How Do I Get There?
A very straight forward journey by car - just get on the A1 and keep heading south. Turn left at the Watford Way round about when you get near Edgeware and follow the same road until you hit the North Circular. Keep right to stay Falloden Way, which will eventually take you to Archway Road, bringing you to Holloway Road. The Emirates will start to be sign posted by now, so you’re close enough to start looking for somewhere to park. If you don’t want to park that close to the ground then you’re best option is leaving your motor at a tube station and commuting in. High Barnet isn’t a bad shout and you can go from there to Archway station, which is close to the ground.
If you’re getting the train down it’s just as easy. In fact, you go right past The Emirates as the train arrives in Kings Cross, such is its close proximity. Making your way by tube is really simple from here, just use the Piccadilly Line to either Holloway Road or Arsenal - only two and three stops away, respectively.
I’m Going To Be There Before/AfterWhat Else Can I Get Up To?
It’s London so there’s bloody loads you can do!
On Monday night there’s a boat load of live comedy shows, at ridiculously cheap prices. Nish Kumar is even doing a free work in progress show at the Bill Murray Comedy Club with a special guest also advertised. One of the best, most interesting stand ups around, Nish’s recent Edinburgh show was spectacular, tackling issues such as race and Brexit, while also being deeply hilarious. If you want to go a bit more edgy, Frankie Boyle is also doing work in progress at The Leicester Square Theatre and you can also catch Paul Chowdhry at Backyard Bar.
You can’t ignore the lights of the West End if you’re looking for entertainment. Other recommendations this season have been the likes of The Book of Mormon and The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time both of which are still playing. Another option to add is Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, a sometimes dark but constantly funny show from Lee Hall. Think of something in the Irvine Welsh genre and you’ll get an idea about what this show, about six lasses from a Catholic girls school, is all about.
Adam Ant is playing The Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday night, if you’re after some new wave nostalgia. Other live music on the same night comes from Libertines man Carl Barat and his band The Jackles who are appearing at the Sebright Arms.
Where Can I Get The Tinnies In?
I’m annoyed that this game got moved to an awkward mid-week trip just before another London trip. It deprived me of going to one of my favourite boozers - The Faltering Full Back. I know I could just go at another time but that’s just not the point. If the weather is decent, this pub is made even better by it’s beer garden that instead of being one big open space, is on about a thousand different levels. It also has a brilliant jukebox with full albums from bands like The Horrors and The Cribs. It did when I was last in there, anyway. Situated in Finsbury Park, its about a 20 minute walk to The Emirates.
Also in Finsbury Park, The Twelve Pins serves away supporters and is right outside Finsbury Park tube station, making it handy for underground users. As well as a good drinks selection, it also serves food which is never a bad thing on such a long trip.
If you want something a little closer to the ground and don’t mind the fact that they’ll be absolutely rammed, then The Drayton Park and The Courage may just be the place for you.
What’s The Stadium Like?
It’s modern. Very, very modern and certainly not one for the traditionalists. It may not be the most raucous of stadiums but The Emirates is still very impressive, holding just over sixty thousand fans. Including a small middle tier full of prawn sandwich munchers, there’s three tiers all together, with the back of the uppers rising like valleys in the centre.
As I mentioned, it’s hardly the loudest of venues, despite the best efforts of some giant flags and Gunnersaurus but there’s still plenty of nods to Arsenal’s past. Outside the stadium there’s statues of legends such as Tony Adams and Thierry Henry and a replica of Highbury’s clock sits high above the South Stand. Other features, that are so not so linked to the past, include seats that looked more suited to a cinema than a football ground and two big screens that are the size of a modest house.
Tucked in the corner between the East Stand and The Clock End, the Emirates away section houses just under three thousand for league fixtures. There’s no restrictions on the view, due to it being a new ground but I find it quite “shallow” and even if you’re at the back, the view of the opposite end isn’t that great. That being said, I’m sure we’re all past caring what’s happening on the pitch, anyway.