact pretty much the chant starters; there will always be others in areas around the ground who will join in with them and start a chain reaction.

    They could easily find out who it is that goes to all or most of the away games because you have to buy the tickets through the arsenal site anyway.

    Having that lot together at home games will give them the familiarity of when they go to the away games.

  54. tommystout says:

    seems almost “too logical” woddrz

  55. tommystout says:


    its Wenger ball, we’re Arsenal
    Hate the yids, the mancs, the chavs
    We hate them all.

    You come n call, you’re gonna fall
    We are gooners
    With our backs to the wall

    You’ve gotta see us play
    Our game the Wenger way

    We’re Arsenal
    Arsenal Arsenal, we’re Arsenal, (repeat to fade……)

  56. colesy says:

    How about the club playing some pre-recorded chants to help get the crowd going?

  57. tommystout says:

    That would work Colesy

  58. 26may1989 says:

    GN5, I agree with almost everything you say, especially the fact that it’s up to individual fans to do something about the atmosphere.

    The one thing I disagree on is what goes on at other grounds. I would agree that a stadium like the Britannia seems to have a consistently good vocal level of support, and that certainly contributes to the penalty box carnage that so often yields goals for Stoke. But I disagree with the suggestion that stadiums like St James’s Park, Anfield and Old Trafford are consistently better than Ashburton. When things are going well in a big game, yes, but when it’s going against them, the Newcastle fans for example go very, very quiet and leave in droves. Same is true of Liverpool (who at other times can be epic) and United (though their away fans are very good).

  59. Wodderz says:

    Yeah lol, personally I think the health & safety brigade try to do everything in their powers to ruin football ground atmosphere in case we get a sore throat.

  60. I think all away fans are good – away fans at the Ems are usually pretty epic …… except the scum cos they always leave early.

    I’ve sat in lots of different parts of the stadium and the lower tier is definitely more excitable than the upper.

    But also I usually sat in upper east at Highbury and was surprised at the dancing and singing that went on one time when I sat five rows from the front in the lower section. Mind you we were playing the chavs and Henry scored in the first couple of minutes so even upstairs might have been jumping.

    I’ve sat next to some right moaners and it does make me laugh because its like a form of torture to hear them. I save my moaning for here, much safer enviroment 😉

  61. tommy – I love your lyrics but I’m not convinced we should be associated with a Glam Rock 70’s band.

    The Wonder of You would definitley have worked if the stadium was filled with girls – I’ve never understood why you blokes don’t get it 😳

  62. dandan says:

    I dont go big on bad lanquage but for all who have ever had a printer problem this is for you.


  63. SharkeySure says:

    Works for me Tommy…you lead I’ll follow 😉

    *SharkeySure stands up*

    *SharkeySure clears throat*

  64. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all- been one of those days at work- fire fighting 😦
    Thanks for all the comments on this subject- a lot of passion and some great constructive ideas to get back to showing more support for the lads.
    For the many comments on beer- the glasses are plastic for Wenger’s sake! If the worry were missiles- a hot coffee or Bovril would be far more dangerous! The family enclosure is there if you don’t want to expose your little ones to drinkers. Maybe a “dry tier” for teetotallers and those with religious issues with booze?
    May26th- the German model is, in fact, where I believe we ought to go with this. Some lower tier teams in England still have terracing (Peterborough I’m told and maybe others). As many have said- sitting and singing is just shite! I reckon the board could be sold on it as they’d be able to increase the capacity of the ground and I would pay the same money to stand- if were up to me I wouldn’t sit at all.
    v- the block 6 lot are RedAction and they asked to be seated directly opposite the away fans- have to agree it’s a poor place to have them but…
    BR- my “new fans” bit was about them really expecting to be entertained and not realising the shift the fans had to put in to get results in the past…
    I love the discussion on songs and anthems. It’s something I feel too but every attempt I’ve ever made to write a song has been complete pony so those in glasshouses and all that! However, it is scandalous that there’s no song for LJ yet!
    Great comment Andy- that’s the stuff!
    Wrightydenhenry- got to say that the players always acknowledge good support- especially away from home. Otherwise, some excellent points.
    Wodderz- great comment! Make the “Gooner section” standing too and we’ll be well on our way!

