Arsenal are becoming the junior partner in their rivalry with Spurs.
Sunday's clash at White Hart Lane had its fair share of talking points:
Gareth Bale's left foot will soon be worth more than the other 21 players that were on the pitch. Arsenal could be joining Swansea in the Europa League next season. And most importantly the Gunners' squad is now, man for man, much weaker than that of the Lilywhites.
Although Bale has, rightly, been receiving huge plaudits for his recent performances, it has not gone unnoticed that the rest of the Tottenham squad is beginning to look like more of a Champions League side than Arsenal.
In fact, it’s hard to ignore how many world-class talents Andre Villas-Boas has at his disposal, with the likes of Dembele, Dempsey, Adebayor, Lloris, Vertonghen and Sigurdsson among the new faces at Tottenham on a permanent basis this season. All of these players, it could be argued, have played their part in a very successful season that began with the fans, for the most part, still fuming at the absence of Harry Redknapp in the dugout.
Starkly contrasting is the situation at the Emirates, where Wenger's new imports, with the exception of Santi Cazorla, have proved patchy in their form at best. Olivier Giroud has been unable to come close to his 21 goals in the French League last season, while Lukas Podolski too is scoring at a much more modest rate than he was in the Bundesliga.
These performances are simply not good enough if Arsenal still have genuine ambitions to becoming the leading team in North London, and it is clear that Wenger, or whoever is in charge as of next season, desperately needs to spend some money in summer to build a more robust and deep squad. And as for the unavoidable question for Villas-Boas to answer during the summer: what do Spurs do if they lose Bale? Well the simple answer is, not a lot.
There are no obvious attacking midfield options in European football near to the Welshman's ability that Tottenham could realistically bring in, however the quick fix option remains to employ Dembele and Dempsey in a similar way to how they were at Fulham.
Not only would this give the Texan the opportunity to equal the goal tallies he had at his former club, it would also give the Belgian midfielder the chance to show some of the creativity and dribbling skills he so clearly possesses.
Indeed deploying Dempsey off either Defoe or Adebayor with Dembele providing the service through the middle (and Sigurdsson and Lennon on the wings) would complete a very impressive attacking line-up. Furthermore, Parker is continuing to impress with his holding role and the back four, with Lloris between the sticks, have no obvious weaknesses. Therefore, Tottenham fans should by no means panic if they see their 23-year-old talisman exiting for a sizeable fee this summer.
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