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Mind The Gap – The Reason Behind the Power Shift

Mind The Gap – The Reason Behind the Power Shift

The ten point advantage Tottenham currently have over Arsenal in the Premier League would have been unthinkable just a couple of seasons ago. Although Arsenal fans were calling for Arsene Wenger’s head after a bad start to the season, things seemed to have settled down on that front with the good run of form they put together following the 2-1 defeat the Gunners suffered at White Hart Lane. Now reality has finally set in, Wenger’s management skills are once again being called into question by their supporters.

In stark contrast, Harry Redknapp’s reputation continues to thrive not only among Spurs fans, but also football enthusiasts around the globe. Bringing Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor to the club this season only added to what was already an excellent squad of players. Not only have Harry’s player purchases been very astute, he has also helped Gareth Bale become one of the best footballers in the world. He is able to instil a belief in players that Wenger cannot. Another great example of this is Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He was going nowhere fast at Tottenham but Redknapp spotted his potential and gave the former Lens man a chance. Ekotto is now one of the very best left backs the Premier League has to offer.

While the 5-1 cup victory in 2008 was a sign of things to come, the day when the power really shifted in North London was 20th November 2010. Spurs had not won at Arsenal for 17 years. Going 2-0 down before half time would have seen Tottenham sides of old throw the towel in, but this set of players were not prepared to lie down. Winning the game in such a manner gave Spurs a new found confidence and helped enforce the never say die attitude that has seen us become serious title contenders this season.

There are a couple of games during this campaign that really illustrate the difference between the two teams perfectly. Both were defeats, our 2-1 reverse away to Stoke, and Arsenal’s 3-2 loss at Swansea. Admittedly, the game at the Liberty Stadium was very entertaining and all credit to Swansea for playing some great football, but a number of the Arsenal players on that pitch looked like they did not want to be there. It ultimately ended with the man Arsenal fans were hailing as the King a few days earlier, a 34 year old Thierry Henry, turning on them for venting their frustrations.

At Stoke, Spurs were not at their best in the first half. Any team two goals behind at the Britannia Stadium would probably have resigned themselves to defeat. In the end, it was only one of the worst refereeing performances in Premier League history that cost us all three points. Every Spurs player gave their all in that second half to try and get something from the game and even though we lost the match, it is possibly my favourite Tottenham performance of the season. It goes a long way to showing why Tottenham are now the dominant team in North London and why you’d better mind that gap.

The Facebook supporters are the reason we won’t win tonight

The Facebook supporters are the reason we won’t win tonight

I’m happy with the way things have gone this season. I never honestly expected to win anything or manage a 4th place finish. Top 6 was always what I realistically thought Spurs would achieve and that still looks like being the case. There has been some good and some bad but overall you’d have to be happy with the strong squad Harry Redknapp has managed to build in a relatively short time.

What has really got to me this season is the new breed of Facebook supporters. Status updates such as ‘The Cup’s coming home to the Lane’ and ‘Top 4 is in the bag’ only ensures the FA Cup will be coming nowhere near the Lane for the foreseeable future, neither will top class European football. I know you are going to have to deal with dickheads whatever club you support but we seem to have more than our fair share at Tottenham. I’m sure any real Millwall fans will be feeling the same pain currently. Their surge in Facebook support the last few weeks has been spectacular and the majority aren’t real wall but will paint their faces and get the big foam fingers out because they have won a few games.

Don’t get me wrong, I went to town when we beat A5ena1 and again when we won the League Cup because we had actually achieved something. As soon as these cocks open their mouths, I’m convinced it puts the mockers on us. What makes it worse is as soon as the inevitable happens, every other football fan is ready to pounce. The amount of status’ on Sunday digging Spurs out was unreal. Even people that have never watched a game of football before and are only interested in Eastenders and M Dubz as lesuire activities were having a pop.

I’m not confident about tonight and I’ll be very surprised if we win but please can we keep the big talk to a minimum until after the game. I hope we can make North London Derby Day a time when real Spurs Supporters unite in denouncing Facebook Tossers and their status updates because they have destroyed our season.

I feel for Arsenal fans today

I feel for Arsenal fans today

It’s certainly a tough day for fans of the Arse. The number of them calling for Wenger’s head all over the internet is quite astounding. Panic surrounding the futures of Fabregas, Adebayor and Van Persie is rife and it has turned into yet another trophy-less season for a club that expects a lot more.

Wenger’s methods are possibly outdated in today’s Premiership. Maybe his brand of football and obsession with young boys just doesn’t work anymore. Patrice Evra put it best, claiming last night’s match was “It was 11 men against 11 babies.”

I hold my hands up, the gap between Arsenal and Spurs over the last decade or so has been very hard for us Spurs fans to take but it does appear to be gradually being eroding. With some stability where we are concerned in the summer and with the likely unrest at the Emirates, it could be the season we pose a serious threat to their dominance as the premier north London side and hopefully edge them out of the illusive top 4 like we should have done a few years ago.

While Arsenal fans are in turmoil after last night’s result, I am taking heart from the fact they look very much like a club on the road to nowhere.

Tottenham Player of the Season

Tottenham Player of the Season

I did something similar on the Goons over at North London Divide last night and I thought it would be interesting to see who people thought was our player of the season.

I don’t want to dwell on this too much but Arsenal are in a position where they can still win a trophy this season so their player of the season could change if someone drives them to FA Cup or Champions league glory (unlikely I know), but our season is pretty much over other than the battle for 7th place and UEFA Cup football next season. Not that I can see much point in that battle because we probably won’t bother with that competition if we have an important league game away to Wolves or something similar on the agenda.

Here is a list of the leading contenders;

Ledley King – Ledley’s one of the main reasons we aren’t still in a relegation battle for me. His performance’s this season have been of the highest order and what sticks in my mind as pivotal to our season was his goal at West Ham when we were in desperate need of points.

Jamie O’Hara – You’ve got to love him for having a crack at Danielle Lloyd after her previous boyfriends if nothing else. He may be small but he has the heart of a lion. I hope he continues to improve and establishes himself as a key member of our squad in the coming years.

Aaron Lennon – I was ready to write him off at the start of the season, how wrong I was. He’s been magnificent for us in recent months and seems to have really blossomed under Harry Redknapp. The headless chicken has finally found a head and has the world at his feet.

Jonathan Woodgate – He’s proved to be worth every penny of his £7m transfer fee unlike some of the rubbish we have shelled out for in recent times. He’s our rock, seems to have put his injury nightmare behind him since arriving and has been an ever present force this season with 37 appearances thus far.

Verdan Corluka – Some people are still undecided but I am a massive fan of this guy. He works hard and has that touch of class some defenders lack. Other fans I’ve raved to about this guy argue he makes too many individual errors but I don’t believe that is the case. There is no one else I would want alongside King and Woody.

Luka Modric – The ugly little girl is our class act and I don’t even think we have seen the best of him. Had he got the winner against Arsenal at the Lane he’d without doubt be our player of the season, I’m sure he’s most Spurs fan’s choice in any case.

Who is your Tottenham player of the season?