Will It Be A Record Low Crowd At The Emirates?

Preview of this evening’s game v Eintracht Frankfurt

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The usual five talking points ahead tonight’s Europa League match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Remember Cologne two years ago?
Ah yes, the mass invasion of the Emirates by Cologne fans, resulting in an hour’s delay to the kick off. They were everywhere, having bought tickets in the home sections. The German press are stating that up to 3,000 Eintracht fans will make the trip to London, having booked travel before the ban on them receiving tickets for this game. For the record they were also banned from their match in Standard Liege but it is estimated that approximately 100 did get in. A canny bunch these Germans. If they have legitimate tickets, then the club will presumably only prevent them entering by stewards conversing with every individual who goes through the two ticket checkpoints we’ve been promised. I predict crash barriers aplenty and a possible rush at one of the more vulnerable club level entrances, if the Frankfurt fans can get anywhere near the stadium. A potential evening of chaos at the Emirates… and for once, I am not solely referring to Arsenal’s defending.

Season ticket holders vote with their feet
Granted, the tickets for this game only went on sale to silver members and junior gunners (that’s a bit harsh on cannon club members, but anyway). So where normally we might see 3,000 away fans and 12,000 red and silver members taking up the match by match seats, tonight, you can probably knock at least 14,000 off the Emirates’ capacity. But it should not be forgotten that 45,000 season ticket holders (spread across the lower, middle and upper tiers) have paid for this match. I fear at least 50% of them will not attend this evening, (finding better things to do, for example playing on https://toripelit.com/netticasino/partycasino/) and it will be a very spooky atmosphere indeed. Remember Man City at home the Thursday evening after the 2018 League Cup Final defeat? There will be even less tonight, and no ‘Beast From The East’ to blame. If the fans want to get rid of Emery, they make a huge statement leaving their seats empty, especially those in the lower tier on the east side of the stadium.

Sit in a different seat!
There will be so many no shows that fans who do decide to attend may wish to consider, after the stragglers are all in after 15 minutes of the game has been played, moving to another seat to get a different view of the game. Halfway line on the Upper Tier? Within shouting distance of Unai in the West Lower? Take your pick. Suspect you might not get too much joy sitting in the away section though, even if it is in reality empty rather than used as a holding pen for German fans that got through the checks. Fans in the East Lower might consider swapping over to the West Lower or moving upstairs to send a message to the owners about their discontent via the TV images.

There’s a game of football being played this evening as well!
And it might actually matter. Believe it or not, a run to the Europa League final has significant financial benefits for the club. They’d make a little more using their old trick of getting eliminated in the first knockout round of the Champions League, but not a huge amount. So the runs of the last two seasons to the semi (2018) and final (this year) have certainly assisted the bottom line. So this competition does actually matter and here’s the thing… Let’s say Eintracht and Standard Liege (away at Vitoria, one point from four games) both win this evening. That would leave them both with nine points, with the Gunners on ten. Both sides are at home on the final group matchday, and two home wins would eliminate Arsenal. In short, Emery’s team need a draw this evening to be certain of going through.

So who is in this mix and match eleven?
Although Unai Emery started with three centre backs against the might of Southampton at home, he switched it to a back four at half-time, and I think it’s safe to say that playing an extra defender did not seem to resolve the team’s lack of solidity. So back to the drawing board, and I predict a 4-2-1-3 this evening. Let’s pull a few names out of the bag to try and work out a potential starting eleven, shall we? Firstly, Dani Ceballos is definitely injured and there are doubts on the fitness of Holding, Kolasinac and Saka. So how does this sound? Martinez – Chambers, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Tierney - Maitland-Niles, Willock - Smith Rowe – Pepe, Martinelli, Nelson. It won’t be – predicting Emery’s teams is like opting for lucky dip in the National Lottery, but I reckon you’ll see maybe nine of these names in the starting eleven. How about throwing a curved ball by re-introducing Granit Xhaka??? Emery hinted that the number 34 is in contention for selection, but you really cannot see him making his comeback in a home game. Still, if he did, far less home fans to get on his back. Talking of which, who is your captain this evening? Mustafi? Chambers? Think I’m safe to say it won’t be Xhaka.

Eintracht aren’t in the best of form either, having lost their last three games (including the Europa League visit to Liege). Having said that, the game before saw them thump Bayern Munich 5-1. Football eh? Arsenal have gone so long without a home win (six games in all competitions, three of those at home) that the law of averages has to come into play eventually. A point will actually do them this evening, but another home draw, followed by a failure to beat Norwich on Sunday, would surely mean adios for Emery. Right now, it feels like death by a thousand draws. I’m going for a 2-2 tonight.


