Ranking the Premier League Stadiums on Atmosphere

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistNovember 24, 2014

Ranking the Premier League Stadiums on Atmosphere

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    Jose Mourinho's dig at Chelsea fans after the win over Queens Park Rangers earlier this month was big news at the time, but did he have a point? Is Stamford Bridge one of the quieter Premier League venues?

    The division might remain one of the more exciting in world football, but its matches take place in fairly diverse stadiums and in front of different types of fans.

    Which are the loudest though? And which are the quietest? We've ranked them.

20. White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur

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    Always wondering if the latest disappointing home loss is going to lead to Daniel Levy sacking the manager and bringing in yet another one, Tottenham fans can be edgy and can often generate a difficult atmosphere.

    Spurs have lost at home to Liverpool, West Brom, Newcastle and Stoke this season, suggesting that atmosphere doesn't help the team—something that Emmanuel Adebayor was recently at pains to point out.

19. Emirates Stadium, Arsenal

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    Elsewhere in north London, Arsenal supporters have often had a reputation for being quiet, but it is the nervousness that often spreads around the Emirates Stadium and leaves them so low on this list.

    At times where the Gunners and boss Arsene Wenger could do with a lift, they are met only with disappointed groans that can't help anyone.

18. Villa Park, Aston Villa

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    In truth, the disappointing atmosphere at Villa Park has much to do with the underwhelming displays of the team rather than anything else, as Paul Lambert and his players struggle for goals and form.

    That can lead to strange atmospheres at one of the grand old venues of English football—and ones that are only really intimidating to home players.

17. Stamford Bridge, Chelsea

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    The continued success of Chelsea has seen them become associated with a new type of fan, something which doubtless annoys the diehard Blues supporters who have been with the club through thick and thin.

    This gentrification of the fanbase can lead to several "football tourists" visiting Stamford Bridge. If they don't know the words to some of the songs, then the atmosphere is going to suffer. 

16. King Power Stadium, Leicester City

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    Leicester's return to the Premier League this season has been a welcome one, but their King Power Stadium certainly can't be considered as one of the more intimidating venues in the division.

    It was rocking during the 5-3 home win over Manchester United this season, but the Foxes haven't won a game since.

15. St. Mary's, Southampton

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    Things are going staggeringly well for Southampton on the pitch at the moment, but their home can't yet be regarded as a bear pit that opposition teams will fear going to.

    That could change if they were to keep up their form obviously, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's been overly impressed by the St. Mary's roar in the recent past.

14. Stadium of Light, Sunderland

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    When the stars are aligned in the right order and they are all in position above the Stadium of Light, Sunderland actually become less of a mess and can be a decent football team.

    When that happens, the home fans aren't slow to get behind their players and make their home ground something of a difficult place to visit, although these moments are all too rare.

13. Etihad Stadium, Manchester City

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    It's taken a while for Manchester City to completely make the transition from Maine Road to the Etihad Stadium. Despite two recent league titles, you are still likely to have plenty of supporters who prefer the good old days.

    Much is often made about City's Champions League attendance and atmosphere, and in the Premier League the noise is nothing more than average even if the team are usually better than that.

12. The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion

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    Another of the old stadiums in the Premier League, The Hawthorns can get fairly loud during West Bromwich Albion matches, although the team often have to do more to get the fans off their seats.

    Alan Irvine's side look destined to battle relegation this season, but that could lead to some lively home matches come the end of the campaign.

11. The KC Stadium, Hull City

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    One of the newer stadiums in the division, Hull City's KC Stadium home can get fairly noisy on occasions when the Tigers fans get behind Steve Bruce's men.

    Some clever summer additions seem likely to keep Hull away from the relegation equation this season, and that will only lead to more memorable matches at their home ground.

10. Old Trafford, Manchester United

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    The biggest stadium in the division with a capacity of 75,635, Old Trafford has of course witnessed plenty of magical Premier League moments as Manchester United have frequently won many titles.

    The atmosphere, though, is not something that has been universally praised, although the manner in which many of the home fans stuck with the team during the dark days of the David Moyes reign was impressive.  

9. Loftus Road, QPR

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    One of the smaller, tighter grounds in the division with a capacity of 18,360, Loftus Road's return to the Premier League as the host of Queens Park Rangers games has added a touch of the old school to the division.

    R's fans can be passionate and noisy, and given their close proximity to the pitch, it can often seem as though they are on top of the players.

8. Liberty Stadium, Swansea City

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    The Welsh pride themselves on their singing voices, and Swansea City's fans are certainly usually in harmony at the Liberty Stadium when some of the bigger clubs come to visit.

    There's now no South Wales derby in the Premier League this season after rivals Cardiff City got relegated, but Swans supporters will enjoy trying to make up for the loss of that fixture by being loud in plenty of others.

7. Turf Moor, Burnley

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    Like Loftus Road, an old-school element has recently returned to the Premier League in Burnley's Turf Moor.

    It wouldn't win prizes for the most aesthetically pleasing ground in the division, but the noise made by Clarets fans will be crucial if Sean Dyche's men are to have any chance of staying up.

6. Goodison Park, Everton

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    One of the iconic English football venues, Goodison Park has remained Everton's only home ever since Liverpool split from them and formed their own club in 1892.

    Matchdays at Goodison can be quiet on occasion, but when the old venue is rocking, it generates a fantastic noise that is the envy of plenty of other clubs.

5. St James' Park, Newcastle United

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    When the team are on song and the ground isn't awash with supporters protesting at either owner Mike Ashley or manager Alan Pardew, then St James' Park can be a brilliant place to watch football.

    Newcastle remain one of the Premier League's most entertaining clubs on and off the pitch, and the fans are very much a part of that.

4. Upton Park, West Ham United

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    A trip to Upton Park isn't one that is often looked forward to by any away side, as the West Ham supporters at their famous Boleyn Ground (known as Upton Park because of the nearby underground station) will make life difficult for them.

    The pre-match ritual of blowing bubbles might seem to be harmless enough, but once the match starts, then you know you'll need to battle.

3. Anfield, Liverpool

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    The European nights are of course the most storied, celebrated thing at Anfield, but Premier League occasions can often produce incredible noise too.

    As the Reds chased the championship last season, there was some deafening atmosphere coming from the Kop and indeed the other three stands. Although this campaign hasn't gone to plan for the Reds, you can be sure that the fans will still make their presence felt.

2. Britannia Stadium, Stoke City

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    When Stoke first earned promotion to the Premier League in 2008, the atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium contributed to just what then-manager Tony Pulis was hoping to achieve: an incredibly difficult place to visit for away sides.

    That may have changed somewhat under Mark Hughes, but The Brit can still rock during matches and is still one of the places that the big boys least like to go to.

1. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

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    Crystal Palace's fantastic fans have been one of the more welcome additions to the Premier League since they rejoined the division in 2013, with their incessant signing and constant noise providing a fantastic backing for the team.

    It all adds up to a terrific spectacle and something of a unique one within the top division. No away team relishes going to Selhurst Park.

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