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  Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v Swansea City
Premier League
Tuesday 25 March 2014, 7.45pm
Thomas Walters
(Swansea City fan)

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

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 ground/car parking?

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 ground?

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 Szczesny.

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 the game:

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" experience.

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