For years Arsenal have been the undisputed kings of North London. While the Gunners were winning Premier League titles with unbeaten seasons and playing in Champions League finals, their neighbours Tottenham were confined to mid-table mediocrity with the occasional relegation scrap.
However, times are changing and many are starting to believe there has been a power shift in North London. While Tottenham continue to go from strength to strength under manager Mauricio Pochettino, Arsenal appear to have stagnated in recent years and lately, there is evidence that the Gunners are beginning to decline.
Spurs can Confirm Power Shift With North London Derby win
The Tottenham revolution began in earnest in 2004 under manager Martin Jol. Jol was originally appointed as assistant manager but replaced Jaques Santini after the Frenchman was sacked thirteen games into the season. Jol was the manager for three seasons and transformed the club from a mid-table side to a UEFA cup regulars. They almost qualified for the Champions League in 2006 but some dodgy lasagna got in the way.
After Jol, Tottenham had a few hits and misses in regards to management. Although they did remain in the positions that Jol achieved. Harry Redknapp was the man to take the club over the line and into the Champions League. Spurs had a brilliant campaign, beating both Milan giants but ultimately fell Real Madrid.
The club has had its ups and downs in terms of short-term success but overall, since 2004, the club has had a constant upward trajectory. Latest manager Mauricio Pochettino has taken the club to new heights. The Argentine is the man to finally make Spurs Champions League regulars and title contenders.
While Tottenahm have been growing into a force, rivals Arsenal have stood still. The club stopped becoming title contenders around the time Jol left Tottenham. The Gunners seemed to be content with just achieving Champions League qualification every year. They were regularly raided by financially superior sides with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City taking at least one of their stars on a near yearly basis.
Last season Arsenal failed to even qualify for the Champions League, the first time they haven’t since manager Arsene Wenger took over in 1996. Fans have become frustrated at the lack of progress. The odd FA cup is doing little to paper over the cracks.
The current Premier League season is only eleven games old. It would be silly to write off Arsenal should they lose this Saturday. However, following their recent 3-1 defeat to Manchester City and the 4-0 loss to Liverpool this season, the idea of Tottenham coming to the Emirates on Saturday and leaving with all the points will do massive mental damage to Arsenal’s players and will only add fuel to the discontent among their fans.
For Tottenham, it is a chance to establish themselves as the top dogs in North London. Spurs can also end their ‘bottling’ reputation. In recent years in the big games, Tottenham have more often than not capitulated. The 5-1 defeat to Newcastle on the last day of the 2015/16 season as well as the 2-2 draw with Chelsea the following season, a game which Tottenham had actually led 2-0, are the most painful examples for the Tottenham faithful.
A victory this Saturday is a must for both sides. Tottenham will arrive as favorites but form goes straight out the window on derby day. The under-performing Arsenal stars will know that a good performance will lead to their past sins being forgiven; so they should be up for it. Meanwhile, Tottenham will want to prove to everyone that they are not just hype and that they are the real deal. Victory will also go along way towards finally cementing the power shift in North London.