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  1. markymark

    Nov 29, 2019, 08:00 #115628

    Just a point here about poor old Emery.Prior to SKY Arsenal were quite happy to sack , Neil , Howe , Graham , Rioch. During SKY’s monopoly we were very resistant to sacking Wenger. Sky’s power has also dramatically waned with the breakup of football across multiple networks. The SKY Axis of Evil Is a Red Herring in my book. Emery’s results and crowd pull attraction will do for him , not gobber Carragher

  2. markymark

    Nov 29, 2019, 07:52 #115627

    CG - I read Pedro’s piece and also commented on it on the LeGrove site. It was certainly written with feeling. Just some points IMO. He is very sore over Jorge Mendes supposedly favouring other clubs, however, Arsenal didn’t want to do business with super agents and Wenger was also parsimonious and differing in his recruitment . The Ronaldo going to UTD for 12m when we offered 4.5m is a bit of a weak argument . I was also under the impression that David Dein’s son did far more undermining at Arsenal then Mendes ever managed but there you go. Soft corruption ? Well Pedro has a point. The trouble is the whole of sport is either softly or totally corrupt. The way to fix it is very boring governance , overseers etc . The fans hate the Ivan G’s of this world. In most eyes better to have a fixer. I think Pedro actually enjoyed Raul’s fixing at one point? Obviously I’m not recommending Samovars and Bungs but Arsenal probably needed to get a bit dirtier and a bit less high horse and FFPplay naivety . If Nuno does come and it blows up then I suspect Raul will be gone as well. If Nuno does well then everyone’s happy. Faster transitioning , reduce the short balls from defence , get the wing backs bombing and Delivering clear instructions! It could turn-a-round very quickly. The point over one good season in the Premier. Well it may be better than zero experience in the Premier if we go for one of the hot on the block European Leagues Managers. It’s all opinion at the end of the day . I’m just a little suspicious that Pedro is annoyed that Arteta is not looking such a push in.

  3. Colonel Blimp

    Nov 29, 2019, 07:51 #115626

    At least the queue for the Tube would have been nice and quick last night. Seriously though we are indeed in a relegation fight now.

  4. Reddragon

    Nov 28, 2019, 23:14 #115625

    The club is done as far I can see. Apathy from top to bottom. Clueless and no bottle in the puppet boardroom down to the clueless manager. As for Raul bringing in his mates Mendez and Santo, absolute nonsense, Santo is another Emery. Wolves were leading 3_1 and couldn't hang on to win. His track record of organising a defence is just as bad. What's the point of recruiting him!!! We're watching that nonsense every week. After another defeat on Sunday we are in a serious relegation battle and I wouldn' t put money on any of this team fighting to get us out of it. They've all switched off. As a supporter of over sixty years I think we are in the worst mess that I can remember. Heaven help us! Sad times indeed.

  5. Don Howe

    Nov 28, 2019, 22:16 #115624

    The players and the supporters are going to enforce a change of direction this time. Another disaster tonight. A manager who cannot organise a defence is no good to us. We have to have a change of emphasis and we need it now.

  6. Don Howe

    Nov 28, 2019, 22:16 #115623

    The players and the supporters are going to enforce a change of direction this time. Another disaster tonight. A manager who cannot organise a defence is no good to us. We have to have a change of emphasis and we need it now.

  7. John F

    Nov 28, 2019, 22:16 #115622

    Hi Ron I agree about the pundits and the setup which I thought was a reaction to the control Wenger had but I do not think Dick is a good manager and the crowd are reacting to what they are watching. Conceding so many shots against teams week after week is a sign of poor organisation and tactics and I have a genuine fear he could have us fighting a relegation battle.I think the goal in the Standard Liege tie may still keep him in the job as I do sense a reluctance by the board to react.

  8. hibeegunner

    Nov 28, 2019, 21:33 #115621

    Hi Ron Yes always read the post and the comments but find most of what you and people write I usually agree with. The club we have supported for years has gone and as you say it’s all money and sky driven. People like gobber caragher and mouth piece Neville would stoke the fans hatred against anyone who takes their fancy. I’m glad I don’t really care what the results are now the present regime just leave me cold as I said earlier I feel sorry for Emery.

  9. itsRonagain2

    Nov 28, 2019, 19:09 #115620

    Hibee - hi mate. Been a while since you e posted hasn’t it or have I not looked enough? Very much the wrong time and I agree, the clan behind him seem less than helpful. All brought in despite what Dick might have thought or wanted and we can assume they’re not too fussed seeing the ground cut from under him. All of them no marks with no pedigree who individually probably cdt coach an under 5 s team. Dicks maybe made errors yes, course he has but reality is there’s no obvious new coach. I know i have maybe an irrational visceral hatred of SKY tele but it’s them that’s led the witch hunt towards Dick. Pellegrini and Solkskaer. The noise is then made by the stoked up fans who buy it and don’t look at it from Dicks perspective. I m not defending Or touring Dick as a long term solution but for now I m railing against trial by c—ts like carragher. Murphy and drunken junkie losers like Mersin and even more so against odious shits like Danny f——-g mills. Worse things cd happen than inviting Dick in for a good meeting and seeing what he wants and then respecting that and giving him till the Summer.

  10. hibeegunner

    Nov 28, 2019, 17:49 #115619

    Apparently Kroenke senior flew in yesterday so looks like it may be curtains for Emery. Agree with you Ron the people above Emery seem to be a bit toxic and perhaps he has arrived at the club at the wrong time as he seems to be a likeable person just a pity he hasn't mastered the language a bit better.Perhaps Benitez until the end of the season as the Chinese season finishes end of the month and his family still live in the UK and he did quite well at Chelsea as a stop gap a few seasons ago.

