Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min hit back against recent comments from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne today in a press conference, saying, basically, the City players don’t understand the importance of Tottenham’s new stadium opening this season.
De Bruyne had made comments downplaying the significance of Spurs’ new ground in a press conference, suggesting that Spurs hosting a Champions League fixture in their new home probably won’t make that much of a difference.
“I don’t care about the stadium. I care about the team we play. Everybody talks about the stadium like it’s something special. Everybody has a stadium. Everybody has supporters. They’ll be up for it.
“I don’t think there will be any difference. They’ll probably be a little bit more excited, but in the end it’s a stadium with supporters. If they go to Wembley with 80,000 or there with 62,000, it’s going to be the same. It’ll be a tough game, but I think we’ll be all right.”
Sonny tried to counter de Bruyne’s comments today in a press conference with manager Mauricio Pochettino and said, basically, KDB doesn’t get it.
“Of course [it will make a difference]. We take the plus points for us. Maybe the City players don’t realize, they always play at home. We’ve been nearly two years away from our home stadium and what we did in the last two years was very positive.
“We missed home a lot and we can show them tomorrow night it’s different from Wembley at our new stadium.
“When you play home games, even at Wembley or the new stadium, you’re excited. I’m so excited to play every game. When you see the Palace game at the new stadium, it was massive, I couldn’t believe it. I had an unbelievable night – I scored, we won, clean sheet. Everything was very positive. It’s important to take this positive energy for tomorrow.
“When you think positive, positive things happen. There’s nothing wrong at the moment so we should just enjoy, fight and see what happens at the end of the game.”
This is mostly narrative tit-for-tat and not super important. City are a superb squad and so naturally they’re not going to go into this match saying how huge an advantage it is for Spurs to play in their new ground. There’s an arrogance to de Bruyne’s comments, but he’s not wrong — no matter what, City will have to play well to beat Spurs away, and Spurs will also need to be excellent to get a result against Pep Guardiola’s citizens. Sonny, meanwhile, knows what the atmosphere of a Champions League home quarterfinal match will be like, and is clearly looking forward to the opportunity to surprise City.
The match kicks off tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. UK. It will be televised on TNT and Galavision in the United States, and BT Sport 2 in the United Kingdom.