Hoddle explains why no fans in the ground helped Tottenham beat West Brom

Sam Preston February 8, 2021
Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The impact of playing without fans in the ground is being felt by every club in the Premier League.

But former Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle told the Evening Standard he believes the empty stadium helped his old club beat West Brom yesterday.

He felt that Spurs were able to be more patient without their own supporters on their back after three straight losses.

They went in at the break at 0-0 before Harry Kane and Heung-min Son got the job done in the second half.

James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“Against Manchester City and Arsenal at home, Spurs have done the counter-attacking football in the correct way. It has gone a little bit AWOL. And if you are not winning games then Spurs fans will not like it at all.

“If they had played the way they did against Chelsea last Thursday with a crowd there, the crowd’s disgruntlement and reaction would have forced Tottenham players to come out of their shell a bit and go forward.

“It is human nature. And they have not had that there. In some ways, it is easier for Jose to play that style of football at home. The fans would make a big difference, without a doubt. Even against West Brom on Sunday.

“Going into half-time 0-0 with West Brom, the fans would have been on the players’ backs and the pressure would have built up. With the fans, Spurs needed to score an early goal.

“Without the fans, they did not need to and could leave it until the second half when they got two quality goals.”

James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Hoddle is right to remark that playing home matches in empty stadiums allows Spurs to be far more patient and cagey.

That helped yesterday, when the tension in the ground at half time could well have impacted the result.

But it didn’t help on Thursday, when surely the home faithful wouldn’t have accepted a display so devoid of attacking ambition and so concerned with stopping the opposition.

The important thing for Spurs is that they got back to winning ways and that was largely down to the return of Kane.