Are England Better At Wembley… Or On The Road?


By BoroGuide

It wasn’t so long ago that the Football Association were considering selling Wembley. Although the idea isn’t on the table – for the time being! – it did float the possibility of the national team playing their home games around the country.

But, is history in favour of the Three Lions playing their home games on the road? Or is Wembley still a better base to see a team still on a high after reaching the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia?


How have England fared at the new Wembley Stadium?

With the FA considering the sale of Wembley, is history in favour of the Three Lions playing on the road – or is Wembley still the place to be?

The new Wembley Stadium received its grand opening on 24 March 2007, with the 90,000-seat venue costing £757m to build and replacing the old Wembley which had been in place since 1923 but closed its doors in 2000 before being demolished in 2002.

Although the England senior men’s team didn’t get the opportunity to play the first match at the new stadium — that honour belongs to a friendly match that pitted England’s under 21s against their Italian counterparts — they have played 60 games at the ground since they drew with Brazil in a friendly match on June 1st 2007.

Of those games, the Three Lions has won 41 games, drew 12 and lost only seven. Their record in competitive games is even more impressive — 24 wins, three draws and just the one defeat.

What do the key stats tell us:

Record (all games): 41 wins, 12 draws, 7 defeats

Win percentage (all games): 68.33%

Record (competitive games only): 24 wins, 3 draws, 1 defeat

Win percentage (competitive games only): 85.71%

Biggest win: England 6 – 0 Andorra (June 10th 2008 in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match)


And, when England toured the UK between 2001-2007?

England played 34 home games across the nation as they waited for their new Wembley home to be constructed...

From their last game at the old Wembley Stadium — a 1-0 defeat against Germany in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification match — to their aforementioned friendly tie against Brazil in 2007 at the new Wembley, England played 34 home games across the nation as they waited for their new permanent home to be constructed.

From their 3-0 win against Spain in a friendly match held at Villa Park on February 28th 2001 to a 1-0 defeat against, ironically, the same opponents in a friendly match at Old Trafford on February 7th 2007, the Three Lions played 34 home games at venues throughout England.

Their record for these games saw England win 22 games, draw seven games and suffer defeat five times. Just like at the new Wembley Stadium though, their record is once again more remarkable when only analysing competitive games — 11 wins, three draws and not a single defeat.

Take note that this does not consider the matches that England have played around the country since the new Wembley Stadium opened its doors. For those interested though, the Three Lions have played and won all three games across England since June 2007 — each one being a friendly match.


The key stats again:

Record (all games): 22 wins, 7 draws, 5 defeats

Win percentage (all games): 64.70%

Record (competitive games only): 24 wins, 3 draws, 1 defeat

Win percentage (competitive games only): 78.57%

Biggest win: England 6 – 0 Jamaica (June 3rd 2006 in a friendly match)


So, to conclude …

There’s no doubt about it when analysing just the facts and figures alone — England would be better off keeping their home games at the new Wembley Stadium rather than spreading the matches across the nation.

While the biggest win for the Three Lions at the new Wembley Stadium is identical to the scale of their biggest victory on their travels — both games finished 6-0 — everything else is certainly in favour of England playing at Wembley.

Their win percentage for all games played at the new Wembley Stadium is currently 68.33%, which is above their win percentage of 64.70% which was gained from the home games played between 2001 and the beginning of 2007 as they were without a permanent base. The difference between win percentages for the Three Lions is even greater when only focusing on competitive games — 85.71% for all matches played at the new Wembley Stadium to date, versus 78.57% for the games played while on their travels across England.

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