  11. itsRonagain2

    Nov 28, 2019, 17:32 #115618

    For all we know Emery may be a good coach under different working conditions. Its seemed to me that since this Raul regime took root that we re ran in a way where there are too many cooks around Dick making decisions. For all we know Emery may be just the monkey at the coal face having to work with whats thrown his way player wise? He seems like a really nice guy who wont complain too much and keep muddling on as best as he can. That would suit this owner. Its perhaps a case where Dick himself ought to accept that his lot is shite and that he simply cant operate under these conditions unless changes are made around him. At worst they ll ask him to leave on agreed terms or they ll sack him. None of us ever looks at the prospect that Dick may be as much a victim as the fans are in having to watch the dilapidated team. His past record isnt so bad yet at Arsenal hes suddenly seen as a buffoon? It makes no sense really does it. PS Keown - no thanks. The worst of the Wengo apologists and himself a typical television no mark who has never tried coaching to any extenet or managing. Hes more a fraud than le fraud, whos re invented himself to the stage where he s created an image that he was actually a more teak tough Franco Baresi clone in his playing days. He s a better player now than he ever was as time passes. News for you Keown. You were never that 'hard' and never got close to being ranked alongside any of that back 4 that we all loved because you werent much of a player and got lucky by being allowed back after you d stropped off in a huff over money. Many of us recall you shitting y'self when Stu Pierce wanted yr head on a plate.


    Nov 28, 2019, 16:50 #115617

    Speechless over the way the club is lurching from one crisis to the next. Clearly there will a nett loss to the Wigman if we do nothing about Dick - we will lose 2 of our better players at least for zilch. Today's article on Le Grove about the bearded one currently at Wolves should have us all quaking - a soft, unexciting, corrupt option which should not be allowed to happen. It is rapidly looking as if we are facing another decade of decline. AFC will be a nice day out for the global tourist industry & nothing more. I hope our sponsors have a bit more business sense than the Krankies & Raul & vote with their feet along with the fans.

  13. Don Howe

    Nov 28, 2019, 14:36 #115616

    and I have paid £110 for two seats I wont use. I won't put up a banner because I don't dislike Emery at all. He is trying his best but even he should by now recognise that he hasn't got the answers. He should go to the board and ask for a package. Anyone who thinks that he should stay hasn't seen the Leicester game or been in the stadium for the Southampton game. F Ljungberg can take over if necessary until May hopefully with Martin Keown brought in as defensive coach.

  14. Gunner Rob

    Nov 28, 2019, 12:52 #115615

    if you want Emery gone then I can't understand why you would attend tonight, unless it is to display a banner wanting him gone! as a Red Member at least I have had the decision taken out of my hands - although that in a sense annoys me. I have paid for a membership that I can't even use tonight!

  15. Don Howe

    Nov 28, 2019, 12:41 #115614

    It is quite clear that Dick's position is untenable. The board wasted 10 years getting rid of the French Fraud and now they are going to dither again. I have two season tickets for the game tonight. Nothing frightens the suits like an empty stadium, so its a boycott from me this evening. Let's hope that there are tumbleweeds.

  16. itsRonagain2

    Nov 28, 2019, 11:49 #115613

    John - Agree on the Boards take on the Coach.They do genuinely want him to succeed in the face of the 'noise' which in truth is stoked up by the TV and then passed onto fans . I think hes there till the Summer for sure and on balance so he should be really now in the absence of proper alternatives. There's still EL and FAC and the season from a PL perspective is largely done. We ll be 6/7th how ever the dice falls i think. On this Nuno thing, a post i saw some where made an interesting point when it said that Nuno has only done for Wolves with 150 Million quid what Dyche did for Burnley with next to nothing and loan players. Its a fair point i thought. Nuno is best placed where he is for now i think.

  17. John F

    Nov 28, 2019, 11:14 #115612

    All this talk about who is going to replace Emery reminds me of the transfer Windows when Arsenal are linked to everyone and his dog and is all based on sites repeating false news. What was significant was Emery repeating that the board are behind him then trying to get the fans to back the team.If he was getting the sense that he was due to get the boot print on the arse then it would be a strange statement to make.I have a feeling that the owners are trying their best to make a good case for him in spite of the fans and are desperately hoping that a win or two will make the noise go away.It will not of course as he appears to have very few of the fan base left on his side.The only manager I can remember getting the fans back on side was Fergie when he first started at Utd.Tonight I am going for a draw 2-2 after being 2-0 up.

  18. GoonerRon

    Nov 28, 2019, 10:49 #115611

    It could be quite eerie in there tonight. Unless we get a fast start it could be a very, very quiet place without the away fans and red members. Mavropanos and Smith-Rowe played for the U-23’s last night so doubt they will be involved. I’ll go for a 4-2-3-1 starting XI of Martinez: Chambers - Holding - Mustafi - Tierney: Torreira - AM-N: Martinelli - Nelson - Pepe: Lacazette.