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Has the North London status quo between Arsenal and Tottenham changed?

The North London rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham has been stirred by Gareth Bale by saying that on the pitch, Tottenham have over taken Arsene’s men. This got me to thinking of the rise of Spurs in recent years to a Champions League position challenging club. They definitely are looking more consistent than Arsenal and are having a better run in Europe, be it though the lesser Europa League. However, it will give the Tottenham players a great confidence and experience, especially for the younger lads for the Champions League next year. Where as Arsenal have a confidence shattering mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich who made them look like what they are on the world stage, more-or-less average. So maybe Bale’s claims have a bit of substance. They are above Arsenal and looking like they could take the esteemed top European spots but writing off Arsenal seems a very foolish thing to do.

Bale did say specifically say that they are better on the pitch not as a club so to compare stadiums, budgets and fan bases would seem a tangent, though we would strongly reason Arsenal have the largest in all three sectors. Bale, humbly, has not highlighted the obvious upturn in Tottenham’s fortunes, his own left foot. Bale is Tottenham’s talisman, their big profile but more importantly there match winner, something Arsenal haven’t got currently. They have got a great collection of strikers at the Emirates but not one player that you can really trust in. Walcott? He wants to play through the middle but he is certainly no Henry and Podolski and Giroud have just not proven it at the top level yet where Bale has.

So what about Arsenals great youngster? Jack Wilshere. Well, he may not be a match winner like Bale but that isn’t his game, he can control a game and that can a win game over 90 minutes. People have speculated about both of their futures, with both being linked to huge value moves to any club that could potentially afford it. This is only verification of the amazing, young talents that these two teams have and are hoping to hold on to. So would comparing the two players and deciding who’s the better player help figure out the difference between the teams? I don’t think so. They are both young excellent players and will either give their respective teams a big pay day or world class performances.

Both teams have strong players but Tottenham’s midfield seems to have better depth, with a great array of midfielders across the board with good wingers and a depth through the centre. Arsenal though struggle with wide men, instead pushing them forward to play in a front three while their centre midfielders are arguably similar calibre to that of Tottenham.
Arsenal and Tottenham both have youthful players in their defence and are roughly evenly matched.

The main issue between these two for me is the mentality of the teams, Tottenham have a drive, a feeling that they have nothing to lose. This mentality has given them victories in games Arsenal may left with a point, a couple of last minute goals to snatch that victory is crucial for a winning team. However with Arsenal we see a different way, they have been criticised for not giving the effort and Wilshere screaming at players to close gaps and get close has been all too common this season. The mentality isn’t there, so when Arsenal drop points and Tottenham are picking them up Bale’s statement looks more and more true. Nothing, of course, can be taken away from AVB who has forced this winning mentality into the Tottenham camp, showing he wants to win everything that’s possible.

Tottenham seem to be always looking up, seeing where they can go we’re as Arsenal want
to keep fourth so are always looking down. It’s as if Arsenal have no ambition for top spot but just to play Champions League football. That difference in mentality is what splits the two teams at the moment, the hunger and desire is not there at Arsenal. Whether this can be improved by Arsene in the near future or whether a successor could change this failing Arsenal team but that is a debate for another day. So with four points and two positions between the rivals, their Sunday game will decide this debate and possibly their seasons.



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