Premier League 2018/19: Tottenham are no longer in Arsenal's shadow
Ever since Arsenal Football Club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury in 1913, and then moved to the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners have developed a longstanding rivalry unlike any other with Tottenham Hotspur. Since this infamous rivalry began, North London has always been red and for more than a hundered years, and Spurs have always been in Arsenal's shadow.
In the grand scheme of things, Arsenal will always be the bigger club considering the number of trophies won, fan base, worldwide recognition, and revenue. However, if the last few years are anything to go by, then we can clearly see that there has been a gradual shift in power in North London.
This shift was first noticed in the 2015-16 season when Arsenal finished 2nd and Tottenham finished 3rd. While Arsenal fans go on about Tottenham finishing 3rd in a two horse race that season, what they fail to realise is that not winning the title that season was a bigger insult to Arsenal than Tottenham finishing third. The Gunners lost 7 games in the Premier League that season, out of which 3 were against top 6 opponents.
Spurs, on the other hand, lost just 1 match again a top-six opponent. Arsenal has never had a great record against the top six clubs, and this was the primary reason that cost them the title that season.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have been on an upward climb ever since Mauricio Pochettino took over and he finally ensured Tottenham would no longer remain in Arsenal's shadow after he guided Spurs to a finish above them in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. With the way this season is going so far, it looks like Spurs will finish about them again, and no matter how much the Arsenal fans deny it, Tottenham is very well out of Arsenal's shadow.
In the seasons where Tottenham finished above Arsenal, there was a three-place gap between the two teams. In terms of their win-loss record against the top six teams in these two seasons, Spurs lost 7 games while Arsenal lost 11. This major difference shows just how much Tottenham have improved as a team over the years and how Arsenal have not been able to match up to the top six teams.
With the way things have panned out in the last three years, it looks like Tottenham have taken Arsenal's place as the superior club in North London. The Gunners have had to settle for spending most of the last few seasons being in the fight for a Champions League spot instead of challenging for major honours.
The difference between Arsenal and Tottenham has been made clear this season with Unai Emery and his men facing all sorts of problems, while Tottenham still have an outside chance of winning the title. To make matters worse for Arsenal, they spent 70 million on transfers this season, while Tottenham did not spend a single penny, and have still been outstanding so far this season.
In the Champions League this season, no one expected Spurs to qualify from the group stage with teams like Barcelona, Inter Milan, and PSV Eindhoven in the mix. However, they once again proved their haters wrong by defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the Round of 16.
In the 2017/18 season, Tottenham had Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in their group, and again, no one expected them to progress, but they defied all odds and topped the group. If Arsenal had to go up against any of these teams, they would have been ruled out even before the match started.
Pochettino and Tottenham are a match made in heaven, and he has definitely made Tottenham one of the most feared teams in the Premier League, and soon, in Europe as well. He has assembled a group of players who want to win, who want to play for him and want to go on to achieve greatness. The only thing missing is a trophy, and with the way things are going now, that could change in the coming seasons.
But most importantly, North London is no longer red, it's white.