My lifelong commitment to Tottenham Hotspur is finally paying off. My beloved club, whom I have supported since birth, is in the Champions League final after an impossible three-goal comeback in the second leg of the semifinal against Ajax.
Actually, I began rooting for Spurs arbitrarily a few years ago. My teams are Atletico Madrid and Red Bulls, two clubs I real have a connection with. But when my friends decided to get into Premier League soccer a few years ago, they chose Spurs.
Their choice was commendable: They wanted a relatively big club that wouldn’t get relegated — but not a massive, buying one. They wanted a club with a long history that wasn’t marred by fascism. They wanted a chance to compete in Europe (most likely Europa League), win some lesser silverware and develop some good players. I quickly hopped on the bandwagon, too.
Little did we know we were signing onto the club just as Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane were emerging, Mauricio Pochettino was about to take over, Son was on the horizon and Spurs were beginning a consistent rise to the top of the table.
So I’m pumped for this afternoon. I’m having friends and fellow Spurs supporters coming over to watch the 3 p.m. match.
But where should you go?
That depends on the vibe you’re looking for: Do you watch the game with the Liverpool favorites, fans of a club that has already one five Champions League titles? Or do you want to watch with the Spurs supporters, fans of a plucky club looking for their first European trophy since a UEFA Cup in 1972?
Do you join other neutrals hoping for a classic match at one NYC’s great soccer venues? Or do you skulk around with bitter Arsenal or Everton fans who will root passionately against their eternal derby rivals?
Where to Watch With Spurs Supporters
Flannery’s at 205 W 14th St (at the corner of 7th Avenue) in Chelsea is the place to be today. A sign outside the bar year-round advertises its connection with the New York Spurs and the place gets absolutely jammed during the regular season matches. Get there early if you want to squeeze into the bar.
Banter Bar in Williamsburg (great bar near the Williamsburg Bridge) hosts the Brooklyn Spurs, while Fiddlesticks in the West Village will be packed with rabid COYS boys and girls.
Where to Watch with Liverpudlians
Liverpool FC New York will gather, as usual, at 11th Street Bar in the East Village. If you plan to watch there, arrive early. The place will be packed with club members — Liverpool is one of the most popular teams in the U.S. and New York City.
In Manhattan, head to Carragher’s Bar on 228 West 39th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue. The bar is named for part-owner Jamie Carragher, a former Liverpool star.
In Queens, visit the the Shillelagh Tavern at 47-22 30th Ave in Long Island City.
Where to Watch with People Who Hate Spurs
Are you Nick Hornby? Or do you just hate Harry Kane, Spurs and all that is good about a group of young players developing together and ascending to the highest level of club football?
Cool, go watch with Arsenal supporters at the ultimate Gooners bar: Highbury Pub at the border of Flatbush and Kensington. The bar is named for Highbury, the site of the old Arsenal Stadium until 2006.
Or join Arsenal NYC club at O’Hanlon’s at 349 E 14th St. (very close to the Flannery’s! It’s a supporters’ club derby) or Bar 43 at 43-06 43rd St. in Sunnyside, Queens.
Where to Watch with People Who Hate Liverpool
Turnmill at 119 East 27th Street, where Everton supporters gather to cheer on the Toffees.
COME ON YOU SPURS!