Home Is Where The White Hart Lane Is No More!

By on May 13, 2017

Home is where the White Hart Lane is for Tottenham Hotspur for the last time on Sunday afternoon when the Spurs face Manchester United in the climatic fixture at the famous, old North London ground. The Lilywhites will say farewell to the Lane with much pain, as it has been their impressive home form that has kept them in touch with newly crowned champions Chelsea for this long. The West London Blues sealed the Premier League trophy with a 1-0 away win over West Bromwich Albion courtesy of a late Michy Batshuayi strike, but this weekend still remains significant for Spurs’ supporters. Chelsea may dominate the Saturday morning headlines, with Antonio Conte leading the Blues to another title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, but the Cockerel will call one last time for Spurs when the whistle blows in the match with Europa League finalists United.

Capital Changes!

West Ham said goodbye to Upton Park with a final home league match against Man Utd this time last year and now a few miles up the road in London, Tottenham bid farewell to their stadium facing the exact same opponent. Spurs would take the same level of goals and excitement provided in that 3-2 fixture last May on Sunday. You can still see my article on that very match (where EPL title goal-winning Michy Batshuayi is ironically mentioned before he had even joined Chelsea) on FBED right here.

The Cockney Rejects played in East London last year, with Chas and Dave lined up to perform for Tottenham’s departure in 2017.

On the Road to Wembley!

Next season Mauricio Pochettino’s men will play all their home games at the national stadium, with their Wembley woes a hoodoo they must overcome in 2017/18 if they are to challenge for the title for the third consecutive campaign. The Hammers took time to transition into the London Stadium and the North London men in white may have to forgo an underwhelming season to return to their newly built stadium ready to kick on again. The issue may come from keeping their best assets in the time it takes to return to the new White Hart Lane, as their manager is highly rated across Europe and many of their best players could double their pay elsewhere. The prospect of playing at Wembley may attract some players, but losing matches does not tantalise any player, so they must maintain a top four finish while renting the home of English football to keep the momentum of the probable second placed standing of this campaign. With international games and domestic fixtures, the likes of Eric Dier and Harry Kane should be seeing the Wembley arch more times than they partake in silly handshakes next season.

Kyle to Walker-way this summer?

The most likely exit from Tottenham this summer is rumoured to be right-back Kyle Walker, who may not need to worry about the transition from White Hart Lane to Wembley and then back to N17 as the former Sheffield United defender seems to be most expendable of the assets being targeted by rival clubs. Spurs are well equipped in the full-back positions, with the likes of Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Danny Rose offering competition for places, and Walker could be available to sides such as Manchester United and Man City for £35million this summer if he refuses to sign a new contract with Pochettino’s team. Walker seems less valuable to the squad than a Harry Kane or Dele Alli, and with funds for new signings likely to be limited with the stadium move, cashing in on a player the Lilywhites can cope without seems like the only option to then reinvest in the summer with quality additions after the let-downs Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko proved to be last year. Their league position has improved in the last couple of years, with a first finish above Arsenal in twenty-two years even coming this time (St. Tottingham’s Day cancelled), but the long term goal would be lifting that first piece of silverware under their Argentine boss and improving results in Europe. Everton’s unsettled midfielder Ross Barkley has been linked with a move South to Spurs, but would Barkley even improve the current starting XI, as the way Christian Eriksen is firing in those assists this season, it would be tough for the Scouse Englishman to displace the Great Dane.

A Trip Down Memory (White Hart) Lane!

Some of the most memorable recent moments down the Lane have been seeing the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric excel before big money moves to Champions League finalists Real Madrid, who met Juventus in Cardiff on 3rd June, intent on retaining their big-eared trophy. But even this campaign the brace from number twenty Dele Alli which beat 2016/17 champions Chelsea 2-0 in January and the 5-3 win over the Blues on New Year’s Day a couple of years ago are some stand-out moments in N17. In addition, an epic 9-1 victory over poor Wigan, in which former striker Jermain Defoe hit five, is a match still etched into the memories of many Spurs fans. Tangentially, England international Defoe is going to be available on a free transfer this summer, given his relegation clause inserted with current club Sunderland, which enables him to leave as the Blacks Cats inevitably went down. The thirty-four-year-old poacher would do a much better job as back-up for Kane than Janssen has, although it seems more likely he would choose a Bournemouth or West Ham for regular action leading up to the 2018 World Cup.

About Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis can relate almost anything to football and quite often does! You may have seen Richard's previous ideas and work in the BBC Match of the Day Magazine, from 2011 to present. He is a Manchester United and England fan, but has gone to see Leyton Orient play with his O's season ticket in the 2013/14 campaign. Aside from football, Richard has written articles on Doctor Who and studies English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. Aspiring sports journalist.