My colleague and roomie Stephen Stapinski has been taking an interest in Premier League football of late and so I decided that I would talk to him about the rivalries which exist at the top levels of the English game. Stephen is relatively new to the sport yet he was loving the stories which I told him about the rivalries. With this in mind I thought I would share this for any of you who are looking at taking an interest in the English game too.
I don’t have the space to list all of the big rivalries in the game, but these are some of the most notable.
Arsenal and Spurs
Originally Arsenal were called Woolwich and they played in East London, some years after they were formed, the team moved to North London which was where Tottenham plied their trade. Given this encroachment on North London, the rivalry originated and it has remained fierce ever since. There are many derbies throughout London but this is the biggest of them all and at least twice a year there is a battle to be kings of North London.
Newcastle and Sunderland
In the north east there are two teams, Newcastle and Sunderland who have a fierce rivalry which goes back to the shipmaking days. These two cities are both situated on rivers and they would both have big industries when it came to making ships. The rivalry as to who could make the better ship very quickly found its way onto the football field and there it has stayed until this very day. Currently the two teams are 2 leagues apart, so we won’t see a big game between the two for some time, unless they are drawn together in the cup.
Liverpool and Everton
There is a simple reason why these two teams want to get the better of one another, because they are both based in the same city. In fact the stadiums of both clubs are less than a mile from each other, and there are families which are split down the middle, with reds on one side and blues on the other. These two teams have been in the Premier League since its inception, and they were both in the old Division one for a long time which means that there have been a huge number of these games played over the years, most of which were won by Liverpool.
Liverpool and Manchester United
Whilst both of these teams are based in the North West, the rivalry really comes down to the fact that these are two of the most successful clubs in the country and nobody has won more league titles than these two. The rivalry then is based on both geography and on success, and there are always fireworks when these two teams meet, no matter what the reason is.
These are some of the biggest rivalries in English football, but there are many more indeed.