Home Matchday Live Déjà vu down Wembley way

Déjà vu down Wembley way

0

It’s a strange feeling to be returning to the place we all enjoyed the best day of our footballing lives so soon. Yet, here we are, another Huddersfield Town game at Wembley Stadium.

However, this time, we’ll be playing on the hallowed Wembley pitch for a Premier League game instead of a play-off final.

Due to White Hart Lane being demolished and rebuilt, Wembley has been the home of Tottenham for this season, a surreal experience where every team enjoys at least one Wembley day-out this season regardless of how they’ve performed in the respective cup competitions.

Town should go into this game full of confidence after their back-to-back league wins against Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.

For David Wagner’s men, this game is honestly a ‘free hit’. No fan would be massively disappointed if we lost but would equally be over the moon with anything from a draw to a victory.

All Town fans want to see, including me, is a positive performance and the right mental attitude and tactical approach to a game against the top 6.

If the result doesn’t go our way but we achieve this goal, 99% of Town fans would shrug it off and move onto the two crucial home games coming up against Swansea and Crystal Palace.

Whilst Arsenal fans like to praise their team’s performances at Wembley, Town have their own special memories of Wembley and a two-in-two record to match (albeit on penalties).

For players who will most likely play on Saturday like Christopher Schindler, Jonathan Hogg, Rajiv van la Parra, Collin Quaner and Tommy Smith, this stadium should be a place they relish to get back playing on. No doubt they will be using their experiences of the pitch and the atmosphere to pass onto Steve Mounié, Florent Hadergjonaj and others.

It will be interesting to see how David Wagner approaches this game. Whilst many of us were disappointed to see him persevere with such a defensive mindset against the top 6 teams, we must temper this with some caveats.

Our squad is one of the smallest in the League and is still adapting to the pace of the Premier League.

We had experienced a number of injuries during this period and some players were clearly struggling with playing more than a game a week at this level.

Targeting other games as more ‘winnable’ and conserving players’ energies for these games we were otherwise expected to lose is something I cannot harangue Wagner about.

However, I hope this tactic is not employed against Spurs on Saturday as it contradicts our positive, gegenpressen ‘Terrier identity’.

Indeed, it was the reverse fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium, a 4-0 drubbing which seemed to scar Wagner during this season in his thought-process against the top 6 and precipitate these negative tactics.

Ironically, that drubbing was less to do with our playing style and more to do with individual mistakes which were to blame for 3 of the 4 goals, the other being a Harry Kane wonder strike. It is hard to apportion blame to the centre-backs for that one.

If the improbable happened on Saturday and we were to win, it would go a long way to securing our survival.

Spurs will probably have one eye on their massive Champions League tie against Juventus, a trophy which Pochettino is desperate to win or if not, progress as far as they can to cement their place amongst Europe’s elite.

This could see him rest a few players up front and in midfield so players like Winks, Sissokho and Lamela could well play on Saturday whilst the likes of Eriksen and Dele Alli could be rested.

Against the top 6, you need a slice of luck, an underperforming opposition, your team to over-perform and ruthlessness in front of goal.

If we get all of these things tomorrow, we have a chance to recreate another bit of Wembley magic.