As the final whistle went yesterday and we trudged out of the stadium, dejected, annoyed, frustrated, I heard a racket behind me, some sort of mass celebration. I looked over my should and spotted Spurs fans in their corner of our stadium going mental, limbs everywhere. They were celebrating a 1-1 draw like they had just clinched the title at our ground.
But they hadn’t.
The response from both sets of fans to what was a fair result, a bore draw, shows the difference in expectations between the two sides. Arsenal were frustrated with a draw when a win would have seen them go top. Spurs were delighted with a draw that saw them remain 5th
The celebratory Spurs fans will point to the fact that they went 1-0 down, that they are still the only unbeaten team in the Premier League, that they are still in the title race, as reasons for their excitement. But the reality is very different.
Spurs have now not won a game in any competition since the 2-0 victory against Manchester City On October 2nd. That is over a month ago. 7 games without a win represents poor form, not a top side. As for the title race, they now sit 5th, 5 points off top. Whilst it would be too early to write them off – as we have seen with Chelsea – they are starting to be cut adrift due to their inability to win games.
In those 7 games, Spurs have scored just 4 goals. 3 of which have been penalties. So 1 goal from open play and no wins in 7. You can understand why I was confused when they were celebrating so vigorously.
Whilst on reflection, a 1-1 draw was the right result in which neither team created too much, it was only Arsenal who looked like they were trying to win.
Spurs’ 3 at the back very quickly turned to 5 at the back, and their game plan was to disrupt the play, hoof long balls forward and time waste at every opportunity. Signs that Spurs have not moved forward in 2 decades of Arsene Wenger, no matter what their fans might say.
Wenger rolled the dice bringing on Aaron Ramsey for Francis Coquelin in an attacking move. Olivir Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also both bought on in double quick time.
Meanwhile, Spurs subbed laboured off. Harry Kane got a little confused when being subbed off and went for a wander. Every chance they could get to time waste they did. At one point with 10 minutes to go Spurs tried to take it to the corner flag.
As Arsenal fans, we had every right to feel disappointed. A chance to go top lost against a poor Spurs side riddled with injuries. Spurs had no right to celebrate. And the fact that their fans did celebrate shows just how different both sides expectations are this season.