In 2006 a few Gooner writers and the Editor got together to bounce ideas around for the magazine, and I suggested “101 Reasons Why Arsenal Are Better Than Spurs”. Brian Dawes (@Gooner48) immediately said, “No – 1,961 reasons!”
So that’s what we did. The feature ran for a couple of seasons on the Gooner’s inside back page before it was replaced by something fresher, but there were quite a few more we could have added. It’s always nice to consider, particularly in darker moments of temporary upset to the natural order of the universe, just how superior Arsenal are to their neighbours.
Here’s the list of ‘1961’ reasons we came up with, printed in The Gooner from issue 168 in October 2006 (the same month Van Persie scored his best ever goal v Charlton) to issue 185 in May 2008.
1 Our foreign manager has won more trophies than all theirs put together.
3 13 League titles, 2 League titles. 4 Years since Arsenal were in the second division: 93; years since Spurs were in the second division: 28 (They’re up to 33 now, whoo-hoo!) 5 Spurs rated the home leg of their Carling Cup semi-final (2007 v Arsenal) as a Category A match due to the quality of the opposition. The return leg is rated by Arsenal as a less attractive Category B game.
6 Arsenal under-12s: 3, Spurs: 1 (5-3 on aggregate) (This was following the 2007 Carling Cup Semi-Final)
11 Arsenal Ladies won the Quadruple last season (2007); Tottenham just played like ladies. 12 In head-to-head matches, Arsenal have a better record than Spurs in every domestic competition (Premier League / Division 1 (separately and together), FA Cup, League Cup). Obviously we never bother playing them when they’re not in the top division.
13 In the last 40 years Spurs managers have won an average of half a major trophy each. Arsenal managers have won 2.7 each in the same period. 14 One Arsenal share (£8,550) is currently worth about 6,500 Spurs shares (£1.30 each). The Fabregas to Dawson ratio is about the same. (As at October 2011, the Arsenal share price has risen to about £13,000 per share, while Tottenham’s has fallen to 40.5p)
16 In the last 80 years Arsenal have finished below 14th place in the top division once. Spurs have done it 25 times. (Actually got this one wrong – Arsenal finished below 14th twice, in 1975 and 1976.)
18 The first serving Spurs player to appear in a World Cup final was Christian Zeige, who came on as sub for Germany when they lost to Brazil in 2002. Arsenal had already won the World Cup four years earlier.
We could also have added:
19 Arsenal may be renowned for our foreign contingent, but Spurs are the only club ever to have serving players from a country we were at war with.
20 The top-flight fixture played the most times is Arsenal v Everton. Spurs will never feature on that list.
21 The Independent awarded Arsenal the title “Team of the Century” for their record between 1900 and 1999. Spurs were surprisingly high at sixth.
22 Tony Adams captained Arsenal to League titles in three different decades. Spurs haven’t won the title in three different decades.
23 Arsenal played ten finals, semi-finals and Community Shield matches at the Millennium Stadium. Spurs played one – losing the 2002 Laegue Cup to Blackburn.
24 Arsenal have played 41 times at Wembley, a record. This is more than twice as many as Spurs, on 20. (As at 2006)
25 Arsenal have remained unbeaten for a whole season at home in the league five times. Spurs haven’t.
26 Arsenal 10 FA Cup wins, Spurs 8 FA Cup wins.
27 Arsenal have won the league in 7 decades. Spurs have won the league twice.
28-30 Arsenal hold the following Premiership records:
– scoring in 55 consecutive games
– scoring in 46 consecutive home games
– scoring in 27 consecutive away games
31 Arsenal broke the record for the most consecutive Champions League clean sheets in 2006, with ten. They went without conceding a goal for 995 minutes.
32 Spurs failed to show up for our annual League fixture from 1928-1950 and again in 1977-78 because they were in the wrong division.
33 Arsenal are the only club to have a tube station named after them; Spurs don’t even have a tube station.
34 Arsenal were featured in the world’s first ever football radio commentary, first televised match, and first Match Of The Day.
35 We’ve never announced details for the sale of tickets for a League Cup Final that we weren’t even in (as Spurs did during half time in the famous ‘1-0 down, 2-1 up’ semi-final).
36 Arsenal have never been beaten in the first round of both domestic cups in the same season, unlike Tottenham
37 No living Arsenal fan has seen their team play in the Second Division
38 Arsenal have never had to play a League game at Bristol Rovers or Mansfield Town
39 League and Cup doubles: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1
40 FA Cup and League Cup doubles Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0