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Power shift in London as Arsenal rises and Spurs sputters

The annual supposed shift of power from the Arsenal side of north London to Tottenham is currently on hold. Although many experts claimed that a so-called transfer of power between the clubs temporarily separated by 11 miles was in full effect, the Gunners find themselves above Spurs in the standings. Arsenal extended their lead over their bitter rivals to four points following their 5-0 demolishing of Huddersfield on Wednesday. While Spurs did finish above the Gunners last season for the first time in 22 years, it is going to take a lot more than one season to effectively take over the north side of the capital.

Power shifts between these two Premier League clubs have been talked about for years now. These discussions first came about recently in the midst of Arsenal’s trophy drought from 2005 to 2014, a time in which Spurs managed to win one trophy themselves (2008). Despite this, the Gunners have managed to collect three additional trophies within the last four seasons alone, while Spurs have not won silverware since that 2008 League Cup triumph.

Arsenal have endured a bit of an up-and-down season during the current campaign. Beginning their Premier League season with two defeats in their first three matches, they found themselves in an early hole. Since then, however, the Gunners have only lost twice in nine league matches, propelling themselves back into the top four of the standings. While their passing and offensive prowess regularly receives praise, it has been the club’s outstanding defense that has solidified their stature.

The team’s 16 league goals conceded this season does not tell the entire story. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, two of Arsenal’s trio of starting center backs, have both missed significant time on the pitch for various reasons. However, when the dynamic defensive duo are paired with Nacho Monreal in the back three, the Gunners have yet to allow a Premier League goal this season. In the six matches in which they have all started together, they have helped goalkeeper Petr Cech keep six clean sheets.

Per game during Premier League play

Tottenham certainly have a talented, young group of players, but have found life a little difficult since departing White Hart Lane. Playing their home matches at Wembley this season, Spurs have only managed three league victories in seven matches at the prestigious stadium. Much like how Arsenal encountered tough economic times during their move to Emirates Stadium 11 years ago, it will be interesting to see how Spurs deal with the financial burden of a new home.

Taking into account trophies and league standings over an extended period of time, it will definitely take time for any north London power shift to take place. People tend to get caught in the moment, and fail to see the big picture. One season does not erase 20+ years of dominance. North London is still very much red at the moment, and will remain this way until a combination of trophies and league position favor Spurs for multiple seasons.

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