The North London Power Shift

Back in 2004, Arsenal were unstoppable. The Invincibles were simply that – Invincible. Having gone the entire season unbeaten, the Gunners gave rivals Tottenham Hotspur the ultimate insult by winning the league at White Hart Lane.

Since that day, Spurs have been going through a transition from mid-table mediocrity to perennial top four contenders. However, Andre Villas-Boas’ side have been unable to usurp the Gunners as the top team in north London.

However, Sunday’s 2-1 win for Spurs saw the club open a seven point gap over Arsenal with 10 games of the season remaining. While the Lilywhites were in a similar position last season, there haven’t been any suggestions that Villas-Boas’ side will capitulate in such a spectacular fashion this year.

Many a time, pundits and fans have spoken of an inevitable power shift in north London, a cycle that was going to happen at one point or another, such is the cycle in the footballing world. Sunday victory for Spurs could well have been the beginning of that as a result and, as such, see the club reemerge as the dominant side in London.

Arsenal fans may not want to admit it so, but cycles in football are set in stone, much like night following day. The result for Spurs over the weekend could well have seen the pendulum now swing back in their favour. 

Ben McAleer

7 Responses to The North London Power Shift

  1. aj March 5, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Tottenham edged a game 2-1 that they were second best for the vast majority of the game. Two minutes of monumental defensive stupidity gifted that game to Spurs. Arsenal won the corresponding fixture earlier in the season 5-2, just as they had done last season.

    That hardly constitutes a major shift in the power base.

    The media seem to have been talking up Spurs now for years and committing Arsenal to the scrap heap but nothin has changed, so far. We'll see what happens.

    All that Arsenal need are a decent striker and some proper defensive coaching and they will be competing again at the top.

  2. Bobspurs March 5, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Spurs fan here, still think it is much too early to talk about a power shift…lets wait and see where everyone finishes at the end of the season as I have seen my team roll over and play dead on too many occasions in the past!

    I think Spurs now are a good team with one exceptional player…if we keep him for long enough to build a team around him of similar quality we can surpass Arsenal…but that remains to be seen.

    Arsenal to me look like Spurs have for the past 4 or 5 seasons…one or two players short of the complete picture and short of confidence that they can get it done. Personally, and it sounds strange from a spurs fan, would rather see Arsenal in top 4 with us and Chelsea miss out. At least any success Arsenal get is earned rather than bought…

  3. March 5, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Spu D's get lucky every 10 years or so where does spurs money come from little euro income small stadium strange media hate arsenal but with young players getting better top striker coming arsenal is about to push up

  4. March 5, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Head to heads are no real guide as to which of these two teams holds supremacy. One must judge over the course of the season in terms of trophies and league position. I'm a lifelong (many, many, many years) Spurs supporter and I'm enjoying the parity between the two clubs after the past 14 years or so of living in the shadow of Arsenal.

    It was quite telling that the mood amongst fans before the game was very different from the preceding years. For the first time in a very long while, Arsenal fans were approaching the game with a veil of inevitable gloom, with none of the many Arsenal fans I know expecting anything but a loss. Contrast this with the upbeat feelings enjoyed by many Spurs fans and you can see that the the power has indeed shifted to some degree.

    I believe there is very little between the sides at the moment but the next few games could see this change if Arsenal don't dig in and rally. The run in certainly favours Arsenal but it will depend on how Wenger can get his players to start believing. Spurs will, most certainly, drop points but it's hard to see the late season collapse of last year.

    It will be important that the Arsenal fans get behind Wenger and to put aside the negativity that prevails at the moment, which may be a bit more of a difficult task.

    It will be a fascinating next few weeks for sure and history dictates that I have my gloat on hold for a while.

    I would really love to see a 3rd place finish for Spurs and a 4th for our traditional but noble foes with the detestable West London shower of brown stuff banished to the Europa League.

  5. jim March 5, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    relax goons, there has been no power shift, or at least there wont be until we have our new stadium and can compete with the wages you lot pay your players.
    You are having a bad season and we are having a good one, even then there isnt much in it. So no, there is no power shift. Our fixtures run in is appalling and yours looks straightforward, so this race is far from over.

  6. craig March 5, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    There are cycles to some extent in football, but the advent of Premier League and Champions League cash has heavily skewed those, so that clubs at the top can stay there if they manage their affairs well, and those trying to break into that group (assuming the absence of a sugar-daddy, as Spurs don't have one) really need to be well-managed and focused. Spurs, since ENIC's takeover, have been increasing well managed on the financial, player trading and infrastructure side and have built a strong squad on a comparatively small budget, whilst putting plans for a new training ground and stadium into action. Arsenal have lost their way a bit since the stadium move and Dein's departure, but are well-managed financially – even if they go into a slump the sort of slump they can expect would not compare to Spurs' one in the 90s or Newcastle's more recently – it would probably mean just not consistent Champions League football but Europa League instead some seasons.
    Arsenal do need to take a long, hard look at their defensive unit and defensive training though – they are clearly inferior in that area, but you guys have a superb midfield so it's not as though a wholesale rebuilding is required. Also, as another Spurs fan notes, we have the harder run in and are still in Europe so really we needed the win on Sunday to keep our CL hopes alive – without that 7pt cushion you'd easily have overhauled us by May. You still might do so, but we've managed to make the job harder whilst giving ourselves another confidence boost.

  7. For Those March 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Unfortunate article don't be so nearsighted. Has the power shifted in Manchester to blue just becuase they've won the league title?? No, same for North London it will take years upon years for the Spurs to offset the domination we've had over them, the past is set in stone not the future.

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