The Curse Of The New Stadium - The Premier League Trend That Shows Tottenham Could Struggle On Home Soil
Moving home or redecorating is always a stressful time. Will the new house be as good? Will it feel as comfortable? Will the kids like it? Spare a thought then for those connected with Tottenham Hotspur as the long wait to move into their sensational new stadium will reach its conclusion with a home game against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
The new home has been a long time coming as Wembley Stadium has been their temporary venue for the best part of two seasons and there will be plenty of pressure on Spurs to produce the goods when they play their first official home match at their new stadium in mid-week. With a top-four finish in the Premier League still to be secured, Tottenham must hit the ground running.
However, recent history has shown that starting life in a new stadium is rarely easy for Premier League clubs..
Southampton - St Mary's (2001)
Southampton left their modest surroundings of The Dell for a flash St Mary's Stadium in time for the 2001/02 Premier League season and they duly lost their opening match at their new stadium 2-0 to Chelsea. In fact, Saints failed to win any of their first five matches at St Mary's, drawing one and losing four, before they finally picked up a victory courtesy of a 1-0 win over Charlton on 24th November 2001. In total, it was three-month wait for a first home win!
Southampton's home record during their first season at St Mary's read: won seven, drew five, lost seven.
Manchester City - The Etihad (2003)
Manchester City beat TNS 5-0 in their first official home match at The Etihad in August 2003, although that UEFA Cup victory was a rare early success for the Citizens. They were held 1-1 by Portsmouth in their first home league game at their new stadium and it took them three matches to finally record a first Premier League success - a 4-1 win against Aston Villa.
During their first season at The Etihad, City won only seven of 24 matches, drawing 12 and losing five. A far cry from the formidable fortress that Pep Guardiola's men have made The Etihad nowadays.
Arsenal - The Emirates (2006)
Arsenal were just coming out of their glory years when winning the last of their Premier League titles in 2003/04 and their wait for a piece of silverware would stretch from the 2005 FA Cup final all the way to the 2014 FA Cup final. In between then, the Gunners left Highbury for The Emirates and played their first game at their new home at the start of the 2006/07 season.
Arsenal were held 1-1 by Villa on 19th August 2006 before they picked up a first home league win on 23rd September 2006. Arsene Wenger's men only lost once on home soil in all competitions during maiden season at The Emirates, winning 15 and drawing 10, but they could only finish fourth in the Premier League. A familiar story.
West Ham United - London Stadium (2016)
The decision of West Ham to leave their beloved Boleyn Ground in favour of moving to the home of the 2012 London Olympics was mired in controversy. The Hammers did start with a win as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 on 21st August 2016, although it hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the club as they won only 10 of their 24 matches at home during the 2006/07 season (drew four, lost 10).
West Ham's form at home has improved since.
Other Premier League clubs such as Leicester, Brighton and Cardiff built new stadiums since the turn of the century, albeit when they weren't top-flight clubs.
For an established side like Tottenham, recent history would suggest that it will be difficult to make their new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium home a fortress as they look to push for silverware, in the immediate future at least. Mauricio Pochettino's side do have the benefit of experience of playing in new surroundings thanks to their temporary stay at Wembley.