Arsenal Fail To Entertain Us

We’ve had many debates on this site regarding the role the Emirates crowd plays (or more accurately, fails to play) in creating a positive atmosphere that will lift the players. The negativity can be suffocating at times. But then I got to thinking – is there more the club could do to help in this respect? All of a sudden not only did the light bulb come on, it blinded me with its intensity.

The answer is YES, YES, YES, Arsenal could do so much more. We cannot complain about the entertainment value of the superb football that Arsenal is famous for, but what comes before and after is pretty woeful.

The matchday/evening experience should be just that, a time of fun, of bonding, of celebrating everything about Arsenal with fellow supporters, not just 90 minutes top class football sandwiched between lengthy periods of dirge.

Our older contributors who went to Highbury will remember the characters, the bands that used to play downstairs at the Northbank, the Peanut Sellers, the guy who used to shout out “Come on you rip roaring”, the friendly rivalry between The Clock End, The Northbank and The East stand (whatever went on in the West Stand?) and so many other things that made the whole matchday experience more enjoyable …. and more importantly bonded and united us as Arsenal supporters.

Pre-match at Highbury was a blast, the crescendo of energy leading up to kick off was intoxicating. Not so at The Emirates. Unless it’s your first time, no-one gets to the ground early to be entertained – the stadium is awesome, but there isn’t any entertainment to speak of in the build up to kick off.

There is a reason why TV companies use warm up acts to get the audience in the right mood to play a part in live recordings …. it works. Yet the build up to games at the Emirates is antiseptic and insipid.

We have an American owner who knows only too well from his US sports franchises that add on entertainment either side of his events is a real crowd pleaser and increases income – so why not in football? Would supporters of his US sports businesses be content to settle for 1 guy in a padded dinosaur outfit to entertain 60,00 people – of course not.

We play scintillating football, but let’s be honest, the build up to games in the stadium is just plain dreary. What’s wrong with injecting a bit of razzamatazz into proceedings? Let’s get the supporters fired up and in the mood to be positive.

I’m not advocating turning Arsenal into a cheap carnival, the football is why we go, but much more could be done  in the build up to the game to raise the supporter’s spirits and create an upbeat atmosphere for the game. The young supporters that go to the Emirates deserve a bit more effort from the club.

So what could we do? Its simple, just look at the things about the game we used to love 30 years ago and where possible reintroduce them, and take a leaf out of the American’s book and adopt some (not all of the cheesy stuff) of their practices.

For a start, the music at the Emirates is rank – not Uptown Top Ranking. There could be events/competitions on the pitch that encourage crowd participation ( – without interfering with the player’s warm up). Certain types of food and drink could be sold to you in your seat without the need to queue for the entirety of half time. There could be entertainers moving among the supporters in the lounges. Why not have a band playing in the bar area and maybe use them to promote some much needed songs for our players – what Londoner doesn’t enjoy a sing-song?

The stewards could be trained to be more helpful and more positive in their approach. I feel for chas, the steward who regularly stands in his area is one of the ring leaders of the moaners and groaners – he should not be in the job.

There could be competitions, free promotional hand-outs, the big screens could be used to interact with supporters before games as they do in the US. Perhaps we could have a guy with some wit and personality making the announcements? Everything should be Arsenal related, and everything could be so much more fun.

This is a win/win situation. The fans are happy; the atmosphere is positive; the team benefits; the club makes money, The Arsenal wins.

I’m expecting many of you to tell me I’m mad and football is a serious business that should not be turned into a carnival, but others may buy into the idea … I’d welcome suggestions of other things the club could do to enhance the matchday experience …. over to you ……..



84 Responses to Arsenal Fail To Entertain Us

  1. RC78 says:

    This is in all stadium…No more atmo at the Parc des Princes – it is sad really…

    The fans group and the club should really meet up to basically draw up a “fun evening/afternoon out strategy” and to implement it…I think it is great that stadiums are more family friendly but they do not have to become a child-focused entertainment park…We should also avoid having an American Football or NBA type of entertainment around the games – we need to find the right balance.

