In north London’s great rivals, we find two managers in Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho who represent a star on the way up and one burning out.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal lifts the FA Cup Trophy after his teams victory in the Heads Up FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 01, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal lifts the FA Cup Trophy after his teams victory in the Heads Up FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 01, 2020 in London, England.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho has done it all.

He’s won just about everything there is to get your hands on in the game. In contrast, Mikel Arteta has won the FA Cup and managed but a handful of games. He’s a managerial infant when compared to Jose Mourinho, against that there can be no argument.

But Spurs fans don’t care for the trophies Mourinho won with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United. In all, the ‘Special One’ has won eight league titles, four national cups, two Champions Leagues, the Europa League and a ton of other lesser trophies. Why would they care about any of those when their own cabinet sits unattended for so long?

What they do is look up the road and see Arsenal, in the greatest difficulty for 25 years. They wonder how our new manager, who was appointed to his first job in management exactly one month after Jose Mourinho took over the greatest Spurs side in living memory, has some silverware while they still have nothing.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta with the Community Shield after the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta with the Community Shield after the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Back in January, Jose Mourinho needed a striker. Did he turn to the talented youngster, Troy Parrott or did he phone Peter Crouch and ask him to come out of retirement?

The signing of Gareth Bale couldn’t be any more a Mourinho signing if he tried, right down to adding to the severe financial pressure already on a club wondering how they’re going to pay for their new £1bn stadium when they can’t let any fans in.

And they’ll have to spend because they have to keep Mourinho happy. That’s the only way he know’s how to manage – by buying. Tottenham pay him £15m a year and it would cost them £45m to sack him as they gave him a deal until 2023.

A bitter Mourinho is a destructive one.

Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, earns £3.64m.

Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho walks on th epitch ahead of the second half during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Adam Davy / POOL / AFP)
Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho walks on the pitch ahead of the second half during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Adam Davy / POOL / AFP)

Bale is 31 and Spurs are agreeing to pay half his wages, an amount that totals around £250kpw for their share. He played 1,260 minutes last season and ended the campaign with fewer goals and assists than Bukayo Saka for Arsenal by some distance.

Given the choice of Saka or Bale, who do you think Mourinho would opt to pick?

Of course, we can point to Arsenal bringing in Willian, a player even older than Bale. But that was done with an eye to the future. Willian was brought to the club permanently, not on loan. He’s at Arsenal to perform, something he’s done consistently every season (can you say that about Bale when he’s reportedly going to need a month just to get fit?) but also to mentor the likes of Saka and his fellow Brazilian, Gabriel Martinelli.

Do you think Mourinho has any plans for the future?

Do you think he’s bringing Bale back to London as a signing that will help Tottenham over the longer-term or simply as the ready-made, experienced attacker he can slot into his team so he doesn’t have to worry about attacking tactics? A shiny signing to deflect from his own failings rather than to fix his team.

Do you think he once looked at the youth ranks to see what was available there instead? Of course not. Given the choice between spending money and promoting youth, Mourinho has always opted to spend money because he doesn’t know how to develop youngsters.

Or, if he does, he keeps that talent well hidden.

Arsenal's Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates scoring their first goal to equalise 1-1 with Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on January 21, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (R) celebrates scoring their first goal to equalise 1-1 with Arsenal’s English striker Bukayo Saka (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on January 21, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Mourinho is a man-motivator. That’s his trick. Once people saw through that there suddenly wasn’t that much ‘special’ about him.

Even as Tottenham land Gareth Bale, I still fancy Arteta to best Mourinho this season as the Special One loses more of his shine with every passing campaign. As for Bale, there’s a reason they say you should never go back. Unless your name is Thierry Henry, of course.

The two managers have met just once and Mourinho won that game, guiding Spurs to a 2-1 home game in July when football returned. We can’t really take much from that. The next encounter, when the two sides meet in December, will be much more telling.

Not only will Arteta and Mourinho both have had a year with their squads, enforced break aside, we will have a far better idea of how both teams are shaping up and where they are likely to finish at the end of the season.

If I was a betting man, I’d put money on Arsenal being a good few points clear of Spurs by that point. Arteta has brought something special to Arsenal – a sense of excitement and potential. Compare that with Spurs just up the road, losing on the opening day to Everton, just about scraping past nine men in Bulgaria in Europa League qualifying, all while playing football that would give you flashbacks of Unai Emery at his finest.

Do they look like they’re having fun in N17?

Spurs have had their ‘glory years’ under Mauricio Pochettino, who managed to get them above Arsenal. How much that had to do with Arsenal’s implosion rather than Spurs themselves is up for debate.

Even in a season when we had three different managers, however, they still couldn’t win more than us. They still haven’t won anything. Not for a long time. Even through their ‘glory years’ when we had to listen to non-stop talk about power-shifts, Arsenal were the side winning things.

The last five years have been, perhaps, some of the worst most Arsenal fans can remember and all Spurs have to crow about is finishing above us. Plus that Champions League final they lost.

With Mikel Arteta installed at Arsenal and Jose Mourinho rotting Spurs from the inside out, we might be best advised to get the St Totteringham’s Day bunting out of storage sooner rather than later…