Sunday 22nd October 2017
Anthony Mutombo – Student UCFB, Wembley
St Totteringham’s day is officially cancelled; well at least for a year anyway. Tottenham’s sublime 2016/17 season may have come to the annoyance of all Arsenal supporters around the world, as Mauricio Pochettino became the first manager since Gerry Francis to breathe a collective sigh of relief, and enjoy the satisfaction of looking down at his North London rivals; something in which the Arsenal supporters have enjoyed greatly over the last two decades.
An occasion created by the Gunners faithful in 2002, Spurs failure to finish above them had grown to an embarrassing length. Despite Arsenal’s inability to win the league in recent seasons, Spurs had still failed to finish ahead of their fiercest rivals in each of the last 22 seasons, last doing so in 1995.
So you can imagine the sweet sensation felt by all Tottenham fans when Harry Kane, Dele Alli and co. finally put that wretched record to an end when they dispatched Manchester United 2-1, gaining the three points that officially made it impossible for their rivals to top them in the league. Achieving the feat in the same game that saw them wave goodbye to their illustrious White Hart Lane stadium.
The glory days of Raphael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Harry Redknapp we’re finally eclipsed. Plaudits were given to Pochettino, as the Argentinian manager led Spurs to their highest ever Premier League position, concluding the campaign as runners up to runaway champions Chelsea. However, this, and the cancellation of St Totteringham’s Day wasn’t his only achievements though. There seems to be a monster growing in North London, one to rival the Gunnersaurus. Arsenal fans everywhere should be looking over their shoulders with a lot more caution.
In the past, Arsenal would have regularly celebrated the occasion of St Totteringham’s day at much earlier points in the season, but had to wait until the final day of the 2015-16 campaign. Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing over Aston Villa, and Tottenham’s surprising 5-1 collapse away at relegated Newcastle meant Arsene Wenger’s side finished second with 71 points, one more than their north London rivals whom fell to third. However, what may not be remembered is that Tottenham finished that season with the joint best defence, with them and Manchester United having only conceded 35 goals. And that was only after they conceded 5 to Newcastle. Better remembered would be their surprise title challenge, as they chased down Leicester City in what was a spectacular and exciting, but albeit weird campaign for any football supporter following any of the traditional 5 (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool). Spurs also bettered Arsenal by scoring a modest 69 goals that campaign, being the second highest goal scorers in the league, only two behind Manchester City. Plus, with the introduction of wonder-kid Dele Alli, and the progression and developments of Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane (whom took home the Golden Boot with 26 league goals), Spurs were forming a formidable side.
Part two will be published at 1300 on 22/10/17
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