With the international break almost over,it’s back to the Premier League and for Tottenham, that means trying to get to grips with our temporary Wembley home, writes John Crace for ESPN.
The article starts by saying Mauricio Pochettino has become a bit “tetchier” since the start of the season claiming we don’t have a Wembley issue, however Crace argues differently.
He explains that we have managed just two points out of a possible nine, with just two goals scored and three conceded. He does point out our unbeaten White Hart Lane record from last season and something that was the hallmarks of our success but it is now a genuine cause for concern,and that a clear pattern has emerged.
Crace continues saying that at every home game we have looked tentative and slow, something i guess we cannot argue about. He adds that we are uncharacteristically conceding late goals (Chelsea and Burnley), that we failed to break down Swansea and that we only narrowly beat championship strugglers Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.
The article delve’s in to Mauricio’s response to our Wembley struggles, that he (Mauricio) claims that any talk of struggling in our home games is coincidence and also the product of visiting teams coming to Wembley with a defensive mind. The writer argues that this misses the point. He says clubs came to White Hart Lane last season looking to close down the game and escape with a point, but we found ways to break them down and win.
Crace wonders if indeed it is time for Mauricio and the players to be honest with themselves, be it our style of play not suiting the larger Wembley playing area or whether his side are put off by the soulless atmosphere of the ground, but fundamentally something is wrong, that our performances away as to those at Wembley can’t be a coincidence.
He (Crace) discusses our demolition of Huddersfield two weeks ago. He waxes lyrical about our performance, saying Huddersfield had no answer but by contrast in all of our three ‘home” games at Wembley, we haven’t come close to reproducing that form. That our build up play has been too wayward with too few players making runs into the box. He points out that obviously teams may have come to Wembley intent on defence, but that we have infact nullified our own threat by being over cautious.
He continues on, saying that Spurs need to find a way of making Wembley their “friend” sooner rather than later, starting with Saturday’s home game against Bournemouth. He says despite injuries to Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama, combined with Dele Alli not yet hitting full tilt, the issue is not about personnel. It is about mindset.
He argues that we seem to be weighed down by the responsibility of playing at Wembley and that the main thing on the lads minds is they are too fearful of making a mistake, that it’s as if the players are waiting for the other to take the reigns rather than taking responsibility themselves.
It continues by saying that Poch’s preparations for Saturday will need to focus on finding a way to counter the probable default negativity setting that has crept in. And the only way to do that is by everyone being honest enough to admit there is a problem.
He says that the manager and players will much prefer to think its all technical issues that need to be addressed rather than psychological. However something has to change and that we can’t continue to rely on another Harry Kane wonder goal to kick start us.
Crace concludes that Mauricio does need to be proactive and says that perhaps he could even try suggesting the players stop pretending the national stadium is their home and to start treating every home game as an away fixture.
Crace does make some very valid points. In any of our games at the national stadium we haven’t been outclassed we just have not managed to take our chances. Let’s just hope the lads can put talk of a hoodoo to bed starting this weekend with the visit of Bournemouth.
Do we have a clear Wembley issue? or has a proverbial ‘mountain out of mole hill’ situation developed amongst media and some fans a like. Let us know your thoughts
Have something to tell us about this article?