Eric Dier smiled at the Wembley question as did Jan Vertonghen and Mauricio Pochettino and his players know full well that they will have it thrown at them quite a bit between now and the FA Cup semi-finals in mid-April.
It is of course the idea that We will have an unfair advantage at the national stadium — the temporary home we have gradually made a fortress over the past eight months and Funnily enough, the critics were not quite so concerned at the start of the season.
Back then our detractors were convinced Pochettino’s players would struggle at a venue where we had lost on seven of 10 visits and Wembley would cost us our place in the top four — won on the back of an unbeaten home campaign in the final year of the old White Hart Lane.
That the famous “hoodoo” would allow rival players to raise their game instead of being overawed.
Fast forward a few months , we are odds-on for another top-four finish and we come up against Manchester United — who we beat 2-0 at Wembley in January — in that semi-final.
The irony was not lost on Eric Dier. He said “One minute Wembley is bad for us and next it is good for us.Lots of teams have good records at Wembley in general as well, so it depends who we get”
He adds: “The fact that we played our home games there this season you would think it would be a benefit for us – but it is the FA Cup semi-final, so it will be hard no matter what.That’s why I was laughing. That’s football, I guess.”
Jan Vertonghen added: “At the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about it (Spurs’ poor Wembley form) – after the Chelsea, Burnley and West Brom games (which earned the home side only two points).There were a couple of games which we should have won and we didn’t. But after the Champions League games things turned around and we felt we could beat everyone there. I like playing at Wembley”
Our consistency in front of their own fans bodes well for the move to their new stadium next season. Wherever we lay our footballing hats, we are able to make home.
Dier added: “If you think about it, if you move house for a couple of weeks it feels different. It was exactly the same thing. If anyone moves anywhere, a different country or city or anything, it takes time to adjust to your new surroundings.Wembley is no different. After that period where we didn’t completely feel at home there it got a lot better for us.
He added: “But the FA Cup is a completely different competition, a one-off game, the fans are split down the middle, the atmosphere will be different to a league game.”
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