Tottenham Hotspur will play against Watford in Milton Keynes on Wednesday in the League Cup as their new stadium at White Hart Lane still isn’t ready.
Stadium MK is over 50 miles away from London, so, as you can imagine, this situation is far from ideal.
‘When will Tottenham’s new stadium be ready?’ I hear you cry. Good question.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has an answer (sort of) as he even offered up his services to work on the site of the new 62,000 stadium to make sure it is ready.
“I am confident. This year. I am confident this year. I had a private conversation with Daniel, well not so private because Jesus (Perez) was there,” Pochettino said. “I think they are confident. They are working hard to try to find the solution. I hope before the year ends, before Christmas, we can play. That’s my wish. We have conversations every day. He (Levy) called me this morning before training and yesterday (Monday) we took a coffee here at the restaurant. Sometimes he tells me, sometimes he opens the conversation about the stadium, sometimes I open the conversation and say, ‘Daniel, how is the stadium?’ and sometimes it’s tough to explain. But, yes, I am very confident before the end of the year.”
Spurs were supposed to be in their new stadium to play against Liverpool on Sept. 15 but issues with the “critical safety systems” were blamed for the lengthy delay.
Tottenham have played their opening three home games at Wembley Stadium (their temporary home for last season) and also their three UEFA Champions League group stage games, while they are schedule to play their in the Premier League until the start of November. The visit of Chelsea on Nov. 24 seems to be the game Tottenham are aiming for to open their new home.
Playing at Wembley wasn’t an option for this League Cup game against Watford due to a boxing match there on Saturday and Stadium MK works a little better with a crowd of close to 20,000 expected, even if it is a further drive outside of London.
For their game against Manchester City in October, the game has been rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 29 to be played at Wembley due to the NFL game taking place that weekend.
All of this is far from ideal but talk of Spurs not being able to play in their new home at all during the 2018-19 season appears to be a little wide of the mark.
If we believe Pochettino, and Levy, then Spurs will play the second half of their season in their new home. All things considered, that delay isn’t horrendous.