Tottenham have got their edge back and now Harry Kane has a new task for them, trying to make Wembley Stadium feel like home. Spurs host KAA Gent on Thursday needing a two goal win to stay in the Europa League. Wembley did not feel like home during Spurs’ disastrous Champions League campaign but they are desperate to change that now.
Spurs will be playing all of their home games at Wembley next season, and if they do not start feeling like the home team there they will be in trouble. So they need as much practice as possible this season, in the Europa League and FA Cup, both of which they are hoping to win.
“If we get through the next round of the FA Cup it’s to Wembley, and we play at Wembley on Thursday,” said Kane, building up to what feels like another final for Spurs. “Hopefully we get through. We’ve got to try to make Wembley our home. We could be there next season, so we want to make it as good for us as possible, try to win as many games there as we can and get that confidence going. We could be playing there a few times yet this season.”
If Spurs play on Thursday like they did last week in Belgium then they will lose. But if they play like they did at Fulham on Sunday then they have a chance. That was Spurs’ best performance in weeks and it came after some serious meetings on Friday, after Spurs returned from Gent, in which Mauricio Pochettino reminded his players what was expected of them, what they were meant to be all about.
Toby Alderweireld said that the meetings were about returning “desire” and “sharpness” to Spurs’ game, and Kane confirmed that it was about starting games with the same intensity Spurs show at their best. Which is exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve been starting quite slow in games and it was just about bringing the desire and hunger back to the team, chasing balls down, running in behind,” Kane said. “We did that great on Sunday. Sometimes we need that – we need a reminder of who we are and what we’re about. We had a couple of meetings between us and we were glad to go out and put that right.”
That reassertion of values helped to push Spurs out of what Pochettino ominously described as a “bad period” late on Thursday night. Now that they are back to their fast high-pressing best they need to continue that on Thursday if they want to keep their three-front challenge going this season.
“Everyone’s calling it a blip, but it was one game against Liverpool, one against Gent,” Kane said. “The Gent one we can turn around this Thursday. If we win that it makes it a lot sweeter and it doesn’t seem as bad. Obviously we’re not going to play the whole season perfect. There’s going to be times when there are ups and downs, so it’s about limiting them. Now we’re hopefully on the up for the rest of the season.”