  65. Carlito11 says:

    I like the Elvis number too Peaches- and the scarf waving that went with it. The problem is the musical tribe mentality in London- hardly anyone who listens to hard rock will respect a soul song and viceversa

  66. 26may1989 says:

    I think every single player of the away team ought to go and properly thank their fans at the end of the game. It’s true our lot are decent on this but too often it’s half-hearted or some of the players only go halfway towards the away fans before turnign around and heading to the changing room.

    It’s all about the players thanking the payers!

  67. Big Raddy says:

    DD. That was VERY funny

  68. Carlito11 says: I like this pic!

  69. Big Raddy says:

    It’s all about the players thanking the payers!”

    Sadly after a lifetime of pampering they think they are doing us a favour.

    You might enjoy this, featuring a player who we are highly unlikely to see at the Grove

  70. tommystout says:

    Nice one BRaddy, serves him right trying the outside of the foot. LOL

  71. RockyLives says:

    Excellent post Carlito and a great discussion on here today.
    Many of the explanations I’ve read here seem to have validity, so the atmosphere is probably the result of a combination of these factors.
    However, the one point that really made me think was the one made by 26M – namely that the higher price of tickets means it’s harder for younger people to attend games.
    Teenage lads are the most likely ones to get passionately involved in the singing (I know I did!) but, compared with the days before all-seater stadia, we probably have a much higher median age in the stadium these day.

  72. Red Arse says:

    I have mentioned before that, sadly, I am a rare visitor to the Emirates, (though there is hope of a more permanent arrangement developing!) Yay. 🙂

    I have a cunning theory about the singing, based on this limited exposure. I know you all seem to have problems with your “silent” neighbours etc but I think the problem, in part, might lay elsewhere.

    The seats I had were all in the “North Bank” end, lower, just behind the goal. What I noticed was that the public address system was muted, distorted and totally incomprehensible to all those seated in my vicinity. (my hearing is AOK …… sorry …. pardon …. I heard that) 🙂

    Oddly, a friend who inhabits the posher, higher echelons told me that the sound system was insufferably loud at that level. There is clearly an acoustic imbalance, it seems.

    After the first two games, when I had sung my heart out, I was amazed that their was no “reciprocal” feedback. What I mean is that the sound of singing, (mine and others) simply dissipated into nothingness, it did not seem to register. Equally, the sound of fans singing at the clock end was barely discernible.

    At half time, I struck up a conversation with three lads sitting three rows in front of me who had been quietly attempting to sing.
    They were a bit miffed, and somewhat embarrassed, when I asked them why they hadn’t just let rip to get the others going. It turned out that they were really singing their lungs out, but it simply was not registering.

    Walking my neighbours dog in a field, I experimented by singing and shouting (no one around but me and the dog, and he thinks I’m nutty anyway) and I experienced a similar effect. The sound “disappeared”, and probably could not be heard 50 to 100 metres away, if that.

    The proof of this deduction, for me, was when I put my “sound cancelling” headphones on, while working, and a colleague asked me a question.

    These headphones do not cut out all sound but mute it, and I realised the sound effect of some one speaking to me while they were switched on was not dissimilar to my Grove singing experience.

    The acoustics at the Grove are cr*p, as I have previously stated.

    Q.E.D. 🙂

  73. RockyLives says:

    Thinking of other clubs’ anthems….

    Man City have Blue Moon
    The Geordies have Blaydon Races
    West Ham have Bubbles

    At various times our best player song has worked as an anthem, with most of the stadium getting behind it on a regular basis:
    Vieira – He Comes From Senegal…
    Walking in a Bergkamp Wonderland
    We Love You Freddie
    Brady, Brady… Born is the King of Highbury

  74. RockyLives says:

    Great point about the acoustics at The Grove Redders.
    A couple of years back I wasn’t in my regular (West Upper – Silence Please, People Sleeping) seat because it was a CC game against the Spuds. Instead I was in the (now) Clock End quite close to the Spuds fans who were predictably noisy until they all left after 75 mins.
    I remember feeling embarrassed that they were out-singing us and that there was virtually no noise coming from the North Bank end in particular. Later, in the pub, I mentioned this to some mates who had been sitting in the middle of the West and East stands respectively and they said that our North Bankers had been in great voice. Yet in the Clock End you couldn’t hear them at all. There must be a way of dealing with this, even if it means transmitting sound from the Red Action area to all corners of the ground.

