Premier League Pride Comes Before a Footballing Fall
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Power shifts in North London, the end of days for Wenger and AVB in line for the next pope.
Sweeping statements aplenty in the press following Tottenham’s 2-1 derby victory over Arsenal on Sunday. They deserved to win, although Arsenal had their chances early on. Be warned Spurs fans, sporting pride comes before a fooballing fall.
This time last year, Chelsea was showing Andre Villas-Boas the door after he "lost the dressing room" (first right as you walk down the tunnel).
Following the removal of AVB, Roberto Di Matteo took the reigns and led the club to their first Champions League title, the trophy their emperor most craved. Six months later, he was fired. Now they are an expensively put-together shamble. They are the first reigning champions to go out of the Champions League at the group stage, booing their (interim) manager, not offering contracts to club legends and saddled with Fred Towers up front, providing about as much cutting edge as the back of a butter-knife.
Meanwhile up at White Hart Lane, ‘Arry was surging his way into the England job, on a wave of blissfully defensively unaware attacking excitement.
A year later and he is fist-pumpingly celebrating an away victory at Southampton after new club QPR spent a week getting pissed up in the sun in Dubai. Despite these three points, The Hoops are still four points adrift at the bottom of the table and have at times made Chelsea look like a thriftily assembled results machine (Mr. Towers aside).
For their part, Arsenal finished the 2003-2004 season unbeaten, the first team in the English top flight to do so since Preston North End in 1889 (back in the days when you played with five up front). Since then, they have one FA Cup to their name (back in 2005) and have sold 18 players who have gone on to collect 54 winners medals. How long before Wenger starts referring to a Europa League spot as a “trophy?”
On Tuesday evening, the Premier League look shorn of quarter-final participants in a competition they were previously guaranteed a finalist in.
How the mighty have fallen, and will continue to fall. Beware your hype and hubris.
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