Up until this season if you had suggested to an Arsenal fan that their pals at the other end of the Seven Sisters Road had a stronger squad you would have probably been chased all the way back to Edmonton.
However, as the season progresses and Arsenal’s results and performances get weirder and weirder, it has become painfully obvious to a lot of Gooners that the superiority over their neighbours that they once took for granted, might be about to come to an end.
At the time of writing both teams are, along with Everton, the key contenders for that fourth Champions League slot. If you asked me though who I think will be hosting Champions League games next season I’d say it is more likely to be Spurs – and this from a Gooner. And it isn’t just me. Catch them in a more reflective moment and many Arsenal fans would agree that their worst fears might soon be about to be realised.
I have gone through both squads and compared the Arsenal and Spurs players (to be fair I am way more familiar with the Gunners, but I have watched a lot of the Spuds on the TV this season) and the sad part is that, while it is still pretty close, in certain key areas, Tottenham have the edge. There is probably a greater number of Spurs players who I wish were wearing red and white than probably since the late 80s, and fewer Arsenal men that Spurs fans covet.
So, take the tour and say what you think in the comments. Like most Arsenal fans I remain optimistic, but that optimism is born out of two things – 1 A feeling that we have managed to sneak a Champions League slot so many times before. 2 That Ivan Gazidis isn’t kidding when he says that Arsene Wenger has plenty of cash to spend in January. Whether Arsene spends it though is another matter.
Central defenders - Arsenal
William Gallas!? You are welcome to him. I know he has been fairly solid for a couple of season at Spuds now, but I wouldn't swap any of Arsenal's defensive trio for him. The sad thing for Arsenal is that while Mertesacker has acclimatised to the Premiership this season, Vermaelen seems to be only half the player he was in his first two seasons. Kaboul and Dawson are obviously good players, but neither are Ledley King and neither are coveted at the Emirates. Interesting too isn't it that both Vermaelen and Vertonghen have played on the left and centre back this year. It seems neither of them are that keen on playing as a full back, though I agree with AVB and think that Vertonghen works best there. Finally it is worth mentioning that Arsenal have leaked fewer goals than Spurs this season and that is largely down to the centre back pairing.
By Ashley | December 27th, 2012