Like most Americans obsessed with the Premier League, you’ve made the pilgrimage across the pond at least once now.
The immediate goal: see your club play at home. Bask in the glory. The secondary goal: catch as many extraneous Premier League matches as is humanely possible.
Typically this means hitting up the Anfields, Old Traffords and White Hart Lanes of the country. Craven Cottage on a random Monday night in December? Why the heck not? You freaking love the Thames.
But if you’re searching for the blood & guts, old-school English atmosphere then you need to dig a bit deeper — and there you will find Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium. The 27,740 capacity venue located 150 miles north west of London on Stanley Matthews Way is a fortress no Premier League club wants to visit.
Especially the Arsenal.
Last weekend the Gunners brought their title-contending side to the Britannia and were met by a quintessential loud, passionate Stoke crowd determined to alter the match. And that they did.
So when Jonathan Walters converted his match-winner, there was only one song on the Stoke supporters minds: Delilah.
Always eager to unleash the best atmosphere in professional sports, NBC Sports had the cameras rolling in the most recent episode of the ground-breaking series, ‘I Was There‘. Enjoy!
MORE ‘I WAS THERE’:
Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.
The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.
[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]
Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.
From the BBC:
No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.
There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.
This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.
It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.
Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.
[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]
Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.
From the BBC:
Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.
“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.
Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.
Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.