Gooners - Beware the new stadium !
Like many Blues who just couldn't be arsed to head of to Blackburn this afternoon to endure yet another depressing City defeat, instead I dipped in and out of the Arsenal v Wigan game and caught some of the Highbury shutdown ceremony.
I'm sure the facilities at new stadium at Ashburton Grove will be a big improvement over Highbury and going to the toilet won't be such a grim experience. However, before the Gooners get carried away with their new surroundings, they might just want to learn from City's experience of relocating to pastures new.
Us Blues can tell you that moving to a new, modern stadium does not guarantee improvement on the field - far from it. Indeed, in recent times, clubs that have moved have mainly had some tough times, just ask Sunderland, Southampton, Derby, Millwall and Leicester. Bolton and Reading are probably the best exceptions to the rule.
It may just be coincidence, but the fortunes of these clubs have taken a nose-dive after moving and we're not doing to clever ourselves since we left Maine Road. Don't get me wrong, Eastlands is a great stadium, but there's just something lacking, namely atmosphere. It don't know what it is about the design of new stadia, but none of them seem to be able to generate the same atmosphere, for example as the Kippax, the Holte End at Villa Park and as Arsenal will find out, the North Bank at Highbury.
So, farewell Highbury, and like many other away fans, I will miss it, although probably not if you're coming from Tottenham...... salmonella anyone ??