Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Theater of Dream - Old Trafford

Football stadiums are everywhere in England. From a small town to big city, you can saw a lot football club and stadium. You can't really imagine how important that football meant to the English. That's why every corner of the world now is watching the world class football league the English Premier League. This time I had went to the Theater of Dream, Manchester United. As a Liverpool fans I shouldn't be on their ground because they are arch rival since ages ago. I don't care anything, as long as Liverpool still in my heart - You will never walk alone.

Yes. This is the legendary Old Trafford that everyone Theater of Dream. It's very cold out there because snow fall few days ago. That is really big from outside. You can imagine how big was the stadium until you reach the main entrance of it. You can't get that in Malaysia for sure.

I was damn excited when I am walking into the stadium because this is the very first time I went to a stadium tour.

The ticket into the stadium and museum tour cost you 13 pounds. I collected the ticket from the ticketing desk and get myself ready for the tour. Their ticket is so nice like a souvenir for us. You need to hold the ticket pass all the time in the stadium just like you are a staff in Old Trafford.

Give a step for Manchester United to show my support for Liverpool prove that I had leave a footstep in Old Trafford.

At last we were brought to the pitch. I got no words coming out from my mouth. Woah!!!! Cool!!! The view of the stadium is too breathtaking. 

This man was our tour guide for the whole session. He explained the history and the victory of the club. And he was quite a cocky guy giving out lame jokes. At first he told who were not MANU fans please raised your hand. He asked me who do you supported and I said The Reds. He came out with a brilliant response "We will showed you the EPL trophy later in our museum." Another cocky jokes was between him and a kids. He questioned a kid about the history of MANU and offer a "match" as a reward for the answer. The kid got it correctly and the Mr. Cocky took a match from his pocket and give it to the kid. HAHA! Pity that little kid that trying so hard for the question. Cool guy Mr Cocky.

Stretford End from the far corner is where the die hard MANU fans will be seated. Almost every game the seats were full at that end. That was a place I shouldn't go or else I will be beaten up badly by those crazy fans. The lighting on the pitch was so fucking expensive. It is to maintain the grass on the pitch during winter. According to Mr Cocky each of that cost 1 million euro or maybe pound.

We were brought to the player changing room after some explanation on the pitch. Actually this is the most excited part of the tour because we can knew what is happening behind the scene in Old Trafford. This is the part you can't get on the TV for sure.

The back line of Manchester United. Without them, MANU will not win any trophy. They are sitting together each other in the changing room. Vidic and Ferdinand are the main role in defence

This is my all time favourite player in my football memory. He is the wonder boy of England and Liverpool. Why I am supporting Liverpool because of this wonder kids. But now he is only a reserve in MANU. Hope he will regain his glory days soon.

Top striking force in England. 

Old and loyal Giggs.

Old and loyal Scholes.

According to Mr Cocky, Valencia requested the club that he wanted to sit under the clock during his transfer to United. I don't understand his silly move. I guess he don't want to pressure himself by looking at the time frequently.

Ferguson tactical board in the changing room. The mastermind depends on this board to give his player instruction for how to control the game well.

I found out a room that is really suitable for me - the BALL BOYS room. According to Mr Cocky, the ball boy was selected randomly from the children in the school in Manchester. Sad. I can't be one of them unless I study primary school again in Manchester.

This is the player lounge that the player relax themselves before the game. Wives and children or maybe friends of the player will be here before the game. A player can maximum bring a group of four into the lounge. Ferguson had never been to this room before because it stated player lounge out there. He respect the players. Or maybe he is in the executive lounge with the director boards.

Saw this photo in the lounge. The last title they captured.

The international honours  board.

The player tunnels. Many famous players had run through this tunnel. Normally the home team will line up on the right side and the away team will line up on the left hand side. Of course I chose to line on the left side. The special things of the tunnel for stadium tourist. They will put the audio of the fans cheering and welcoming words for the players.

Known as the loser bench because there is where the visiting team sitting.

I sit on the place that Ferguson normally sits. The front seats are for the substitution players. 

Fergie won't be on his seat most of the time. He will just stand there and point to his player to let them know what to do. I am acting like Fergie during a game day.

The most Munich disaster clock on the east stand. Almost half of the main players died in the air crash and that was part of the tragic history of United. They had gone through the darkest day in their history and regain their glory day 10 years later by winning the prestigious Champions League.

Get ready to the boring part of the tour - the museum tour. Explore the history of your favourite club from here. That's not my favourite, so I am not so interested about it. I don't want to see the trophy in their trophy room.

Remember this jersey wore by Beckham in 2001 during the last world cup qualifier betwen England and Greece. He scored the last minutes free kick in Old Trafford to send England check in to the world cup later held in South Korea and Japan.

The Legends room.

Roy Keane's gear during his days in United.

Eric Cantona's gears.

Anf their talisman Giggs. He is going to retire soon.

And replaced by me. I am lucky to have my 60 pounds jersey posing with all those legendary jerseys in the museum. I supposing not buying the jersey but buying jersey in the Megastore is one of the purpose I came to the musuem. I burnt cash again!

When they beat Chelsea in penalty to win this cup. I still remember the days in Inti when I looked at this trophy.

Always never forget to pose your certificate in front of the museum before you leave. I was so surprise when they handed me a copy of certificate after I complete the tour. I hope it works in my CV when I am applying a job. Maybe it works when you applying a job in Old Trafford.

Closer look.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Watching England Live at Wembley

What is the biggest wish of an England die hard fans? Yea, watching England live at their home ground Wembley stadium. Since I reached England, I always had a plan to watched live football and last week I had fulfilled my childhood dream. Watching an England match at Wembley.

Yea. This is Wembley Stadium from a far view.

You can easily get to Wembley by taking a tube. Buy a travel pass to zone 4 and look for Metropolitan line and Wembley Park station. From the station you need about 10 minutes walk to the stadium.

Get ready your ticket for the game. The ticket wasn't that expensive since it was just a friendly game. Only 25 pounds to watch the clash between England and Ghana. Isn't it worth? For a normal competitive game like Euro Qualifiers will cost more like double the price of a friendly match.

Me posing in front of Wembley. To show my support to the home I choose to wear my England jersey No 4. Steven Gerard but he never played for the game. Since it was just a friendly game, Capello just field in the second team to play and rest all the stars for Champions league.

More than 80,000 fans was moving their way to the stadium. That was too awesome for me because this is my first time to a live football match. The fans are dancing and singing while they walking towards the stadium. True, this is the atmosphere you can't get in the live telecast.

The 133m arch of Wembley is the most iconic part of the stadium. That will have a dramatic effect for the London skyline especially the lighting was on in the evening. The arch can be seen from far away until a distance of 13 miles.

Block 131

There is a view of the pitch. You can't get those type of pitch in Malaysia. Why England is so strong in playing football but not Malaysia? This is because of the pitch that we have are so lousy compare to other people highly maintainance world class football field.

The flag and the national anthem.

Posing a photo before the match started.

There are some papers on the seats that you need it to show your support for England. This is part of the flag that formed by the crowd during the national anthem. You need to raise it up during the national anthem sang.

I will be back!!!