A view of the Emirates from a non-gooner

Today’s post is written by Neil, a QPR supporter who we met up with before the game last Saturday. These are his thoughts on the game and the Emirates experience.

I got the chance to visit the Emirates stadium as I have always wanted to, as iI had heard a lot about it and it always looks great on TV.

I wasn’t worried what game I got to see, but Sat 31st December 2011 I received a belated christmas present from TotalArsenal. A ticket for the match v my beloved QPR.

I was a bit nervous on going as I knew I will be sitting somewhere away from the QPR fans and wouldn’t be able to cheer my team on, and then I thought hang on we are playing Arsenal away, we will probably loose 3- 0 so there wont be much to cheer anyway.

Travelling down from Norwich with TotalArsenal he told me that we would be meeting some other Arsenal fans and AA-bloggers in a pub near the ground. He said they were really nice people and in fact one of them was actually born in Shepherds Bush!!

He wasn’t wrong: the bloggers were very warming and welcoming and I sort of felt as if I supported Arsenal for a second or two. We shared conversations on our teams while watching ManU get beaten before heading off to the game, still thinking we would get beat 3-0.

On walking across the bridge to the stadium I looked up and saw all the banners with previous players, being the later side of 21 I remembered most of them. My Uncle in fact supported Arsenal: I used to go with him to the old Highbury where he used to sit me on one of the barriers to watch the game as I was only 8. Sorry, but once I found my legs and could get to football on my own it was QPR I chose, being from West London. Who are ya “VCC” the man that was born in Shepherds bush?!

Anyway “WOW” what a sight as I walked around from letter “D” to letter “P” passing the QPR fans in letter “L” to get in.

It was a really good feeling being there, but I still thought nothing less than 3-0 to the home side was the likely outcome. Anyway, once inside we walked up what seemed like 20 flights of stairs and found our seats, and the view was immense, fantastic to say the least, plus I could hear the QPR fans to my right, way below me.

The teams came out as I sat down, I then had to refocus to try to capture who was who on the pitch.

The game kicked off and to my surprise, the sound of silence came upon me except for “We are QPR” from the away fans in the distance, and many other general conversations around me. It didn’t feel like I was at a football match, let alone the mighty Arsenal. It was very strange to say the least. I thought QPR acquitted themselves well and although I was waiting for Arsenal to score, I got more and more encouraged and thought: already a couple of dodgy results recently, there may be one here, and my mind started to change to 3-1 instead of a 3-0 thrashing.

Going in at half time 0-0 sent shivers up my spine, we were doing well, and yes Arsenal were doing bad but that’s football sometimes.

QPR started to get on top after Arsenal missed what can only classed as sitters (notably by Walcott). Not being an Arsenal fan, I am one of those not convinced by his commitment, confidence and dare I say technical ability: yes I can, as I would have at least hit the target in his position, to every game.

No sooner than I thought we’re getting on top and started to dream of a 0-0 scoreline, up popped RvP latching onto a pass from Arshavin (I think he was still on the pitch at the time) via a misplaced pass from QPR’s own 3 letter person SWP.

The crowd went wild and started cheering RvP’s name. It was strange that the crowd found their voices only when he got the ball and of course scoring meant they could cheer for a little longer. I did stand up when the goal went in, only to sarcastically clap SWP’s pass.

So time ticked on, a couple of chances at both ends admittedly easier ones in the QPR box, but no more goals and no more cheering.

1-0 not a bad result, but being biased maybe we could have nicked a draw, but hey, I visited the Emirates and thought it was a fantastic stadium and a great day. I thought Arsenal could and should have played better, and QPR played better that they had done recently. I now look forward to the return match in March, where hopefully Arsenal will be preoccupied with CL football and we have added players to our squad.

However, you do need to find some voices from somewhere it might be the layout of the stadium, as some have mentioned, but I have never sat in a football stadium and heard other peoples conversations during a match. I believe if the voices were found and then heard, trophies won’t be far away. Good luck and many thanks for the day.

A Non-Gooner, Neil.


