Road to Wembley

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Image: SpursWeb
I consider that I am a relatively fair Spurs fan but there are occasions when I struggle to take off my Spurs blinkers. This week was one of those exceptions!
 
With Spurs travelling to Rochdale in the 5th round of the FA Cup, the state of Rochdale’s Spotland pitch has caused much debate during the last week. Millwall’s FA Cup replay went ahead following a referees inspection and with no noticeable protestations from the Millwall team and management the pitch apparently ‘played Well’ (interestingly their game yesterday was postponed).
 
However in his press conference before the Arsenal game, Pochettino was very vocal in his concerns about the pitch.  Now If this was any other team then I would be joining everyone else in rolling out the usual ‘pampered footballers’, ‘would have been played in the good ole days’ lines but as this is Spurs I really feel Poch has a point!
 
I do feel that Poch could have made his representations privately but as he often reminds us (where he can be) he is very honest.
 
So the issue is where the line is between a pitch (beach) genuinely risking players and maintaining the diminishing magic of the FA Cup.  An interesting debate that will rumble for a few days yet.
 
I would imagine that every fan in the country will be joining the expectant BBC cameras hoping that Rochdale can become the latest team to write their name in history alongside the likes of Wrexham and Sutton.  
 
Having bad memories of the defeat to Port Vale in 1988 I must admit that I would be happier if the match was moved to the relative carpets of neutral grounds Oldham or Bury. Or dare I say dear old Wembley……
 
Bringing me onto Wembley…..at the start of the season there was the ‘Can Spurs win at Wembley hoodoo’. Following yesterday’s North London derby win there is now the feeling that Spurs fans are turning up in expectation rather than the early season hope.
 
If there needed to be a different approach to games at Wembley (larger pitch, longer grass were sited as differences to WHL) then Poch the magician has certainly found it!
 
Having gone past the new stadium on the train yesterday there was a sense of huge anticipation about a return to the Lane. Also, more importantly, being at the same site supporters can return to their pre and post match traditions that they hold so fondly.
 
However, has Wembley been that bad? It is certainly turning in to a fascinating interlude in the Clubs illustrious history. Once we are in the palatial surroundings of the new lane I will have fond memories of Wembley. To win the North London derby in front of approaching 80k Spurs fans was pretty special not to mention wins against Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool as well as goals galore versus Everton and Stoke.  
 
It has been well documented that getting home from Wembley isn’t the easiest journey and, especially on school nights a number of fans need to leave early to get the last train. However with an early kick off on Saturday, it was fantastic that a near-capacity crowd remained in the ground at the end. The site of Harry Kane being the last man on the pitch soaking up the adulation of the fans will live in the memory for a long time.
 
The season is fast approaching the business end and the team playing some imperious football. I just hope that Poch may be able to conjure up a few more Wembley moments to even eclipse yesterday and take with us to The New Lane.

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