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St Totteringham’s Day is back on despite the season that Tottenham have had and the season that Arsenal have had. Whether the fact the Gunners can still finish above Mauricio Pochettino’s side suggests that Arsenal’s campaign hasn’t been as depressing as the media have made out or that the Lilywhites’ hasn’t been as impressive as believed, is up to you to decide.
In the build up to both teams’ final game of the season, Pochettino was keen to play down the significance of finishing above Tottenham’s bitter north London rivals:
“Sure I want to be above them, but this I think is normal. But to try to improve, to try and be bigger, we need to concentrate on us and not look what is happening with our neighbours.
“We feel disappointed, I think that our last game at home we want to win but we are disappointed.”
Tottenham’s main man, Harry Kane, though isn’t quite in agreement with his manager and believes aiming to finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995 means a lot:
“It would be good for the fans to have the bragging rights for the first time in a long time. We want to finish second. It is in our hands, we have just got to win our game and the job will be done.
“We all know what it means. We have not won the league this year but there is still a lot to play for and that is definitely one thing. The fans are urging us on.”
With the Lilywhites’ season faltering, Kane’s comments are ones that the Spurs faithful want to hear. After all, one of the rare perks of being a supporter of a club is getting one over on your rivals, so you can wind up your mates.
Pochettino’s comments are, of course, straight out of the cliche management rule book 101. However, at a time where his players are no doubt shattered from their failed title bid and the fans are concerned about being unable to mug off Arsenal fans for a 22nd year in a row, Poch’s comments are ill-advised.
It feels like the former Southampton manager is trying to manage expectations in a season where Tottenham’s expectations have well and truly been blown out of the water and redefined.
The truth is, if Spurs do finish below Arsenal again, they’re in danger of slipping back to the another 21 years of nothingness.