This article was written before Sunday’s games
The topic of whether Tottenham Hotspur have actually eclipsed Arsenal makes me want to cry a little bit.
Not because I’m emotional about the fact that Spurs came above Arsenal last season for the first time since 1995. But because it’s frustrating.
A power shift implies that, since Mauricio Pochettino took over in 2014 (although I’m sure pundits have been talking about this since André Villas-Boas was in charge), our noisy neighbours are now the top dogs in north London. It suggests that they’re the favourites going into any north London derby and that they’ve swapped places with Arsenal.
But that’s not really true, is it?
Admittedly, they do look like a decent enough team under Pochettino and I do reckon he’s a good manager. At points this season they’ve definitely looked better than Arsene Wenger’s men.
However, during the time he has been revamping and honing his ‘young’ team, he’s not actually won anything. In fact, the last time they’ve won a trophy was 2007/08 and that was the League Cup. And trophies are the measure of a successful team, right?
At least that’s what we’re led to believe at Arsenal.
What’s more, while Spurs have been ‘eclipsing’ Arsenal and we’ve been on our ‘downward spiral’, the Gunners have actually won the FA Cup twice.
Arsene Wenger has now won that trophy more than any other manager (seven) and Arsenal have won it more than any other team (13). Spurs have won it eight times in their history; the last was in 1990/91.
It’s just the FA Cup though, right? Okay. So let’s look at other silverware.
The Premier League: Arsenal have won the title 13 times in their history (three Premier League; 10 First Division). Spurs have won it twice (First Division) and the last time was in 1960/61.
Until this season, Arsenal had consistently been in the Champions League for 21 years. Spurs are currently in it for the second time.
Arsenal have won 80 North London Derby’s compared to Spurs’ 62.
Therefore, I fail to see how Arsenal can be eclipsed by a team that are still smaller than them.
For Spurs to become the bigger team and for a ‘power shift’ to actually occur, Arsenal would have to fail to win the league for another 43 years while Spurs racked up another 11.
We would also have to stop winning the FA Cup and allow them to catch up on that as well.
Spurs would also have to win the league at the Emirates. Twice. And they would have to go an entire season unbeaten.
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Because it is and that’s what people sound like when they declare there’s been a power shift in north London.