The move to a new stadium had been mooted for years before it actually happened. Sites were surveyed and discared before Ashburton Grove was identified as suitable. Two hundred or so words is inadequate space to give justice to the herculean efforts of the people led by Danny Fiszman to enable see the project through from inception to completion.
The first seat was installed by Abou Diaby, something of an omen when you think that Liz had to be substituted by Phil for the official opening; the injury curse strikes again. The inaugural matches carried a familiar feeling. In the first eight Premier League matches, Arsenal won by 3 – 0 on four occasions, the other four all ended in 1 – 1 draws.
This was the opening game of the 2006-07 season, Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa the opposition.