Arsenal's Arsene Wenger recalls hardships of playing away from 'home'

Arsene Wenger has recalled his Arsenal teams struggling when playing matches at temporary home grounds over the course of his career.

With both Chelsea's Stamford Bridge and Tottenham's White Hart Lane set for major renovations that will conflict with the respective clubs' seasons, the Arsenal boss emphasised the importance of a temporary ground feeling like home for the players.

Wenger has first-hand experience playing away from home with Arsenal, as the Gunners played Champions League matches at Wembley Stadium between 1998 and 2000.

Tottenham will spend all of 2017-18 playing somewhere other than White Hart Lane, as that stadium is renovated and seating capacity added to accommodate 61,00 fans. Chelsea could be forced out of Stamford Bridge for the better part of two seasons if their £500 million improvement plan moves forward.

Wembley is one potential venue for both clubs, while the stadiums at Milton Keynes and Twickenham are also being considered.

"When you move into a new stadium, you have to feel at home," Wenger said in the Evening Standard. "You have to feel that it is the right place for you. That is only created by the history that you build slowly through the games.

"I still think it's a little bit of a disadvantage, even for the fans, they do not feel completely at home, and that can transmit to the players."

Wenger went on to say that his team underperformed in their matches away from Arsenal Stadium in Highbury as they tried to find a comfort zone in the new surroundings.

The French coach also conceded that Arsenal's decision to stage games at Wembley was an error as his team struggled to adjust to their new surroundings.

"Looking back today, I say it was a handicap for us," Wenger said. "In hindsight, it was maybe a mistake to move to Wembley, but we had no real choice as UEFA did not accept us holding the games at Highbury.

"The players were comfortable at Highbury and the teams that visited us weren't comfortable. Suddenly it was like we were playing games on a neutral ground, basically."