Tottenham cannot afford to finish behind Arsenal again

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Tottenham could be forgiven for thinking that now their title hopes have faded, their season is all but over.

Given the energy the club has expended in pushing for their first league win in 55 years, there is a temptation to think that that was the only target.

Of course, Spurs' expectations have changed since the start of the season, when they would have been overjoyed to finish fourth. Now, they must wholeheartedly aim for second.


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"All eyes on us?"

Mauricio Pochettino has spent much of the season insisting his side should ignore what Arsenal are doing, even going so far as to quote Britney Spears and "everybody in the club, all eyes on us", was Pochettino's mantra.

However, Spurs know very well that they have always found in monumentally difficult not to compare themselves to their bitter rivals. Often, there has been no comparison. Yet, this season represents their best shot at overtaking the Gunners in 20 years.

It is a feat that the Lilywhites have not been able to achieve since Arsene Wenger's arrival in north London. They came close under Martin Jol and Harry Redknapp, but could not hold onto their lead on either occasion.

Closing the gap

Now that bragging rights are in sight, it would be a waste not to capitalise on their progress, particularly considering the efforts that Spurs have invested in closing the gap.

Perhaps it is an inferiority complex that has made Spurs so preoccupied with Arsenal, but Pochettino is an expert in banishing such insecurities. 

That obsession has switched towards Leicester of late, but if Spurs are unable to close the gap at the top of the table, there is a danger they could forget to cast a cautious glance over their shoulders.

Power shift

Arsenal have revelled in their celebrations of 'St. Totteringham's Day', their fans' annual marking of the point where Spurs can no longer finish above them. It has been coming later and later each year, but now, Pochettino has the chance to make sure it does not arrive at all.

Many suggested the 2-2 draw between the two sides marked a shift in power in north London; Arsenal's ten men were relieved to escape down the Seven Sisters road with a point, while Spurs were devastated not to have gone top.

That result will eventually be forgotten. If Spurs can come ahead of Arsenal for only the third time in the Premier League era, that will give their fans something to remember.

Who will finish higher - Tottenham or Arsenal? Have your say in the comments below!

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Gareth Bale
Tottenham Hotspur
Europa League
Premier League

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