Power Ranking Arsenal vs. Tottenham and the Top 20 English Derbies and Rivalries

Ryan RodgersContributor IAugust 6, 2011

Power Ranking Arsenal vs. Tottenham and the Top 20 English Derbies and Rivalries

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    With Manchester United set to take on Manchester City in the EPL curtain opener, we pay homage to some of the biggest derbies in England.

    Each fan thinks their derbies and rivalries are one of a kind, and are more important than any others.  Which makes this list the most subjectively accurate list out there.

    Without derbies and rivalries, football just would not be the same.

    Whether the rivalries exist out of being jealous of their neighbors' success, or social-economic issues that spur hatred, we love seeing our rivals fail.

    Although our arch nemeses may not play in the same division, or even be a threat in fighting for silverware, we still hope for the worst for our rivals.

    The criteria for a rivalry on this list is defined by being neighbors, jealousy, or because their hatred exceeds far more than football.

    I hope to have some disagreements, and I am bound to have forgotten a derby.  So as always, make your feelings known in the comment section.

20. Bristol City vs. Bristol Rovers

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    The Bristol Derby is a fierce match backed by hometown hatred for the other club. 

    Bristol Rovers fans consider Bristol City to be their No. 1 enemy, and the hatred flows mutually between these two neighboring clubs.

19. Derby County vs. Nottingham Forest

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    The East Midlands Derby (or the A52 Derby) is a hotly contested match that typically takes place in the Championship.

    Interestingly enough, a drive on the A52 will provide views of both stadiums, which shines light on their rivalry based on geographical proximity.

    Although the rivalry took off because of a famous Brian Clough, who went on to manage Nottingham, after his early success with Derby County, this rivalry has far more history than management. 

18. Scunthorpe United vs. Hull City vs. Grimsby Town

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    The Humber Derby is contested among Scuntorhpe United, Hull City and Grimsby Town.  All three of the teams are located either on the north or south of the Humber River.

    As of lately, the main rivalry has been between Hull and Scunthorpe.  But sparks still fly when Grimsby Town is involved.

17. Blackburn Rovers vs. Burnley

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    Only 18 km apart, Blackburn and Burnley have a lot of hatred towards each other.

    These two hate each other with a passion, but their fans have managed to have some fun at the other team's expense.

    Before the start of the 2009-2010 EPL season, Burnley fans decided to sneak into Ewood Park, and dress up former Blackburn owner Jack Walker in a fancy new Claret & Blue Burnley kit.

    Not to be outdone, Blackburn fans hung signs such as "Your mums, your dad, Inbred Bastards" for the Burnley players to see on their way to Ewood Park

    Allegedly the most recent prank was foiled by police.  In the lead up to a 2010 match, police intercepted Burnley fans attempting to paint David Dunn's house Claret & Blue.

16. Darlington vs. Hartlepool

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    The Durham Derby has seen these two slugging it out in England's lower levels for some time. 

    Whereas most derbies take place in different leagues, these two have been a constant thorn in each other's side.

    Although Middlesbrough sits between these two clubs, for some reason fans of Hartlepool and Darlington despise each other more than anything.

15. Blackpool vs. Preston North End

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    The West Lancashire Derby has been played throughout every English division, except the Premier League.

    These two clubs and their fans despise each other.  From chairmen who share tribal views regarding the other team, and managers that refuse to name the opponent's name in public, these clubs have a classic rivalry.

    The picture above depicts a friendly banner that flew over Deepdale Stadium.  Preston North End found themselves relegated to League 1.

    Ironically enough, Blackpool found themselves relegated as well.

14. Portsmouth vs. Southampton

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    The South Coast Derby is contested between the two largest clubs on the southern coast of England.

    Although these two clubs have often been playing in different leagues, Southampton's recent promotion to the Championship ensures that these two clubs will meet at least twice a year.

    The rivalry mainly exists because of diverging economic fortunes, but it is a manager who is highly responsible for the rivalry.

    When Harry Redknapp departed Portsmouth for Southampton, he brought the rivalry to a new level.  

    When Southampton were relegated, Redknapp returned to Portsmouth.  Relations soured between clubs and the clubs' chairmen went on pubic tirades against the other.

    Maybe both clubs should unite over their hatred of Redknapp.

13. West Brom vs. Wolverhampton

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    The Black Country Derby is one of the oldest rivalries in England.

    Hooliganism and riots have always played a large role in this derby, but lately the schedule between these two teams has taken place earlier in the day to avoid violence by night.

    The friction between the two fan bases has also affected local economies, with pubs and restaurants altering their hours, and serving up restrictions on match days.

12. Sheffield United vs. Sheffield Wednesday

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    The Steel city derby is yet another passionate, local derby.

    In the last nine seasons, these two have been in the same league six times, which has further fanned the flames.

    Typically these meetings end in riots and bloodshed.   

11. Ipswich Town vs. Norwich City

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    The East Anglian derby is so fierce that it is often referred to as the Old Farm Derby, a reference to the hotly contested Old Firm Derby between Celtic and Rangers.

    The Old Farm Derby transcends far more than football.  Norwich is regarded as a city, and has full city status.  Ipswich doesn't, which fuels debates in Suffolk. 

    Ipswich is slightly jealous of the metropolitan glamor and feel of London.  Instead, Ipswich is regarded as more quiet and rural with the culture of East Anglia.

10. Cardiff vs. Swansea

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    The South Wales derby is one of the more violent derbies in British football.