25 Responses to A view of the Emirates from a non-gooner

  1. hey Neil,
    nice read mate..looking forward to meeting you in march, and yes i agree, i too hope we are preoccupied with CL.. i think a last minute winner against Milan by super sub TH12 would propell us to greater heights..AHHHHH, JUsT reminiscing about those european nights.. AHHHH, one can only dream i guess (“,)..
    thanks again for the insight into the emirates(and from a non arsenal supporter), as im stuck in Oz (hopefully not too long) and have yet to visit..

  2. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Welcome Neil, Glad you had a nice day, apart from the result !. 🙂
    What a great idea, having “others” doing post`s, look forward to more, but only when we win ! 🙂

    What part/block etc` of the North Bank do the “singers” sit ?
    Ohh, and I only helped in the making of the outfits. 🙂

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    Nice one Neil,

    Maybe a few words from a non Arsenal fan could be a feature of every game!?

    On another note, is Tevez cup tied for CL? It can only be a good thing of he is!

  4. Carlito11 says:

    Hi Neil- as a Gooner who makes my way to the Grove from shepherd’s bush (don’t worry- I wasn’t born here!) it’s good to read your perspective on the game. I live about 600 yards from Loftus Road and in big games like the remarkable game you won against Chelsea I can hear all 20,000 of you from my back yard. I’ve always wished the 60,000 that turn up to watch the boys in red and white had as much commitment to supporting the lads. Sadly, we only get going en masse for games like Barcelona and Spuds at home and that’s a bit of an indictment of how spoiled our fanbase has become. I fully expect us to get outsung by Leeds on Monday night- hope I’m proved wrong!

  5. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Looking at my last comment, I`m glad I didn`t make a typo and put “swingers”! 🙂
    And you all thought Cornwall was some sleepy backwater !. 🙂

    When you get over here, It`s North Cornwall for the Surf, bring a thermal wetsuit !, the waters cold enough to give you a ” ingrowing todger” even in the summer ! 🙂

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning all.

    Thanks Neil, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Tavern and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all. Sadly I cannot disagree with your verdict on the noise in the stadium, I don’t know what more the club can do to improve the atmosphere but it should be high on their priorities.

  7. Gooner In Exile says:

    Neil an interesting insight into a non Gooners experience at the Emirates.

    Unfortunately the Upper Tier is definitely not the place for atmosphere and generally you need one loud mouth with a big ego (me, Harry or Carlito) to start singing to get a bit of a song going.

    And trust me most of us feel the same. There are problems in the number of tourists (neutrals) that attend and those that are irregular visitors not knowing songs etc. When the away fans turn up at Loftus road you will probably be surprised.by their volume.

    GliC the singing section (I know Neil we haves dedicated area) which is occupied by Red Action is directly opposite the away fans, on the corner to the left of the tunnel. I think blocks 5 & 6. They are allowed to stand for 90 minutes untouched by stewards.

    I still think the club need to move these to both ends of the ground. And directly behind the goal. There is not IMO an acoustics problem as we have had some memorable nights of atmosphere and Leeds fans proved last year just how much noise the ground can produce. As did Dortmund fans this season.

  8. GLiC, take more than the ingrowing todger to keep me away from the water.. i tend to do my best spear fishing in the winter although i do appreciate that the wters there are much colder.. isnt that wen u go down to the pub(tavern) n get a warm beer.lol

  9. Carlito11 says:

    By the way- I have a spare to sit with me on Monday night if anyone’s looking for a ticket?

  10. Dale says:

    We need to get behind the team and sing good old arsenal

  11. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC 😀

    Neil. Thank you for the post. It is always interesting to read how other supporters view the Emirates. I imagine it is hugely impressive but lack in atmosphere.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Dale. You are right

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Neil, great post. Obviously for you it would have been better if QPR would have gotten something out of it, but we had a great football day together. Despite the lack of noise in certain parts of the Emirates which you are right to point out, it is a fantastic stadium and you describe your experience of your first visit to it very well.

  14. Morning all

    Thank you Neil for taking the time to write to us it was very nice to meet you at The Tavern.

    Those who attend games regularly know the problem of lack of atmosphere – 60,000 are difficult to whip up into a frenzy of singing although as GiE says we know it can be done.

