Arsene Wenger will have to sit among the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge
Arsene Wenger can’t be on the touchline for Arsenal’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday because of his ban after shoving a referee, but he won’t be able to be safe and secure in the directors’ box either. Instead, he’ll have to sit with Chelsea fans.
Usually when managers are barred from the touchline, they sit in the directors’ box. It’s cozy and safe there, with no rowdy fans around. But the directors’ box at Stamford Bridge is on the opposite side of the stadium from the Arsenal dressing room. Wenger is allowed to speak to the team before and after the match, as well as at halftime, and that will be too difficult to do if he has to get across to the opposite side of the stadium. That rules the directors’ box out for him.
There is no box on the same side of the stadium as the Arsenal dressing room, so Wenger will have to sit among the fans. Arsenal and Chelsea have been negotiating how to ensure his safety for the last few days and have arranged to have Arsenal security around him for the match. Stewards will also escort Wenger to and from his seat throughout the day.
Still, no level of security will be able to completely insulate Wenger. Not when he’s sitting in the middle of stands filled with Chelsea fans, and you know they’re going to be yelling at him all match long.
It’s going to be an interesting day for Wenger, as if Arsenal vs. Chelsea wasn’t interesting enough to begin with.