Category Archives: Arsenal FC

Boos for Money-grabb-or…

The guy who sits next to me at The Emirates works as a printer. He makes a banner for a lot of the games. Yesterday he was in ‘The Mail on Sunday’. Here is the picture. It seemed to  perfectly articulate the thoughts of every Arsenal fan in the stadium that day…

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Early Season Honours…

It was pleasing to hear that Arsenal.com has been named Best Sports Website at the 2009 UK Website of the Year awards. The official website received the highest average rating for content, design and navigation in the sports category. More than 850,000 votes were cast as UK web users selected their favourite websites in 22 categories.

It’s nice to win stuff whatever it may be – I enjoy the fact that we always win the groundsman awards and random stuff like that that shows the club looks after more facets than most.

I actually visit the official site relatively rarely – to purchase away tickets and very occasionally for some injury news. The partisan nature of it doesn’t really interest me. I’ve seen us play the most appalling game of football and lose and then read the match report at Arsenal.com suggesting we were somehow robbed and focussing on the one time that we managed to string a couple of passes together. I also can’t compare it to many other clubs. I’ve seen the Man City site which is highly regarded (I think Poke created it?) and it is quite nice but I value the health of my computer too highly to venture near the Spurs or Chelsea sites… It seems most sites are much of a muchness – in fact they seem to follow the same template designs…

It made me think about what the site could do to make my experience more enhanced. I’m not sure the club would like ceding control of the brand in the following ways – but personally, here are a couple of thoughts that would enhance my user experience…

  • How good would it be if Arsenal.com contained a section of the site that acted as an aggregator for content across all the blogs and media content that goes on out there? From one perspective, it would be utterly terrifying for the club to link through to content where Arsenal fans unleash diatribes on every element of the club – but this could be offset by a disclaimer saying these views don’t represent those of the club and would in some ways demonstrate that the club is ultimately constructed by what Arsenal fans think of it. I love this ad agencies site that does exactly that with all it’s clients.

 

  • I’d love to know the twitter usernames of other Arsenal fans so I could follow them easily (rather than stumbling across them…

 

  • How about a twitter feed on various topics or even an official arsenal twitter feed that tells me when away tickets go on sale or team news as it happens?

 

  • A bespoke email service that recognises how many away credits I have and sends me an alert to say that the booking period is coming up so I never miss out?

 All in all though – the user experience is pretty good. I read someone suggesting that the online supremacy of the core site could in some ways be driven by the media savvines of Arsenal fans in general. Certainly, the club has some great blogs and without the balance of perspective – they are clearly the best out there! I’m not sure this bears any relevance though on the official site.

 So, a nice win for the Arsenal. Hopefully the prelude to the main prizes on the pitch come May…

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‘The Spirit of Highbury’

Great time lapse video of the new Arsenal fixed structure featuring every Arsenal player to ever grace Highbury. This was created by W&K…

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Having the final word

Here is my article on Arsene Wenger that featured in the matchday programme last week to celebrate his 13 years as ‘Le Boss’
Final Word - Arsenal Programme - Matt Kandela

Final Word - Arsenal Programme - Matt Kandela

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Arsene Wenger

Today marks 13 years of Arsene Wenger being at the helm of Arsenal Football Club. What he has done for the club is immeasurable. In a world where we constantly look for short term quick fixes, here is a man with the strength of character to always look at the bigger picture and the longer term view.

He isn’t always right…but he always does what he thinks is right, not for himself…but for the club.

Thanks for everything…

Arsene knows.

Arsenalisation of ‘The Emirates Stadium’

Over the last few weeks, there has been much talk of the ‘Arsenalisation’ of ‘The Emirates Stadium’ – home of my beloved Arsenal FC. I didn’t expect much to be honest. I thought this would mean a few large prints inside the stadium and a lot of talk. After all, making the stadium look great doesn’t make money for the club and Arsenal as a business are notoriously frugal – just look at the net transfer spend over the last 10 years.

So, imagine my suprise when I attended the game against Wigan last week and saw what had been done. It is absolutely fantastic and makes me even more proud to be a fan. Arsenal are a club with a rich history, and this work demonstrates that nicely. 

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

 

Arsenalisation of The Emirates

Arsenalisation of The Emirates

Arsene Wenger - Invincible quote

Arsene Wenger - Invincible quote

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

Arsenalisation of the Emirates

I attended my first game at Highbury in 1992 as a twelve year old and have barely missed a match since then. I loved Highbury so much and thought that ‘The Emirates’ would never feel like home. When I walked into Highbury, you could feel the history. The Emirates on the other hand felt like a great big soul-less bowl. It’s taken time but finally it is beginning to feel more like a proper home and this work adds to the attachment that we supporters feel for the club.

On the last day at Highbury, there were a series of speeches. One of them was particularly poignant by Tom Watt. He said that of course the football memories were important, but what is more important is the sharing of moments. The highs and the lows shared with the people closest to you. The dad who takes his son…who takes his son in turn… ‘

The Emirates’ feels more and more feels like home and I can’t wait for the memories that haven’t even happened yet…

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Nostalgia – Mixtapes and Football Programmes

I found this great image on PSFK in a piece talking about how how people tend to assign and associate memories, emotion, meaning and significance to physical objects; and how this is fading with our increased reliance on all things digital…

It really struck a chord. I remember making mixtapes for friends, spending hours hitting pause between each track and cueing up the next CD before painstakingly writing out the track listing. Burning a mix CD on iTunes may be a hell of a lot easier but it’s a hell of a lot less satisfying…

Likewise, some of my prized possessions are my Arsenal programmes from when I started going nearly 20 years ago. I still buy them for nostalgic reasons but in days gone by – these were the only resource for information about tickets etc. Now, everything is online and as such – people buy them far less often. The pleasure of being able to look back in ten. twenty or thirty years and recalling a moment just won’t be available to this generation of fans in the same way…

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£3 at 18/1

Last night I went to the Emirates to watch Arsenal play Roma. It was the first game that I’ve enjoyed in ages. We played really well and the crowd were up for it. For extra satisfaction, I also won £50 having placed £3 on Van Persie to score first and Arsenal to win 1-0. Mind you, we should have won about 3-0 and put the tie to bed. I was very torn in the last 20 minutes of the game – I am desperate for us to go through and as such we will probably need more than one goal. Having said that, I would have taken one nil before the game so it is a good result…and £50 is a nice little earner for doing absolutely nothing…

 

I was trying to think what the term is for when you cover off negative outcomes with financial compensation – where you bet on the opposition to win…so the worst outcome is you make some money and the best is that your team wins the game etc…

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