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Arsene Wenger warns London rivals about loss of home comforts

By Paul Hirst

Published 22/01/2016

Wembley way: Arsene Wenger didn’t enjoy Wembley switch
Wembley way: Arsene Wenger didn’t enjoy Wembley switch

Arsene Wenger has warned Chelsea and Tottenham they could face a disadvantage when they make temporary moves away from their home grounds.

The Arsenal boss believes their London rivals will not feel at home while they are forced to relocate due to building works, with both eyeing moves to Wembley.

Chelsea are seeking a four-year tenancy while Stamford Bridge is redeveloped, while Spurs are likely to need a ground for the 2017/18 campaign as their new stadium next to their current White Hart Lane home is completed.

Wenger managed Arsenal at the old Wembley as the Gunners opted to play their home Champions League fixtures at the national stadium rather than the much smaller Highbury.

Arsenal won just twice in their two-year stay at Wembley.

"It was a nightmare," Wenger recalled.

"In hindsight it was the wrong decision. At the time at Highbury we had to cut 5,000 seats. We decided to go to Wembley, but we didn't feel at home.

"The pitch was bigger, the ground was different and for the English players it was something completely unusual. We were used at Highbury to a tight pitch. It was a disadvantage for sure."

Milton Keynes is also an option for Tottenham but ahead of the visit of Chelsea on Sunday, Wenger dismissed any suggestion it could be Arsenal who offer a temporary home to their bitter rivals.

"Not really,'' he said when asked if Tottenham could go to the Emirates Stadium.

"We suffered a lot to build this stadium and had to be very tight financially to pay it back."

Belfast Telegraph

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