Football Ground Guide logo

Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v
Premier League
Saturday, April 21st 2012, 7.45pm
By Harry Williamson

(Chelsea fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I always look forward to visiting the Emirates Stadium purely because it is a wonderful-looking ground. Arsenal's good form had stuttered slightly and Chelsea would be high on confidence after beating Barcelona in midweek so it was possible that the blues would be able to add to their good record at the Emirates.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Arsenal tube station is on the Piccadilly line and is about 15 minutes away from Leicester Square. On my visits to the Emirates the tube has been fairly busy and can get a lot busier when the train stops at Kings Cross/St Pancras. Arsenal station is quite old and there is a long tunnel that takes you up to ground level. This tunnel has a permanent fence which on one side is only one person wide. I assume this is used for queueing after the game but from my point of view it looked potentially quite dangerous if for whatever reason somebody needed to get out of the queue quickly. (However, I have never used Arsenal tube station after a match and so I am not entirely sure how the queueing system does work.) From the station it is a 5 minute walk and the stadium and housing that was built with it are easily visible as soon as you turn right out of the station. It is more or less impossible to miss it on a match day.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I decided to go straight to the ground as there were only 30 minutes until kick off. There are though lots of merchandise and burger and chip stalls on the brief walk to the stadium. Some of the food outlets were set up in people's front gardens which looked a bit unusual.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As you cross the railway bridge to the stadium, you cannot help but be impressed by the size and look of the ground. Massive Arsenal badges are stuck onto the sides and large glass walls allow you to see into the upper tier concourse as well as the two levels of prawn sarnie land. It really is spectacular and is without doubt one of the best looking stadiums in Europe. The away turnstiles are about halfway round the stadium bowl from where fans enter from Arsenal tube station (going around to the left of the stadium). Here, entry is gained by inserting your ticket into an electronic reader. Once inside the concourse, I was left a bit disappointed by the size. There is just one central food outlet to serve all of the away fans and it is quite dark considering that the stadium is new.

The stairs into the seating area are at the back of the stand, which has a slight overhang in the back few rows caused by the hospitality seating above. My seat was in block 22 and I was in the second last row (28) which meant that I was not able to see all of the stadium bowl. The view of the pitch was fine though and we were still reasonably close to the action. The interior of the stadium is equally as impressive as the exterior with semi-circular shaped seating on all four sides and a massive upper tier. The seats are padded and seemed slightly higher from the ground than at other stadiums that I have visited. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was sandwiched between two Champions League semi-finals for Chelsea, meaning that many changes were made to the team. This allowed Salomon Kalou to once again demonstrate why he is possibly the worst player to have ever put on a pair of boots and Daniel Sturridge to try to make it into double figures for passes made this season. It was a match to forget, with little action at either end and the game ending in a dull 0-0 draw. Arsenal certainly had the better chances, hitting the woodwork twice in the first half and van Persie going close in the second half.

Many visitors to the Emirates have noted the poor atmosphere. On this occasion, the Arsenal fans did not seem to make much noise. However, watching the game again that evening they did seem louder and I think being in with a lot of noisy Chelsea fans and being tucked away under an overhang may have made it seem quieter. The stewards and other staff were very friendly and helpful and had no problems with the crowd standing for the whole game. In terms of food on offer, there is quite a wide choice. The cheapest thing was a small tube of Pringles at 1.60 and there were also family sized packets of sweets (The ones you get in cinemas which just about serve one person really) at 3.20 and mini donuts at 3.60. There was also a pint of Carlsberg and footlong hot dog meal deal available for around 8.40. To be fair, the prices were not as bad as I had expected them to be and the hot dogs looked like they were being prepared on-site.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy. I have been advised to go to Finsbury Park after a game because Arsenal tube station can apparently be a nightmare. Instead, I walked about 10 minutes towards Highbury and Islington station (served by London Overground and the Victoria Line) which was surprisingly quiet, especially considering that the Victoria Line seemed a lot quicker for getting back to central London compared to the Piccadilly line.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The game was dull but the Emirates stadium is always quite an enjoyable day out. Despite it being a London derby there were no problems between fans. I look forward to returning next season.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the Emirates Stadium recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Find out more about how to submit a review

Return to the Guide to the Emirates Stadium - Arsenal FC page

Football Ground Guide Index