In the close season Arsene Wenger talked about making the Emirates more “Arsenal”. So we waited to see what was to happen.
When the Emirates was opened four summers ago, it was clear that the money had run out and there were many blank, concrete clad walls. Arsenal fans accepted this as a short term measure knowing that things would improve. In fact this was the least of our problems in the first season. Due to some oversight on the part of the designers, the food kiosks were designed with no extractor fans, meaning that burgers could not be cooked inside the stadium! This was rectified for the following season.
A further three summers have passed and whilst the lower concourses now sport glossy photos of Arsenal fans and matches, the same cannot be said about the stairwells. The walls in the stairwells are still bare. There is still a coldness about the staircases. The concrete clad walls have not been “Arsenalfied”. Would it cost the club much to have walls painted with murals depicting the history of Arsenal, showing great moments in the times of the club, in fact anything other than the current walls.
Arsenal have made inroads inside the grounds, yes we have a solitary cannon on the seats of the lower stand opposite manager’s dug out. That is the sum Arsenalfication of the ground. Would have cost too much to have the Arsenal logo behind one goals and the 1930s Arsenal logo behind the other goal?
There is talk of bringing the Clock inside the ground. This should have been part of the original design of the ground. I cannot see where we will put the clock, so that it can be seen be most fans.
There have been suggestions of naming the various stands. This is not easy to do in a stadium where the stands are one continuous stand. At what point would say the North Bank start and finish?
It is a shame it has taken the club three seasons to decide that the ground needs to be made more Arsenal, and it is a shame nothing will happen this season. These are non-money making matters and are placed low down on the priority list for Arsenal. It did not take much for the club to erect a merchandise kiosk near the Highbury House bridge.