Tottenham have confirmed they won’t be able to use their new stadium until after their third ‘home’ game against Cardiff, but their fans must be worried the logistical troubles could directly affect the team.
Spurs didn’t make any signings in the summer in the hope that consistency can drive them towards to title, so it’s ironic that the club don’t have a fixed home ground ready to start the season with. The North London side didn’t do too badly at Wembley last season, cementing third spot with a young side ready to push on this season, but that may just be because they played there all last season.
Home advantage certainly isn’t a myth, and Wembley did act as an effective home last season – and by effective, we mean open to the public. The fact Tottenham don’t even know where they will play one of the most important games of the season against Manchester City is worrying because players just won’t be able to visualise and prepare for matches consistently.
From which changing room they will get ready in, to how many fans will be cheering them on, minor details matter at the pinnacle of sport. Changing grounds a few weeks into the season could affect performances at both venues and leave Spurs trailing the other top sides significantly by October.
Once the gap is opened up it’s increasingly hard to close, as Manchester City’s rivals found out last year. The unrest is now unavoidable for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, but someone in the hierarchy has a lot of explaining to do if they can’t climb the mental barrier placed in front of them.