  75. Rasp says:

    Hi again guys,

    There are definitely parts of the ground (North Bank upper) where the PA system is very loud and others where it is less effective. The speakers are mounted on brackets so presumably could be redirected. I would be extremely surprised if we had not employed the services of a specialist acoustics company to design the sound systems.

    The comment I made flippantly a week or two ago about amplifying the chanting and simultaneously broadcasting it to other parts of the ground would work. It would simply require a mixing desk that was manned by an expert who could continually blend the chanting – and maybe even cheat/encourage singing by using recordings.

  76. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I have it on good authority from a Hammer who went to the Shittania earlier this season that this is what they do already,

    The myth of a highly vocal support at the Shittania should be exploded – it’s all down to amplified, played back crowd chants.

    Stoke are a bunch of c**ts, typified(and personified) by their c**t of a manager.

  77. Carlito11 says:

    Sounds like we’re coming up with a plan… anyone know Gazidis’ email address?

  78. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB,

    It’s OK to type “clots” you know! 🙂

  79. Big Raddy says:

    LOL Chary. Nice to see you are in good form

    Why not use technology to manage the sound? I will tell you, because at Arsenal we have traditions that do not allow the use of technology. The game has history and that history precludes anything modern that is not understood by either the 85y.o. Blatter, or the 82 y.o Hill Wood. 😉

    If we can’t have beer queues or vending machines or goal line technology or instant replays to assist the ref or challenges for managers when convinced of poor decisions, then we have no chance of getting in a sound technician to enhance the singers!!

  80. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi RedA – I was just self-censoring for those of a gentler disposition.
    Raspers – Stoke are my number one wish to be relegated; I struggle to finds a redeeming feature about those to**ers.
    If anyone wants to hear my tremulous, shaky tones I’m on the podcast ( I’m showing as “Jay”) over at Tim’s place – I haven’t heard it yet, but I remember speaking as if I was about to catch an about-to-depart train.

  81. Being the admin creep that I am I have already sent an email to suggesting they have a read of todays post – thank you Carlito – and the comments section. We’ll never get the credit but if anyone else wants to send off an email it can’t hurt.

  82. Rasp says:

    Hi chary,

    Stoke, Wolves and totnum would be my 3 for relegation – if I can’t have totnum, it’d have to be Birmingham.

  83. charybdis1966 says:

    I’d take any two(in addition to Stoke) from Blackburn, Brum, Bolton or Wolves, Raspers.

    We have to have the Spuds in the PL for comedic value.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Stoke Blackburn and Stoke

  85. Big Raddy says:

    If not Stoke2, then MU

  86. Rasp says:

    Oh you’re right Raddy – Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn (not Brum)

  87. 26may1989 says:

    If Stoke can’t be relegated three times, then Stoke, Blackburn and Wolves would do for me.

  88. Rasp says:

    Actually, I’d prefer 3 down and 2 up for the next two seasons to reduce it to 18 teams and the season to 34 games to give the players a break in January. The level of injuries in the Prem must be linked to the amount of football we play. With the WC and EC, players scarcely get any time off in the summer.

  89. I heard you chary – you sounded fine. You’re not too happy about all this possession and no end product then 😆

  90. Rasp says:

    …. I know the above would never happen due to the reduction in revenue and perhaps the present system is now beginning to favour us as we have a bigger squad with more quality in reserve than most.

  91. Wodderz says:

    Nice one peaches. I’m glad to hear you’ve asked to view the comments… If by any chance Gazidis does comes along and likes the idea of a gooner section; I would be most greatful if he could see to it that I (member no. 2068646) can jump the queue of 33,356 people I have in front of me for a season ticket!

    Much Love
    Joe (aka Wodderz)
    x X x

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Anyone see Hansen’s remarks about young English players not being good enough and that Capello should stick with experienced players for the friendly this eve? I don’t generally despise Hansen (unlike that A1 dickhead, Mark Lawrenson) but I cannot believe anyone who watched England’s World Cup performances from our well paid, much hyped experienced players can seriously suggest we should stick with that generation.