    Cardiff has as of lately improved in their standings, while Swansea continues to suffer.  This only adds to the hatred.

    An increase in police detail is always a given when these two meet. 

    An FYI, don't plan on using the water closets, as toilet seats and pipework have been known to be vandalized and stolen. 

09. Millwall vs. West Ham United

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    The East London Derby is a bitter and fierce derby. 

    Both of these teams consider the other to be their no. 1 enemy.

    In their last meeting in 2009, the pitch was invaded three times, a man was nearly stabbed to death, and the play was suspended.

    These games can get so heated that calls have been made to not let these two play each other in cup competitions, and to play behind closed doors in league competitions.

    That should prove difficult as West Ham and Millwall will be facing each other this coming season in the championship.

08. Aston Villa vs. Birmingham City

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    The Second City Derby of Birmingham has been a rivalry since the late 19th century.

    Aston Villa and Birmingham fans have had some hotly contested matches, the most recent being in the early part of the 2010-2011 season.

    Aston Villa and Birmingham met each other in the league, and then in the league cup in only a span of days.

    Violence and riots erupted, with flares and seat cushions being thrown around the stadium.

    The BBC reported the grounds to resemble a war zone, with 27 people injured and five people arrested.

    Most recently the appointment of former Birmingham boss Alex McLeish to Aston Villa sent shock waves throughout the football community, and raised the tension between the two clubs.

    McLeish brought Birmingham their first major trophy in years. And many Birmingham fans felt betrayed, while many Villa fans protested the arrival of McLeish with death threats.

07. Arsenal vs. Chelsea

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    Traditionally, these two have never been each other's primary rivals, but with Chelsea's recent rise to success the passion has truly sparked.

    The rivalry stems more from being two of the top clubs in London, with Chelsea as of lately being the more dominant and successful side.

    The most recent incident took place in the 2007 Carling Cup Final.

    Cesc Fabregas and Frank Lampard went toe-to-toe, while three players were sent off.  Chelsea fans were seen hurling celery at the Arsenal players in an incident which lead many news outlets to dub the meeting the Snarling Cup Final.

06. Everton vs. Liverpool

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    In the early years of the Merseyside Derby, fan violence was not very prevalent.  It was common in families for one side to support Everton, while the other root for Liverpool.

    However, since the 1980's, during Liverpool's year of domination, the derby began to escalate.

    The Merseyside derby has seen more red cards handed out than any other match, which sheds light on how explosive and passionate these games can get.

    Although this derby is typically friendly among fans, the rivalry exists clearly between the players.

05. Newcastle United vs. Sunderland

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    The Tyne and Wear derby is a match for hometown pride.

    The hostility extends far back to the Jacobite Rebellions, where Newcastle supported the German king George, and Sunderland sided with the Scottish Stuarts.

    Fans pack the stadiums, which almost always guarantees an outbreak.

    Earlier this past January, a Sunderland fan stormed the pitch in an effort to attack Newcastle goalie Steven Harper.  As a result of hooliganism and rioting, 24 people were arrested.

04. Arsenal vs. Manchester United

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    This rivalry exists purely out of each club's great past and tradition.

    The rivalry has risen to new heights following the dislike and hostility between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

    The dislike between these two clubs has been personified by famous scuffles involving Roy Keane, Patrick Viera, Gary Neville and Lee Dixon.

    Some rather harsh chants have been spurred when these two meet, particularly the "sit down, you paedophile" chant aimed at Wenger.

    This rivalry is only likely to grow as Manchester United continues to pull one over on Arsenal.

03. Arsenal vs. Tottenham

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    The North London derby has grown in popularity, given Tottenham's recent success in the standings.

    When Arsenal moved stadiums to Highbury, they were only four miles from Tottenham's White Hart Lane.

    This of course sparked a local derby.

    Arsenal were once more or less guaranteed a comfortable three points, but Tottenham has as of lately begun to prove a real threat for Arsenal. 

    St. Totteringham's Day is the day when Arsenal fans celebrate the fact that Tottenham can no longer catch Arsenal in the League.

    However, it's not looking like Arsenal will get to see to many more St Totteringham's Days.

02. Manchester United vs. Manchester City

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    The Manchester Derby was on par with many other derbies, but in 2008 the Derby escalated.

    With the backing of their new Oil money, Manchester City have spent themselves into real contenders.

    From claims of having a small club mentality, and being noisy neighbors, City and United make up around a quarter of EPL revenue alone.

    Similar to the Arsenal-Tottenham rivalry, United never worried too much about City, and they never posed a legitimate threat until now.

    With City's new riches, this rivalry is only likely to grow in stature.

01. Manchester United vs. Liverpool

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    The North West Derby is without a doubt the most hotly contested derby in England.

    Both clubs have won it all, and are the most successful clubs in the country, with Manchester United recently becoming the undisputed better of the two.

    The match is always beefed up with extra security, and is typically played midday to discourage drunken fans from starting riots.

    Stars like Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville have made their dislike of Liverpool known, while Steven Gerrard refuses to have any swapped shirts of United players in his house.

    This game recently has had little to do with affecting the EPL table, but Liverpool is looking to put the rivalry back on top.

Honorable Mentions

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    Portvale vs. Stoke

    Luton Town vs. Watford

    Brighton vs. Crystal Palace

    Manchester United vs. Leeds

    Nottingham Forest vs. Notts County

    Queens Park Rangers vs Chelsea