Glenn Hoddle expects Inter Milan to be in for a tough night when they visit Tottenham Hotspur later this evening, as the Spurs legend feels European games at White Hart Lane give the home side a telling advantage.
Hoddle’s views maybe somewhat biased given his 12 year spell in north London between 1975 and 1987, during which time he helped Spurs to a UEFA Cup success in the 1983/84 season. The stylish midfielder may have missed out on the victory over Anderlecht in the final, but was in fine form as they defeated the likes of Bayern Munich and Feyenoord en route to the title.
After finishing fourth in the English Premier League last season, Hoddle’s former club are back among Europe’s elite and he believes that a capacity crowd at his old stomping ground could serve to inspire the current generation of Spurs.
He told FIFA.com: “White Hart Lane only holds 36,000, it isn’t like playing in front of 90,000, but the way the ground is, and how compact and how snug it is the place will be rocking and I think that will raise the Spurs players.
“Not many teams like going to White Hart Lane with that sort of atmosphere and I think Spurs’ players will have a much bigger and better stride to their play, and they’ll raise their game without a shadow of a doubt.”
The reigning European champions travel to London on the back of a dramatic 4-3 victory over Harry Redknapp’s side at the San Siro a fortnight ago, in which I Nerazzurri sprinted to a 4-0 lead before half-time. But while the Italian side come into tonight’s game as favourites, Hoddle believes Inter will face a difficult night.
“It won’t be an easy result for them, they’ll come away, whatever result they get, saying that was a tough game,” he added.
The ex-England manager was also full of praise for his former club’s performances in the Champions League, with the English side claiming four points from three games so far. In their debut they played out a 2-2 draw away at Werder Bremen before defeating Twente 4-1 prior to their defeat in Milan.
Hoddle said: “Their first game away in Germany was very good in the sense that they were 2-0 up. They had the disappointment of drawing the game, but they set their stall out and said ‘hang on a minute, we can deal with this company’. If they do qualify they will be meeting bigger and better teams and I think it’s a great stepping stone for them. It’s all about belief when you go into Europe.
“If they can qualify and go to the knockout stages they will have an inner belief that says, ‘yes, we can deal with and cope with these teams,’ and it will be a challenge for them but I think it’s one they will relish.”