I have been watching Arsenal for about a decade now and have never quite understood this rivalry and the hatred that our fans have towards the neighbours. I can understand that there is some history and the old timers might have seen a great rivalry develop but it was all a long time ago. Shouldn’t we just leave them and their misery alone?
I think our fans do Spuds a great honour by even considering this a rivalry. The single biggest point on their CV must be “Arsenal’s Greatest Rivals” because they hardly have anything else. A rivalry IMHO can only exist if there is competition. Otherwise it’s meaningless.
Here is what the dictionary says:
Rivalry — A person or thing that is in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority.
Till this day I had never bothered much about the lilywhites. I had to give them some thought today because I had to write something about them. But it wasn’t making any sense. So, I ended up looking up their history. In the last two decades they have got a FA cup and have managed some League Cup success. I didn’t bother going farther back in time. Does it even merit a comparison?
In a way they are the antithesis of Arsenal. Our manager has been around for a record number of years. They might soon make a record for sacking managers. We are the most envied club in terms of youth development. Do you remember the last one from their academy? We make a profit on transfers almost every year and they spend insane amounts by selling players and buying them back at a higher rate!
When was the last time they beat us in the league? Nearly a decade ago, wasn’t it? They dream about the Champions League and we have been participating in the tournament for twelve straight years. When we have a disaster we finish fourth. When they have a great year they finish fifth. Does anyone talk about the beautiful football played by Spuds? Does anyone talk about “The Totnumb Way” in any context at all!?
Seriously, with due respect to the old timers, can someone tell me why we shouldn’t take on someone our own size and leave the Tiny Tots in their league. How can we all waste our emotions on a club that hardly merits a thought? Think whatever you want of me, I refuse to hate the lilywhites.