Arsenal’s “humiliating” TV rescheduling, Semi Final Tickets, Thomas Tuchel & Leicester Fans

“Humiliating” TV rescheduling

I had to laugh yesterday when The Sun created a story about Sky TV changing their TV choice for a load of rearranged games. Dropping Arsenal v Leicester for Crystal Palace.

Let’s be honest, it is agenda drivel BS which no real Arsenal fan would take seriously. Those who use it to form any sort of Wenger Out / Arsenal in Crisis are clearly a little bit thick.

Having a TV game switched is no a “humiliation”. Anyone with half a brain would realise that Palace v Spurs would be a more attractable game then Arsenal v Leicester.

In recent weeks, Palace have beaten Chelsea and Arsenal. They are currently in a relegation scrap. The potential for a story is much bigger than Leicester.

At the time of TV scheduling, Leicester were still in trouble. Champions on the verge of relegation. The media would have loved that story and wanted to be there every step of the way. In recent weeks they have got themselves to mid table. They are safe. No longer a threat to relegation. There is no story there.

Palace is now a bigger story to tell than Leicester. And Sky want to tell that story.

This season 70% of Arsenal games have been on tv. That is 70% too many for a match going fan fed up with games continually being rescheduled for a TV audience. We play Middlesbrough on Monday night. Easter Monday. A bank holiday. A disgrace of scheduling.

I would rather be “humiliated” and have Middlesbrough v Arsenal on Saturday 3pm so I can actually go, then have it as a TV pick.

Sky have showed so little interest in showing Arsenal for the rest of the season that in the latest set of TV games, they decided to pick Stoke v Arsenal. A pointless game. A pointless rescheduling. The rest of the Premier League should be humiliated that this is the best offering Sky could pick for this slot.

Arsenal would have been on 17 out of a possible 20 times since the turn of the year up until Leicester and 3 of the next 4 after Leicester will be shown on TV.

We have had jut 1 Saturday 3pm kick off this calendar year. And just 7 all season. 7 of 38 games on at 3pm Saturday.

TV companies do not humiliate football clubs by changing the TV scheduling. They disregard fans by scheduling games without thinking about those who actually go to games.

It is not humiliating. It is an agenda.

Semi Final tickets

Another example of “using a story to suit an agenda” is with semi final tickets. Arsenal have yet to sell out and tickets today (I think) go on sale to fans who have been to at least 10 games and held a red membership over at least the last 2 seasons.

“It shows fans apathy. That they are fed up” has been the main narrative wheeled out by many.

The fact is all 4 clubs have struggled to sell out their FA Cup Semi Final tickets.

Chelsea had to go down to fans who have been to 5+ games to sell their allocation. They are top of the league. Spurs tickets went on sale to bronze members (their equivalent of red members) who had “148 loyalty points”.

Spurs loyalty points system is similar to Arsenal’s away credit, but with a few big differences. It includes home games, they give a different weight to different games, and it includes the last 4 seasons and the current campaign (Arsenal’s is last 2 season + current campaign, away games only, 1 point per game).

Now Spurs even give you loyalty points for just renewing their membership. A bronze member gets 15 loyalty points. So if a bronze member has held their membership for the last 5 seasons 9including the current one), they would have 75 loyalty points without even going to a game. Almost half the points needed for an FA Cup Semi Final ticket. Incredible.

They give out 1 point per Category A game, 3 per Category C and 5 points per Category C game. You can use your own brain to work out which sides fall into which Category.

So if you had renewed your membership every year for 5 years, you would have had to have gone to on average, 3 Category C games a season over that time to be over the 148 points.

So Arsenal are getting hammered for tickets being on sale to 10+ games over the last 2 season, whilst Spurs fans would have had to have gone to just 15 games over the last 5 seasons. Chelsea just 5+ games (I have not researched over how many seasons).

Of course, both these clubs are considerably smaller than Arsenal. Have small grounds and smaller fan bases. So it is only natural that their fans would have to have been to less games than Arsenal (although both sides sell more tickets each week than the 32,000 they have sold for the FA Cup Semi Final).

Then we come to Manchester City.

Manchester City have put their tickets on General Sale. That means any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy one. You do not even have to be a member. Or a Manchester City fan. You could be a Leyton Orient fan, do the Marathon, then head to Wembley.