    Do we need music? Yes…Do we need a marching band…No BUT we do need some live music 🙂

    All and all – it s a matter of finding the right tone and balance

  2. Rasp says:

    Marching bands would damage the pitch – and they’d get sprayed 🙂

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Rasp

    Right sentiment, wrong plan.

    I agree with RC, we’re already way too Americanised and it’s not for our sorts. Eating at half time is American and so is the dinosaur thing.

    Explosions and loud noise is what we need.

  4. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I was going to suggest fireworks – but that would only work for the evening games. Your idea of real cannons heralding the start of games with ear busting explosions is still worth a try 🙂

  5. Rasp says:

    The football mascot has been around for decades – not an exclusively American thing!

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Also, the sum total of our pa announcer bloke is some dribbly health and safety announcement, or about Derek in block 92 whose white ford sierra has its lights on.

    Abroad they have utter loons at the mic who go beserk after a home goal.

    We need more anger, aggression and noise, not namby pamby girlie entertainment claptrap

  7. ‘morning all,

    I’ve only ever been to the Emirates once and the atmossphere that day was created almost entirely by the visiting away supporters, they’d come up from Plymouth for an FA Cup game and a day out.

    They knew they were on a hiding to nothing but had a great time, they sang their hearts out.

    The Arsenal atmosphere, what there was, consisted mainly of some pillock jumping up every few minutes shouting “Stand up if you hate Spurs”, a couple of dozen people did so thus blocking the view of those sitting behind them.

    The real problem is not so much the quality of the pre-match entertainment but the fact that everybody has a reserved seat.

    In “the good old days” you had to get onto the terraces early to grab your favourite spot, you had to stay there at half-time to prevent someone else moving in. I don’t remember there being anywhere, inside the ground, to buy food and drink other than the peanuts mentioned by Rasp.

    Nowadays the pitch has become too precious to allow such crass things as “entertainment” or “entertainers” to desecrate it.

    Everybody seems to be intent on supping and noshing to the last possible moment, with no interest in seeing if anything is happening beyond the concourse.

    The club wants you to spend your dosh in the bars, why would they give you an incentive not to?

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    So true. I know a dedicated Pilgrim (Plymouth fan) who was at the game you mentioned.
    A while later, as a thank you for some work thing, I offered to take him to a game at The Ems. He said “no thanks” 😦
    He thought it was rubbish

  9. Kings Lynn Gooner says:

    Most of us prefer the Pub pre-match. Ours is The Hemmingford Arms.

  10. Rasp says:

    One of my most embarrassing moments of the current pre-match (attempted) entertainment was when they brought Audley Harrison, the renowned loser, onto the pitch and tried to interview him – no one took the slightest bit of notice. I’ve had enough of Tom Watt and Matt Lucas too, surely they can find someone more interesting to interview?

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi KingsL, most if us do prefer the pub because there is nothing for us at the Emirates – only queues, expensive food and watered down beer 😦

  12. Basicly, the club are happy to see their sixty thousand clients sitting peaceably in their seats. Not too much excitement equates to not too much chance of trouble. No ripped up seats, no bad press, lower policing bills.

    Arsenal have had ample time to arrange singing zones, or to allow goups of like minded fans to move to one section or another. The fact that very little has been done indicates that the powers that be are happy with the status quo.

    Perhaps “Victoria Concordia Crescit”. Should be updated to “Sit Down and Shut Up”.

  13. Rasp says:

    Good point Norfolk, I think what we are lacking is passion – there’s plenty of anger and frustration and not enough fun and celebration, surely the club would prefer the latter?

  14. Rasp, it depends on what you consider “The Club” to be. Is it the fans? Or is it the corporate business?

    The match day revenue is pretty much guaranteed whatever the atmosphere, the one thing that would upset the sponsors is a descent into the rowdyism of the past.

