Spurs sit just a point behind league leaders Manchester City, and recommence their Premier League campaign with a trip to West Brom this Saturday. Things are going well off the pitch too, with the development of the new stadium progressing visibly, and an intriguing story emerged yesterday that the club want to rename White Hart Lane tube station ‘Tottenham Hotspur Station’.
According to the Evening Standard and Squawka, Spurs will have to pay Transport For London £12 million for the privilege. The club are keen for the station to be associated with the new ground, with plans for a walkway that will lead directly to the new £400 million stadium. White Hart Lane is a notoriously difficult ground to get away from as it is, and with the extra capacity of the new stadium logistical improvements are needed. Squawka’s report says:
“Perhaps more pertinently, Tottenham also want to disassociate from the iconic White Hart Lane name of their current stadium as they look for a naming rights partner, which is critical to their financing plans for the new scheme.
“Transport for London (TfL) is understood to be prepared to change the name of the station but will ask Tottenham to pay a fee and meet all associated costs including changing signage and maps.
“Sources have told Squawka that Spurs may be asked to pay as much as £12m if they want to create Tottenham Hotspur station, a figure which is likely to shock senior figures at the club.”
Ironically, Spurs’ fierce rivals Arsenal provide one notable case of a football club changing the name of a tube station, when Gillespie Road became Arsenal in 1932. One of the real positives about Tottenham’s stadium move is the fact the ground stays more or less in the same place. Although the 90 minutes in the stadium will be a very different experience for Spurs fans, the pre and post-match rituals can remain the same. Supporters make the same journey, walk the same routes and use the same pubs and fast food stalls. This is a crucial part of supporting any team, and something that will ease the jarring effects of a new home.
Elsewhere, Mauricio Pochettino has said in its too early to talk about challenging for the title in the build up to the weekend’s trip to the Hawthorns. His team were arguably the best unit in the top flight last season and look set to have another promising season. Spurs faltered over the closing stages last term, but a possible difference this time around is that they are going well in the absence of key players. Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele and Harry Kane were integral last year but have missed games through injury. The likes of Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Heung Son Min have come to the fore without them, however. Pochettino said:
“It’s a great opportunity to show that we are in the right way. I think only we need time – we have a young squad – but if play with the passion that we showed against Manchester City all is possible.
“But it’s too early [for title talk]. But I understand that our fans feel proud and start to think that maybe it’s possible to achieve big things this season.”
Finally, the aforementioned Dembele could be in line for a return this weekend after recovering from a hamstring injury. The Belgian powerhouse missed a four games at the start of this season after being handed a six match ban for his behaviour following Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Chelsea near the end of last season. It will be interesting to see who he comes in for, because the Wanyama and Sissoko were both excellent in the 2-0 win over Manchester City. Dembele could replace the Frenchman, a move that would see Christian Eriksen return to wide role.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Ai Kagou