How will the new stadium affect Arsenal?

Hopefully this time next week we’ll be celebrating our first competitive win at our amazing new stadium. But while it is jawdroppingly impressive it may be worth thinking about the potential effects the new stadium is going to have on our season. Our top three home record at Highbury last year saved us from the humiliation of being beaten in the league by Spurs.

This season I’m confident that our away form will be much better, notice, for example, how for Cesc’s second goal against Dinamo, he wasn’t bumped off the ball like he would have been last season. Improved away results should mean we can be back in the top two, but that’s reliant on maintaining our home form.

We know what our players can do on a larger pitch, they showed at the Bernabéu how the pace that we have in almost every player is used to full effect. Therefore we shouldn’t be worried about the impact of the new ground on our technical game, there are however question marks over the the psychological impact of playing in unfamiliar surroundings at first.

Hopefully we won’t be seeing a repeat of the European Wembley misadventures. Looking at other teams to have moved grounds recently offers little help as the only two of note have been Bolton who’ve done reasonably well since the move to the Reebok and Southampton who have of course been relegated. One important factor that should make all the difference, is the level of involvement Arsene has had in the design and technical aspect of the stadium. It really has been built around him and his team and should fit like a bespoke suit.

As well as the effect on our players of not being at ‘home’ the effect on other teams cannot be underestimated. When we were on our unbeaten run teams expected to lose to us and that was a powerful advantage. This is something we need to regain and the new stadium could be vital in this respect.

The atmosphere at the Bergkamp testimonial was strange to say the least, but that was probably more down to the nature of the event than the crowd and I think that Ashburton Grove has the capacity to become a place that visiting teams find intimidating as long as the fans can find their voices. The faster we get used to The Emirates and make it ‘home’, the easier our team will find it to settle in, the less our opponents will look forward to coming and the sooner we’ll be spilling champagne on the pitch.

30 Responses to “How will the new stadium affect Arsenal?”

  1. # Anonymous cxc

    Nice article. I also feel that the new stadium will be more of an advantage than disadvantage because it would mean that week in week out Arsenal young stars will be getting used to huge crowd and would not be intimidately in away ties especially in the Champions League when they go to a huge stadium.

    This stadium will also make Arsenal football better, the quicker they get used to this new stadium, the better because they would go to places like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and not feel out of place.

    Arsenal is a great club and the supporters are absolutely fantastic. Sir Alex is under pressure after all the success he has had over the years, this is not the case for Arsene. He is almost immune. Yeah people might say because he saved Arsenal so we are in debt but so also did Sir Alex. What I am saying is that Arsenal are the best run club in the world off and on the pitch.

    I was reading some Article about some people complaining about £95 ticket for the best seat at Emirate, you know what...I don't think they know that these seats are the best in the world. Yes the best, you seat on these seats and you make Barcelona's president and Chelsea's owner jealous. If I had the oppourtunity to get these seat I would pay £120 to get the ticket. Off course not £120 but you know where I am going it is worth it, when Arsenal arguable play the best football in the world.

    I am looking forward to the new season with or without new signings. Come on Arsenal you know you are gooner have a hell of a good year!  

  2. # Anonymous cxc

    Nice article. I also feel that the new stadium will be more of an advantage than disadvantage because it would mean that week in week out Arsenal young stars will be getting used to huge crowd and would not be intimidated in away ties especially in the Champions League when they go to a huge stadium like San Siro.

    This stadium will also make our game play better, the quicker they get used to this new stadium, the better because when they go to places like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, they won't feel out of place.

    Arsenal is a great club and the supporters are absolutely fantastic. Sir Alex is under pressure after all the success he has had over the years, this is not the case for Arsene. He is almost immune. Yeah people might say because he saved Arsenal so we are in debt but so also did Sir Alex. What I am saying is that Arsenal are the best run club in the world off and on the pitch.

