Friday, 19 November 2010

Old Habits......

So this Saturday sees the first North London Derby of the season in the Premiership. Once again old wounds are opened and scores are there to be settled.

The Tottenham Arsenal rivalry goes back to 1913 when the Gooners moved north from Plumstead and landed on the doorstep of White Hart Lane. Being so close a neighbour is always going to create a rivalry, as twitching curtains and extravagant Christmas lights prove on many a suburban street. But it wasn't until 1919 that things escalated as Arsenal came up from the second division at the expense of Spurs amid rumours of underhand dealings (it's seems in football such things went on even back then!)

It seems that every year some pundit will claim that the gap of the supposed quality between both teams is narrowing. Yet baring a win at The Lane at the tail end of last season, a 5-1 trouncing in the Carling Cup Semi-Final and coming from behind in a blistering four all draw, Tottenham are still without a win at Arsenal's place since 1993.
And maybe for Spurs this is where the problem lies, Arsenal are Tottenham's bitter rivals, but for the Gunners? Well they have bigger fish to fry and have had some ding-dong battles at the top half of the league against Man U & Chelsea in recent seasons.
Is the North London Derby therefore just another game to them and maybe to a lesser extent the supporters?
You only have to look toward the East End of London where if you were to ask any West Ham supporter what would be considered a good season, nine times out of ten the answer you'd get is to get one over "the Spuds", while Tottenham look northwards in envy.
Is the historical rivalry drilled into the Spurs players and new signings more so than of those at The Emirates where the more pressing mission is to win the league?
But having said that it's two teams of professional sportsmen where winning should be utmost in their minds and maybe with the self imposed burden on them, Spurs should take a leaf out of their rivals book and just treat it merely as a game of football?

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