Opinion: A freezing night at the Allianz Arena

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Bayern Munich 3 Spurs 1

This pointless game was never going to be anything other than a try out for different formations and players.

It all started at 12.30 am on Wednesday morning. That is when I got up to make my way to Gatwick Airport. On the way, I got a text from my friend Colin, who texted me to say he wasn’t going as he had food poisoning.

My plane left at 6am in the morning, and I got to Munich airport at 9am their time. From there I made my way to Hauptbahnhof Central station. A four-minute walk to my hotel (King’s Hotel Centre). Unfortunately, I couldn’t book in until 3pm. So I left my bag at the hotel and walked to Marienplatz (15 minutes) and got something to eat (proper German food, sausages). Then looked around the Christmas market, talked to other Spurs supporters and had two glasses of hot alcohol (one wine, one cider). There was a man in the market place with a placard saying “Jesus Saves”. Mourinho might be looking for a new goalkeeper, worth keeping this chap in mind! Their Christmas markets are famous throughout the world. My daughter said she was jealous (not because of the football) but because of their markets at this time of year.

I stayed for about four hours and then walked back to my hotel. Got my keys and had an hours kip and then made my way to the stadium. A train from Hauptbahnhof Central station to Marienplatz (two stops), then a train/ metro to Frottmaning. About a 40 minutes ride. By the way, all train announcement was in German and English. Disembarking, I made my way to the stadium. There was a sign for Tottenham supporters one way, the Bayern Munich supporters the other way. I took the Bayern route. This was because I had an upgrade ticket and sat in a neutral area (for Spurs and Bayern fans). Once I got to the stadium, I went through security checks and then found my seat. While there I chatted to Peter, a lovely chap who regularly goes to away games. I’ve known him for many years. I also talked to others I’ve known for years. And those around me also chatted. I must say that it was bloody freezing (even though I was well wrapped up, it didn’t really help). Then we hit five minutes before kick-off, and the lights dimmed and the crowd’s noise went up a notch. Finally, the players got into position and we were off. The Bayern chants were amazing to watch. They do put on an act for their visitors.

But let us start with our young star Ryan Sessegnon, he who marked his first Tottenham start with a goal. Sadly he couldn’t prevent us from losing 3-1 to Bayern Munich in our final, but futile, Champions League group game.

As we all know, both sides had already qualified for the last 16, with Bayern progressing as Group B winners. We will go through as runners-up, and consequently, made numerous changes for Wednesday’s encounter at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern beat us 7-2 in our first humiliating meeting, under the management of Pochettino, in this season’s competition at our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and took an early lead through Kingsley Coman. We hit back soon after when Sessegnon showed great composure to bring a pass under control inside the area and rifle a powerful finish beyond Manuel Neuer.

Thomas Muller, on as a first-half substitute after Coman picked up an injury, then struck just before the break when he tapped in after Alphonso Davies had hit the post. Philippe Coutinho went close to scoring a spectacular third for the hosts, but his fierce drive from a distance bounced off the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.

At half time it was 2-1, and we thought there was still a chance. A young lady in front of me (a Forest supporter), with her Spurs boyfriend, kept offering me – kindly – popcorn and crisps. It was a pleasant friendly atmosphere. That was from all supporters. I then went down a couple of rows to talk to Peter. Back to my seat for the second half.

The former Liverpool forward got on the scoresheet in the second half when he curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. They were in fine form, we were a mishmash of squad players. It obviously gave Mourinho food for thought, though.

After the game, it was a long walk back to the Metro. Once on the train, I chatted to Bayern Munich supporters. They wanted my thoughts on Mourinho and our stadium. Finally, I got off at Marienplatz then a train to Hauptbahnhof Central station. From there to my hotel and a quick shower and bed (12.30am).

I got up at 8.30, breakfast and then Munich airport and to their Christmas Market (outside the airport).

I must add; full marks to the Germans. Their metro, country etc. was efficient, which made the whole exercise enjoyable. One of my favourite countries for travelling on ones own. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. Granted the result wasn’t brilliant but did we really expect anything different? It was a purposeless game, that whatever way the result went things would/ did stay the same.

Got on the plane at 5pm and arrived at Gatwick at 6pm. There was plenty of Spurs supporters to keep one in conversation. They were all friendly, but then again they are Spurs, what else would one expect?

I arrived home, after picking up my dog from my daughter’s, at 9.15. Then stayed up until 12ish to watch the election results.

We will now face one of Barcelona, Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Valencia or RB Leipzig in the last 16, with the draw on Monday.

So, there you have it, we wait for Monday to see who we face and where I will be travelling in Europe for our next exciting match.

But overall it was a fantastic experience (as all away matches/ stadiums are) and magnificent sights to see. Even going to Arsenal is a treat, even if it is just to observe how the lesser other half live in a commonplace stadium. And Arsenal certainly have got that!

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

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