    I was reading some Article about some people complaining about £95 ticket for the best seat at Emirate, you know what...I don't think they know that these seats are the best in the world. Yes the best, you seat on these seats and you make Barcelona's president and Chelsea's owner jealous. If I had the oppourtunity to get these seat I would pay £120 to get the ticket. Off course not £120 but you know where I am going it is worth it, when Arsenal arguable play the best football in the world.

    I am looking forward to the new season with or without new signings. Come on Arsenal you know you are gooner have a hell of a good year!  

  3. # Anonymous Peter W

    It is an interesting aspect to reflect on the stadiums impact on our game and it will be interesting to see the outcome. There are some potential initial downsides. In the first half of Bergkamps testimonial, for example, Ajax used the extra width better than we did.

    In theory the bigger pitch should suit our game more and make it harder for teams to keep men behind the ball and shut us out but at the same time it gives them more space to hit us on the break. The small pitch at Highbury should have made it easier to close us down and restrict the space but our home record has been good as you pointed out in your piece. These things can become phsycological barriers so hopefully we can get off to a flyer against Villa and with a few wins under our belt we should quickly feel at home.

    The supporters have a big role to play in making Emirates as intimidating a fortress as possible. 60,000 silent supporters would be a real downer for the boys.  

  4. # Blogger alexexexex

    i don't think you can draw any conclusions from the first half of the testimonial. Although it was billed as current arsenal vs ajax the fact that the players on the pitch had numbers from 17-45 (from memory) tell the whole story. like i said i think our team proper will thrive on the pitch from a technical aspect. especially as its meant to be even smoother and more uniform than the surface at highbury allowing for even better passing.  

  5. # Anonymous Umbrella Man

    I don't think the new ground will be intimidating for the opposition at all and expect us to be outsung regularly by the away fans. That is one reason I shall be going mostly to away games this season. I'd love it to be otherwise, but that's my honest opinion. I fully expect to be reported ro a steward by fellow Arsenal "supporters" if I, for example, am too vehement in my vocal support at home games, even when we're playing against Spurs. It's already happened to people I know at Highbury, so the new ground will be even tamer.  

  6. # Anonymous Norway Gooner

    My guess is that we will see a lot more goals both ways on the new pitch and even better quality football from us.

    It will be interesting to see what response the away teams come up with.  

  7. # Anonymous Rich Rangoon

    Of coarse its going to affect Arsenal, when something puts you £250mill in dept it would affect anyone. As for Umbrella man, Arsenal at highbury were allways outsung by the away fans so no diffrence there. I herd that the gunners employed a man at home games to play a record of crowed noise, through the speecker system so it seemed there was more atmosphere. And he would turn it up as soon as someone crossed the halfwayline. I can see teams actually enjoy going there and have a real go, similar to when you guys played at Wembly in the CLeague. You used to get creamed. Midtable Beckons  

  8. # Anonymous Rich Rangoon

    Of coarse its going to affect Arsenal, when something puts you £250mill in dept it would affect anyone. As for Umbrella man, Arsenal at highbury were allways outsung by the away fans so no diffrence there. I herd that the gunners employed a man at home games to play a record of crowed noise, through the speecker system so it seemed there was more atmosphere. And he would turn it up as soon as someone crossed the halfwayline. I can see teams actually enjoy going there and have a real go, similar to when you guys played at Wembly in the CLeague. You used to get creamed. Midtable Beckons  

  9. # Anonymous GunMaster

    This new stadium have certainly exhaust most of the money that we gain from last season champion league.

    Question here is, just compare with Arsene said "There is NO need to buy a players" make sense OR "Arsene got no money in the pocket to buy".

    I think most of the 50 over million pound that gain from last season have gone into the loan payment.

    If this carry on, I think we were suffer at least 10 years to work out what we win will go into the bank for loan.  

  10. # Anonymous Rocky

    Rich Rangoon (Spurs Fan ?)

    You would know how stupid what you just said had you ever been to highbury.  

