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.
At the moment, prior to the transfer window shenanigans, I would put money on Spurs finishing ahead of Arsenal. As painful as it is to admit it this is the first time in almost two decades that the White side of North London has a stronger squad than the Reds. Arsenal had many great players four seasons ago, they just let them go and replaced them with players who are still great, but 20% less effective than the ones that departed. As for Spurs they seem to have developed the knack of finding good players who seem to step up a level when they pull on the Spurs shirt. Just like Arsenal used to do. Like every Arsenal fan I am praying that Wenger spends some serious money, that Wilshere stays injury free, that Diaby makes a miraculous recovery, Wenger becomes a little more flexible in his approach and that Giroud turns out to be the new Bergkamp. Whether all that happens remains to be seen. If things stay as they are though the very painful thought of watching Europa League football while our neighbours mix it with Europe's greatest in the CL might soon be a reality.