Tottenham still struggling to make the world’s best stadium feel like a home

On 3 April 2019 Tottenham Hotspur's hugely anticipated new state-of-the-art stadium opened to a great deal of fanfare.

A spectacular fireworks display, a gospel choir and even an appearance for the ‘Go Compare’ singer was followed by a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, and the evening's theme of ‘Welcome Home’ felt wholly appropriate for the occasion.

Fast forward a year and both players and supporters are still having troubles adjusting to their new luxury pad.

Difficulties getting used to a change of scene are, of course, nothing new.

Spurs’ bitter rivals Arsenal had teething problems with the Emirates Stadium, while West Ham supporters are still struggling to come to terms with their move across East London (not least due to their side’s woeful recent form at home).

Nevertheless, after a year-and-a-half of trekking to a largely soulless Wembley, Spurs were perhaps the most grateful of any side to finally move into their new place, and there was a general feeling that the move would mark the beginning of a bright new era in N17

That, so far, hasn’t proved to be the case.

The statistics tell the story. In their last season at the old White Hart Lane (2016-2017), Spurs didn't lose a game at the famous old ground in the 23 they played in all competitions, winning a hugely impressive 17 out of 19 Premier League matches there.

At their new stadium, the record is won 16, drawn three, lost nine.

It is far from disastrous form, but it is also hardly the fortress that Daniel Levy and co. may have hoped to have built, especially when those defeats came against the likes of West Ham, Newcastle and Nowich.

So what is going wrong?

Spurs have, of course, had their issues off the pitch recently, with a change of manager and an almost laughably long injury list wreaking havoc on their season.

But regardless of that, it still seems as though teams are hardly quaking in their boots at the prospect of playing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following Liverpool's 1-0 win there in January, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp even almost mockingly praised the hospitality during their trip to north London, saying: "Thank you very much to whoever built this stadium- the away dressing room is probably the best in the Premier League."

Contrast away teams' experiences at the new gaff with those they had at the cramped, run-down old White Hart Lane and perhaps it is clear to see why they prefer playing at the modern version- it is like going from a Travelodge on the edge of town to The Ritz.

That's not to say the new stadium hasn't enjoyed some good moments. The atmosphere was positively electric during victories over Manchester City in the Champions League last season and the Premier League last month, and 60,000 people belting out 'Oh when the Spurs' in such an aesthetically pleasing setting is positively spine-tingling.

But, at the same time, some supporters have expressed their disappointment that the South Stand, which can hold 17,500 fans, is not as noisy as it could be, and there is a perception that the club have not done enough to try to group more vocal spectators together in one place, while also pricing younger supporters out of tickets.

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