    Last weekend Rasp and I sat in front of some young guys that we know go to away games and they worked really hard to get some singing going around us. Most people just don’t join in 😦

  15. As a bloke with a really big mouth (and a voice to match) I sat in the North bank at Highbury. Since the move to the Emirates I have acquired a season ticket in the third row pretty much opposite AW and the dug out. I am now the loudest thing for two blocks, but spend almost as much time teasing those around me for not singing as I do singing myself. I would be hoarse after a trip to the old place, but now the only person I can intimidate is the lines man and I have to do that without swearing! It does pick up for some big games but the tourists with tickets and the way the prices have changed the age demographic toward an older and more clientele (I am tee-total but sober ain’t just about drink!) has had a detrimental affect on atmosphere that feels irreparable to me.

  16. Should have read older and more sober clientele but that is what happens when you type on a mobile!

  17. Rasp says:

    Welcome Mark,

    I afraid that is a scenario many of us have sympathy with. I’m sure there is a list of ideas on some desk at the club. I do think it should be easier to transfer a seat so that those who really want to sing can be amongst kindred spirits.

  18. New Post ……………………..

    When I checked the emails this morning I found a wonderful contribution from Double98 that needs to be published today …….. come and chat on the New Post.

  19. Watching the games live on t.v in Australia you can actually hear the oohing and aahing in the crowd..the nerves surrounding our team n its supporters actually comes through and you can hear it creep through in situations wen we hav players in one on one situations..i believe that has a major thing to do with it..
    also, even though our dear wenger has on numerous occasions called and even pleaded for faith n unity amongst us, we still find that the emirates are a divided bunch..a small insignificant minority who cling for every mistake that wenger may make is the major cause for the deafening silence come kick-off. On top of that, i totally agree with the comments made on stewards playing their part to suffocate any joy and although i may be classified as a tourist wen i make my way over il do my best to sing, and keep on singing, drink sum more if i have to and then sing until i wake up in a park or something..after all its NOT A LIBRARY, or MUSEUM, its the friggin EMIRATES! OUR HOME!! and Stan nd his henchman should adress this asap..
    I believe the noise at highbury had much to do with the confidence, cockiness nd even arrogance of our teams performances nd especially the french connection..(the arrogance needed to be made special nd even genius in football today).
    IN due course the place will lift off like a rocket into outer space, nd hopefully a new generation of footballing songs wwill be born, but that will all come together as our team(s) start to play with that cockiness..
    in a way, just as our team is in a slight transition n building phase, i believe so too are the emirates and loyal tenants!!!

  20. VCC says:

    Hi Neil.
    Nice post. As you know there is a place in my heart for Queens Park Rangers. I looked to the heavens and teased my Dear ol Dad, and winked to him after the final whistle, he would have loved to visit the Emirates.
    Although I was born within a stone’s throw of Loftus Road My family left the smoke when I was 3 years of age.\
    I started liking/looking at Arsenal when I was 5 years old in my infants school.
    I lived nearer The Hammers and Spuds………..Don’t tell me I should have supported one of them!!!!!!!!
    It was nice to meet you and the other AA’ers on New Years Eve. I hope to do it more often.
    Keep contributing to the site.

  21. Emmanuel says:

    Neil, thanks for notice the most weakiest arsenal’s striker after chamark. I hope one day I will read another article that will claim you as pure Arsenal fans because I can detect it in your DNA.

  22. Neil says:

    All AA’ers (is that right) thank you for replies, i seemed to have hit a nerver not only with the accoustics, but the odd player you seem tired off.
    A lot has happend since New Years eve and its only the 10th of Jan.
    Warnock Sacked, Barton Suspended, Henry back. I know where your money was on i heard it during the Arsenal v QPR game.
    I hope to contribute later in season as it might be my only chance to keep in touch with the premiership. But beware in March as you’ll be busy with CL, FA Cup, not the premiership, and Henry goes the end of Feb, we will have new boss (Hughes), new players hopefully no more more from Arsenal (Traore?), and fighting for our lives. keep singingThe QPR Non-Gooner.

  23. Work Online…

    Although this has not been proven and maybe in the future it has the capacity to…

  24. Read Webpage says:

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    A view of the Emirates from a non-gooner |

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