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

Even Moyes Managed To Beat Sunderland...

Post comment

...so Louis van Gaal really needs to get his thinking cap on. Does he abandon his favourite formation to make room for Adnan Januzaj? It's also big for Arsenal's Germans and Big Sam.

Atletico Ready For Another Title Tilt

Post comment

After the departures of Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea, plenty are saying Atletico Madrid won't retain their title. Tim Stannard thinks otherwise...

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

Y

es, these stats are right. Rio Ferdinand definitely had a better debut than Fernando.

that man
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

I

know it's only one game, and Arsenal have got an amazing midfield as is; but seriously, is Arsene Wenger the only person on Earth who doesn't want Cesc at their club?

Ezy_Rider
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

P

S - 'Squeezes [English] out of his mouth like it's an elastic band he's found in his lamb bhuna' - bravo. Marvellous stuff

Ezy_Rider
Football Managers On TV: Paul Lambert

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Women's Football: England beat Wales 4-0 to make World Cup

England's women secured their place in the 2015 World Cup courtesy of an emphatic 4-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

Transfer News: QPR sign Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on loan

Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the signing of Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on a season-long loan deal.

Roy Hodgson says England youngsters should try their luck overseas in future

Roy Hodgson feels future generations of England stars would benefit from going overseas rather than being bit-part players at home.

Mail Box

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property