From the Netherlands to Anfield – My Day at the Match, West Ham (H), March 5th 2022

From the Netherlands to Anfield – My Day at the Match, West Ham (H), March 5th 2022
March 7, 2022 Chris Rowland
In Free, My Day at the Match

 

By TTT Subscriber Joachim Springer.

The build-up to this match actually started months ago for me, when our supporters group ALSIN (Association of Liverpool Supporters in The Netherlands) were given 22 tickets. An unusual high number, it’s normally 5-6 tickets a couple of times throughout the season. My girlfriend and I decided to sign up for the tickets and pretty soon received confirmation that we were in. So we booked flights, accommodation and a fit to fly test (which is still required in The Netherlands) and waited with great expectation for this weekend to come.

The flight schedule was a bit messy. We booked a flight for Friday morning to make the most of the weekend, but that one was cancelled and we were put on the afternoon flight instead. Some of our group got off worse and were transferred to the flight to Manchester. So on Friday afternoon we made our way up to Schiphol Airport, where we met with a small number of our supporters’ group that were on the same flight.

What can I say about the flight? Well, Dutch tourists are just the worst, aren’t they? They are loud, rude and mostly drunk. We were pretty annoyed by a huge group of lads that kept harassing the stewardess, even during the flight instructions. The various hen partiers (#TheDam2022) who were getting back to Liverpool after some presumably wild nights were quiet compared to them.

When we arrived in Liverpool we took the bus straightaway to Liverpool One bus station and walked along the docks for a bit, before heading to our AirBnb on Hackins Hey. The place was simple but fine. Especially the location, as there were three pubs right underneath it! We chose one, Ye Hole In Ye Wall, for a lovely Guinness and G&T to start off the weekend. Afterwards, we had a burger on Bold Street and a couple of drinks with other members of the supporters group.

On match day we woke up early and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine on the docks. The later it got, the more people in Liverpool jerseys walked by and we really got into the mood for the game. After a quick visit to The Tate (just to see that epic Martin Parr photo of New Brighton) and a late English breakfast, we put on all our gear and took the bus to Anfield. We wanted to stroll around, take some pictures and visit the store before it became too crowded. But even at that hour (around 1pm) it was pretty busy already.

After an hour or so we met with the group at the beer garden of Hotel Anfield. There was a great atmosphere, due to the live band playing all the Liverpool songs. (Later we found out that Jamie Webster was playing in the beer garden next door, so that actually might have been a better pick). We drank some pints and sang along loudly, especially with the Van Dijk song, which they played I don’t know how many times.

An hour or so before kick-off we made the walk to Anfield. It was our first time on The Kop and we were seated in section 306 on the very last row! Some of us were a bit disappointed with the view from up there, but I thought it was great to look down and see the whole Kop standing beneath us, although I would have liked to see more of the banners and flags (didn’t I read on TTT about some new regulations about these?). The atmosphere was great throughout the game, with a lot of songs, chants and meows, apart from the nervous last 10 minutes.

As for the game, just a few observations, as you have all seen it. I thought we were really dominant throughout the game and was pretty confident we’d go 2-0 up in the second half. The finishing was way off and it was nervous towards the end, but it felt like a totally deserved victory. We had a lot of laughs in our section about the giant cat head in the Main Stand (Grover mentioned this in the comments as well) and booed and meowed at Zouma as much as we could. Klopp’s fist pumps after the final whistle were the icing on the cake.

Afterwards we gathered again at Hotel Anfield for more drinks and music – the band was still playing! My girlfriend made a name for herself with an impression of the Tsimikas Dance and a member of our group said he saw Bruce Grobbelaar walking by, but I don’t know if there was any truth to that. We went back into the city centre for a late dinner and ended the night with a nightcap in Ye Hole. What a beautiful day it was.

On Sunday we just strolled lazily along the Mersey, took the covid tests and had lunch with the group, before we headed to the airport around the time the Manchester derby took off. Of course the big group of loud men sat right in front of us on the plane, but luckily they were a lot sleepier than before. We made it home at a decent time, tired but grateful for the experience and hoping for a reason to come back before the season ends.

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