  11. # Anonymous skeeny

    just read that we are charging 95 quid for top seats, that seems a hell of a lot of money bearing in mind that most supporters are working class etc etc. i think thats a big gamble by us asking for that much and wouldn't be suprised if come mid season some of the seats wern't being filled no matter how good our football is.  

  12. # Anonymous east at the grove

    We have more mid range priced seats that anyone else in the league bar Man.United so the fact that our top priced seats are the most expensive is totally deceptive. My seat is bang on the half way line in the lower tier and averages just over £35 per game, so don't take everything you read in the papers as gospel.  

  13. # Anonymous Peter W

    The financial implications of the stadium and servicing the debt have been worked out longago and we can live with this. Indeed we have been living with it succesfully ever since the project got underway. Now we should start to enjoy greater income from the stadium to the overall benefit of the club. The anti-gunners posting on this site are really grasping at straws by banging this particular drum.

    Someone told me that the acoustics at the stadium have been designed to improve the noise levels and hopefully another 20,000+ supporters will generate some extra noise. Certainly the bigger pitch and an even better playing surface will suit the players we now have. Exciting times eh!  

  14. # Anonymous Campo Jnr

    "speecker system"???

    Rick Ragoon? Shouldn't that be Bitch Bafoon?  

  15. # Anonymous gazzap

    the view from most seats will be amazing in comparison with any other stadium. at Old trafford some of the views are cr*p and same goes for Stamford Bridge, and they have only got 40,000! not that they ever fill it anyway.

    cant wait for a top game like Liverpool at home on Nov 11 or a good champions league game where we can really crank up the atmosphere and see how good it can get. the jury is out.

    The bigger pitch should suit us. the way we pass the ball it will pull the opposition all over the place and give us more space to attack in. OK so we dont have tradtional wingers but crosses from that far out are rarely accurate anyway, so again that should suit us. we need at least 3 wins in a row there starting next week, just to make sure we dont get a monkey on our back!  

  16. # Anonymous Jamie

    I think the new stadium will be a positive move for the team. Just looking at the ictures of it, and watching the testamonial on the telly, it looked like a fantastic place, and one that the players will be proud of. God, I'm proud of it, and it's got nothing to do with me at all! I only managed to get to higbury a few times, and although it was charming, it wasn't the sort of place that made you think 'Wow'. I remember Owen Hargreaves saying how unimpressesd he was with the place, and for some reason that has stuck with me. We needed, and now have, a stadium that makes visiting teams know that they are playing one of the best teams on Europe.  

  17. # Anonymous Pabs

    Jamie, Highbury may not have been as impressive aesthetically but had charm, history and enchantment - I've been to most stadiums in the Prem, including Anfield, OT, SB and St James and none of them match the excitement of Highbury at nifght. The light and steam rising from the pitch looks amazing from outside and for me will always be home. I'm sure the grove will be great for the club financially and I'm also sure that performances will improve as our team is more suited to space, especially in behind with Henry and Fabregod linking up. Anyone know if they'll be putting sponsors on the seats like the Nike swoosh at Highbury - lovely seating just looks a bit bare when it's empty, mad that it's strange to see a stadium without advertising all over it, even if it is named after a company. Will always be the Grove for me.  

  18. # Anonymous Jamie

    You're right Pabs, it did have charm, history and enchantment, and we haven't lost the history of the club by moving, but in place of charm and enchantment, we've now got space, comfort and quality. These are the things that impress other players (and maybe prospective signings too), and hopefully strike a note of fear into them. It'll be harder to be quiet when there are 60,000 people in the stadium,and with the roof curving around, the sound should stay in better, although i'm no acoustical expert...Only a few days to go until we find out what it's like in a real match, I can't wait!  

  19. # Anonymous gazzap

    I always wanted more than 60,000 capacity as I think the club still has a massive season ticket waiting list and so many fans still wont be able to get tickets. young fans may even go and support spurs or chelsea instead just becasue they can get tickets. BUT i did hear that 60,000 was the largest we could get planning permission for. Does anyone know whether or not that is true? I mean looking at the land that is there i'd say a 65-70,000 seater wasn't out of the question.  

