No beer at half time – the future of football

At Aston Villa away, a friend turned round to me and said “this is the future of football.” He was talking about the lack of beer at half time in the upper tier. The reasoning being that they could not serve beer on health & safety grounds.

At the time, I laughed it off. It was a bit cramped and they were serving beer down stairs.

The very next away game, my mate said to me “I told you so”. It was Chelsea away and, due to a flare going off in the concourse, they had decided not to serve beer at half time.

We then come to Stoke Away. And the excused began. A smoke bomb went off down stairs, and this resulted in no beer at half time again. This time, however, they used it as an excuse, as throughout the away concourse, there were signs up before the game “We do not serve at half time.”

At Liverpool yesterday, it got worse:

BeersWhen we asked a steward why there were no beers at half time, he said it was due to the beer taps being off. What an excuse! When I asked for a wine (they were bottles) I was refused, and informed by bar staff it was no alcohol at half time.

Just to rub it in, the Liverpool TV’s on in the concourse kept flashing up with the message ‘Alcohol will be ceased to be sold 15 minutes before the beginning of the manager and be resold 30 minutes into the 1st half’. What a piss take.

This followed an announcement the day before that beer would not be served at half time during the West Ham away match. Again, the excuse is health & safety.

My friend was right. This is the future of football. Already beer is banned in England for European ties, despite the Champions League having a beer sponsor – and grounds throughout Europe being able to serve beer, tequila, vodka and sambuca.

The next step will be beer being banned in away ends at all games in the Premier League. It is a sad situation and another knife into the heart of real football fans.

Between ticket prices, game times, being forced to sit (what was the announcement at Anfield yesterday about?), the text  to grass service and the over handed policing and stewarding at games (yesterday fans were getting thrown out at half time left right and centre), and now the drink ban slowly creeping in, the game is becoming sanitised.

The issue is football clubs do not want fans like me and you. Who spend thousands up and down the country, have a few beers, and have a good craic. They want people who will travel with the official travel club, who will sit quietly and watch the game drinking their latte’s (these were advertised at Anfield). They want it to be like the theatre.

When the football bubble bursts, it will be us fans – the ones they are trying to alienate – they return to, cap in hand asking us to come back. And we probably. Arsenal is life.

Football is dying. Beer no longer being served at half time is just the beginning.






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10 reasons why we will beat Liverpool – Starting 11

1) The only decent player they have had in the last 10 years left in the summer, Suarez.

2) The Best signing since Henry joined us this summer, Alexis.

3) Balotetli is suspended, it would’ve been just our luck he had a decent game against us.

4) Chambers is back after a one game suspension.

5) Late fitness tests for Monreal, Ox and Theo

6) Liverpool made Man Utd look good when they lost 3-0 to them.

7) Debuchy has looked every part a player since coming back from injury.

8) We have only lost twice in the last twelve games Vs this lot.

9) Liverpool have only scored 19 League goals this season, compared to our 28.

10) Wenger knows there’s no excuses not to beat a poor Liverpool side

My Starting 11 – Chesney, Debuchy, Chambers, BFG, Gibbs, Flamini, Ox, Santi, Alexis, Welbeck, Giroud,


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Akpom and Ajayi set to leave Arsenal after Nigeria declaration

Rumours circulated yesterday that Arsenal youth players Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi had both decided to make themselves available to play for Nigeria. It is likely that both will be called up to the Super Eagle’s potential January friendly.

Having failed to make the 2015 African Cup of Nations, Nigeria have looked to refresh their squad. Out with the old, in with the new. Akpom and Ajayi are set to be joined by former Arsenal trainee Chuks Aneke – now playing for S.V. Zulte Waregem in Belgium – in the new look Nigeria squad.

This decision by Akpom and Ajayi is likely to see there Arsenal career’s ended before it has even started.

For a long time, Arsene Wenger has not been a fan of the African Cup of Nations. Held every two years, it takes players away from clubs for 6-8 weeks. It then usually takes the club another few weeks to get players match fit again after the tournament – inadequate training regimes and the climate result in players losing fitness during the tournament.

Interestingly, in Arsenal’s current squad, they do not have a single African player. This shows a conscious decision by the club to not be disadvantaged by the African Cup of Nations by not having any African players in their side.

Now if a player was a global star – Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Nwankwo Kanu – you could take the hit on the chin. Lose the player for 2 months, knowing you get his talent for the rest of the year.

But if the player is a bit part team member – Gervinho, Alex Song, Obi Mikel – it is just not worthwhile carrying him, and losing him for key periods of the season where he can be rotated in.

Nigeria have failed to make the 2015 competition. By 2017, Akpom and Ajayi could both be key members of Arsenal’s first team squad, providing quality back up to the starters. It is unlikely that Wenger will be too happy with both swanning off to Africa for 2 months just as the season is hotting up.

The likely solution? Ajayi and Akpom will be moved on, and replaced by 2 players who won’t leave every 2 years for 2 months.

At this point, neither youngster might not realise the consequence of their decision to declare for Nigeria, but I am sure in this summer, they will soon find out.