There’s a delicious irony about the way Arsenal’s decline has been perceived in the media, with Spurs supposedly in the ascendency. The pundits have lavished praise on Spurs and heaped scorn on Arsenal.
The game of one-upmanship even stretched to stadiums and then funds, because after Arsenal moved from Highbury to the Emirates, their ability to spend was severely hampered.
Spurs on the other hand spent just over a billion pounds compared to Arsenal’s £390m on new digs but Spurs weren’t counting the pennies and they promptly splashed out £54m on Tanguy Ndombélé from Olympique Lyon.
It was an eye watering figure for a player who had cost the French side an affordable £7.2m in 2018/19. Daniel Levy was thought to be a financial wizard and on the back of the champions league final and their overall performance in the premier league, Spurs were were thought to be knocking on the door of the elite clubs in this country.
Arsenal have only recently discovered their bank details and how to spend…..real money, but as Spurs built their empire, gunners supporters looked over their shoulders as Spurs started to climb in the premier league and establish a reputation for entertaining and attractive football.
Arsenal’s engine had stalled and was in need of immediate attention but that wasn’t exactly forthcoming with Stan Kroenke at the helm. That was all to change last summer with the unlocking of the war chest and a host of exciting signings.
Yet the claims of Arsenal’s demise continued with the anti Arsenal press looking smug but now it appears there’s a problem. Sours look fractured and less of a team with every game, the bickering and unsettling mood is tearing the side apart with a 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich and 3-0 thumping to Brighton which have done little to shift the mood of doom and gloom.
Enjoyable ? Of course it is. When everyone was at Arsenal’s throats, mentioning the frailties and weakness’s, they were also claiming Mauricio Pochettino was in the same class as Klopp and Guardiola but he’s won nothing. Just hearts and praise.
At one stage in the 90’s Arsenal were streets ahead of Manchester United in class but couldn’t back it up in trophies and the press still mauled them. ESPN Tottenham correspondent Julien Laurens recently published a piece highlighting the sizeable problems at White Hart Lane,
“Sources have told ESPN FC that tension are high between senior players in the squad, which has been together for about five years. For some of them, there was only one place to go after reaching the Champions League final last season: down.
Others wanted out. Christian Eriksen, for example, failed to orchestrate a move out of the club, while other players have expressed frustration behind the scenes that Spurs didn’t sign enough players this summer, with only Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovanni Lo Celso arriving in north London.
Sessegnon has been injured since joining, while Lo Celso has played just 44 minutes in all competitions so far.”
If Pochettino stays, he may well see an exodus from the club that a great many feared a few seasons ago but that’s if Spurs stand by him. He may even decide that he has taken Spurs as far as he can and look to manage abroad, they’ll be no shortage of offers, although his stock has been damaged.
If he leaves he’ll be seen as a good time Charlie, who got close to success but left them in their hour of need. If he stays the board could sack him should the chaos continue.
Arsenal fans won’t exactly shed a tear, they’ve been on the sharp end of the media for years and it’s almost gratifying to see the boot on the other foot.