Has there been a power shift in north London? Wenger responds


Arsenal head into the North London Derby knowing that defeat will see them finish below Spurs for the first time in 22 years.

There is a huge amount riding on the game for both sides, but Mauricio Pochettino suddenly has very different aims to Arsene Wenger.

Depending on how Chelsea get on at Everton in the early kick-off, the Lilywhites can close the gap at the top of the table to just a point.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are looking increasingly likely to miss out on the top four for the first time in Wenger’s reign.

Something special is happening at White Hart Lane, whereas the Gunners seem to be in crisis. Of course, this is partly a measure of expectations, but it has unsurprisingly prompted talk of a power shift in north London.

It’s easy to forget that Spurs went eight years without beating their rivals between 2000 and 2008. Pochettino, however, has never lost a north London derby in the Premier League and judging by the form book, that shouldn’t change this weekend.

Yet, Wenger insists that Tottenham can’t claim to have overtaken his side on the strength of one season.

“Let’s be honest: I’ve answered that question about a ‘shift’ for 18 consecutive years,” the Frenchman told a press conference.


“You can’t say that the merit of one year has the merit of 20.

“It’s certainly one of the few times where Spurs look favourite in people’s minds. It looks a bit like that but it doesn’t matter much to me.”

It’s going to be almost impossible for them to catch Spurs in second, but that is unlikely to affect Wenger’s future. If they suffer another loss, though, their hopes of Champions League football will take a heavy blow.

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