5 Reasons Tottenham Have Been Stronger Than Arsenal to Start the Season
After almost every club has played seven Premier League matches thus far in the season, a quick inspection of the league table reveals something strange: Tottenham sits ahead of Arsenal by two points.
For Spurs supporters, any time they see their side ahead of the Gunners in the table is a cause for celebration. After all, Tottenham hasn't finished a season ahead of their north London rivals since 1994/95. The fact that they are guaranteed to be ahead for yet another two weeks just makes it sweeter.
So how did Tottenham start quicker than Arsenal?
Are these factors sustainable?
And could this be the first season in nearly 20 years that the Gunners won't finish ahead of their rivals?
Here are five reasons why the Spurs have started the season stronger than Arsenal.
Spurs' Easier Schedule
Looking at the two club's results over the first seven matches of the season, it is obvious to see the gulf in class between the opposition they have come against.
Even Tottenham's match with Manchester United was fortunate scheduling, as they caught the Red Devils in the midst of some serious injury problems at the back.
Eventually, each team will play every other team, so getting the benefit of an easier schedule is not possible in the Premier League. Hence, this advantage is clearly not sustainable.
However, if Spurs can keep getting lucky and catch tougher opponents at inopportune times, it would be a big help.
Arsenal's Attack Is Just Kicking into Gear
Arsenal had many questions in attack coming into the season after losing captain and goal-scorer Robin van Persie over summer.
Even with the additions of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, those questions seemed well-founded through the first two matches as the Gunners failed to find any breakthroughs in two nil-nil draws.
Since, Arsenal have found their goal-scoring touch, scoring at least one per match and 13 total through their last five Premier League matches. The first Premier League goal for Olivier Giroud on Saturday could be a sign of things to come.
On the other side, Spurs hit the ground running in attack and have yet to be held scoreless in a Premier League match this season.
However, if Arsenal's attack continues their trajectory, the Gunners could turn this into their advantage.
Tottenham's New Signings Starting Well
Spurs' summer signings have all seemed to get off to a grand start at White Hart Lane.
Moussa Dembele scored Tottenham's only goal in his debut against Norwich City.
Clint Dempsey scored the winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Jan Vertonghen came from defense to score the opener against United and has looked a rock at the back.
Hugo Lloris pitched a shutout in his first Premier League match. Gylfi Sigurdsson has put in some good minutes.
Meanwhile, the tough start to Olivier Giroud's career at Arsenal has been well-documented, as he had great trouble finding the back of the net through his first six Premier League matches.
Defenses Going in Opposite Directions
In the first few matches of the season, Arsenal seemed to possess the much greater defense than Tottenham.
The Gunners kept clean sheets in all of their first three matches.
The Spurs let in four of their five goals conceded in the final ten minutes of their first four matches.
However, the tables have seemed to turn a bit in the past few matches.
Suddenly, Arsenal have conceded at least one goal in their past four matches and have looked particularly weak on set pieces (granted, they looked weakest against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea).
On the other hand, Tottenham were able to hold United off in the second half in a back-to-the-wall job, then held their first clean sheet of the season against Aston Villa on Sunday.
It will be advantage Spurs if these trends continue.
One big difference exists between the two clubs' schedules this season: Arsenal's Champions League battles and Tottenham's Europa League clashes.
There is no doubt that Spurs are taking the Europa League more seriously this year than they had done in previous seasons; for evidence of this, just look at their squads in the first two matches.
However, there is no doubt that the Premier League takes precedent over the Europa League. For Arsenal, this is clearly not the case with the Champions League, where the competition is more fierce.
Arsenal's Premier League form is sure to suffer as they are more mentally and physically invested in their other matches. If it hasn't happened yet, then it will in the future.
Meanwhile, Tottenham has the luxury to put in a good effort in the Europa League when it suits them, with almost no pressure riding on those matches.
Whether this has caused, or will cause, a big difference in the season's outcome is unclear, but their is certainly an advantage for Tottenham here.
So there's my list.
What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree with my points?
And do you think Tottenham will be able to hold onto their advantage on Arsenal in the Premier League?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
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