‘Library!’ – What away fans really think of Arsenal, the Emirates Stadium and its atmosphere

The Emirates Stadium is one of the best grounds in Europe – aesthetically at least.

With a capacity of more than 60,000, the stadium has been home to the Gunners since 2006 after the club made the short move across the road from Highbury.

Back in the days of Highbury, Arsenal won Premier League and FA Cup doubles, and the club’s faithful witnessed some incredible players week in, week out. Although that should get any crowd going, the ground was still nicknamed ‘Highbury the library’ by those mocking the matchday noise.

The stands at Highbury were a lot closer to the pitch, and the ground was in much need of regeneration as it was becoming increasingly difficult to get tickets for matches.

As a result, the club were missing out on revenue that was needed to compete with the likes of Chelsea, who had recently been taken over by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, at the time.

But because the quality of player has dropped somewhat since the Gunners’ glory days, the supporters have come under even more criticism from rival fans, who believe that there’s a lack of atmosphere inside the ground.

If you were to judge those claims on this season alone, you’d have to say that it’s wrong, as the fans have undoubtedly backed Mikel Arteta’s new-look team on every matchday so far.

football.london has taken a look at Football Ground Guide to gauge the opinion of what opposition fans really think of the Emirates Stadium. These reviews are written by away fans and cover a multitude of different topics.

Here are their verdicts…

Allan C (Leeds fan)

Leeds played really well in the first half but failed to score…half time 0-0. The second half was all Arsenal and they grabbed a goal and went through to the 4th round (of the FA Cup). The usual loud noise from the 8,000 travelling Leeds fans. The home support was pretty poor to be honest. I only heard them a handful of times.

Kevin S (Wolves fan)

Arsenal do have a beautiful modern stadium complete with statues and pictures of great players from down the years. The concourse is huge so no issues moving around before or after the game. The away fans are housed in the corner of the lower tier – avoid the last handful of rows as the middle-level overhangs which reduces view.

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Away fans have their says on Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew W (Brighton fan)

The game was competitive and fairly even throughout. We could have nicked it at the end. The Arsenal players sunk to the floor like a team who’d just lost the World Cup at the end. Facilities, stewards, and pies just like any other club – okay.

Stephen W (Manchester City fan)

Went for a walk around and yes found their fans friendly enough with no problems despite wearing club colours.

Nice easy win again. If you get there before a certain time, beer is £3.50, otherwise is £5. Stewards were fine but didn’t sample the food.

George C (Norwich fan)

The Emirates is one of the biggest stadiums I have been to, and the pre-match atmosphere in the area felt somewhat similar to the atmosphere before a game at FC Barcelona.

As we were given an allocation of 8,800, I literally had to walk to the other end of the clock end to find my seat. The seats inside the stadium are padded, which instantly makes them the most luxurious I’ve ever experienced. However the lower tier offers very little leg room, and the seating is quite shallow, so the view is not 100% as we were standing this was not a problem.

Mark J (Doncaster Rovers fan)

I challenge anyone not to be impressed by what must be one of the best stadiums in Europe. The Emirates is equally impressive on the inside.

During the game, the stewarding and police were first class and the good-humoured banter was the order of the day. The sound our theme song ”we’re just a pub team having a laugh” ringing out around such a majestic venue will be etched into our memory for years to come.

Dave (Watford fan)

After picking up the obligatory matchday programme. I had some food and drink inside. A pint of Carlsberg and a chicken and mushroom pie for a mind-boggling £8.50! Any Arsenal fans I did meet on route were very friendly and kept a low profile. No problem in wearing club colours around the stadium or the surrounding areas.

Stephen R (West Brom fan)

From the outside the Emirates Stadium is quite spectacular, and similar to the Etihad Stadium at Manchester City, it reminded me of a mini Wembley.

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Inside the ground, although well set out, I wasn’t overly impressed. There was no pause in the dull sickly red colour of the entire seating areas. But having said that the padded seats, although low-set, were comfortable.

Ollie R (Southampton fan)

The Emirates is a very beautiful stadium. Modern, spacious and easy on the eye. The concourse is very spacious too which makes a pleasant change.

Richard S (Reading fan)

The stadium has a major design flaw: the lower tier seats have a very shallow rake which means that when the play is in the area in front of those seats, everyone stands up to see.

This happened both behind the goals and along the sides. The result was bad temper amongst fans who want to sit but can’t see and those who want to stand.

Steve P (Leicester fan)

The stadium is incredible…absolutely awesome, how they built that in London I’ll never know.

Impressive concourse around the outside of the stadium, so plenty of space to do a few laps. The view isn’t the best for away fans as the tiering is quite shallow.

Eric S (Southampton fan)

First thoughts on seeing the Emirates Stadium, was how we just seemed to turn a corner and there it was, right in the middle of a built-up area! The away section was very impressive. Comfortable seats with plenty of legroom (not that anybody sat down during the game itself) and an excellent view of the pitch.

One thing which did strike me though was how late the ground filled up. Whilst the crowd was eventually over 60,000, there must have been fewer than 10% of them in their seats fifteen minutes before kick-off.

However, some fans were less forgiving on Twitter.

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After a raucous last outing at the Emirates Stadium in their North London Derby demolition of Tottenham Hotspur, the Gunners will be hoping their home will be good to them once more after the international break.

Arsenal now have three games in succession where they will welcome teams to north London – two in the Premier League and one in the Carabao Cup.

Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira are the visitors on Monday, October 18, before Aston Villa arrive on the Friday night. Leeds then top it off on Tuesday, October 26.

Source by Football London

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