Archive for July 19th, 2006

I’m going to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

94 comments July 19th, 2006

That’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to say. After years of anticipation, it’s finally ready. The club shop opened yesterday, and tomorrow sees around 20,000 lucky fans allowed in for a sneaky preview at Members Day. Whilst I have to head off pretty early, most fans will get a glimpse of the player’s first training session on the new pitch.

Whilst some say our new ground is soulless and lacks character, for me that will all change once we’re allowed in. We now have the best ground in the country by some distance, and that is something we really ought to appreciate whilst it lasts.

Even the name, for some the most disappointing aspect of the stadium, no longer bothers me. It’s never bothered me that Bolton play at The Reebok Stadium, so why should this? It’s time for us to realise that we’re now locked into this bond with Emirates for fifteen years, so we’d better get used to it.

Personally, I can’t wait for tomorrow. And I’m even more excited about Bergkamp’s testimonial on Saturday, which will feature the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Marc Overmars, and Marco van Basten.

As for which players will ply their trade at the Emirates beyond Saturday, you can forget about any stories linking us with Lillian Thuram: all the best-informed sources indicate he’ll soon be signing for Barcelona.

Spanish paper Marca suggest that Arsenal amusingly want Baptista and Robinho in exchange for Cesc. To be honest, I’m not sure we’d even accept that for our new number 4 (which, by the way, I had printed on the back of my brand new shirt yesterday).

You can’t help but feel the transfer market is one big move away from igniting: could it be Van Nistelrooy to Real? Torres to Man U? The return of this bloke? Or maybe even Ashley Cole to Chelsea?

Cole’s future is intertwined with those of Roberto Carlos and Gianluca Zambrotta. Current rumours suggest Zambrotta will join Milan or Barcelona, meaning that Cole and Carlos will almost certainly play for Chelsea and Madrid – except no-one’s quite sure which.

The new home of Arsenal opens tomorrow. That’s the most exciting thing that will happen this summer, whoever we sign.

Oh, and please, enoy this.

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