    He suggested the likes of Gibbs, Wilshere, Henderson and Smalling aren’t good enough. On Wilshere he said “although he has done well with Arsenal this season, I do not recall him standing out during his loan spell at Bolton last season.” (a) He did do well there if you’d been watching Alan and (b) what matters is how well he’s doing this season.

    He talks about English young players not being as good as the young Germans such as Mesut Özil, but ignores the fact that Özil is older than the English players in question, and part of Özil’s development has been his inclusion in the national side at an early age. There are some genuinely talented young English players around and I reckon we’ve got to give them a go, and let them develop individually and as a team. What’s the point sticking with the failing older generation?

  93. Wodderz says:

    It’s because Hansen’s Scottish; his team loses to the likes of Liechenstein and he’s just bitter that they’ve got nothing going for them!

  94. Carlito11 says:

    Peaches- cracking work- can you email me the email address- or post it on here actually- let’s get a barrage in! Wodderz- I’ll be right behind you in the queue fella 🙂
    26/5- Hansen has been up in his ivory tower for too long- never thought I’d say it but he has really fallen off recently. The Theo comments were a sign of a man that spends more time in meeja circles than at grounds

  95. Big Raddy says:

    I think the BBC owe it to their viewers to replace all their pundits after 5 years. Lawrenson and Hansen are way past their sell by dates and offer nothing except an old man’s thoughts about a game they once were brilliant at. Might as well bring back Jimmy Hill

  96. kelsey says:

    Evening all.

    great post but alas never ever been to The Emirates and having read all the posts gives me an insight as it is today.
    I was a Season ticket holder in West Stand just left of centre for 15 years and did I see some dross as well as as some great times especially the double year in 1971.

    I agree a successful club will always have a certain amount of floaters,especially in the london area.
    Stewards were hardly noticeable in my day and there were no corporate boxes.
    It was like a club, when you sat down there was good banter between us,though none of us knew each other and of course you could leave at the final whistle and in my case be home 15 minutes later.
    I understand times have moved on, but it appears the stewards are the main problem, subdueing any adrenelin rush by the paying fans.
    iknow us older fans are not wiser than the younger ones,but one has to have experienced first hand the real lows (and there were plenty of them) as well as the great days.
    Even these days if we lose, it takes me several days to come down, something only a true gooner would understand.Football is in the blood.

  97. kelsey says:


    Did Hansen tell the viewers how he threw up two days running in the foyer of the Hyett hotel in la Manga in front of dozens of people at three o’clock in the afternoon. I saw it.

  98. Steve Palmer says:



  99. Just checking if this is the right link to the contact form

  100. Steve – have you got a tune for your lyrics?

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    Nice read today.

    I’ve not been to the Emirates very often but when I have the atmosphere has been pretty flat, the best was at home to Bolton in the freezing cold when Nikki B scored a late winner – or perhaps I just enjoyed been up sitting with the real older timers.

  102. Rasp says:

    Cheeky Irish 😆

  103. Irishgunner says:


    I met you at the Birmingham game – see I remember 🙂 Its a bit sad I’ve been to so few I remember each one so clearly – hopefully a game in the new year.

  104. Carlito11 says:

    Go on steve! Just been thinking about the comments lamenting the acoustics at the stadium… It makes me feel gullible that I bought all the talk before we moved in that the stadium
    was designed to maximise the volume and keep the sound in like the millenium stadium in Cardiff. I never questioned it before. I’m surprised I haven’t got an arsenal creditcard with this level of unquestioning belief in what I read on! Be interesting to hear from anyone who’s been up there as to whether that place generates noise

  105. Steve \palmer says:

    Peaches, onward christian soldiers,
    getting better yea

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear…. I have an Arsenal credit card 🙄

  107. Steve Palmer says:

    Peaches,Onward Christian Soldiers

  108. Big Raddy says:

    First half report ….

    Nasri looks superb playing for France, he is a marvellous player in great form. Sagna also very good

    Gibbs has been erratic, one moment awful the next making a fine tackle.

