Arsenal v Swansea City
25 March 2014, 7.45pm
Thomas Walters (Swansea
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
I define myself as a football fan as a
traditionalist and anti-modern stadia but Arsenal
seem to have actually done a decent job on the
Emirates. Plus I always enjoy away trips in
London. Also our record against them isn't bad and
I had a feeling we'd come away with a result.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
I normally travel by train but as the last train
back to Swansea left Paddington at 22:45 (roughly
one hour after the game) I decided against this
and travelled via the official coaches.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
We arrived with an hour to spare and I immediately
bought a programme only to receive a free one when
entering the turnstile later on! I asked said
programme seller about an away pub and was pointed
to the Drayton Arms which rang a bell thanks to
this site but it looked packed full of Arsenal and
didn't look quite as mixed and friendly as
described on this day (maybe this was just me?).
We then bought drinks at an official kiosk outside
the away end and waited for the turnstiles to
open. £8.60 for two bottles of Carlsberg!
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
Very impressive ground. From the ornamental
cannons to the big concrete "ARSENAL" outside the
Drayton Arms to the huge ex-player murals which
decorate the sides of the stadium - it has detail
and character which other new grounds lack even
given the slightly corporate feel.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
A brilliant Bony header had us one nil up till
halfway through the second half when they scored
two in 66 seconds. Then Leon Britton bundled his
way into box the causing a pin-ball style own goal
by Flamini in injury time - 2-2! Then bizarrely
Lee Probert blew his whistle for full-time with De
Guzman bearing down on goal in a one-one with
Atmosphere was we've
come to expect from new grounds. All seater stadia
marketed primarily to families is never going to
lead to good atmospheres. They only really got
going when they were winning. One steward seemed a
decent chap and said he had to ask us to sit down
even as Swans fans behind us were complaining but
in the end most of us stood and left the sitting
down to the silent fans. In agreement with what
has been posted above given the modern and
impressive nature of the stadium the queuing
system for drinks was a prehistoric free-for-all!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
As mentioned I went with the club coaches but
after assessing the area if I was to come again by
train I'd either get the Victoria Line to Highbury
and Islington and walk the fifteen minutes or so
up the Holloway Road turn right at Hornsey Road or
get the Northern Line to Archway (or Overground to
Upper Holloway) and walk the half hour or so down
the Holloway Road turning left at Hornsey Road.
Holloway Road tube station is directly opposite
Hornsey Road and which leads to the Emirates.
Firstly because I saw a good amount of pubs on
Holloway Road these could be used pre-match and
secondly with Arsenal and Finsbury Park stations
recommended post-match (and Holloway Road closed
weekends) these must be quieter.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
It was the stereotypical (but not typical)
rollercoaster of emotions that a football fan
feels. But a point at Arsenal whilst in a
relegation battle is a great one. I'd be
interested to go by rail/tube next time as this is
my favoured method and proper "awayday"