  20. # Anonymous iluvbarca

    I luv Barcelona & Nayim.  

  21. # Anonymous Peter W

    Steady on gazzap! Go and support Spurs because you can't get into Arsenal? White Hart Lane is the only ground in football where you have to pay extra for a restricted view!

    Jamie. I remember going to Highbury for the first time as a kid and trembling at the excitement of the place and some years later when I took my son for the first time he trembled in exactly the same way so Highbury had the 'Wow' factor for us.

    Emirates, Grove (what do we call it?), as mentioned in the article above, had a strange atmosphere at Bergie's testimonial ( a bit like a new house without the furniture in) but you couldn't help but be impressed by it. I am really looking forward to the weekend and seeing a real match there but I can't help missing Highbury.  

  22. # Anonymous gazzap

    Peter, yes i know it does sound daft, but if a young person has not chosen a team or is just about a Gooner, but then gets to go to another ground on a regular occasion, it could have a big influence.
    I have friends who are big Arsenal fans and live in London but are just red members and still cant get tickets...says it all.  

  23. # Anonymous RichRangoonisac*nt

    Rich rangoon is a bitter spurs mug. Probably one of the real sad ones who cried foul play when some of their players were 'claiming' to be ill. When it was just the big occasion that got to them and they couldn't live up to it on the day.

    Says it all that they couldn't beat us in either game or in league position - in our worst season for years! hahaha...

    The funniest thing was that letter Daniel Levy wrote to the FA! what a joke! Summed spurs up really....big club my @rse!  

  24. # Anonymous Peter W

    Gazzap. Point taken - some staunchly Arsenal mates of mine have had the same problem. It might be a bit easier now though. Tickets are still available for the Zagreb game. Being mid week and as we are 3:0 up it will be interesting to see if we can fill the place.  

  25. # Anonymous Jamie

    Did anybody else hear that interview on 5live with the chelsea people? What a fucking disgrace it was. Not one single hard question about their transfer policies. I mean, for gods sake, when they dismiss the accusations from Leeds, why not mention the fact that they've had to pay over 10 million quid as compensation to Manure for stealing one of their signings? And Jesus, the interviewer even asked if they wanted to talk about transfer issues "Is this something you want to talk about?" he said. FUCKING HELL! I've emailed my complaints in to 5live already.  

  26. # Anonymous soma

    great arsenal fans ....

    i fear that the new big pitch will help our scoring but having defenders who r used to playing on a small ground will be a dessaster since they have much more ground to cover and not enough exper.  

  27. # Anonymous Dave

    Was interesting to see Hleb and Rosicky together - made the field very narrow, made up for by Ade and RvP often going out wide. But then none of the midfielders got in the box a la Freddie to take advantage of defenders being pulled out of position. If they're going to continue to play like this, then the midfielders are going to have to make runs into the box or the forwards need to stay at home. 433 may suit the team better with the right and left forwards and wingbacks providing the width, as Rosicky and Hleb are going to come infield naturally.  

  28. # Anonymous Pabs

    Dave: "But then none of the midfielders got in the box a la Freddie to take advantage of defenders being pulled out of position"

    Fabregod ?  

  29. # Anonymous Dean

    The Zagreb has all but sold out now, I just looked on the website and all but 3 blocks are totally sold out and even those blocks that haven't have limited seating available. This is a game that is pretty much pointless and the game has virtually sold out in about a week. That, for me, tells us all we need to know, we are a massive club. The stadium will defeinitely improve our finances, but I don't think that that is the reason Wenger hasn't spent, he just has specific players in mind and a definite plan. I have complete trust in him, he has taken us from a big British club and turned us into a massive European club (last season we were only a big European club). I'm convinced we're going to win the CL this season.  

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