Written by George Nixon
Before you say anything, I know how to spell, I’m talking about the Stadio Olimpico rather than London 2012. Unsurprising really, as there’s not an awful lot of post-Olympic goodwill around at the moment, in fact any form of goodwill is in short supply around Arsenal Football Club, and there’s lots of justifiable reasons for that, so many in fact I won’t go into details.
But this post is about the atmosphere at the Emirates, or more accurately; the lack of it. Yes there’s been some games where the atmosphere’s been fantastic, AC Milan at home is the one that sticks out in my mind, but most of the time it’s not great let’s be honest. Frankly we really need a home support that will scare the living crap out of any away team that comes to the home of football. Now, I went to Rome (Well I’m still here now) on Wednesday for a couple of days, I’ve got no idea about these ‘city breaks’ but I went anyway. Anyhow, there were tickets available for Lazio against Torino at the Stadio Olimipico, so I decided to go and the atmosphere was something I’ll never forget.
Italian football is supposedly in decline, and while that’s partly true (look at AC Milan and how far they’ve fallen) the fans are still probably the second best in Europe behind Germany for sheer noise. So I’m in the Curva Nord, and if you’re not familiar with the Olimpico then that’s where the Ultras sit. No stewards, smoke bombs and people smoking cannabis in the stands, it was quite an education. While I’m not saying the Emirates should allow Ultras at all, it gave me a few ideas of what we could use to improve the atmosphere at the Emirates.
1) A section of the stadium, be it the North Bank or the Clock End, should be made exclusively available for those who want to sing and get right behind the team. Before anyone says its difficult because it’s round so it doesn’t have set stands, the Olimpico is round and thats got one.
2) There should be an anthem played just before the teams come out in the style of You’ll Never Walk Alone or the one that was being played and sung last night (Didn’t know what it was called or what the words were) and no not “The Wonder of You” something that is exclusively Arsenal’s, to get all the supporters in the mood for singing just before the game.
3) Allow the supporters to move around, such as go to the edge of their block as close to the pitch as possible. They did this at the Olimpico and it really helped the atmosphere as all the people who were singing went right to the front of the block and sung for the whole game.
Anyway, that’s just a couple of suggestions inspired by that Lazio Game, but what are your suggestions about how to make the Emirates a more intimidating place for visiting teams? Oh and finally I’m not slating our away support in any way, it’s brilliant and the best in the league, out singing Reading at 4-0 down and Old Trafford when we were losing 8-2 were just some of the highlights.
Follow George on Twitter @George_Nixon97
If you’ve been having problems accessing this site on your work computer using the URLS globalgooners.com and gossip.globalgooners.com should sort that problem for you.
Get your free LadyArse app here for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone [iPhone coming soon]
Get your free Arsenal wallpaper, Facebook covers and Twitter headers here