There has not been a power shift in North London yet, but last weekend’s game says everything about the momentum behind the two clubs.

Tottenham hope everything stays the same, while Arsenal are desperate for change.

Spurs are working together while Arsenal are out of sorts.

Andre Villas-Boas has instilled resilience and togetherness in his team, which has allowed Gareth Bale to produce his World-class form.

Spurs refused to relinquish their advantage on Sunday, largely due to Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson at the back, and now find themselves 7 points clear of Arsenal. It seems inevitable that they will qualify for the Champions League, but this time last year it did as well.

Spurs had nerve Bale had form but they both evaporated. How long will it last? Tottenham ask this question with an element of deep concern. That the good times may end prior to reaching their goal, especially with games against Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City all waiting for them in the run in.

Arsenal on the other hand ask the same question, but with a punch drunk weariness of a fighter stumbling from one hammer blow to another. How long will it last? The knockout blow seems soon.

There was a time the Gunners didn't have to change for anyone, they came played their opponents off the park and they conquered.

Such was the conviction in their play and their desire to win; Wenger’s side imposed themselves on almost anyone. Those days are long gone. The trouble is that Wenger thinks that they still exist.

Against Spurs their game plan was undone by absent minded thinking and poor defending, which has undermined their season. Arsenal pressed the ball well enough for over half an hour, allowing Spurs into errors and making sure they could not settle. But working with a high defensive line only works if the team works tirelessly to make sure your opponents do not have time to get in behind your back four.

The Gunners did it well, there were one or two scares but then for no apparent reason they stopped. With a blink of an eye they were 2 - 0 down. Bale and then Lennon sprung calamitous off - side traps from passes that were provided by players given too much space and time.

Centre backs Mertesacker and Vermaelen were more like strangers than a partnership, and Jenkinson and Monreal were guilty of playing opponents onside and failed to track wide runners.

So, deja vu ensued, losing a game down to individual errors, winning the second half but not affecting the outcome of the result.

They also failed to take their chances (Olivier Giroud) after ten minutes (not for the first time). Too many players exposed as inadequate (Giroud) fatigued (Jack Wilshere) or out of position Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, who is not a holding midfielder.

Arsenal supporters have read these criticisms over and over again Wenger has presided over this stagnation as the Clubs finances struggled, but now have soared.

The sad fact for Arsenal fans is that Tottenham are no longer with Luka Modric, the injured Younes Kaboul, and the absence of a top class forward to help out Jermain Defoe, as Adebayor is so below the required level.

It remains plausible of course that Arsenal could repeat last years late surge, particularly as they have the favourable run in, but the fact that they will need Spurs or Chelsea to suffer a late collapse is a measure of where both North London clubs stand.

Arsenal need something to change in their last 10 games before a squad overhaul in the Summer. Tottenham need further strengthening at the end of the season, but for now things can stay the way they are.

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Topics:
#Tottenham Hotspur
#Arsenal
#Premier League
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