    Someone mentioned the stewards, if I was made to sit with my back to the game, staring into the ugly mugs of a sixty thousand fans I’d be a bit grumpy too. 😀

  15. PV4 says:

    I think we need an ‘Ultras’ area – a place where all of the banners, flags colour and noise can be concentrated. You have to admit – at Palace the atmosphere is great because they have such an area, as do most top teams in Europe. Sadly, as others have adhered to, most stadiums seem to be sterile and muted. I remember the days of the Arsenal scratchcard – Make Money With Arsenal, where winners would be presented with prizes on the pitch before the game. Maybe some freebie incentives like this would be a start point.

  16. RC78 says:

    I ve been to Germany and I can tell you their stadiums are AWESOME…Why? Because the fans sing all along and the people coming to the stadium are actual fans, even the kids…Big sense of belonging to the team…

    I would be pleased to see a “red and white wall of supporters” behind both goals at the Emirates and I would love to see more “Tifos” on the main stadium stands…

    Also – we should honour passed players more often and have more connection with London…Can’t we have a Big Ben Tifo in our colours for example?

    We need to make sure there is noise and passion so let us also make sure people know the main songs and names of the players when announced…

    I want to hear people screem and shout and let it all out to quote Mr. Will I am

  17. RC78 says:

    BTW – which are your favorite chants?

    I like “We follow the Arsenal” 🙂

  18. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, thank you Rasper.
    Boy was that a post or what, and so so true, what Arsenal are lacking is a Rasper to organise all that, i have no doubts at all that all Gooners would love all that even the cheesy bits, half clad Gooner lasses pumping their pom poms blimey might go more often myself if that were the case , If i could think of anything that could better all that it would be to take a pee without leaving my seat, blimey how i hate to Queue.

    A bear and a burger in my seat Loud music fron the Arsenal away boys activity on the pitch at half time too blimey sounds like an Arsenal dream, Wake up Rasper 🙂

    May i thank GN5 for his post yesterday had to go out last night so couldn’t comment, well done mate.

  19. chas says:

    Nice idea, Rasp.

    I doubt much of it will happen though.
    One bum per seat killed any ideas of getting into the ground early.
    I like Steve’s idea of half-clad pumping pom-poms, but doubt that even that would get me in early.
    The club serve up disgusting beer and it still gets bought, so why change?
    Half the crowd can’t be arsed to arrive for kick-off, let alone before kick-off. Also, many think it’s ok to miss possible goals just before half-time, after half-time and before the end of the game. There really is no hope for it.

    To compound things, TV is king. The current announcement that Hull away is now on a feckin Monday night and the Yorkie barstewards are charging £50 a ticket is just disgraceful all round. Doubt there’s a train back to London either.
    Swansea home is also on a Monday night. JC will be pissed off as it takes away one of the remaining games he would have attended.
    Just imagine how tedious those two weekends are now going to be for us waiting for Monday chuffin night. 😦
    I despair.

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, you paint a depressing picture, but I can’t disagree. Money is king and the TV companies our biggest paymasters.

    There was a half hearted attempt by the club with the ‘Arsenalization’ policy, but that didn’t make much difference. We can only hope that the bubble bursts one day and the connection between the club and the supporters improves I guess.

  21. Eddie says:

    fooking ell Rasp, what are you talking about? Would you really like to see cheerleaders, fat yanks and balloons at the Ems?? Blimey, it is a serious game, not some kids’ birthday party! you want to see clowns? Go to see Spurs at N17.

    I am happy with the nerve wrecking, full of anticipation and testosterone atmosphere. A moaner here and there is good too, can always pick on him/her. Silence speaks louder than words, players understand that too.

    And anyway, I thought you were well entertained on match days 🙂

  22. Eddie says:

    chas – were there ever 2 bums per seat stadia?

