Arsenal still not out of it

There is a nightmare scenario coming up at the end of this season which could see Spurs finish above Arsenal for the first time in 20 years.

Without entering the debate as to whether finishing above a rival once in 20 years signifies a massive power shift (hint: it doesn’t), there is something I would like to discuss.

It is being written by many in the press that this is Spurs best chance to finish above Arsenal in 20 years. This simply is not true.

10 years ago, the last season at Highbury. Spurs went into the last game of the season a point ahead of Arsenal. And we all know how that finished, despite Teddy Sheringham deliberately missing a penalty, Spurs shat themselves, and Arsenal ensured they would go into the new stadium with Champions League football.

That has and still is the best chance they have had in the last 20 years of loosening the Arsenal strangle hold on North London.

Looking back to that season, there are so many symmetries.

On the 11th April 2006, Arsenal were 5 points behind Spurs. We had 6 games left to play, Spurs 5 points. Currently we site 6 points behind with 6 and 5 games left to play respectively.

Spurs had just beaten a team from Manchester at home – 2006: Manchester City; 2016: Manchester United. Whilst Arsenal had just dropped points at a trick away – 2006: Lost at  Manchester United; 2016: Drew at West Ham.

In 2006, Arsenal still had to play WBA (H), Sunderland (A) & Manchester City (A). 3 of Arsenal’s last 6 fixtures in 2016 are identical, including playing Manchester City away with 1 game to go.

In 2006, Spurs had a team for of young English talent, Paul Robinson, Michael Carrick, Jermaine Defoe, Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone, Anthony Gardner & Calum Davenport. It is similar this year.

So in 2006, Arsenal overturned a 5 point deficit to finish 2 above Spurs with 6 games to go. In 2016 Arsenal must over turn a 6 point deficit.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility. In fact, as we see, history favours Arsenal.

It is not over till the fat lady sings.


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