Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Congratulations Ivan and Red Action! It's great to be back at the Grove

I'm still feeling a glow of excitement that the football season is back. Well real football, not the debacle that was the World Cup.

It was exciting to make the same familiar trip to the north London stadium we now call home.

Exiting the tube at Finsbury Park to buy a matchday programme, then heading to meet fellow Gooners I had not seen since the last home game of the season against Fulham, I thought there was an air of optimism about the place.

We've got plenty to be looking forward to this season. And I sensed from Saturday many around me thought we'd moved forward positively since our last league campaign.

I'm not just talking on the pitch where there are a few new faces, some young players making the step up to the first team and others joining through the transfer market.

But the familiar features which were at Highbury finally being transferred to the Grove.

Of course I must start by congratulating Ivan Gazidis and his team. The reintroduction of the clock is long overdue. But also the names of the stands have returned and the painting inside the bowl of the stadium continues.

Plaudits must also go to Red Action who have made a positive impact with their work alongside the club.

Hopefully soon we won't have a shade of grey to look at whilst we are sipping our half time beers.

I thought Saturdays pre-match celebrations as a whole were excellent.

From the video montage to the firework celebrations when the clock ticked into action, they were superb.

Just picking up on the video montage which counted down to the clock ticking for the first time. Why don't we use that every week as a countdown to welcome the teams on to the pitch?

The hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end when it was playing. It creates a great build up to welcome the players and the atmosphere was buzzing.

Arsenal vs Blackpool

Then there was the huge banners which were held by supporters over their heads in the North Bank and Clock End.

These looked really impressive from the pictures I've seen post match. I was under the one in the North Bank so couldn't see what they were displaying. But I thought it was an excellent thing to do. 

There was a buzz created amongst supporters because of all these things which must have transmitted itself to the players.

Just one minor point with renaming the stands:

Singing: "We're the North Bank, we're the North Bank, we're the North Bank Emirates" doesn't sound quite right. I suppose there is no easy way to solve this. So we as supporters are going to have to find a work around.

Overall though it was an excellent day, topped off with a 6-0 victory. It was a perfect way to welcome back the clock to the Clock End, even if it's not the original. But the reason for the change was the Highbury Clock would have been looked too small on the top of the stadium.

With positive changes made, the Grove is really starting to feel like home. 

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

1 comment:

  1. I was at the upper tier of the North bank and the banner at the clock end said 'We're the Clock end Arsenal', so that might be a make shift adjustment to the song 'We're the North bank, we're the North bank, we're the North bank ...'.

    Another welcome addition was the re-introduction of 'Right here, right now' as the pre-match song just before the teams came out. Its more appropriate to the cause.

    (Truth be told though, the Elvis song is actually growing on me, lol).