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi Eddie, I wrote ” adopt some (not all of the cheesy stuff) of their practices” so we don’t have to have cheerleaders – maybe just lap dancers and pole dancers 🙂

  24. Rasp says:

    Any way, the post was T in CH, and I thought it might stimulate debate – I was wrong about that too 😆

  25. Rasp says:

    But I do think the prematch is pretty dreary unless you like overpriced disgusting beer and it seems they can’t wait to get you out of the ground after games. the club itself makes no effort to encourage supporters to stay to clap the players off the pitch.

  26. chas says:

    Only when you attend games.

  27. chas says:

    …sorry, that should have been
    Only when YOU attend games. 🙂

  28. Rasp, did you mean pole dancers or Pole dancers? 😀

  29. Eddie says:

    NG – can you imagine thing with that arse above pole dancing? That’s how that skinny wimp sees me

  30. Rasp says:

    I meant POLE dancers

  31. Eddie says:

    I quite like sombre, solemn and grave atmo. Enough excitement elsewhere. All the joy should come from the pitch

  32. chas says:

    “Dear Jetstar,

    Do you like riddles? I do, that’s why I’m starting this letter with one. What weighs more than a Suzuki Swift, less than a Hummer and smells like the decaying anus of a deceased homeless man? No idea? How about, what measures food portions in kilograms and has the personal hygiene of a French prostitute? Still nothing? Right, one more try. What’s fat as fuck, stinks like shit and should be forced to purchase two seats on a Jetstar flight? That’s right, it’s the man I sat next to under on my flight from Perth to Sydney yesterday.

    As I boarded the plane, I mentally high-fived myself for paying the additional $25 for an emergency seat. I was imagining all that extra room, when I was suddenly distracted by what appeared to be an infant hippopotamus located halfway down the aisle. As I got closer, I was relieved to see that it wasn’t a dangerous semi-aquatic African mammal, but a morbidly obese human being. However, this relief was short-lived when I realised that my seat was located somewhere underneath him.

    Soon after I managed to burrow into my seat, I caught what was to be the first of numerous fetid whiffs of body odour. His scent possessed hints of blue cheese and Mumbai slum, with nuances of sweaty flesh and human faeces sprayed with cologne – Eau No. Considering I was visibly under duress, I found it strange that none of the cabin crew offered me another seat. To be fair, it’s entirely possible that none of them actually saw me. Perhaps this photo will jog their memories.

    Pinned to my seat by a fleshy boulder, I started preparing for a 127 Hours-like escape. Thankfully though, the beast moved slightly to his left, which allowed me to stand up, walk to the back of the plane and politely ask the cabin crew to be seated elsewhere. I didn’t catch the names of the three flight attendants, but for the purpose of this letter, I’ll call them: Chatty 1, Chatty 2 and Giggly (I’ve given them all the same surname – Couldnotgiveashit). After my request, Chatty 1 and Chatty 2 continued their conversation, presumably about how shit they are at their jobs, and Giggly, well, she just giggled. I then asked if I could sit in one of the six vacant seats at the back of the aircraft, to whichGiggly responded, “hehehe, they’re for crew only, hehehe“. I think Giggly may be suffering from some form of mental impairment.

    I tried to relocate myself without the assistance of the Couldnotgiveashit triplets, but unfortunately everyone with a row to themselves was now lying down. It was then I realised that my fate was sealed. I made my way back to Jabba the Hutt and spent the remainder of the flight smothered in side-boob and cellulite, taking shallow breaths to avoid noxious gas poisoning. Just before landing, I revisited the back of the plane to use the toilet. You could imagine my surprise when I saw both “crew only” rows occupied by non-crew members. I can only assume Giggly let them sit there after she forgot who she was and why she’s flying on a big, shiny metal thing in the sky.

    Imagine going out for dinner and a movie, only to have your night ruined by a fat mess who eats half your meal then blocks 50% of the screen. Isn’t that exactly the same as having someone who can’t control their calorie intake occupying half your seat on a flight? Of course it is, so that’s why I’m demanding a full refund of my ticket, including the $25 for an emergency row seat.

