TSF: The Anfield Atmosphere Is Special...

Some strikers always score at the Emirates Stadium while some goalkeepers always keep cleansheets at Upton Park, but for The Secret Footballer there's only one home of football...

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 16:58 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's Record Signings Quiz - The Questions

Post comment

Given the high-profile struggles endured by Angel Di Maria, we have 20 questions on the record signings of Premier League clubs...

F365's Record Signings Quiz - The Answers

Post comment

Answers, answers, answers, answers, answers, answers, answers...

All Articles

I caught up with the England game again early on Thursday morning, at which point I became aware that the match was being played to inaugurate Sweden's new national stadium. Very nice it looked, too. It took only 90 minutes for one man to single-handedly write the stadium into the history books.

If there is one negative to come out of Wednesday night's match for the Swedes, it is surely the fact that even if the stadium remains in use for another 200 years, it will probably never witness a better goal than Zlatan Ibrahimovic's overhead kick.

People always ask me what is the best stadium I have ever played at? There's no right answer, of course, because it depends in what context we're talking. If it's purely about noise levels and atmosphere, then Newcastle and Stoke take some beating, although on any given day every set of fans are capable of making the hairs on your neck stand up.

Some players really enjoy playing in evening games at intimate, inner-city stadiums such as White Hart Lane, Fratton Park and, once upon a time, Highbury. Somehow at night, when the floodlights are on and there's a good 'zip' to the pitch, you instinctively know as a player that the game will be an enjoyable experience - win, lose or draw.

But if you ask a team of players the same question, then you'd probably get 11 different answers based on individual performances. Some players, for unknown reasons, thrive at different grounds. Some strikers always score at the Emirates Stadium while some goalkeepers always keep cleansheets at Upton Park.

I won't sit on the fence, though, because I have always had a favourite. There is one stadium in particular where the combination of heritage, pride and nostalgia, for me, simply cannot be replicated. It isn't the prettiest ground, the biggest or the newest and, in truth, those are three of the reasons why I love playing there.

As you walk up the tunnel underneath that famous sign and line up at 3pm on a Saturday - for me, it has to be 3pm on a Saturday - there is something about that moment which reminds you of exactly where you are and what's at stake. At almost every other stadium, this becomes a routine rather than a moment to savour.

When those huge flags begin to wave at one end of the ground, littered as they are with countless triumphs, many players start to feel the early stages of being overawed. And suddenly the music starts, the scarves go up and that famous song cascades down the stands. That was the moment when I realised that no other stadium could match this one. This is Anfield.

Find out why on Saturday. Only on www.thesecretfootballer.com.

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

nd yet... Jermain Defoe is still going to pronounce himself gobsmacked when he learns he hasn't made the England squad for the Euro qualifiers.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

W

e could release Diaby and then re-sign him when nobody else does and he would literally be like a new signing.

john matrix
The Machine Gossip

W

e pay the living wage, living wage, living wage, and that's the way we like it, we like it, we like it!!! Wooo ohhhh ooooohh

hump3.
All Premier League Clubs Should Be Paying Living Wage

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Roy Hodgson says Harry Kane may miss out on England squad

Roy Hodgson says selecting Tottenham striker Harry Kane for the next England squad is far from a certainty.

Papiss Cisse faces seven-match ban after admitting FA charge

Newcastle's Papiss Cisse faces a seven-match ban after admitting an FA charge relating to Wednesday's spitting incident.

FA charges Newcastle's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans

The FA have charged Newcastle's Papiss Cisse and Manchester United's Jonny Evans over Wednesday's 'spitting' incident.

Mail Box

Have To Trust Managers On Mata

It's all very well bemoaning the lack of action for Juan Mata, but we have to trust the judgement of Van Gaal and Mourinho. Plus Martinez Out, and Leicester are doomed...

Should Gerrard Get In This Liverpool Side?

Never mind the long goodbye, should he actually get back into this excellent Liverpool side playing with pace? Mostly we talk Manchester United, though. It's good...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company