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

Mourinho's Little Horse Cut Down To Size

1 comments

After Chelsea's title hopes took a severe blow with defeat to Sunderland, Matt Stanger ponders where it went wrong for the Blues. Jose Mourinho has much to answer for...

Rodgers And Martinez: Showing Peers Up As Phonies

25 comments

While other managers have been quick to speak about limitations, Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez have pushed the boundaries to embarrass their peers...

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.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Steven Gerrard hopes 'phenomenal' Brendan Rodgers enjoys long Liverpool reign

Captain Steven Gerrard has hailed Brendan Rodgers as "phenomenal" and hopes the manager can build a legacy at Liverpool.

World Cup 2014: Jack Wilshere in good shape for England, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is confident England midfielder Jack Wilshere will be in good shape for the World Cup.

Premier League: Chelsea's Jose Mourinho 'congratulates' officials after loss to Sunderland

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho fired a thinly-veiled criticism at the officials after the 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland.

Mail Box

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

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