You do not often have must-win matches seven games into the league season, but the feeling around Tottenham Hotspur is that they have to win this weekend. Why is it so important? Because they haven’t won at home in the league this season. The three games they have had at home so far should have been at least six out of nine possible points. Faltering against Chelsea, Burnley and Swansea have not helped ease them into their new home of Wembley.
Last season their home form was sensational and was one of the primary reasons why they ran Chelsea so close for the title. In fact, they did not lose a game all season in the league at White Hart Lane; it was their final season at the stadium which has been their home since 1899.
Since moving to the national stadium Wembley, they have struggled to get the momentum going. After the disastrous Champions League campaign last season, where they failed to get out of the group, to the failings in the subsequent Europa League game against Gent where they drew 2-2 and went out on aggregate. With no wins this season in the league there will be slight superstitions creeping into the dressing room.
However, with wins against Barnsley and Borussia Dortmund in the cup competitions there is still hope that the Wembley curse that punished them last season might be coming to an end. Another silver lining is that their away form is so positive. Having won all of their away games they have managed to keep the pressure on the two Manchester clubs who are leading the way this early.
The squad is also very strong and capable of challenging for the title. With Harry Kane leaving his own hoodoo of August behind and finding the net on a regular basis once again, Spurs have their potency in the attack back. With the scintillating displays of midfield maestro Christian Eriksen and the solid defence (they have kept five clean sheets in all competitions), Spurs really are a force to be dealt with this season.
So with that form and class, it is a great time to be facing a side like Bournemouth, who have not hit the heights of last season, as they have not won in their past two games. Another reason why the London side’s should be optimistic is the fact that The Cherries have lost to two other top six teams already this season; Arsenal and Manchester City.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that the talk of a hoodoo should have ended when they beat Dortmund and midfielder Eric Dier dismissed the talk before the win against the German side. He stated it back when they were defeated by Chelsea claiming “it is just some grass with four lines on it”. But footballers are a suspicious kind and the longer the winless home record continues; the more nerves will come in when they play under the famous arch.
With the new stadium not open until 2018/19 season, there is the possibility that Tottenham Hotspur will miss out on the title once again. They need their home form to be impeccable, just like the two Manchester club’s record are this season. But with no win in three at home, they may have to wait another season for the chance to break another curse – the 56 years wait for a league title.