Marcos Alonso scored double for Blues – including late winner – to shatter Spurs’ dreams at home of English football
IT was always going to take more than a couple of birds to make Tottenham feel completely at home at Wembley.
Spurs tried to put their stars at ease at their temporary home by erecting the two gold cockerels from White Hart Lane either side of a bust of Sir Alf Ramsey outside their dressing room.
But they should have known it is goals not gimmicks that ensure you settle in unfamiliar surroundings.
Marcos Alonso’s double for Chelsea means the national stadium still feels as homely as a council B&B.
Walking down Wembley Way to watch Spurs play was a completely different experience to strolling along Tottenham High Road to see them at White Hart Lane.
Where were all the fried chicken shops and kebab houses?
Tottenham tried to make one of football’s most famous yet bland thoroughfares more welcoming by hanging banners everywhere.
And at the end, the tall cranes working on an adjacent building site — similar to the ones working on their new stadium — would have made Spurs fans feel even more at home, as would the messages displayed on Wembley’s huge screens.
Heavy branding continued inside the stadium, where the front of the top tier was covered in the same livery that adorned the upper tiers at the Lane.
And on the tier below the same messages, along with ads, were broadcast on electronic hoardings.
Tottenham gave each of their fans a flag to wave before the match, which was quite a sight.
But for all of the club’s hard work there were still significant spells yesterday when it felt like you were going to watch a cup final and not a Spurs home game.
In the concourses remain photos of great Wembley events of the past, including Chelsea’s 1997 FA Cup final win over Middlesbrough.
You can bet Tottenham fans were thrilled to see more pics of their opponents on the walls than their own team.
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There was also a photo of Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras in concert at the old stadium, ironic given fans had paid more than three tenners to get in.
Another own goal was the addition of a drummer, whose banging was amplified through speakers in a bid to ramp up the atmosphere. It was cringe-worthy.
He may have been the only person at Spurs to beat anything yesterday, but the club does not need him to create an atmosphere. The 73,587 inside Wembley — more than double the capacity of White Hart Lane last season — did that themselves.
There were moments when the noise — especially when they were belting out ‘Come on you Spurs’ — was more spine-tingling than anything heard at the Lane.
Tottenham fans did not have it all their own way though.
They slumped back in their seats following Alonso’s stunning opener, the Chelsea contingent in the crowd crowing: “Sit down if you’ve won f*** all!”
And unfortunately for Tottenham, Wembley will not feel like home until they do start winning.