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22 August 2017

Ian Wright: Tottenham proved in defeat against Chelsea they can still win the title and rubbish the doubts about Wembley

IT doesn’t take much to set off football’s doom merchants.

So it wasn’t a surprise to hear the comments after Tottenham lost their first Prem game at their Wembley lodgings.

‘It will wreck their chances of a serious title push’, sniped the cynics.

Harry Kane was unlucky not to score for Spurs but they showed enough to suggest losing at Wembley will not be a regular occurrence
Harry Kane was unlucky not to score for Spurs but they showed enough to suggest losing at Wembley will not be a regular occurrence
Rex Features
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte saw his Chelsea side graft to victory at Wembley
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte saw his Chelsea side graft to victory at Wembley
Rex Features

‘The Wembley curse will prove a mental block they won’t be able to get over’, according to all the amateur psychologists.

Well, after seeing their display in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea, I’ve got news for them — that’s absolute rubbish.

If Spurs perform like that for the rest of the season, they will win far more than they lose at their temporary home.

Marcos Alonso grabs an important brace for Chelsea as Antonio Conte celebrates winning goal against Tottenham

And that will prove the myth  of being unable to win at the national stadium is exactly that — a total myth.

Yes, they haven’t got the best record there but even the biggest Chelsea fan would probably admit they deserved something from it.

Harry Kane couldn’t have gone much closer to scoring when he hit the post for a second week running.


Mauricio Pochettino has plenty to build on despite despite against Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino has plenty to build on despite despite against Chelsea
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Spurs have switched to Wembley for now and looked lively in defeat, despite critics who claim there is a curse
Spurs have switched to Wembley for now and looked lively in defeat, even though critics claim the national stadium is a curse
Getty – Contributor

And don’t give me that ‘He can’t score in August’ rubbish.

A couple of inches to the side and he’d already have two goals this season.

Christian Eriksen looks ready to take his game to the next level and Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli have started the season in great form. To suggest Spurs will struggle because of Wembley is as logical as all those petty moans about the razzamatazz surrounding Sunday’s game.

Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea: Marcos Alonso double secures dramatic late win for Antonio Conte at Wembley
Hugo Lloris and Co reflect on defeat as 2016-17 champions Chelsea beat runners-up Spurs 2-1 at Wembley
Keeper Hugo Lloris and Co reflect on defeat as 2016-17 champions Chelsea beat runners-up Spurs 2-1 at Wembley
News Group Newspapers Ltd

People couldn’t wait to put the boot in because they handed flags to the fans and it became more like a final than a league game. Of course it did.

But are you telling me they won’t be doing the same when they go back to White Hart Lane?

Spurs’ problem — if it becomes one — won’t be that they’re unable to cope with Wembley, it will be the other sides raising their game to play there.

Players at clubs like Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley know they have a game at the national  stadium this season.

That’s a  massive incentive — the chance to play at probably the most famous stadium in the world.

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois celebrates after Marcos Alonso completes his double with a late winner against Tottenham
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois celebrates after Marcos Alonso completes his double with a late winner against Tottenham
Getty Images – Getty


But Spurs have more than enough quality, regardless of being one of the least busy clubs in the transfer market this summer, to deal with it.

And come the end of the season, I’ve no doubt who will be having the last laugh.

They weren’t beaten by a dodgy side on Sunday. They lost — undeservedly — to the champs through a fantastic free-kick and a goalkeeping mistake.

Ian Wright says Christian Eriksen is ready to step up to the next level for Spurs
Ian Wright says Christian Eriksen is ready to step up to the next level for Spurs
Rex Features

Whatever problems people may say Chelsea have had, they are still a very good outfit, still more difficult to break down than most when Antonio Conte sets them up as he did.

Yet Tottenham certainly created enough to have got something.

Play like that all season and they won’t be leaving empty-handed too often.

Frontman Harry Kane should again be a massive influence for Spurs this season
Frontman Harry Kane should again be a massive influence for Spurs this season
Rex Features

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