The Better Atmosphere – The Old Firm or North London Derby?
The Old Firm is the best derby in Scotland and the North London Derby is one of the best in England – but which has the better atmosphere?
They are two of the most famous derbies in the world of football known for the animosity that each set of fans has for the other.
Both Celtic and Rangers football clubs have deeply strong cultural importance in their communities and the city of Glasgow which is reflected in the electric atmospheres we see at every Old Firm derby. The stakes don’t get any higher in Scottish football than when Celtic and Rangers face off.
Down south in England we have the North London Derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. These are two of the biggest teams in English football and when these teams go head-to-head there’s always sure to be fireworks.
So which derby has the better atmosphere? Well we asked Jeremie Aliadiere, who spent time at both Arsenal and Celtic, to answer this question for us.
What Was The Best Atmosphere You Experienced?
I’ve played in some amazing atmospheres, with the North London Derby being one too, but I would say the Old Firm atmosphere at Celtic Park was the best.
What was it like playing at Celtic Park?
The atmosphere was electric, it was amazing, I was lucky enough to be involved in an Old Firm and that was something else, I’d never experienced it before.
Unfortunately I was not starting. But I could feel the atmosphere, Celtic Park is just a mad place.
How does the standard of Scottish football compare to the English game?
In Scotland you have two dominant teams, Celtic and Rangers, and the others are trying to bridge the gap but financially it’s difficult. If you don’t have the resources it’s going to be difficult regardless of your intentions.
You can’t get the best players and managers if you don’t have the money. They have to make use of what they have.
Ange Postecoglou has been linked with West Ham. Would that be a good move for him?
I think Ange Postecoglou to West Ham would be a good move because nothing can compare to the Premier League.
Even a top club in Scotland like Celtic, or a top club in France, there’s nothing like the Premier League.
For me, I’d rather be in the Premier League at a West Ham or Everton than Celtic because the experience you get from playing the likes of City, Arsenal and Man Utd is something you can’t get at Celtic. You have the Old Firm, and European nights, but after that it doesn’t compare to the Premier League. You don’t get that anywhere else.
You had a difficult spell at Celtic, and were critical of Gordon Strachan. Looking back now, how do you feel about it?
I don’t think my lack of game time was Gordon Strachan’s fault in particular. At the time I took it as if it was his fault, because as a player you don’t see the bigger picture.
You don’t know about decisions above the coach. I felt he was responsible at the time, but obviously now understanding the game more, I know it was not his decision.
He liked me as a player, wanted me at the club, but unfortunately Celtic decided they wanted another striker on a permanent move. So Gordon had been told he’d have to play him ahead of me as I was only on loan.
I took it as, ‘why did you want me in the first place?’ But it was not his decision. I was disappointed as I think I could have done well, it’s a fantastic club with great fans. But in the end it got cut short and wasn’t a great experience.
But we worked together again at Middlesbrough. He came in and we had a great relationship there, I started and we got on well so it made me realise it was not personal, not his decision and was one of those things.
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