Our member Md Matin shares his visit to The Arsenal to watch the team take on Nottingham Forest and FC Zurich
Being an Arsenal fan my entire life, watching a live match at the Emirates has been an item on my bucket list for the longest time.To finally see the Arsenal play at our home ground is an experience I will never forget.From the moment you step onto Holloway Road, you can feel the radiant matchday atmosphere permeating through the gloomy London weather. Just seeing other fellow Gooners coming out of the London Tube with you gives you even more hype for the game! The streets and area surrounding the stadium is packed with fans of all races, young and old, every single one glowing with optimism. After some rough moments in the past few years, this is truly a welcome sight.
I was given tickets in the upper tier for both games, one in the West Stand for the Forest game and in the Clock End for the Zurich game. One would think the view from our seats is rather far, but honestly it’s not too bad! The Arsenal stewards are also very friendly in helping to guide you to your seats if you are lost. A friendly tip : If you turn up early for the game & the stadium is still empty, you can try and take photos in the lower tier which are closer to the pitch! The stewards are more than happy to allow you in & to help take photos of you! The facilities are also very clean, especially the toilets. You can buy food and drinks at one of the many stalls that are located all around the stadium. Furthermore, there are many murals, posters and statues that decorate the many aspects of Arsenal history both inside and outside the stadium.
About an hour before kickoff, the crowd starts to filter in & the players start to come out to warm up. That feeling when you see your favorite players with your own eyes, one could almost cry. But when kickoff starts, the roar emanating from the North Bank to the Clock End is just palpable. I cannot emphasize this enough: Try and learn the many Arsenal chants to value-add to your experience. The home fans are relentless in their singing, and whatever we see and hear on the TV screen, is amped up many fold in real life. I personally sang along to the Saliba chant and the “We’ve got Super Mik Arteta!” one until I lost my voice! But it was worth it, to be able to contribute in some small, tangible way to show support to the team I love.
Seeing Arsenal beat Forest 5-0 was a huge bonus, especially after seeing Saka limp off so early in the 1st half. Martinelli’s movement for our first goal in tandem with Gabriel Jesus’ pressing is a sight to behold, you can tell the opposition is bamboozled because they truly don’t know how to handle our front three! Reiss Nelson was surprisingly good as Saka’s deputy, and I was personally happy for him with his two goals and assist! Hopefully he can continue to chip in for us whenever called upon. William Saliba is the real deal, and a true Rolls Royce in the centre of defence. He looks much more intimidating in real life, and didn’t allow Awoniyi a sniff at goal despite the latter’s pace. A potential GOAT at only 21 years of age.Tomiyasu and Ben White were exemplary as usual, whilst Xhaka, Odegaard and Partey marshaled the midfield with ease. My favorite goal has to be from our No.5, it was a carbon copy of the one he scored in the North London Derby! From back to front, everyone is playing so well and seeing the entire team exerting an aura of confidence in their football makes it so captivating to watch them.
The Zurich game was not as fluid, with many changes to our starting eleven. The Zurich fans were intimidating , especially as they were directly below us. You could hear their chanting and singing all game. Arsenal honestly should have killed the game off in the first half but were very unlucky with their chances. The ref did not help matters by not calling fouls on the Arsenal players. Tierney even had his shirt ripped off! But thankfully his thumping volley was enough to win us the game and help us finish top in our group, therefore avoiding the Champions League dropouts in the next round.
Overall, this experience has been truly breathtaking. I definitely want to see the Arsenal play again. I would like to end off by thanking Arsenal Singapore, and in particular Dhanesh, for making all of this possible by facilitating the ticket purchase process so easy for me. For anyone who’s considering getting matchday tickets, please consider enquiring them! You will not regret it.