Tottenham Hotspur is closing in, inch by inch, year by year – an undeniable fact that must really get up the noses of the Arsenal fans.
In recent years, the gap not only in class but also in league position suggests a change in the tide of power between the north London rivals. The Gooners of old challenged for titles, whilst the Spurs of old languished in mid-table mediocrity but not anymore. There are websites that claim that Tottenham have never finished above their rivals in the Premier League. This of course is a lie as we finished 8th in season 1992-1993 and Arsenal finished 10th and during the 1994-1995 season we finished 7th and the enemy had finished 12th. In the past 3 seasons The Lilywhites had finished 4th twice whilst Arsenal are no longer title challengers and we have managed to bridge a gap both in class and league position the size of the Grand Canyon!
Arsenal, who according to some are more dominant historically, now find themselves below us in the Premier League, just after the half-way point for the second season running. The Gooners will be quick to counter and argue that last season was the same with their side closing a ten-point gap to pip Spurs to third place and an automatic Champions League spot. I say that we threw away our chances last season. However, without the goals of Robin Van Persie, will they be able to catch us up this time round?
In the past, it has been Tottenham who have had to sell their leading talents to bigger clubs. Even our once club captain Sol Campbell decided to leave Spurs on a free transfer, for our bitter rivals, in the hunt for trophies. Players such as Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov were sold to the “English giants” Manchester United as Spurs struggled to fulfill the ambitions of their key players.
Last summer, however, it was Arsenal who sold their prolific hit-man, Van Persie, to the Red Devils and it is Arsenal who has become the ‘selling club’ in north London as they fail to challenge for major honours. Along with Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Gael Clichy have all decided their futures lay away from the Library in recent years. Yet Tottenham ware able to hold on to the majority of their key players as they continue to challenge for a regular top 4 position.
This sets up a dramatic second half to the season. With the two Manchester Clubs fighting for the title, it would seem that London clubs; Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal will have to be content with fighting for Champions League qualification.
Can Spurs finally disrupt the status quo and finish above them both or will normality be restored and consigned to being the number two team in north London for one more season? Either way, the gap is closing……… COYS !!!