    Theo – non-existent but he has not been given a single ball to chase. Why play him if the FB and midfield don’t pass the ball in front of him. Playing passes that require him to start from a a standing position negates his speed.

    This may be the worst England midfield performance I have ever seen.

  109. Steve Palmer says:

    Carlito, they keep serving up all that crap and they will have plenty of noise, in all fairness i dont go for a meal,but i don’t mind a singsong,like i said befor, speakers round the stadium with DJ teaching the new songs,without that you cant hear whats being sung on the other side of the ground, new ideas new system

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Walcott off at half time

    France 2-0 up must be time to take off Sagna and Nasri ahead of the weekend

  111. Steve Palmer says:

    Not untill there completely exhausted

  112. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy @ your 4.59pm – thanks, they must have edited to make me sound less rubbish – note to self : stop saying “basically”.

  113. Steve Palmer says:

    At least no one looks injured just Knackered

  114. SharkeySure says:

    Wishful thinking there Radders…90 for Sammy and 85 for Bak. Shocking.

    Can’t see Sammy starting on Sat now….especially with an early k.o. to boot. What happened to playing the Ints on Tuesdays..?? That didn’t last long did it !!

  115. Steve Palmer says:

    new lyrics, Second Verse

  116. chas says:

    They’ve played recordings of ‘we’re the north bank, we’re the north bank, we’re the north bank, highbury’ and ‘ we’re the clock end, we’re the clock end, we’re the clock end,highbury’ before the start of the last couple of home games and everyone seems to ignore it.

    During the game these recordings could have quite a different effect, though.

    Regardless, this Saturday, there’ll be no problem with atmosphere. 🙂

  117. Steve Palmer says:

    Just think of the lyrics coming up on a screen or bill board on either side of the ground with piped in music to onward christian soldiers, allmost makes me want to sing now

  118. Gunnern5 says:

    Gee about 14 hours ago I said that those that attend the games should “Make a difference instead of making excuses”

    A great testimonial to this site is that nobody jumped all over me for that comment.

    However; the reality is that us non-attendees can do nothing about the putrid atmosphere at the Emirates only you that attend can (and should) make a difference.

    What the hell is the use of a negative 12th man??

    The implied criticism in the silence is nauseating and can only bring our team down.

    I’ve played coached and managed and one thing is for sure and that is the power of the support – it can make or break individuals and teams.

    Please, oh please, it you attend make a difference and not excuses.

    I talk from both experience and a 63 year love affair with the Arsenal.

  119. charybdis1966 says:

    To my mind there was nothing to disagree with in what you said N5.

    I’m going to the Fulham game and intend to get lagered up enough to join in/start chants and if I’m within earshot barrack some oppo players, although to tbe fair to the cottagers they don’t really have any hateful players. I was less charitable to Kevin Davies when he took a throw in near me last itme Bolton came to the Grove.
    I’m in the north bank quite close to the red action section so I expect a cracking atmosphere.

  120. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I think Brum are due for a big result this weekend 😀

  121. charybdis1966 says:

    Hleb to score the winner Gnarley !
    I’m liking that.

  122. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

    Gunnern5 – that is a very good comment

  123. easy1972 says:

    new to this,red member,have been to most of the games for the last few years,and can honestly say i’m disgusted to be a arsenal fan.the away fans take the piss out of us.
    great points out the sound system,i sit in the clock end and must say i rarely hear red action,or the north bank in full cry.
    done a few away games this year,blackburn,was just us in full cry,sunderland were mad,sat right next to them and they did not stop singing for there team.went to spurs in the carling cup,i came out that ground with a blinding headache (great night).
    i will tell you the truth,i hate go to home games now,i strongly believe the crap atmosphere gets to the players….i’ve started my own songs up..all we do is fukcing moan…we only sing against the big four..birmingham summed it up perfectly for me,when they bought the ground for the tourists…anyway dont want to bore you..extra big luck for the boys on saturday
    ps..could not get a ticket for saturday,bet some tourist has got it taking photos before the game,and talking crap during it…:(

  124. Carlito11 says:

    All I can say easy1972 is keep trying to get those around to join in! Thanks for the comment sorry you won’t be at the derby 😦

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