    I’m also looking to be compensated for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by being enveloped in human blubber for four hours. My lower back is in agony and I had to type this letter one-handed as I’m yet to regain full use of my left side. If I don’t recover completely, I’ll have to say goodbye to my lifelong dream of becoming Air Guitar World Champion. If that occurs, you will pay.

    To discuss my generous compensation package, email me at: [Redacted], or tweet me at: @RichWisken

    No regards,

    Rich Wisken. “

  33. Rasp says:

    Yes Eddie, but if the miserable supporters could be whipped up into a state of euphoric enthusiasm, wouldn’t you enjoy the games more?

  34. Eddie says:

    not you have really crossed the line Rasp – are you suggesting we have some orgy at the Ems? No thank you, I’d much rather sit in one bum per seat stadia and enjoy the game

  35. chas says:

    Obviously my one bum per seat comment was intended to mean that nobody has to arrive early at the ground as their bum is guaranteed a place (even if they turn up 20 mins after kick-off).

  36. chas says:

    Wow, looking forward to an invite to the next orgy.

  37. Eddie says:

    chas – really? I thought you were suggesting me has a fat arse. Is skinny all right?

  38. chas says:

    Skinny’s bum doesn’t even touch the edges of the seat anymore.

  39. Rasp says:

    chas@5:48 … brilliant 🙂 I had a similar experience on a flight back from Palma one time. In my case the B.O. was about the same, but it was a mad woman with a baby who thought that the whole world revolved around her. Can you imagine how violated I felt when she’d used up the space on her pull down tray from the back of the seat in front and leant over and pulled my tray down (without so much as a fook you) and proceeded to put her shit on that too 😕

  40. chas says:

    I thought you were going to say, she changed her baby’s nappy using hers and yours pull down trays. 🙂

    Right, I’m off to get me feet washed. 🙂

  41. Eddie says:

    strange to time to wash ones feet
    off to walk the dogs

  42. Eddie says:

    long time to wash ones feet
    are you going out tonight?

  43. chas says:

    It’s Maundy Thursday, good Polish Catholic girl.

  44. Eddie says:

    a what? Oh shit, that’s why my mum was upset I said I’m going out tomorrow, shit shit shit, have to phone her and tell her Im going to church!

  45. chas says:

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Maundy Thursday??? Crikey, best go google.

    Good Friday. Good day for Romans and Jewish folk to lie low. Shame on them 🙂

    Well, that was a pretty depressing days’ reading yesterday. Nothing new, but what really pissed me off was Chas’ news that two more fixtures have been shifted. Grrrr

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow, what a great pic

    And motning to you he of the clean feet (and shiny teeth)

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas
    What with a bank holiday, might the Ant ‘n Duck trip turn into an orgy of indulgence culminating in a gig, a kebab and some hurling?

  49. chas says:

  50. chas says:

    The feet washing was a gag for Catholics which fell flat.
    My feet are still unwashed.

    No hurling, fancy a bit of shinty, though.

    Saturday is Ant driving and picking up JC for the dippers. Jon is in Antigua.
    Saturday later attending an evening wedding do – some people never learn.

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    “some people never learn”
    Thou is a sinner, Chas. Charging about coveting stuff what ain’t yours and shit

  52. chas says:

    If you just go to Confession, you can get away with owt.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Yikes, is that the ugliest group of people you’ve ever seen?

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh fuck, you’re a Catholic. Should of guessed really, what with all the signs being there 🙂

  55. chas says:

    Lapsed at 11.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Merry Passover and Happy Easter

    I like chubby people but consider obese folk to be mentally ill. Is that bad?

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Could never understand SLF’s. Always thought they were too lightweight. Certainly compared to tis lot

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Raddy

    Totally cool to have a go at fatties today. We’ve insulted Romans, Jews and Catholics so far 🙂

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey it’s been a long wait. One day to go.

