Thursday 17 August 2017 / 08:00 PM

CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN NORTH LONDON

The last ever North London derby at White Hart Lane didn’t disappoint.

Spurs were the better side throughout, and that showed on the scoresheet, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men coming out as 2-0 victors against Arsenal.

The result confirmed the fact that Tottenham will finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995, and the gulf in class between the sides clearly evident during the game has confirmed something else:

Spurs are on their way up. Arsenal are on their way down.

For years now, Arsenal have had the bragging rights in North London.

They won Premier Leagues and FA Cups, whilst Spurs spent years in the wilderness.

But ever since that great Invincibles team began to fade away, things have been slowly on the slide for Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman has continued down the ‘total football’ route, but without the requisite players to do so properly.

He has also continually failed to replace the likes of Petit and Viera in midfield, and his sides have lacked steel as a result.

He’s a good manager, and up until now he’s found a way to make it work.

But this season he has come unstuck.

At the time of writing, Arsenal lie in sixth, with one game in hand.

Even if they were to win that game, they would still be three points behind Manchester City with four games to play.

It looks a tall order to finish in the top four now, and should they fail in that regard, they’ll have to wave goodbye to Champions League football, at least for a season.

You can make all manner of excuses for Arsenal’s failures this season, but what cannot be disputed is the fact that they have failed.

In my mind, Arsene Wenger’s position is now untenable. He does not deserve to continue as Arsenal manager.

He has been a fantastic manager, and what he has done for the club cannot be denied, but it is now time for a changing of the guard, with Arsenal at their very lowest ebb.

A couple of miles across London, it’s a very different story.

This young Spurs side have scored the second most goals in the Premier League and conceded the least. They lie in second, just four points behind Chelsea.

In all likelihood they will not win the league, but that will be no failure, as long as they are able to keep this team together.

Harry Kane is one of the most prolific strikers in world football.

Dele Alli is arguably the world’s most exciting young talent.

Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele are one of the classiest midfield pairings we’ve seen for many a year.

Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are two incredible centre backs.

Pochettino has an embarrassment of riches at fullback, with four excellent options.

And in Hugo Lloris they have one of the very best goalkeepers.

Ironically, Lloris is the elder statesman of the side, and he’s only 30.

There is a lot more to come from this side, despite the maturity of their performance on Sunday.

The same cannot be said for Arsenal.

Pochettino and Wenger will have very different ends to their seasons, but whatever happens in the next four games, one thing is clear, there’s a new king in North London and it ain’t the Frenchman in the glasses.

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About the author

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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