I may be a little biased here. For I am an Arsenal fan. But Spurs fans really don’t help themselves, do they?
First they go on and on about winning the double in 1961, the first English club to achieve such a thing. “We did it before anyone else”, they say. “It was much harder to win it then”, they say. Well hang on. If it was much harder to win it then, shouldn’t Spurs have won it every year since 1961? And isn’t it better to be the LATEST team to win the double rather than the FIRST?
Spurs fans also swear by their approach to the game. They love attacking football. They’re the archetypal footballing side. Danny Blanchflower, their legendary captain during those glory years once said that “Football is not really about winning or goals…it’s about glory…doing things in style…”, and Spurs fans often refer to those immortal words in reference to their footballing philosophy. But do the likes of Stuart Nethercott, Jason Cundy, David Kerslake and Jason Dozzell fit into this philosophy? HARDLY.
And then there’s their rivalry with Arsenal. They HATE Arsenal. They hated the way we were successful playing anti-football under George Graham. But then they appointed George Graham, won the League Cup and anti-football was acceptable. When Graham left the club, attractiveness became a priority again, with Glenn Hoddle brought back as boss. “Glenn’ll teach those gypo’s from Highbury what football’s all about”, they said. But unfortunately for Spurs, Arsenal had appointed Arsene Wenger as their manager, who transformed the way the game was played in N5, introducing the sort of slick passing and incisive attacking that Tottenham fans could only dream of.
Arsenal’s subsequent success was met with disdain by Spurs, who criticised Wenger’s reliance on foreigners and branded him a paedophile because he signed the best youth players in European football. Arsenal won the double. OUCH. Then they went a season unbeaten. OUCH OUCH. Who can forget when they signed Sol Campbell for free.? OUCH OUCH OUCH. But then Arsenal went six years without a trophy. Spurs won the League Cup. And suddenly TOTTENHAM WERE THE BETTER TEAM AGAIN…
“I’d rather win a trophy than finish 4th each year” yelped the White Hart Lane faithful. “Silverware is better than just playing Champions League football and getting knocked out every season”, they barked. That remained the case, until of course, SPURS FINISHED 4TH.
Suddenly their whole philosophy changed again. Now the Champions League was the place to be. And when Arsenal were knocked out by Barca, meaning Spurs had out-progressed their arch rivals, there were mass celebrations in N17, a celebratory spirit that remained until the end of the 2010/2011 season. When Spurs failed to qualify for the Champions League and failed to win a trophy. Arsenal finished 4th, again, also winning nothing. But they were in the Champions League and Tottenham were not. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH.
Who knows what Spurs fans will say next in their attempts to say they’re better than Arsenal. Maybe they’ll base their argument on the colour of their shirts, and claim that white is better than red. Maybe they’ll say that their fans are ‘harder’ than ours. But until they are consistently out performing Arsenal in the league and the Champions League, I think it’s best for everyone if they just piped down…