  60. Eddie says:

    as long as we leave the muslims alone, we should live to watch the next game

    Lots of choccy eggs to all xx

  61. Eddie says:

    did any of you watch the TV election debate? My God, what a farce. Only the Scottish woman made some sense.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    I have always been suspicious of reptiles – they look shifty.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. They are all crooks and liars. Some are better at it than others

  64. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Bit surprised at the response to this post, as i felt it was a very good one. I often feel that many Gooner’s must be happy with how the club are progressing, when not to many of the 60 thousand home supporters and the millions of sitting at home fans have not got a lot to say.

    Each to their own i suppose. I am still one of, i thought many who are not satisfied with AFC One FA cup for all these years, is that enough for a club of our statue. Or is it that the Arsenal faithful are quite happy that we get top 4 perhaps that’s the case.

    I have left a possible post in Nuts should there be a need. i do care and will continue to preach to the not listening, maybe there won’t be many responses but preach all the same.

  65. Eddie says:

    Raddy – ten years ago my cousin and her husband, both politicians caused a huge scandal in the 2005 election in Poland. As a result the best candidate resigned and has never been active in politics again.

    My cousins never worked again, had 3 children, bought a huge house and go to Italy for the summer every year. They published a book discreetly exposing the shenanigans behind the scenes, which I thought was shocking, but wasn’t a great hit with the readers, too unbelievable to believe I guess

    I always thought that this country has generations of born and bred politicians and that is the reason for the stability of this country. But now with the emergence of Farage, wrong Milliband brother and thick Nick, I am no longer so sure of it

  66. Eddie says:

    steve – did you wash the feet yesterday? Is that why you were absent?

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t vote.
    Total waste of time, as there are so many better things you can do with an hour.

  68. stevepalmer1 says:

    I was one of sad people who watched the debate last night, seven public figures who represent parties across the United \kingdom except of course Ireland which i felt was a cop out.

    7 leaders who had a chance to sell their prospective party Manifesto’s. I felt for a debate this was a pathetic attempt only to knock other parties rather than telling what they can bring to move us forward.

    I did feel that some of these candidates did say a few things that run true, Nigel Farage pointed out that the other 5 candidates had never had a proper job he stated that they all had had a very good schooling and most had gone straight into politics.

    Now i have to admit i don’t know if that is true as most of them i had not seen or heard of before, but none disputed his claim.

    Cameron held his own if he stays as leader everything stays the same . Milliband looked like a fish out of water Many have said this morning that he held his own, held his own what.

    Clegg was a pitiful example of a man who has been part of the coalition and all the good was from him while all the bad was Cameron.

    The ladies that were on were very good Green party leader stuttered and spluttered her way through but came across well i thought While the Welsh lady only worried about Wales. The Scottish lady showed why she was a party leader she has made demands from Cameron for her people to stay with the union so she has got a lot more for her people than all the rest of us a very shrewd woman indeed.

    Watching this debate was a pitiful example of British politics 4 question in 2 hours from the picked out audience and a presenter who only wanted really to feature the top 3 parties staged managed yes i would say but isn’t all politics staged managed

  69. Eddie says:

    you didn’t enjoy it then?

  70. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Eddie, if you love your country you want the best for it, who really knows whats best, but we put these people in and have to live with what they do, In my mind once they tell you what they are going to do and they get in only not to do it how can i choose them again.

    A man who promises a referendum and is in for a full term and he books a referendum after his term has no intention of a referendum at all or have i read that wrong

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent. Politics. Let’s get really divisive ROLF

  72. Eddie says:

    vote the Green Party then, they are least harmful to the environment 🙂

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    The whole idea of thickos, knobs and twats being able to vote at a referendum, indeed at anything of any importance, is utterly ludicrous.

  74. stevepalmer1 says:

    Tory then Micky 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    No Steve
    No Party

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Anyone else get the impression that what this site desperately needs is a game of football featuring The Arsenal 🙂

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    I am all for that 🙂

  78. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………………..

  79. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry Eddie, Just seen your comment, wash my feet every day Eddie whether they need it or not,. Not a religious person at all, i am leaning towards Ufo’s and men from Mars but wouldn’t call it religion, more a theory 🙂

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