It’s Friday and with no weekend game tomorrow, we can all relax, put our feet up and reflect on the run in which is very kind to us offering us a genuine path to the title, if we do feel up for it… I don’t normally quote opposition managers, but the ex Milan supremo, Carlo Ancellotti was certain that we’d still be in it!
“Things change in football quickly, so Arsenal had a very good result. They can come back. Six points is not so much and they could come back and get the title.”
I’d expect the top two to drop more points too – and I know we’re not perfect, but Chelsea and United aren’t perfect either. With Giggs injured for a while, Nani suspended, Rio suspended as well as a few other issues, United have a few problems of their own. And with Chelsea’s problems with John Terry and now with Ashley Cole out for the season, and a few losses against un-fancied teams like Wigan and Everton, they’re not infallible either…
We do have some early injury worries with Arshavin and Alex Song potentially missing the game against Porto next Weds, but with Denilson having been fully rested and of course, with Walcott and Rosicky on the bench on Wednesday, one of them can easily come in for Arshavin. Suddenly out of nowhere, we have strength in depth. Good news is that both Eduardo and Vela are looking to return for the game too, so from none to one to three strikers, we’ve sudden got options up front!
Okay, time to turn our attention to the fans forum in January and take a look at a few questions that were raised:
Question: Re-naming of the quadrants
Arsenal: This is progressing well – we’ve got Board approval to move this forward and we’re currently looking at different designs – we want to make it as elegant as possible, which does pose some challenges but we will get it done correctly.
Forgive me for my lack of historic knowledge here, but the re-naming of the quadrants sounds very interesting and couldn’t remember if it was on the cards. Initial reports last year indicated that there was going to be no movement on this, but now it seems we have board approval. What else is interesting is that they are looking at different designs, so this indicates imagery as well as naming. Back in Highbury, the stands were named very simply – The North Bank, The Clock End, The East Stand, The West Stand, but down at the Emirates, where we have a circular stadium, it’s all about quadrants – Yellow, Orange, Green and Red… Are we looking to name them “The Charlie George Arena”, “The Bergkamp Wonderland”, “Thierry Henry’s 100’s”…? Who knows? What are your thoughts? Of course, we’d need them to be somewhat remember-able and something that can be depicted in some sort of imagery or colour co-ordination. The colours do actually do a good job, the only other thing I can think of is compass based a la Highbury – anything else would be confusing – unless of course, it’s all about the money spinning efforts to make the club richer, and then I’m all for it!
Question: What’s the latest on banners at games?
Arsenal: There has been a request for us to help in the production of banners for fans to bring to games and we will look to help with some potential designs as well as stating what the dimensions should be so that they don’t interfere with the views of other fans in the stadium. Ultimately, we would love fans to bring banners to the stadium and further improve the atmosphere at games.
Now, this is what it’s all about – the atmosphere in the stadium. You’ve all watched those games and seen those banners that you’ll always remember (although I can’t think of any now!)… but you know what I mean. I’d love to have more banners at the stadium, the only issue is that I can’t put it anywhere, because I’m row 20… but all the row 1er’s should get involved. We’ve got a dialogue with Arsenal to find out the dimensions and what they like and will be working to offer banners to fans in the near future!
Question: Is there a plan to resurrect Arsenal TV on-line?
Arsenal: There are no immediate plans to resurrect this right now, but we are having discussions with ESPN about then funnelling Arsenal TV programmes. We accept that maybe some of the content that has been on Arsenal TV on-line was probably not of the quality that our fans rightly expect and this is something that Michael Leavy will be looking at for the future. More broadly, we’re aware that a lot of focus over the last few years has been on delivering the success of the Emirates stadium – now our focus has changed onto delivering wider commercial success to the club going forward and the Board and staff members are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to bring this about.
It’s been a very strange affair with Arsenal TV online. The content (for a new channel) was very decent when it launched but it’s gradually lost momentum, and the recent online only version started to lack depth. However, there was a huge uptake and over 60% of AVTO users were subscribed for the use of the TV channel. The Setanta packages did really well because they included the likes of Arsenal TV and Liverpool TV. So we know there is a market for it. In fact MUTV generates a considerable profit for United, so it’s something we need to sort out soon! The final paragraph of that statement suggests that we’re now looking into the marketing aspects and I’d expect to see a new TV channel launch with Sky or ESPN in time for next season…
Some interesting questions there from the fan’s forum and some interesting answers from the Arsenal. This weekend is FA Cup weekend and we have a few games on TV, like the Chelsea vs Cardiff and Man City vs Stoke game, but Bolton vs Sp*rs and Palace vs Villa will be interesting.
Our opponents on Wednesday are in action against Leixoes at 21:15 on Saturday night, so hopefully they’ll be knackered by the time we turn up…
Adios for now my friends…