Life has been hard at White Hart Lane lately, and Emmanuel Adebayor says the Tottenham Hotspur players have noticed it. In quotes reported in the Daily Mirror today, Adebayor said that, at least right now, Spurs players are "better off playing away from home."
"Will it help playing away from home? To be honest, I think so. At least you know I am going to be having the majority of opposition fans booing me rather than our own fans booing me. And I am not just talking about me, I am speaking on behalf of all the players.
"I think it might be better to play away from home at the moment because at least we know beforehand we are guaranteed to be booed because they want their home club to win. But when you are playing at home and your own fans start booing you after a few minutes then it is harder.
"Right now, to tell you the truth, I think a lot of players when they put on the shirt and go out on to the pitch are finding it hard in the head."
Like him or hate him, Adebayor is a vice-captain of Tottenham Hotspur. Captains are supposed to be vocal and speak out about things that may not necessarily be popular, and one thing you can say about Ade is that he's never NOT been outspoken. In this sense, I find it difficult to argue with anything Ade has said here, and fully believe him when he says he's speaking for the whole of the dressing room. There's no question that the supporters at White Hart Lane have been much less, well, supportive of the team than the visiting support that travels to watch Spurs when they're away from home. It's probably quite jarring to walk onto the pitch as the home side at White Hart Lane and be booed. On the other hand, Spurs supporters critical of the club would say that the team hasn't earned their support on the field.
We'll have more to say about this later, but for now it's enough to point out that this is a thing, the players have noticed it, and it's having an effect. Whether that effect is motivating or demoralizing remains to be seen.