I don’t want you thinking that I’m some Wembley groupie or anything, but here’s a quick chip in following a second visit for the U21’s game against Italy.
This time I got to mix with the mob by going on the Tube and walking up Wembley Way, then sit in the family area. There is definitely a sense that the new Wembley is being easily accepted with a similar, if not greater degree of affection and mysticism as was afforded to the old gaff. People were excitedly yelling into mobiles that they were there, or posing for pictures. There were plenty of grumbles, too, about the food prices. And there was a visible sense of shock in the gents loos when some bloke (probably mistakenly) started the hot air hand dryers. They are tuned to such a volume and force that you feel you suddenly on the tarmac nearing a charter flight to the Balearics.
I did further seating research by wandering around the stadium checking out views and there doesn’t seem to be a particularly bad seat in the house, although I have some reservations about the press box. It is neat and functional and obviously brilliantly placed, but it is a little bit cramped. I fear for the comfort of some of Fleet Street’s more fuller figured scribes when they try to squeeze their indulged forms into the fixed swing chairs. Actually, I don’t give a toss. I hope they get chronic cramp as they watch some of the best football from the best seats in the house, the lucky bastards!
Certainly, all seems more than well for Wembley. One thing for sure made me realise I was back came when a sneering, pot-marked weasel stood in front of me and snarled: “Ticket? You need a ticket?” We had a momentary chat and he offered me a £10 ticket for £60 – “OK, giss’a a bullseye.” Yes, of course, please let me. Then I heard another lizard from the abyss hiss: “‘eds up, Frank. Old bill.”
Some things never change.