Manager Mauricio Pochettino says that Tottenham is still in the process of adapting to playing home games at Wembley Stadium. The team was held to a surprising draw against Burnley at the weekend.
All eyes were on Tottenham with the beginning of the new season of the English Premier League. The favorite team of neutral fans of the EPL finished last season in second place. For the last few years, it felt like Spurs were improving with each passing season. With this in mind, it comes as a surprise, that the team has failed to win their first two home matches of the season.
On Sunday, Tottenham was held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley, a team expected to land in the lower parts of the table by the end of the season. Officially a home game, Spurs have had to move to Wembley as a replacement for their familiar White Hart Lane. The club’s expansion has brought about the decision to build a new stadium. The London side will need to get over their discomfort and adapt to their surroundings.
Mauricio Pochettino says the team is undergoing a mental block that they will need to learn to overcome. Spurs have not won any of their last 11 games played on Wembley, but the manager refuses to become superstitious about the matter.
“It has nothing to do with it. I think Wembley helps a lot to break the defensive lines and helped us score a goal,” the manager says about the team’s temporary home grounds. “If people are thinking about that they need to stop. We have a responsibility to do better. I can tell you Wembley wasn’t the problem.”
“We need to make Wembley feel like our home. But if you remember our first season we found it difficult at White Hart Lane. Then it became a comfortable place for us. Wembley today wasn’t the problem for us. I think we need to find our balance. The team is showing in some periods of the game we are lacking concentration and in football you pay if you are not focused.”
As much as Spurs has delighted in some of their games last season, the team has yet to acquire the habit of winning even when playing poorly. The team’s manager knows that this is the mark of a strong team, one that wins trophies. Tottenham’s chief goalscorer Harry Kane is struggling to regain his form, but his manager believes the striker simply needs a bit of luck to get him back to his usual performances.
“It was difficult because they were tough. It was a tough game. But when you have the chances to kill the game, you must. Okay, you must not concede a goal like that. We need to be strong. That is a mental problem we need to fix. If you look at Chelsea last season, after three or four games, you would never say Chelsea would be the champions. I think it’s clear we need to improve and increase our mental level” Pochettino tells reporters.
“[Kane] is a player who works hard. His commitment is there. I feel sorry for him. A striker always needs to be a little bit lucky. I am sure he will start to score.”