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We’re on our way: Arsenal

Our away day guide ahead of Wednesday’s visit to The Emirates

23 September 2018

With an incredibly heavy heart, Arsenal Football Club left Highbury in the summer of 2006 to move to a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium where they are now based, The Emirates Stadium.

With a severe lack of space to expand, the financial progression of the club hinged on the building of a new stadium to bring The Gunners in line with their elite Premier League opponents.

At the turn of the new millennium, Arsenal acquired a waste disposal site at nearby Ashburton Grove and began the lengthy process of creating a new home, though financial issues meant construction was delayed until early 2004. They signed off at Highbury with a thrilling 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic, during which legendary striker Thierry Henry netted a hat-trick.

The stadium was opened with cult hero Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial, while Gilberto Silva scored the first competitive goal by an Arsenal player in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa soon after.

Much was made of the barren spell from 2005 to 2013 in which recently departed boss Arsene Wenger failed to deliver a trophy, though success has occurred more frequently since with three FA Cups, three Community Shields and a Europa League Semi-Final on record since then.

The redevelopment of Highbury Square into a 650-flat complex was completed in 2010 and with the famous art deco façade of the East Stand Grade II listed, precious memories can be preserved for Gunners fans for many years to come.

This is the first time Brentford have played away at Arsenal since a 2-2 draw at Highbury in Division One on 12 October 1946, and just the third meeting since the conclusion of World War Two. In the 12 competitive fixtures between the two sides, Brentford have won five, Arsenal have won four and the spoils have been shared on three occasions.


Did you know?

The highest scorer at the stadium - the construction of which incorporated the original clock from the famed Clock End on its exterior – is ex-Gunner and current Feyenoord striker, Robin van Persie, with 64 goals.


How to get there:

With the Piccadilly line strike set to go ahead from 12pm on Wednesday 26, supporters will have to find alternative means of reaching The Emirates Stadium, which, thankfully, should be relatively straightforward.

Though it must be said that driving to the game is advised against, fans should leave the M1 at Junction 2 and on to 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. Parking can be difficult at the best of times due to the residents only parking scheme in the surrounding roads, though there are limited spaces at the Sobell Leisure Centre on Hornsey Road, which is a ten-minute walk from the ground and costs £6 for up to four hours. 

The first alternative rail route is the direct train to Finsbury Park, which can be boarded at Kings Cross, with the journey time varying between 6 minutes and 22 minutes, depending on the route. The Emirates is then around a ten to 15-minute walk away. There is also the possibility of taking the Victoria line northbound to Highbury & Islington – this takes just 17 minutes from Vauxhall and is also a 15-minute walk to the ground – while Drayton Park, which is even closer to the ground, can be accessed by changing at Highbury & Islington and picking up a Great Northern service.

Should the strike be called off, the nearest tube station is Holloway Road. Please note that Holloway Road station is closed at the conclusion of matches and the queues at Arsenal are notoriously extensive so even if the strike is called off, fans may opt to return home via one of the aforementioned alternative routes. 


Where to eat and drink:

The favoured haunt of away support is the Drayton Park pub - conveniently located close to the station of the same name – which tends to get extremely busy due to its close proximity to the stadium.

Both the Twelves Pins, near Finsbury Park Station, and The Blackstock, on the other side of the road, welcome away fans and are only a short walk from the ground, too.

Elsewhere, the Faltering Fullback pub is highly rated and close to Finsbury Park, though it is unclear whether or not this establishment permits the entry of away supporters.

There are various street food stalls surrounding the ground, often set up in residents’ front gardens, which can prove a welcome change to the standard pre-match nourishment. There are a number of places to eat on nearby Holloway Road, including McDonald’s, Subway and Costa Coffee.

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