Injuries Ahead Of Porto & Ticket Prices
Injuries once more dominate the horizon with Andrey Arshavin confirming that he will be missing a short break in the sun, probably returning for the weekend’s clash with Sunderland. Alex Song seems unlikely to make the flight as well which means that there will be a seat for Eduardo, apparently recovered but you have to suspect not ready for a starting slot.
Thomas Vermaelen is no doubt looking on somewhat bemused by it all. The Belgian was initially diagnosed with a suspected broken leg at Villa Park, a prognosis that was quickly downgraded to a bad bruise, the pain from which was dutifully ignored in order to appear in the recent run of fixtures from Hell; no doubt the medical staff had a ready supply of Witchhazel.
Vermaelen spoke of the squad unity:
We will keep fighting to the end as a team, that is all we can do.
The important thing is to stay together. When you lose, it is easy to say it is his fault or his fault, but I think it is important to remain as a team and a unit.
We will battle until the last moment of the season
The comments identify that the players know that the consecutive defeats were damaging yet the ‘practical’ nature of the Liverpool performance acknowledges that they possess the mental strength to grind out wins. That will be a characteristic which surfaces as the season draws to a conclusion, opponents in the bottom half of the season attempting a similar obduracy as Liverpool in an attempt t0 gain precious points to ensure Premier League survival.
Not blaming one another is key; leave the finger-pointing to the supporters since some appear to be rather good at heaping derision on individuals, no matter whether or not it is merited.
Ticket Prices are a touchy subject. Arsenal’s are amongst the highest to watch football in the top flight (and consequently Europe). The club acknowledges the captive nature of their audience, Ivan Gazidis noting:
Having a lengthy waiting list for season tickets puts the Club in an advantageous position when determining the ticket pricing policy each season.
Having given the matter due consideration, we strongly believe the right course of action is to freeze the cost of match tickets and season tickets for the forthcoming season. We are mindful that the current financial climate is difficult and our decision to maintain the current pricing structure reflects that.
The opening comment is open to conjecture. A waiting list is one thing; converting them into actual sales quite another. An element of the list is not going to take that step, for financial reasons or otherwise.
I still believe the club could do more to encourage families to attend, pricing still not as inclusive as they would like to portray. Too often, football likes to portray itself as the sport of the masses which is true of participation but the Premier League needs to look at expanding the breadth of the fans attending on a matchday only basis.
Arsenal is fortunate as a club; the success of Wenger’s reign and subsequent demand means that the stadium is not empty (until 5 minutes before the end of the match, at least) but elsewhere in the division, the banks of empty seats in the stadium masks a real issue.
Quoting average attendances is a pointless exercise since they will be affected by relegation and promotion; it would be a surprise, for example, if this season’s figures do not show a drop in the absence of Newcastle United. Should they gain an immediate return, their 40,000 average attendance will distort the figures once more, replacing a less well-supported club such as Portsmouth.
Posted on February 16, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, FC Porto, Football, Soccer, Ticket Prices. Bookmark the permalink. 192 Comments.