Following a board meeting yesterday, Tottenham decided that work on the new stadium was sufficiently advanced to ensure the club would spend just one season across London at Wembley before returning to their new £800million home.
However, having moved stadium himself from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made a timely warning ahead of tomorrow’s derby. “It’s very difficult, much more than you can imagine,” he said.
“First of all, you face financial restrictions. But secondly, you don’t feel at home like you were before. You need to recreate a kind of history to feel comfortable and to feel like you are playing at home. I would say that takes two years.”
After just one win in their last eight visits to the national stadium, many see Tottenham’s move for all league and cup games next season as something of a gamble.
By contrast, Tottenham have won each of the last 15 games they have played at White Hart Lane in all competitions – a run stretching back to a 2-2 draw with Leicester in October.
Following tomorrow’s north London derby, the only game left is the visit of Manchester United on May 14 and Pochettino called for fans to bring their full voices to both.
“We feel every time that we play, it is the last game,” he said. “Our fans are so excited, and our players too.
“That feeling, that energy, from our fans translates to the team. All that we are achieving at White Hart Lane is a big percentage because of our fans.”
Victory against Arsenal will ensure Spurs finish above their rivals for the first time in 22 years and keep them in the title race with Chelsea, but Wenger met the suggestion that power was shifting across north London with sarcasm.
“I think Arsenal is a much smaller club, we are absolutely terrible…” he sneered. “Let’s be honest, I have answered the question about a shift for 18 consecutive years. Nothing changes.
“You cannot say the weight of one year has the weight of 20.”
Nevertheless, Tottenham see the move to a bigger…