Tottenham are being viewed as one of the best teams in the Premier League, but aren’t being judged as a big club in regard to silverware expectations.
Arsenal’s 10-year trophy drought was consistency brought up in the media, but Tottenham Hotspur are so far escaping such similar treatment despite their own drought having gone on for nine years. Spurs haven’t won the FA Cup since 1991, or a league title since 1961.
Back when the Gunners first moved into the Emirates Stadium, there was an expectation that they would continue to win trophies. Just three years prior they won the title without losing a game and their squad still boasted plenty of quality.
The impact the move would have on Arsenal’s finances and ability to build a squad strong enough to compete was ignored purely because of Arsenal’s reputation as one of the biggest and most recently successful clubs in the Premier League.
Every year without a trophy was a new knife for the media to stick into the club. Every year without a title was an invitation for yet more criticism. You couldn’t discuss Arsene Wenger’s men without bringing up the trophy drought.
No matter who they brought or what sort of team they had, nobody took Arsenal seriously because of that trophy draught. It was the narrative of the first eight years in the Emirates Stadium: When will they win a trophy again?
With this in mind, it’s impossible not to notice Spurs being given a much easier ride by the English media. As much as it might pain Arsenal fans to admit, their team has improved dramatically in the last three years.
Last year they finished second. The year before they finished third in hilarious circumstances. In both season they looked like genuine title contenders.
In 2016/17, they had the best attack and the best defence in the league. It’s a team that’s greatly admired for its youth, energy and relentless attacking style, all led by a young manager with a great philosophy.
Ask people who they think could win the Premier League next season and many would pick Spurs over Arsenal. Yet, nobody has mentioned the fact that Spurs haven’t won a trophy in nearly 10 years.
Few people mention their dreadful record in Europe, but you hear plenty about Arsenal’s, let alone their lack of domestic success. This is a team that’s supposedly the second best in the league, one so good it apparently doesn’t need any reinforcements this summer, yet it hasn’t won a thing.
Strangely, that’s viewed as good enough. Spurs are somehow occupying a space where they are considered one of the best sides in England, yet do not have all the expectation and pressure that should come with it.
As a fan, it’s easy to claim your club is picked on by the media. However, the difference in treatment does highlight that Arsenal were given a much rougher time of it than Spurs are receiving now.
It’s made all the most significant by Spurs’ pending stadium move. They are now a club championing young players and a philosophy that focuses on improvement rather than spending. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Somehow, though, I’m not expecting a ton of articles every year about their lack of a trophy, or about how their approach to things is wrong. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite. It’s a luxurious understanding and favouritism that Arsenal never had and never will have.
It may sound petty, but if we had to suffer through all the media criticism, Spurs should too.