A Guide To Premier League Football in London - Part 1

A Guide To Premier League Football in London - Part 1

London as a city has enjoyed plenty of success in the Premier League over the years.  A total of 10 different clubs have played in what many call the best League in the world.  Whilst the premier league's validity of being the best league in the world is often questioned, I think it's fair to say that it's standing in regards to entertainment is not.  On any given day, teams in the lower half can beat teams in the top half and there are never any easy games.  Case in point being the last day of the season last year when my beloved spurs went to Newcastle (who were already relegated) and got demolished 5-1.  I have yet to recover but being a spurs fan means that I am used to glorious failures.  I would love to write a blog solely about spurs but premier league football in London is about so much more and in this blog I will illustrate the different clubs in London and try to give some insight into each and why you should visit when in London. There are 6 clubs in total that we will look at over this blog series starting with Arsenal & Crystal Palace below.


What We Will Look At

When considering the content for this blog entry I thought long and hard about what our students are looking for when going to a game.  It would be easy for me to spout off the normal information regarding the London clubs but for this blog I have decided to enlist friends and colleagues for comment so that I can provide a personal more fan orientated insight into the different London premier league clubs.  For the clubs listed below we will take a look at the following

  • Best pub or bar to visit before the game
  • Any places to avoid
  • Best places to eat 
  • Best place to sit
  • What to do after the game

 London Premier League Clubs That Are No Longer With Us

 10 teams from London have graced the premier league but only 6 currently ply their trade in the league.  Of the other 4, 3 have been relegated and one has changed it'sname altogether after the owner decided to up sticks and move to Milton Keynes.  The football clubs that we won't be discussing are

  • Fulham
  • Wimbledon (Now AFC Wimbledon or MK Dons)
  • Queens Park Rangers
  • Charlton Athletic

What I would say about these clubs are that being in a lower division means that getting tickets for games will be a lot cheaper and much more attainable you could fully expect to turn up on the day and get tickets on the door.

Arsenal

Through gritted teeth I say this but Arsenal have done a great job financially since moving from the Emirates.  Whilst league success has been missing in recent years the job that Monsieur Wenger has done in building the club is nothing short of spectacular.  That said fans are split down the middle when it comes to their manager with plenty of arsenal fans bemoaning the signings made over years and the lack of on field success.  The last league success was back 2003 > 2004 before that they were champions on two other occasions.

Where to drink before the game

12 Pins in Finsbury park is a good spot for drinks it gets very busy in the hour leading up to kick off but in general most pubs near the ground do.  If you want a more relaxing drink before the game then head to upper street where the bars are less busy.

Where to eat before the game

Upper street has an abundance of restaurants you wont be short of top notch food on a trip to the Arsenal.

Where to avoid

Unless your a member avoid the White Swan you will need an Arsenal membership to gain entry.  Also try and avoid the Lord Nelson unless your cheering on the away team as it tends to be for away fans only.

Where to sit

Arsenal fans are often teased about the noise generated at home games.  Highbury was often called the library.  Personally I have only been once and the atmosphere on the day was electric but that was for a derby game against spurs.  Having spoken to friends the best place to sit at the Emirates would be the North Bank lower.  There is dedicated family seating section so try and avoid that if you're looking for something more passionate.

Where to go after

No brainer here, just head to upper street loads of watering holes and plenty of things to see and do.

Crystal Palace

With and enigmatic manager and energetic support days out at Crystal Palace are becoming more attractive for students coming to London.  I would strongly recommend getting down to Palace for a game you wont regret it.  Based in South London Palace are a club that don't really have any rivals, since Wimbledon moved there has been no big club in this part of London and at one point both Palace and Wimbledon shared the same ground.  The closest team Palace have as a rival would be Chelsea or Fulham but if you ask most Palace fans they would tell you that their biggest rival is Brighton who are 50 miles away on the coast.

Where to drink before the game

The 3 recommended spots before going to a palace game are the Two Brewers, The Railway club and the Conservative club.  For cheap drinks head to the railway or the conservative pub however if your looking for a cracking atmosphere then go to the Clifton arms which is right outside the ground. 

Where to eat before the game

The high street has plenty of decent spots for food however I have a soft spot for the tasty jerk restaurant near the ground.  Having lived in the area after university I can strongly recommend this place you wont be disappointed.

Where to avoid

The William Stanley is an away fans pub so try and avoid that if possible.

Where to sit

Palace fans are fast becoming synonymous with generating a great atmosphere there are some great shots online showing the famous palace tifos at last years cup final (also look up Alan Pardew's dance whilst your at it) and the lower holmsdale is where you want to sit.

Where to go after

Croydon is not far away but the recommended spots are the White Hart and Westow House to soak up that post game atmosphere.

Playing Football in London

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