By Bilal Zaidi
Anyone at the match on Saturday? It was beautiful for me to start off this season with seats in perfect view. I was blessed with 90 minutes of viewing pleasure from the middle tier, third row from the front and central right position of the half way line. Just like my position in the stadium, I couldn’t help but notice that I was in the stand which was also ‘centre right’ in more ways than one with only four or five people (including myself) wearing an Arsenal shirt.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like suits and shirts as much as anybody else. I also respect that people pay with their own money and can do as they please and wear what they want to an Arsenal game. The Emirates is a remarkable business model which has been segmented into several sections to accommodate the diverse range of people that a club like Arsenal would attract. Families now come to watch a football game, have a nice lunch and ‘bonding time’. Great to see.
However, it was clear to see from the noise levels that segmenting with priorities has meant our beloved new stadium is awfully quiet and lacks atmosphere. We have one of the best stadiums in the world but our atmosphere doesn’t come close to what it could be.
This is my plea to every Arsenal fan who ever attends a game to try their best to get behind the team and create some atmosphere. Clapping is jolly good and I am not saying one has to be colloquial in their approach in getting behind the team. A good old “QUIIIITE RIGHT…ENCORE…SPLENDID” would be a great improvement on what I heard and felt on Saturday. In the same way, let’s not rule out a nice “FUKIN GET IN THERE FELLA…COME ON SON” etc etc. Arsenal is a London club with fans from all over the world. In such a diverse and cosmopolitan city it is inevitable that the support and fan base should represent this too. Gone are the days of the old so let us now look together to the future. We all come from different backgrounds, different mentality’s and from different parts of society.
The main point I am trying to make is that we have one thing in common and that is a love for Arsenal Football Club. I am not trying to be Gandhi-ish on you all but let us collectively improve the atmosphere, noise levels and support of the team. Every individual in that 60,000 stadium can make a difference and express it in their own way. Don’t be afraid to try something new, sing a new song or support in a new way. Be innovative and we can all rejoice together and help our team with the support they deserve. Let’s not judge others, who they are and their attitudes as well as their method of support. Instead, let us all come together and utilitarian-ize (yes I made this word up) our strategy for support to make sure jointly, we all gain.