News round up – United, Stoke, Ramsey and ticket prices 6 May, 2011Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
Hello and welcome back after another traditional unexplained break by The Cannon. I have good reason though I promise, I’m in the final few weeks of my degree course and things are pretty hectic at the moment. Well they should’ve been hectic for a long while but as is usual with me I’ve put everything off to the last minute and I haven’t even had a minute to think about the blog never mind write on it. So I apologise to those of you left disappointed – I’m back, for now.
I’ve missed a fair bit in the time I’ve been gone. Firstly we beat Man united, which is always good. ‘Always’ is probably not the best choice of word seeing as it’s not very often we put one over on our Mancunian rivals. It’s a shame that we blew it against Sunderland, West Brom, Blackburn, Liverpool, Spurs and Bolton to make the match last weekend almost pointless but you have to try and enjoy beating United all the same. The result didn’t really make me think what might’ve been though, it’s obvious how much this team feels the pressure and with the pressure well and truly off we were able to come up with a result. As much as I thought we were going to lose I wasn’t surprised that we won under the circumstances. That doesn’t make any sense does it? I know what I mean anyway.
So despite that result we still look out of the title race unfortunately. Wenger said today that we need Chelsea to win on Sunday but I think he knows deep down we’ve blown it already. Chelsea kick off at Old Trafford immediately after our game at Stoke and a second loss on the bounce for United would allow Chelsea level on points with them. It’s quite remarkable that they’ve got into a position for that to happen, I guess you have to take your hat off to Chelsea for their recent form; it’s where we have failed. If we were to win at Stoke then a Chelsea win would put up three points behind both of them. A great position it sounds but with just two games to go I wouldn’t get too excited and go online betting on Arsenal to be Champions. Plus there’s the whole if we win at Stoke too…
The Britannia has been a tricky ground for us in recent years but we won there last season and I’m hoping we can do it again. We’ll be without Fabregas, Diaby and Nasri, however we managed to beat Man United without most of them so surely we can do Stoke. Also Djourou and Clichy are doubts but Vermaelen could return to the squad. It’ll be great to see Thomas again if he does make it; it’s been far, far too long. Wenger admits that he would’ve tried to bring in a replacement if he knew he was going to be still out which is kind of frustrating to hear because I never got the impression the manager was left so out of the loop with the situation as much as the fans were. It’s decisions like that which may have ultimately cost us silverware this season but there’s no point in getting hung up on it now I guess…
So with Fabregas out Ramsey will continue in his place and there is a fair bit of hype about his return to Stoke 15 months after that terrible leg break. Arsene has tried to play it down but there is obviously going to be something said about it. I hope that it’s all positive though, I hope Aaron uses it as motivation to have a good game and show not only everyone else but himself that he has fully rehabilitated and found his form again. I read some hilarious but shocking stuff on a Stoke City forum today, they’re still so bitter about what mean old Aaron did to innocent little Ryan Shawcross it’s unbelievable. I can’t actually comprehend that they’re discussing booing him for what he did. Actually maybe I can, how dare he break his leg at their ground?! It’s a joke.
I guess we’ll see if there’s any drama on Sunday but I think Ramsey is professional enough just to treat it as another game and hopefully, like I said, if anything he uses it as motivation to have another good game on the back of last weekend.
Moving on and there’s been a lot of talk about the rise in ticket prices announced this week. There’s a 6.5% rise on tickets for next season which doesn’t sound like much but when it comes to renewing season tickets we’re talking about an extra few hundred quid. They’re saying that the rise is in line with inflation but it’s not like anyone is getting a pay-rise in line with inflation or that what goes on, on the pitch has improved considerably. Had we won something this season then it might’ve been slightly justified but it’s all come a bit out of the blue really and it’s a decision which will price many fans out of seeing their club.
It’s not just that though, Red and Silver Memberships have gone up in price considerably too. Red has gone up to £31 and Silver up to an astonishing £49. I think that it’s absolutely ridiculous that they charge that much money for the simple privilege of being able to buy tickets. It’s a joke really. So that’s a 6.5% rise in ticket prices but a 25% rise in Junior Gunners, 50% for Silver and 55% for Red. They’ve kept that one quiet haven’t they?
It’s frustrating because as Arsenal fans we have no choice. It’s not like we’re just going to all jump ship because it’s got too expensive. We are (well most of us are) Arsenal
fans customers for life so we’re suckered into this. They can charge us what they like and we’ll have no choice but to pay it if we want to see our team. I will reluctantly pay it, most of us will but it’s sad that some people will have to give up going to see Arsenal because they can no longer afford the cost. I know there are reasons for the rise but it’s harsh on fans to get the money from them when there’s been all this talk recently of millions of pounds exchanging hands for shares and sponsorship deals. In the past year or two we’ve given out a lot of new contracts and along with other expenses the money has to come from somewhere and unfortunately it’s us.
I’m going to leave that discussion there because there’s not much we can do about it and also this blog is getting pretty long. There may be protests etc but at the end of the day the rise has been put in place and they’re not going to change it now. We’ll just have to cut the costs elsewhere by not buying a half time pie, not buying the shirt and not buying the programme (which is going up to £3.50 a pop I hear). But knowing me I’ll end up buying all three of those things anyway…
Talking of the new shirt, just quickly before I go I got an email from Nike with some photos and videos that you might like to see. The photos you’ve probably seen/I can’t be arsed to upload them all but I’ve uploaded the video to youtube for ya.
Okay thanks for reading, I’ll speak to you soon.