It has taken an extended period of time – so many years in fact, that a large majority of Spurs fans cannot even recall the last time they beat fierce North London rivals Arsenal at something significant.
Yes, they managed to beat Arsenal in various league matches over the years and that is not to be sniffed at. Most recently in March of this year, they beat their arch rivals 2-1 at home, but you’d have to go back to October 2011 for their previous home victory against the Gunners. In the League Cup semi final second leg in January 2008, Spurs also recorded one of their best (and biggest) results as they thrashed Arsenal 5-1 and went on to lift the trophy that year.
But when it’s mattered most – in the Premier League table – Spurs have stumbled against Arsenal. It has been 18 years since Tottenham finished above Arsenal in the league table. Who can forget the infamous lasagna-gate incident that saw the entire Spurs team suffer from a stomach bug prior to their game against West Ham – the result that saw Spurs fail to finish in fourth position and qualify for the Champions League. In the just ended 2012-13 season, Spurs were ahead of Arsenal by seven points with ten games to play, but somehow still managed to be pipped to fourth position on the log.
All of that will now be buried in the history books.
For a change, the summer newspaper headlines have not been dominated by an Arsenal player – Vieira, Henry, Fabregas, Nasri, van Persie and the interminable “will they go or will they stay” headlines. This time, Spurs are hogging the limelight with the Gareth Bale “will he go or will he stay” headlines. Arsenal Wenger has used all of his cunning and media contacts to try and steal back the limelight with his alleged “£100 million war chest” stories, but this time Mr Levy and Spurs will not be denied.
On Sunday night, news emerged that Spurs may even do the double over the Gunners – not only would they have dominated a summer on the back pages, but there is a strong likelihood that Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid would soon be confirmed for a world record fee.
Could it be that this is Spurs year to overtake Arsenal in the domestic league as well? Let’s wait and see.