So all 4 clubs, no matter if they are having a great season or an awful season, are struggling to sell out Wembley. This shows there are deeper rooted issues surrounding tickets and poor sales than “Arsenal fans showing their anger”

  • Tickets are too expensive – Whilst tickets priced at £30 – £60 does not seem unreasonable, the pattern will always be the cheapest tickets go first. The majority of last tickets on sale will be the £60 ones. Fans might be unwilling to pay this much for a single game.
  • Wembley Apathy – I am a big believer, like many, that FA Cup semi finals should not be held at Wembley. I would much rather have 20,000 Arsenal fans & 20,000 City fans at Villa Park. The most loyal of fans. Rather than 32,000 fans, watered down by day trippers and ‘friends of the FA’ at Wembley. Some fans just do not want to go to Wembley unless it is for a final.
  • Wembley Apathy II – This will be the 7th time in 3 years that Arsenal have visited Wembley. Football fans get bored quickly. A trip to Wembley, for many, is not as exciting now as it was in 2014. It is like shagging Kelly Brook. Great to begin with, but after a while she gets boring. It’s why so many blokes end up getting rid of her.

Should Arsenal have sold out by now? I would have expected so, yes. But Arsenal have struggled no more than the other 3 clubs still left in the competition.

What it highlights more than everything is that there is just how fragile clubs membership lists are. Clubs have 100,000+ members, but less than a third of that seem to be willing to buy tickets on a regular basis.

homas Tuchel

One of the names banded about a lot as a potential Arsene Wenger replacement is Thomas Tuchel of Borussia Dortmund.

Now I am all for getting Wenger replaced, but the replacement has to be a manager who can take us forward. Someone like the excellent Max Allegri at Juventus or Simeone from Atletico Madrid. What I will not accept is a sub-par manager. Someone who is not superior to Wenger. I want the best players at Arsenal Football Club. I want the best managers.

When I have previously seen the likes of Owen Coyle, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes, Gary Monk, Michael Laudrup and Eddie Howe linked with the Arsenal job, it is laughable. It actually strengthens Wenger’s position as it makes it appear that there are no better options out there. People are willing to call for any manger to replace Wenger, as to them it is not about how comes in, but who leaves. More interested in Wenger going then who his replacement is.

Thomas Tuchel is another one who can go into the bin. For me he is one of the most overrated managers in Europe.

The sole reason he is on anyone’s radar is because he was at Mainz 05 and then moved to Dortmund. The identical journey as Jurgen Klopp. They label him “the new Klopp”. But having a similar background to Klopp does not mean he is good enough.

A bit like when Bruno Cheryou, French with Algerian descent, was labelled the next Zinedine Zidane, French with Algerian descent, due to him being French with Algerian descent.

Or those that labelled Abou Disney the next Patrick Vieira because he was tall, black, born in Senegal but grew up in France. Or the countless “diminutive playmakers” from Argentina who get labelled the “next Maradona” or more recently the “Next Messi”.

You need to judge someone on what their own achievements are, not on the achievements of someone who shares similar characteristics. And so far Thomas Tuchel has achieved nothing.

Last night Dortmund were taken apart at home against Monaco. Losing 3-2.

They currently sit 18 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. It has to be said Bayern are an awesomely strong team so being 18 behind should not be seen as a negative for a manager. But sitting 4th in the league is more damning.

On top of this, Dortmund spent around £100m last summer. Much of which wasted on a lot of unknown youngsters.

So Dortmund spent a lot of money, hide failure behind having a team of kids, sit 4th in the league and are on the brink of going out in Europe. Maybe Tuchel is the perfect replacement for Wenger. If you want to keep mediocrity and the status quo.

Leicester Fans

Talk of Leicester fans disgracing themselves in Spain. Some Arsenal fans have commented on the matter calling them a disgrace.

Let’s be honest, at some point, almost every football fan has travelled abroad, stood in a square topless, drank too much beer, sang some naughty songs and ended up being charged by the police.

It happened in Milan. In Munich. In Lille for the Euro’s. European police do not like us and look for any reason to give us a smack.

The songs about Gibraltar were spot on. Gibraltar is ours and Spain can F Off. It reminds me of being in the square in Lille with England (and Welsh) fans last summer singing “we all voted out, we all voted out, F Off Europe, we all voted out”. We got charged, smacked and gassed by the French police that night.

If you have said, tweeted or commented that Leicester fans embarrassed themselves and England yesterday, please get over yourself. Get off your high horse. You are probably someone who on a Euro away spends all day taking selfies infront of the Eifel Tower. You probably do even more embarrassing things at games then have a beer and a sing song.

Euro aways are the best experience. Beers abroad with your pals. Sadly it seems some fans are so concerned over how they wish to portray themselves on social media that they forget their own behaviour abroad.

What Leicester fans did was no different to what Arsenal, Chelsea or Spurs fans have done abroad. And it was great.

Have a good Easter!



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