“Give us an E…” I bet you haven’t heard that phrase since you were in Ibiza in the 90s.
But today it is simply the next installment in our Alternative Arsenal Alphabet.
As always, please remember the ‘alternative’ bit – which means there’s nothing too obvious like “E is for Eboue.”
Please make your own suggestions in the comments below.
We have had some great nights in Europe but I can’t help feeling that, over the years, we have punched below our weight as a European force. Not in terms of appearances and presence (our consistent qualification for the Champions League is an achievement much undervalued by some supporters) but in terms of trophies. We have managed to acquire only the Cup Winners Cup in 1994 and the Fairs Cup in 1970. We’ve had a few losing finals along the way but, as they say, second place is first loser. By contrast the Chavs have managed to acquire one Champions League trophy (admittedly they were the worst team ever to win that particular competition), one Europa League and two Cup Winners’ Cups. Even the poor little Spuds have more European silverware than us (two UEFA Cups and one Cup Winners Cup). All the while we qualify for the CL there is only one Euro trophy we can possibly win – and it’s about time it was added to our CV.
For the last 10 years or so before we moved to the new stadium my season ticket was in the Upper East Stand at Highbury – and it was a very special place. The Clock End and the North Bank certainly made the most noise, but the Upper East was a great place for characters. From the ageing rock promoter to a bunch of hooligans who were all old Harrovians and the world’s loudest cabbie, no game went by without laughter and banter. Unlike the West Stand where, as far as I could tell, people just dozed through entire games, the atmosphere in the Upper East could get quite heated from time to time and we would regularly get a round of applause from the Clock End when we stirred ourselves into action.
All grounds have empty seats from time to time. The Chavs can’t even fill their crappy stadium for important European nights. But the empty seats at The Emirates have become something of a bugbear for fans – thanks entirely to the ludicrous “attendance announcements” made during the games. When you’re sitting in an obviously 80% full stadium it’s just embarrassing when the announcer bellows out that today’s attendance is 61,176. As I haven’t been regularly for a couple of seasons, perhaps someone can tell me whether they are still doing that. (And yes, I know they are basing it on season tickets, but they claim to be announcing how many people are in attendance, not how many seats have been sold. They are often very different figures).
And speaking of the stadium, I find it funny that some people still can’t bring themselves to call our new home The Emirates Stadium. You’ll hear people talk about Ashburton Grove or The Grove, but not the E word. Personally I think sponsorship is the way of modern sports and there’s not much we can do about it. Suffice to say that the club would not have been able to build the new ground without the funds that were supplied by Emirates at the time. The stadium has their name on it because they paid for the privilege.
No, not the North London borough, but the comedian Harry Enfield, who was responsible for this wonderful homage to the traditions of Arsenal:
The Number of FA Cups we have won in our history – joint top with Manchester United. Ah… how nice to think back to that day at a Wembley just a few weeks ago… Altogether now: “What did she wear?”