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Arsenal celebrate a goal during their recent defeat of Spurs.
Arsenal's 5-2 hammering of Tottenham in the most recent north London derby would have been a notable assertion of their superiority if not for their otherwise inconsistent league form.
The Gunners beat Spurs by the same scoreline in February and went on to leapfrog them into third place last season, a deserved placing for the nature of their finish after a tumultuous beginning to the campaign.
Robin van Persie's departure has notably weakened them, but Arsenal's current plight still baffles in the respect that there is still quality throughout this squad.
For them, the hope surely lies in their youth, where players like Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are viewed as foundations in which they can build around.
But transition is something Arsenal fans have been waiting on for a while now, and the failure of so much of their squad to perform consistently and effectively in the manner the Premier League's best teams do is a major point of concern.
Despite Tottenham coming off worse in the most recent battles with their neighbors, there is a feeling of promise around the place that is comparatively nonexistent around the Emirates Stadium.
Spurs have gotten close to Arsenal over the last half-decade but have been unable to translate a few memorable wins into sustained superiority.
So why is there optimism when despair reigns so supreme at Arsenal?
In the short term at least, Spurs are capable of finishing above them with a squad that boasts some players of genuine quality and is augmented by a crop of talented young players of their own.
They have had issues with consistency too, significantly in their failure to hold onto leads, but should they correct this there is the makings of a top-four team there (something not to be sniffed at knowing how much difficulty this club has had in sustaining a place there).
In the long run, the hope that Tottenham might be able to move ahead of Arsenal lies with their manager, Andre Villas-Boas.
Spurs supporters are cautiously optimistic their young manager will ensure they do not lose the ground they have made up in recent seasons, and that he is capable of taking them forward.
It is early days in a project that has many challenges to overcome, but the club knows where it is at right now which is not something that can be said for Arsenal.