Wenger: Stadium moves could handicap rivals

Date published: Wednesday 11th November 2015 10:37

Arsene Wenger has warned Tottenham and Chelsea against moving stadiums temporarily, saying it can be a disadvantage if the players and fans “do not feel completely at home”.

The Blues and Spurs are exploring the possibility of relocating while their stadiums are redeveloped, with Milton Keynes and Wembley among the options for both clubs, but Arsenal boss Wenger believes it could be a handicap for their London rivals.

Arsenal moved to the Emirates from Highbury in 2006 and opted to play Champions League matches at Wembley between 1998-2000 but Wenger’s side won only two of their six matches at the national stadium and the boss admits “it was a handicap.”

He said: “When you move into a new stadium, you have to feel at home.

“You have to feel that it is the right place for you. That is only created by the history that you build slowly through the games.

“I still think it’s a little bit of a disadvantage, even for the fans, they do not feel completely at home, and that can transmit to the players.

“That was a big problem for us,” he admitted.

On Arsenal’s decision to play Champions League matches at Wembley for two seasons, Wenger added: “Looking back today, I say it was a handicap for us.

“In hindsight it was maybe a mistake to move to Wembley, but we had no real choice as UEFA did not accept us holding the games at Highbury.

“The players were comfortable at Highbury and the teams that visited us weren’t comfortable. Suddenly it was like we were playing games on a neutral ground, basically.”

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