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    Is This A Changing In The Guard?

    The final result on Sunday April 30th seemed entirely predictable. Don't know what I'm talking about? The much anticipated North London derby saw home side Tottenham run rampant past rivals Arsenal, the final score 2-0. Whilst as a singular result this seems nothing more than an unlucky result for Arsenal, is it indicative of something far greater?

    In recent years, as manager Arsene Wenger has faced a lot of criticism for a lack of trophies, he has held on to two remaining facts. He has always qualified for the premier Champions League competition, and he has always finished above Tottenham. This season it finally appears even those are going to desert him.

    Looking back, it appears that the signs have been coming over recent seasons. Last season Spurs were looking good for three quarters of the season, only a late season slump saving the Arsenal blushes as they stole second place from their rivals on the final day of the season. All summer Arsenal fans goaded their rivals for being the only team in history to finish third in a two horse race, but was this in the long term a backwards step for Arsenal.

    Was this ultimately a bad move for Arsenal?
    Photo: Unknown
    The stats are beginning to back up the notion that Spurs have now overtaken Arsenal on the pitch. The last time Arsenal won at White Hart Lane is March 2014, and in recent seasons Arsenal have found it increasingly difficult to beat them at the Emirates also.

    Ever since current manager Mauricio Pochettino was appointed in May 2014, he has begun to lift the club consistently, to the point that they are now genuine title challengers. It's likely no coincidence that since Pochettino became coach, Arsenal have failed to win at White Hart Lane in the league. His style of high press, attacking football and his nurturing of young players have made Spurs a formidable side to face.

     Meanwhile, at Arsenal the club made improvements over the summer with the signings of Granit Xhaka and Shkrodran Mustafi, yet performances this season have gone backwards as the team have found themselves mired on the outskirts of the top four battle this season. The club sit sixth with five games to go, six points behind Manchester City with a game in hand.

    Arsenal are doing the opposite of Spurs at the moment and are mostly focusing on spending big money on more proven players, which is ironic considering Wenger is known for being notoriously frugal with his transfer money. Purely as a fan of the club with an opinion this seems the wrong move for me. This direction the club is pursuing is difficult to make work because Wenger is frugal with money, having principles when it comes to player transfers.

    His golden rule of not over paying for players is admirable and has resulted in him making some incredible signings over the years, but in the current market where top players are inevitably over priced, it's not practical. The club are competing with some of the biggest clubs in the world for these players, yet when the club are not even competing for major trophies, what incentive is there for these top players to join Arsenal.

    Whilst it's true the club still holds some pull for big players, considering London is an city people want to live in and the club has an impressive history. On the other hand, is this enough any more to attract players who in the prime of their careers want to win trophies and earn big money?

    With these two giants futures in limbo, should Arsenal focus
    on developing young players instead? Photo: Unknown.
    Tottenham have put themselves on the right track in recent years, firstly with the hiring of Pochettino. He has proved himself the perfect manager for the club and has transition their fortunes from a club who were perennial outsiders of the top four to title contenders in just three years. He has developed a young squad filled with academy and development players he has scouted from other clubs, getting them all to buy into his philosophy and playing an attractive attacking brand of football.

    Whilst it pains me to say it as an Arsenal fan, this is everything we are not at the moment. We have a squad filled with high profile international players bought for a lot of money, yet with the future of Wenger currently unclear not a lot of the players look as if they are playing to support the manager. The cohesion of the squad is lacking and the team look bereft of ideas at the moment.

    Unfortunately for Arsenal we have to admit that Tottenham are everything we want to be right now, young, exciting, attacking and filled with team spirit. At the moment in comparison we have none of these qualities, and after years of appearing to stand still, we now also sadly have to admit that for the first time under Wenger, Tottenham have overtaken us and are a much better team at the moment.

    What are your thoughts on this article? Let me know in the comments section and a huge thank you for reading. Find me on Twitter @brfcjordan95.
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    Item Reviewed: Is This A Changing In The Guard? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jordan Wilkins
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