Ray Houghton appeared on Irish radio today and suggested that perhaps the Aviva Stadium was too pretty.
Indeed it is, as far as a hulking stadium can be, a beautiful creation. Shiny and new with stands that swoop and soar, the Aviva Stadium cuts quite a figure amongst the redbrick surroundings of Dublin 4. But what exactly did Houghton mean when he suggested it was too pretty?
Anyone who had the pleasure of attending a match whether it was football or rugby at Lansdowne Road will recall a hulking, ugly, misshapen brute of a stadium with a swirling wind that made the task of lighting a cigarette challenging even to those with the reactions of a fighter pilot. You could sense visiting teams take a collective deep breath as they stepped out onto a turf that had 30 brutish rugby players doing their level best to recreate the National Ploughing Championship in Dublin’s poshest postcode. Open at either end the old ground could generate one hell of an atmosphere and was steeped in the history.
The Aviva will need time to develop it’s own history and mythology but perhaps tonight’s the night when the Aviva earns it stripes. In years to come people may talk about how the new stadium rocked against Sweden as Ireland got their World Cup campaign back on track. COYBIG.