Complete Tourist Guide to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2013

Complete Tourist Guide to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium

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    Arsenal Football Club is a global entity.

    The Gunners have supporters all over the world, and the Emirates Stadium is their Mecca. Every season, thousands of fans travel thousands of miles to make a pilgrimage to the Gunners' home.

    The club offer official tours of the stadium, which show you the state-of-the-art interior. In this guide, however, we let you in on the secrets of the regular Arsenal fans' matchday experience.

    Read on to discover the hidden gems of the Emirates Stadium and the surrounding area.

Highbury Square

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    Before heading to the Emirates Stadium itself, why not stroll over and have a look at what remains of historic Highbury?

    The stadium was Arsenal's home between 1913 and 2006 and was the scene of many famous triumphs.

    It has now been converted to flats, but the famous facade remains, and it's a must-see for any fan interested in the club's glorious history.

Gooner Grub

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    Pre-match food and drink is a regular part of any Arsenal matchday.

    The stadium is surrounded by a host of Arsenal-friendly pubs where you can enjoy a pint with fellow fans.

    Arsenal may not have won much on the pitch in the last eight years, but they have won the prize for the Premier League's best pie, served at the popular Piebury Corner shop on Holloway Road.

The Fanzine Salesmen

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    Arsenal fans are famous for being opinionated and verbose. No other team provokes such a huge amount of online commentary and discourse.

    Unsurprisingly, the club has several successful fanzines, which operate as alternatives to the official matchday programme. There's The GoonerGunflash!Highbury High and Up The Arse.

    The most famous and longest-running fanzine is The Gooner, famous for its witty headlines and amusing imagery.

    Be sure to pick up a fanzine so you've got something to read with your half-time pint.

The Danny Fiszman Bridge

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    The Emirates Stadium was Danny Fiszman's dream.

    Arsenal's majority shareholder helped steer the club through the difficult process of moving away from Highbury and into the shiny new stadium.

    When Danny Fiszman died in 2011, Arsenal named one of the connecting bridges on the stadium's concourse in his honour.

    Drop by and pay tribute to a visionary and true Gooner.

The Arsenal Museum

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    The Arsenal museum contains a host of memorabilia that will send shivers down the spine of any true Arsenal fan, including Michael Thomas' goal-scoring boots from Anfield '89 and Charlie George's FA Cup final shirt from 1971.

    Recently, the club added a customised trophy that was presented to the club by the FA Premier League for remaining unbeaten throughout the 2003-04 season.

    Go here to glory in Arsenal's past triumphs.

The Armoury

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    If you want to deck yourself out in the latest Arsenal kit, there's only one place to go: The Armoury, Arsenal's enormous club shop.

    This place sells everything from socks to signed photographs.

    The staff are some of the friendliest and most informed Arsenal fans you'll meet, and they can even occasionally offer you an early tip on what squad numbers the players will be wearing next season.

Armoury Square

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    Outside the Armoury store is a square decorated with stones that are engraved with messages from Arsenal fans all around the world.

    Keep an eye out for this stone, which contains a particularly poignant message from a current Arsenal player.

Herbert Chapman Statue

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    Herbert Chapman is Arsene Wenger's closest rival for the title of the greatest manager in Arsenal's history.

    Chapman was one of football's most remarkable innovators. He introduced European travel, the revolutionary WM formation and even the white sleeves that still adorn the Arsenal kit.

    Visit this statue for a chance to pay your respects to a true Arsenal legend.

Tony Adams Statue

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    Tony Adams is still known everywhere as "Mr. Arsenal."

    This statue depicts his pose after scoring the goal that clinched the Premier League title in 1997-98. The commentator on that particular match, Martin Tyler, famously said the goal summed up all that was good about Arsenal in that campaign.

    This statue—imposing, powerful and inspirational—sums up all that was good about Tony Adams.

Thierry Henry Statue

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    The moment Thierry Henry knelt in front of the Tottenham fans after destroying their team with a remarkable individual goal was instantly iconic.

    Now the club have immortalised that image in bronze.

    Kneel alongside Arsenal's greatest goalscorer and laugh at Tottenham all over again.

The REDsection

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    When you're finally inside the ground, there's only one place to sit: the REDsection.

    Located in the northwest corner of the ground, this area was introduced at the behest of fan group REDaction and is home to some of the club's most vocal fans.

    If you want to be in the part of the ground with the most raucous atmosphere, this is definitely the place for you.

The Clock End

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    The famous clock that adorned the South Stand at Highbury has now been moved to the Emirates Stadium.

    Its famous face is a reminder of Arsenal's famous history and Highbury's inimitable atmosphere.

    If you have any further questions about the Emirates Stadium, ask below, and I'll do my best to answer.