Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said that his players need time to adapt to playing on a larger pitch at Wembley Stadium, if the Premier League football club is to build on its success last season.
Spurs will play home matches at Wembley for the entire 2017-18 campaign, as the final stage of work on the club’s new 60,000-capacity stadium is completed.
However, fans have spoken out over their concerns that the larger playing area at Wembley could impact how the team plays over the coming season.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the pitch at Wembley measures in at 105m x 69m, which is not only larger than the 100m x 67m field of play at Spurs’ old White Hart Lane stadium, but also the biggest in the Premier League. As a result, Spurs players will have to cover an additional 545 square metres at home matches.
Tottenham fans also be all too aware of the team’s poor record at the new Wembley, with the club having only won one out of its five matches at the stadium, losing three and drawing the other.
Pochettino as acknowledged the challenge that faces Spurs this season, as the club looks to improve on its impressive performance in the 2016-17 campaign, during which it finished second in the league, just six points behind champions Chelsea.
“Our style means we need a bigger space to play because we play a positional game,” Pochettino said. “It’s true that White Hart Lane is a little bit tight and it’s better for the opponent when they play deep.
“We need time to adapt to our new set-up and to understand better our position on the pitch.”
Earlier this month, the club confirmed that it has sold all 40,000 season tickets for the upcoming campaign at the 90,000-capcity Wembley Stadium.