Tuesday 23 January 2018 / 11:08 PM


Tottenham should be ashamed of themselves.

It’s as simple as that.

For years, Spurs fans’ one solace has lain in the fact that their noisy neighbours in North London – Arsenal – have perennially ‘bottled’ opportunities to win the Premier League and/or secure an impressive placed finish.

The Gunners have been referred to as ‘bottlers’, ‘chokers’ and a whole bunch of other words, some of which are too crass to write in this article.

But here’s the thing: since 1995, Arsenal have finished above Tottenham every single season.

The chiding, the joking – it all had a limit. Because the league has shown us every single year that Arsenal are a better side than Tottenham.

For a long time this year it has seemed as if 2016 was the year when the tables were turned.

Leicester got themselves a few points ahead, and it seemed certain that the Foxes would clinch the title; something they went ahead and did in some style.

But the side clinging onto their coattails wasn’t Arsenal, it was Tottenham.

Spurs were quite some distance ahead of the Gunners, and even three games ago it seemed certain that Mauricio Pochettino’s men would finish above Arsene Wenger’s.

Then their title hopes went with that draw at Stamford Bridge. And even though there was no reason for it to happen, the bottom just seemed to fall out of Tottenham’s season.

They still had a whole lot to play for, but they simply weren’t playing for it.

Rather than fighting hard to finish second, secure their highest league position for decades, and finish above Arsenal for the first time in 21 years, they sulked.

They lost to Southampton.

But even then, they looked odds on to finish above Arsenal.

After all, they only needed a draw against an already relegated Newcastle side, devoid of confidence and with nothing to play for.

So what happened? They lost 5-1 to a side down to 10 men.

With the bragging rights of North London to play for, they rolled over and allowed their rivals to finish top of the London pile yet again.

A lot has been written about this Spurs side, about their prodigious ability, but all of that is moot right now.

Because if a side can’t win when they really need to win, when the chips are down and when it really, really matters, then they may as well shut up shop and go home.

Mauricio Pochettino is undoubtedly a fine manager, but he should be utterly embarrassed about his team’s performance on Sunday and their overall capitulation this season.

In short, it’s time for Spurs to stop focusing on Arsenal and start focusing on themselves, because they’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do.

[YouTube – Sporting Life]

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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