Boro Look To Help From Liverpool!

Last updated : 24 April 2009 By Boro Mad

Saturday 25th April 2009

Bolton  v  Aston Villa 15.00 
Everton  v  Man City 15.00 
Fulham  v  Stoke City 15.00 
Hull City  v  Liverpool 15.00 
Man Utd  v  Tottenham 17.30 
West Brom  v  Sunderland 15.00 
West Ham  v  Chelsea 15.00
Sunday 26th April 2009   

Arsenal  v  Middlesbrough 13.30 
Blackburn  v  Wigan Athletic 16.00
Monday 27th April 2009  

Newcastle  v  Portsmouth 20.00


Directions & Car Parking

Leave the M1 at Junction 2 and onto the A1, following the signs for City (Central London). Keep going on the A1 for around six miles, until you see Holloway Road Tube Station on your right. Take the next left at the traffic lights into Hornsey Road and the stadium is about a 1/4 of a mile further down this road.
There is little parking at the stadium itself or in nearby streets. An extensive residents only parking scheme operates around the stadium on matchdays. It's probably better to park further out of London around a tube station such as Cockfosters and get the tube to the ground.

By Train/Tube

The nearest underground station to the Emirates Stadium is Holloway Road on the Piccadilly line. However, this will be closed on matchdays as it relies mostly on lifts to transport passengers to and from street level and this could cause problems when large crowds are in attendance. Fans should therefore alight at the next stop on the Piccadilly line which is Arsenal tube station. It is only a few minutes walk from here to the stadium. On exiting the station turn right and follow Drayton Park Road around to the left. Then take one of the large bridges over the railway line to the stadium. Other tube stations in walking distance of the stadium are Finsbury Park on the Piccadilly Line and Highbury & Islington on the Victoria Line.
Otherwise you can take an overland train to Finsbury Park Railway Station from London Kings Cross. It is then about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Finsbury Park to the stadium. Drayton Park Station which is situated right by the stadium is closed at weekends.
Tim Sansom adds; 'After the game we had to walk a fair distance to find an underground station that had not been shut due to overcrowding. We found that the Arsenal underground had been shut by the police and so had to undertake a fairly long walk to Finsbury Park which was also shut by station staff. We were recommended by the police to take the mainline train into Kings Cross, which we did with no problems and were back in central London within 10 minutes'.
Unless you are team are being stuffed and you are leaving the game a little early, then Arsenal tube station should be fine. If though you are staying to the final whistle, then you are better off walking to Finsbury Park, rather than wait in the long queues at Arsenal tube. To get to Finsbury Park, simple walk past Arsenal tube station on your left and then take a left into St Thomas's Road. The station is at the end of the road. The Police also do a good job of controlling the flow of the numbers of fans onto the station.

Away Fans

Away fans at the Emirates Stadium are housed in the lower tier of the South East corner. The normal allocation for away fans will be 3,000 tickets, but this can be increased for cup games. Although fans will have big padded seats and plenty of leg room, the lower tier of the stadium is quite shallow (unlike the upper tiers which have plenty of height between rows), meaning that the view might not be as good as you would expect from a new stadium.
Entrance to the stadium is by a 'smart ticket', whereby rather than giving your ticket to a turnstile operator, you enter it into a ticket reader to gain entry. This always confuses the away fans, as although more clubs are installing this type of apparatus, it is still in the minority. On my last visit, after being searched on entry, the steward took my ticket and inserted it into the ticket reader for me, which speeded up the process (which made sense as it is not clear on the ticket as to which way it should be inserted).
The concourse inside is not that spacious, but just about adequate. There is quite a choice of food on offer. Although pricey it looks pretty good and includes; Fish and chips (£5.90), Scottish Cheeseburger (£4), Hot Dog (£3.50), Balti Pie (£4), Minced Beef & Onion Pie (£4), Roasted vegetables and cauliflower pie (£4) and probably the best value a slice of pizza for £2.50. Alcohol is available in the form of Fosters or John Smiths at £3.20 per pint. However the crowd of fans that had formed into a scrum around the kiosk put me off even trying to buy anything. It would have been nice if a proper queuing system had been put in place. There are plenty of flat screen televisions on the concourse to keep you entertained, plus there is a Ladbroke betting facility.
I have been to the Emirates a couple of times now. The first was for an international friendly, where I had tickets for the upper tier of the stadium. I was very impressed all round with the stadium and had a great day out. The second visit was as an away supporter seated in the visiting section. On this visit I was less impressed with the Emirates. The whole occasion just seemed as it was one big corporate event rather than a football match. Plus the view was that not that great and afterwards you almost questioned if the stadium did indeed hold 60,000, as the large gaps in the corners below the stadium roof, gave the illusion that it is smaller than what it is. The away fans are also located very close to the home fans, which led to a fair amount of rather unsavoury banter.
On the positive side the stadium is indeed one of quality. It looks and feels that it has not been 'built on the cheap' and is a 'cut above' most other new stadiums built in this country. The atmosphere is okay and the pitch even in January looked immaculate. On a lighter note look out for the rather odd looking mascot called 'Gunnersaurus, which is not as you would expect coloured red and white, but instead a bright green, fluffy looking dinosaur.

Where To Drink

The traditional pub for away supporters is the Drayton Arms, which is located near to Arsenal tube station and Drayton Park railway station. This Courage pub overlooks the new stadium and is only a few minutes walk away. However as you would expect it can get extremely busy on matchdays, with drinkers spilling outside onto the pavements.
Mark Long recommends the Twelve Pins (formerly the Finsbury Park Tavern) near Finsbury Park Tube Station. 'Normally a good mix of home and away fans and about a ten minute walk from the ground'. Whilst Guy McIntyre adds; 'The Blackstock opposite The Twelve Pins, also welcomes away fans, plus it has a big screen showing Sky Sports'. Otherwise alcohol is available inside the stadium (Fosters, John Smith's & Strongbow).