There is no place in world football like Anfield. Liverpool’s home turf is one of the most intimidating grounds for a side to visit. Miracles happen at Anfield. St.Etienne, Borussia Dortmund, Olympiakos and Barcelona have all found themselves turned over by the electricity generated by the Liverpool faithful. Man United legend Gary Neville has spoken about the Anfield atmosphere.
Neville is an icon in Manchester. The right back played 602 games for Man United over his 19 year career with the club. He was a member of the famous ‘class of ’92’ that also featured his brother Phil Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.
Since retiring from football, Neville has forayed into management and endured a short, woeful spell with Valencia. The Red Devils legend has instead made his way in punditry and is now one half of an iconic broadcasting duo, working alongside his old enemy Jamie Carragher.
In a Sky Sports preview ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Man United this weekend, Neville said “I always think that when you look at the Liverpool vs United game, the game at Liverpool is always much more fiery and emotional than a game at Old Trafford”.
The heightened emotion at Anfield can in some part be attributed to the design of the stadiums. Anfield closes the players in and looms over them, whilst Old Trafford edges outwards and doesn’t foster the same level of intimidation.
Neville continued, “atmosphere, emotion, feeling; it took me years to get used to playing at Anfield. Years”. The retired right back isn’t alone in his views of Anfield. Many other players and managers have spoken of the difficulty of playing at Liverpool, Mikel Arteta described it as the only place in football he felt stuck.
Heading into the game at the weekend, it is good to see Gary Neville conceding the superiority of the Anfield atmosphere. The Reds are a thoroughly professional side at the minute and rarely wilt under pressure – they did just win a Champions League after all.