Should Spurs play there?
IMUST admit that I haven’t heard of people complaining that Tottenham are playing all their home games at Wembley Stadium this year, but, for me, it’s not right.
Why? Well, let me explain. Wembley is the home of football in this country, a special place. It’s where England won the World Cup (admittedly before the stadium was knocked down and rebuilt) and the likes of Hurst, Moore and Peters carved their names into English football folklore.
Everyone will have their own favourite memories. Perhaps it’s Alan Sunderland scoring that last-gasp winner for Arsenal against
Manchester United or Tot- tenham’s Ricky Villa netting his FA Cup solo goal against Manchester City.
In the past, there weren’t that many games at Wembley and that helped to keep the mystique. It was a special place and very few footballers got to play there.
But over the years it’s opened up more and more. To a certain extent that’s fine. There should be the chance for a decent proportion of players at all levels to play at the home of football, but there’s a danger that it’s gone too far. In my opinion, playing the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley isn’t right.Yes, I know the
FA want to claw back the money they spent on redeveloping the stadium, but the chance to play there should only be for the finalists. It takes away from the final if the semis have been staged there before. I’ve got a similar point to make with Tottenham.Yes, I understand they needed a ground to play at while their new stadium is constructed, but did it have to be Wembley? Could they not have played at West Ham’s London Stadium, for example? Why am I against them playing at Wembley? I just think it should be a ground reserved for special occasions and not one that becomes routine. For example, what about this season’s cup competitions? How much of a pull is it going to be to get to an FA Cup final or Carabao Cup
final at Wembley? Not much, I’d suggest, if you’re a Premier League team who’ve already played there.
Every Premier League team is going to play at Wembley this season whatever happens. That has to take away something from the magic of getting there in a cup semi-final or final.
And what about Spurs themselves? Where is the incentive to ‘reach Wembley’ when they’re playing there every other week anyway.
And it’s not just league games that Tottenham are playing there. They’re also hosting their cup-ties at Wembley, giving opponents another chance to take the stage.
Is it taking away from the magic of Wembley for the players, too? Will Harry Kane, Dele Alli et al still get that buzz of excitement about playing there in years to come after having it as their home ground for a season?
Sure, Spurs have struggled at Wembley in recent times, but you would expect them to improve as time goes on and they get used to their surroundings. Will that then give Mauricio Pochettino’s men an unfair advantage if they do get to a Wembley semi-final or final?
Their players will know every blade of grass at Wembley, they will be accustomed to the surroundings and the atmosphere. Doesn’t that give them an extra edge?
What about Tottenham fans? Once the initial excitement of playing at the famous venue has worn off, will they enjoy going there on a regular basis? Will that excitement of a game at Wembley disappear as it becomes the norm? Yes, the Tottenham board are no doubt delighted at the extra revenue filling the club’s coffers, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.
The sooner they are back home in north London, the better.
Let’s leave Wembley for special occasions and not just turn it into a run-of-the-mill ground. It’s better than that.
Goal: Spurs’ Dele Alli scores against Barnsley
Man City Magic: Ricky Villa’s solo goal against
High point: England win the World Cup