This is Anfield. The sign that looms above players heads as they are about to walk out onto the hallowed turf. The sign that either puts a spring in your step or knocks the wind out of your sails.
For decades, greats of the game have lined up in that tunnel and stared at the sign, their ears ringing with the chorus of You’ll Never Walk Alone. Games are won and lost in that moment. A new Liverpool stadium would sacrifice all of that.
The players walk out of the tunnel and emerge into one of the most intimidating atmospheres in world football. Away players are dropped into the boiling red cauldron, home players float into it. Away players melt in it. Liverpool players bathe in it – bask in it.
Mikel Arteta put it into words in an interview published by Marca on the 12th of June 2019: “Anfield was the only ground where in which I had the feeling of ‘pájara’, of being stuck…It’s hard to explain, but it never happened to me anywhere other than Anfield”.
The Spaniard’s words are indicative of how important Anfield is to the club’s success. After years of talk about moving to a new stadium, Liverpool have expanded the Main Stand and plans are being worked on to expand the Anfield Road end. Despite this the new stadium question lingers. It shouldn’t.
Anfield is Liverpool Football Club. The 4-0 against Barcelona, the 3-0 demolition of Man City, the 5-2 against Roma. The statement from Arteta. A new Liverpool stadium would let go of what makes us unstoppable. This is Anfield. You don’t win here.