Emmanuel Petit believes the key difference between Arsenal and Tottenham is the commitment of their players.
The former Arsenal midfielder doesn’t believe that Spurs have surpassed Arsenal just yet, but has highlighted a key difference between them.
According to Petit, Spurs’ players are more committed to the cause and more willing to stay than Arsenal’s, who leave all too readily when a bigger club comes knocking.
“Tottenham are not yet at the same level as Arsenal – but their players have a loyalty and pride in their club that the Arsenal players don’t,” Petit told Paddy Power.
“The Gunners’ best players often want to leave, and this has been the case for a while now.
“Whereas, I get the feeling that there is far more motivation and commitment at Spurs.
“It’s often asked ‘what would happen is Real Madrid or Barcelona came in for Harry Kane and Dele Alli?’ But I have the feeling that, unlike in the past, these guys would choose to stay.”
It’s true that, currently, two of Arsenal’s best players want to leave the club. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have yet to extend their contracts at the club, and have shown little inclination that they want to.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have been able to tie their best players down to long-term contracts that will take them through their pending stadium move and beyond.
Petit went on to say that while Spurs are in a very strong position, they need to start winning trophies soon to convince their stars to remain for longer.
“Spurs will become stronger and stronger as time goes on,” he said.
“Unlike Alli and Kane at Tottenham, Arsenal’s best players often want to leave, and this has been the case for a while now.
“Arsenal must aim to regain a similar dynamic to Spurs. They have been struggling to attract the right type of footballer and personality.
“That’s not just down to money, but also because of the club’s image.
“But Tottenham aren’t quite ahead of Arsenal yet. They haven’t won anything for nine years and, for all their effort and quality, they have absolutely nothing to show for it.
“They must win something, and quickly. Otherwise, the players’ motivation to stay may disappear.”
Tottenham are improving, but they’ve yet to win a single trophy under Pochettino.
Time will tell if they’re able to keep hold of their best players for long, and what they’ll do should they lose them.