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Wembley Stadium, London
Carling League Cup Final
Aston Villa v Manchester United

Sunday, February 28th, 2010, 3pm
By Richard Randle

1.Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

This was to be my first trip to Wembley, and as Villa had not been to a final since 2000 it was a great chance at winning a trophy. Having seen the cost of the new Wembley and having heard so much about the place, I was keen to see it for myself.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:

In a word, very. We travelled with Chiltern Railways directly from Birmingham to Wembley stadium station. The journey took under two hours and we were there by midday. The stadium is visible from the station and is a very short walk (2-3 minutes). From other areas there are trains to Marylebone which is only a short journey to Wembley stadium station.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Having arrived early, we decided to grab something to eat around the ground before going in. We decided against finding a pub as it was obvious that any near to the ground were very busy and we would be lucky to get in anywhere, let alone be able to get to the bar. Some of our friends went to Harrow on the Hill for a few pre match drinks which is more advisable than trying to get in around the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The stadium is very impressive in terms of size, there is no doubt about that. However, I was not too impressed in terms of atmosphere. I found the ground rather dull to look at, despite the impressive arch (which looks very impressive from Wembley way).  Inside the stadium, there are escalators to get to the top tier, which is impressive and also something I have never seen at a football ground previously. We had a seat very high up, but this did not take anything away from the view, which was superb. We opted to get something to eat and a pint inside the stadium. This was overpriced (I donít think £4 a pint can ever be justified) but not bad in terms of quality in comparison to other grounds visited.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was a good one, and despite the fact Villa lost, it was a good day out. The atmosphere inside the stadium was good when both sets of fans wanted to make noise. However, the atmosphere would be vastly improved if it wasnít for the ring of corporate seating around the middle of the stadium, which parts the supporters. This seems to be in a ridiculous place spoils the atmosphere. The toilets were well kept and clean, and there were also a lot of them, making this easy. The quality of food was OK but too overpriced. Stewards were friendly and relaxed, happily showing people to their seats.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

At first, this looked as though it would be chaos. We were queuing down the road to get to Wembley stadium station. This was just our fans as the Manchester United fans were in the stadium watching their team collect the trophy. Although it seemed disorganised, it actually wasnít and within 40 minutes of leaving the ground we were on a train on the way back Birmingham. The station was well organised and clearly set out which platforms were for which directions.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Excellent day out overall Ė despite the result. The ground is impressive in terms of size and the view was fantastic. The stewards etc were friendly and there are lots of bars/toilets. Everyone has a good day and there were few complaints. The stadium will be the envy of many around the world and is worthy of being Englandís national football stadium. 
 

 

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