Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois pokes fun at Tottenham over Wembley atmosphere

Miguel Delaney
The Independent

Thibaut Courtois has criticised the atmosphere for Tottenham Hotspur’s first league game at Wembley, saying it he doesn’t “think it is working very well” if they have to introduce noise from the speakers to create atmosphere.

The first half of Chelsea’s sensational late 2-1 win over Spurs on Sunday featured what sounded like drumbeats being played through the PA system, and the goalkeeper couldn’t fail to notice it, amid so much talk about whether Tottenham have a complex about the stadium as they spend a season there.

Courtois also stated that the very scale and history of Wembley would cause visiting players to up their game, and that there was more “pressure” on opposition at the old White Hart Lane due to the closeness of the stands.

“It feels a bit different because obviously their home ground is not this one,” the goalkeeper said.

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“They have the capacity now to bring a lot of fans into the stadium. If they make more noise it would be better for them but in the first-half if you have to put some noise over the speakers to make some atmosphere I don't think it is working very well.

“In the second half they were pressing and 70,000 people started to wake up there is obviously more than the 40,000 at White Hart Lane. The only difference is that they are more separate from the pitch than at White Hart Lane when you feel more pressure when they are pressing and the pitch is smaller, that is probably better for them.”

Antonio Conte's side bounced back at Wembley after a disappointing start to the season (AFP/Getty Images)
Antonio Conte's side bounced back at Wembley after a disappointing start to the season (AFP/Getty Images)

It marked Chelsea’s second victory over Spurs at the stadium in the last few months, after beating them 4-2 in April’s FA Cup semi-final. Courtois also claimed it could add a psychological edge to their meetings.

“I think we coped well with them in the FA Cup and it is a little advantage we can have mentally over them because we won here in the FA Cup semi-final against them as well so that is good.

“Wembley is an amazing stadium but I don't think it is to be impressed as a player. These stadiums make you want to play even better, it is like a Champions League game where you can rise above yourself.

“I think those stadiums make that and all the teams that come here, instead of being impressed they will give more so for Spurs it won't be easy but if they have their fans, with 80-90,000 people they can make it difficult for a lot of teams.”

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