Thursday 22 March 2018

Harry Redknapp fears Tottenham have surrendered home advantage with Wembley move

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes his old club will be handicapped by their move to play Champions League matches at Wembley Stadium, but he has still backed his former club to enjoy a lengthy run as they return to Europe's elite competition.

Spurs will take on Monaco in front of a sell-out 90,000 crowd at England's national stadium on Wednesday night, with their move to play at Wembley offering a huge cash boost to the north London club.

Tottenham's plans to redevelop their White Hart Lane home will see them make a move to play all their matches at Wembley this seasons, with Redknapp fearing they will surrender home advantage by the venue switch.

"Tottenham may just have given up one of their greatest assets after deciding to play their Champions League games at Wembley Stadium this season," he told Yahoo Sport.

"European nights at White Hart Lane have been very special down the years and I know when we had a good run in the Champions League in my time as manager, the home advantage was massive for us.

"The fans are in your face at White Hart Lane, the atmosphere is fantastic under the lights when the stakes are high and some of the big European teams don’t like it. You see something similar with Liverpool at Anfield, when the home crowd always plays such a big part in European games.

"That intimidation factor is a massive weapon to have when you are playing a home match in Europe, but Spurs won’t be able to lean on that this season as they will be playing in front of massive crowds at Wembley instead.

"However, I’m not sure you can replace the home comforts of a stadium the Tottenham players will be so used to playing at and you can bet that the opposition will be delighted to get a chance to be playing at Wembley.

"You don’t really want opponents looking forward to coming to your ground, but that will be the case when Monaco, CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen come to London."

Despite his reservations about the Wembley move, Redknapp still fancies Spurs to match their Champions League run of 2011, when he led the team to a quarter-final defeat against Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.

"I fancy Spurs to do very well in the Champions League and I’d be disappointed if they didn’t get to the quarter-finals," he added.

"The Tottenham team I managed got to the last-eight of the Champions League and they should be aiming to match that now, with a great manager at the helm and an exciting team that should be ready made to shine in this competition.

"They have avoided some of the bigger teams in the group stage and that gives them a chance to make it through to the last-16 and hopefully beyond that."

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