Is This the Year When Tottenham Can Finally Finish Above Arsenal?

Tottenham fans regard their club to be one of the top clubs in the Premier League and certainly one of the best in London. These are undeniable facts as Spurs have had an illustrious history. The club also has a fair share of history that does not make for good reading. In fact, Tottenham are creating history with each passing Premier League season and this accounts to finishing above arch rivals Arsenal. Of all the London teams, Tottenham share their biggest rivalry with Arsenal. The North London derby, unsurprisingly, ranks as one of the fiercest derbies in world football.

Arsenal, though, have been able to finish above them in each of the past 21 seasons. It is quite a remarkable statistic since considering that the gap between the two teams has reduced in the last decade. Following the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996, the club started challenging for titles regularly with Thierry Henry spearheading the attack. Since 2003, though, Arsenal have fallen way behind the title challengers and seem to be only competing for the fourth spot. Yet, Spurs have been unable to break the Arsenal dominance even with some freak luck.

Spurs came closest last season when they were heading for an unlikely title success while Arsenal were struggling to even get into the top four. The last few weeks of the 2015-16 campaign carried unpredictability and nervousness, but the result had a familiar look as Arsenal once again finished about Spurs.

Tottenham supporters will claim that the gap has lowered, but their players are not used to the rigours of Champions League football and their season could suffer as a result. Arsenal players are used to playing two games a week and are probably better equipped to handle tiredness. Spurs’ tactic is based around intense pressing and it is extremely hard to keep up the performance levels when playing two games a week.

Tottenham also seem to have a mental block with regard to the league. Even when in promising positions, the lack of confidence shows quite clearly as Tottenham seem to think of new ways to go down the drain. Last season could not have been a better example. From a title-winning position, Spurs lost the final game of the season to relegated Newcastle and finished below Arsenal.

As the record increases, removing the monkey off the back will prove even harder for Tottenham.

Written by Bharath Ram

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