Concerns about the atmosphere at home games have prompted Arsenal to take some radical steps to rectify that ahead of next season.
Arseblog News can report that since early December of 2015, a hi-tech audio company has been employed throughout the ground to record the singing and chanting that occurs during games.
The plan for next season is to use the recently upgraded sound system in the stadium (installed last summer at the same time as the new floodlights) to play back some of the most famous songs to help generate and sustain an atmosphere that will help lift the team.
The issue was first mooted at board level in September after the 3-2 defeat to Olympiacos. One particular board member robustly complained about how fans failed to get behind Arsene Wenger’s men and how ‘you could hear a pin drop … when they stopped booing’.
A plan was put in place and over the international break in November, after the 1-1 draw with Tottenham, a series of dual-capsule multi-pattern mics were installed at key locations inside the stadium – in particular around the Block 6 ‘singing section’.
The audio captured over the last few months will undergo processing to eliminate unwanted background noise, and when things are quiet next season, this will be played back. Our source has seen internal documents which say that this is to ‘enhance the matchday experience’ and ‘provide the team with the support it deserves’.
“The club are genuinely concerned that people aren’t enjoying themselves as much as they should,” he or she told us.
“There are fantastic views, food and drink, merchandise to buy, but for some reason it can feel a bit grim during the games. This idea came directly from KSE who have vast experience of creating a good-time environment for their sports franchises. That’s where that £3m went, no question about it.”
As for what’s on the soon to be released Arsenal stadium playlist, he continued, “All the big ones are in there. ‘Good Old Arsenal’. ‘We love you Arsenal’. ‘Stand up if you hate Tottenham’. The new Mesut Ozil one. The lot.
“The best part is that they’ve reached out to some Arsenal fans who are singers to do some overdubs too. They’ve been in touch with Dido, the Spandau Ballet lads, and Roger Daltrey to see if they’ll get involved. They asked John Lydon but he told them where to stick it!”
With empty seats more prevalent than ever, and those in the stadium unwilling to sing at key moments for reasons that are beyond us, those quiet times will now be filled with the rich, stereophonic Dolby sound of Arsenal fans belting out the best Gooner songs, and atmospheric cheering.
It’s also understood that the club are not limiting themselves to just the audio, and it’s believed other measures are under consideration to try and improve matters.
KSE had suggested cheerleaders, going so far as to name a potential brigade, The Arse-ettes, but that was shot down as ‘too American’. However, half-time entertainment in the shape of musical acts, magicians, and even an ‘open mic’ slot for fans to do impressions of people from the football world, is very much on the cards.
Indeed, those who sing that they want their Arsenal back will remember the good old days when in 1992 top rave act The Shamen performed at half-time during a 1-0 win over Man City at Highbury. They did their song ‘Ebeneezer Goode’, which was number one in the hit parade at the time, before being booed off the pitch because their front-man was a Sp*rs fan.
Also, fans who travelled to Goodison Park for the Everton game before the international break were treated to a half-time routine from classic band The Drifters, and it’s not inconceivable that similar acts, and the likes of Transvision Vamp, Mr. Mister, and Seal could be entertaining the Emirates crowd next season.