Football

Are Tottenham in danger of falling further behind Arsenal?

Arsenal pipped Spurs to fourth place this season (©GettyImages)
Arsenal pipped Spurs to fourth place this season (©GettyImages).

The 2012/13 season saw Tottenham allow a big points advantage over Arsenal to slip - resulting in their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

This was made all the more painful by the fact that this is a scenario they should have learned from after doing the same the previous season.

You could argue that Spurs now have the stronger squad, especially with the sublime brilliance of Gareth Bale to call upon. But neither Bale nor their improved strength in depth could stop the annual Spurs collapse.  

After defeating Arsenal at White Hart Lane the balance of power in north London appeared to have shifted in favour of Tottenham. Andre Villas-Boas himself expressed this after the result: "we are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence and they are in a negative spiral in terms of results. And to be out of that negative spiral is extremely difficult."

Difficult yes, Impossible no. In the final stages of the season Arsenal outperformed everyone else in the league in terms of form; they brought home 24 points out of a possible 30 in their last ten games - leading them to the Champions League for the 16th season in a row.

Injures to players like Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Bale played their part but that's no excuse for letting go of a seven-point lead. Villas-Boas and Tottenham should have expected an Arsenal revival in the closing stages of the season after seeing one last season.

Now that Arsenal have qualified and taken all the advantages that come with it, the chances of Tottenham finishing above them next year become much less likely.

Arsenal have a huge £70m to call upon for transfer fees alone if they so wish. Expect a mass exodus of players like Andriy Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner, making available thousands of pounds per week for wages.

After failing to spend on significant players last year and seeing their talismanic captain Robin van Persie depart, the pressure from fans and influential figures inside the club on Arsene Wenger to spend is huge. If reports are to be believed that is exactly what he is going to do.

Tottenham's main focus should be on keeping Bale. If he were to leave it would be a huge blow for the club. They need to try and strengthen if they are to keep up with the big guns. That's more difficult without the money that comes from Champions League football but, more importantly, the lure of the playing against the best in the world is now with Arsenal.

All this could see Tottenham fall further behind Arsenal and the other big teams in Britain. This was Spurs' best season in the Premier League era in terms of points gained and you feel they'll need to improve on that again next season to have any chance of becoming kings of north London.

Do you think Spurs can finish above Arsenal next season? Do you think this was their last chance? Leave your thoughts below. 

 

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Football
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal

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