Football is life for the most people on the island and it has surpassed many other interests in terms of time, devotion and money spent watching and rooting for your favorite club. And with the 100+ years of history and football culture, rivalries were bound to form. A good derby on a matchday can sometimes be so emotively charged that the position of the respective clubs and the current form is irrelevant. We picked a couple of games that are the manifestation of the biggest football rivalries in England. These are the hallmark games of the season even for the people not invested in the outcome.
Liverpool vs Man. United
Probably one of the top 5 most famous football rivalries in the world and definitely a top spot in England. A match between these clubs, regardless of the level of competition, is an event that even the Queen would struggle to get a ticket. In fact, one of the most televised events in the world each year is this game precisely. And this rivalry always delivers. If not for the quality of the game, for the quality of chants and teases, and the passion of the fans present at the stadium. Man. United has the biggest following in the world, and Liverpool has some of the most devoted fans. There is an interesting comparison that can showcase just how big this rivalry is, outside England as well. There were 4 times as many fans at their games on each Asian and American preseason tour than the rest of the matches not featuring these clubs.
We can name a few here: Liverpool vs Everton, Man. United vs Man. City, Millwall vs West Ham, etc. But we picked a city rivalry that was the most competitive over the last couple of seasons and that brought the best games between the clubs and that is North London derby. Arsenal and Tottenham are the two teams desperately chasing the title over the last couple of years, but falling quite short for more than a decade. So, when this city rivalry occurs, it’s redemption time and not losing that game sometimes means more than winning any sort of a title in a given year. Other rivalries are maybe bigger and more exciting for the actions outside the pitch, but this city rivalry is one of the most exciting on the pitch and it has been for a while now.
No other rivalry in England lasts longer than the one between West Ham and Millwall. They played their first match in 1899 and have been clashing since. Also known as the Dockers derby, this game day meant that the streets of London were not safe prior to the match as the fans were openly looking to get in a fight with anyone, let alone the opposing group. The rivalry hasn’t been as active recently as Millwall plays in a lower division than West Ham, but the fans still hold a grudge and the rivalry is alive and well.