The North London Derby - Does it Matter?
The North London Derby is a working class rivalry built up over a century of competition as to who the Kings of North London are. It still stirs great rivalry today and for many decades it was the success of Arsenal vs the beautiful football of Tottenham. For sure Arsenal have a dozen more titles than Spurs, won far more trophies than Spurs, but that is what added to the rivarly - which has not really been a rivalry in competitive terms until Mauricio Pochettino took over and after 20 years of dominations, Spurs have begun to be ascendant over Arsenal.
Here is the current day problem and it is two fold :
Spurs are building a new billion dollar stadium, which is expected to be ready at the start of next season. Both Spurs and Arsenal are a part of a billion dollar business called the Premier League and the best seats in the new stadium are for the privileged boxes which either the rich can afford or working class folk so besotted by football, that they will have spend a huge chunk of their working class wages on a very expensive treat. In short football today caters for the rich and plays off its past connection as a working class support.
The other problem is that as Arsenal lose their superiority over an ascendant Spurs, it is now longer the imperial power of Arsenal vs the inferiority complex of Tottenham. It is becoming a superior Tottenham vs Arsenal supporters who still think like they have Divine Right of Kings. The reality among young kids is many of them are becoming new Tottenham supporters. They are inspired by England stars like Harry Kane, Deli Alli, Eric Dier and even the merging Harry Winks - rather than the foriegn acquisitions that lace the present Arsenal side.
Pochettino has not only begun to give the Tottenham team a nastier and more competitive mindset, but is focus on developing players from the youth team is beginning to give England its own nucleus of internationals dominated by players coming through the Tottenham youth academy. So it is that Pochettino himself privately does not want his players fixated on Arsenal, but to think at the highest level of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid and the Manchester clubs. He knows and cedes that the old North London Derby match is still a fixture fans and players pay attention to.
An American film crew filmed a documentary about the North London Derby shortly before Arsenal upset the current odds and beat Spurs 2-0 at the Emirates. It was not a result the pundits had forseen, and the result of Arsenal players playing at their absolute best and the Tottenham team having a bad day at the office.
Earlier today, the script of Tottenham ascendancy was back