All Spurs fans are megalomaniacs. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because of a number of things. Mostly due to the actions of one idiot on Twitter who decided to tweet abuse to me all afternoon after I posted my Ray Parlour piece because he didn’t like the name of my blog. In a nutshell his tweets were “North London Is White” “North London Is Ours” “F**k off back to Woolwich”, all punctuated with expletives and extremely poor grammar and what inspired me to write this blog.
1. A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
Tottenham fans do have delusions of grandeur. The honestly believe they support a big and globally revered club. Sane people know this not to be true and the summer tour of Global Gooner Passion by @goonerdave66 is a demonstration of what being a truly globally revered club really is.
Also the actions of their fans over the season with the “Mind The Gap” nonsense displayed delusions of power.
I believe that their megalomania and obsession with the location of Arsenal FC stems from their lack of knowledge about history. As I am not a megalomaniac I am under no illusions that this blog will be read by many Spuds but I hope that a written account of history will aid my fellow Gooners in laying some smackdown on their deluded rival fans and help Spuds uncover their repressed melancholy of being a second-rate team. Hopefully they can then start on the path to acceptance and healing and ultimately become all-round better people.
So here is some history for you.
Let us start with the founding of the two clubs. Tottenham were founded in 1882 by members of an Anglican church (ironic no?) in Middlesex, 4 years before Arsenal were founded in 1886 by members of an armaments factory in London however Spurs did not become a professional club until 1895, 4 years after Arsenal had turned professional in 1891. Arsenal’s professional status irked their fellow southern clubs and they were banned from participating in their league. Arsenal sought to set up a professional league for southern clubs but ultimately failed. Tottenham were supporters of this move and planned to join Arsenal’s new league had it got off the ground.
In 1893, a full 2 years before Tottenham became a professional club Arsenal were invited to join the football league; the first southern club to do so.
Major points: Arsenal a top flight club and a professional football club long before Tottenham
1900 to 1920
Tottenham won the FA Cup in 1901, the first non-league club to do so and joined the second division of the football league in 1908, four full years after Arsenal had won promotion to the top flight of the football league.
In 1913 after 26 years in the Woolwich/Plumstead areas financial problems forced Arsenal to look for a new home. After much deliberation the then Arsenal owners settled on a site in Highbury, North London. During this time the team from Middlesex, Tottenham, were in decline and the suspension of professional football in 1914 for WW1 was a small relief to a Tottenham club rooted to the bottom of the league and in trouble of joining Arsenal in the second division.
When football resumed in 1919 Arsenal who officially finished 6th in division two were elected to the new football league top division at the expense of Tottenham, Barnsley and Wolves. Understandably this upset the team from Middlesex and speculation of bribery was rife but records state that an impassioned plea from Sir Henry Norris on the basis of history saw a voting victory of 18 to 8 in favour of Arsenal rejoining the top division. However Norris did threaten to start a breakaway league in protest of the match fixing by Manchester United and Liverpool. It is rumoured that the football league offered Arsenal a place in the top division to placate Norris.
Major points: Tottenham made history with their first major trophy, the FA Cup
1920 to World War 2
In 1920 Tottenham made it back into the top flight and the year after won their second FA Cup. Arsenal ambled along until 1925 and the arrival of Herbert Chapman and for 5 more years after that until winning their first major trophy, the FA Cup, in 1930. The 1930′s proved to be a great decade for Arsenal and they went on to win a second FA Cup in 1936 as well as 5 league trophies. By 1933 Arsenal had overtaken Tottenham’s trophy record had have never relinquished it. The 1930′s weren’t great for Tottenham and they finished the decade in mid table in the second division as football was suspended once again.
Major points: Spurs won their 2nd FA Cup in 1921 however by 1939 Arsenal had 5 league trophies and 2 FA Cups.
Post WW2 to 1960
In 1947/48 Arsenal, the only team in North London at the time, secured their 6th league title and their 3rd FA Cup in 1950 to overtake Tottenham’s 2 despite having lost 9 players in WW2, more than any other team. In 1951 Tottenham won their first ever top flight title however their ageing squad could no longer implement their push and run style to great effect and the team started a decline into mid-table.
In 1953 Arsenal regained their 6 title lead over their geographically closest rivals with their 7th first division title.
Major points: By the end of the 1950s Tottenham had won their first league title and had taken their trophy haul to 3 trophies. Arsenal finished the decade with a total of 10.
The early sixties saw a purple patch for Tottenham with a 20th century first league and FA Cup double in 1961 and a 4th FA Cup in 1962 to reclaim their spot as the best cup team in the south from Arsenal. In 1963 Tottenham became the first English team to win a UEFA competition. Tottenham won their 5th FA Cup in 1967, their first trophy as a North London team after their borough in Middlesex became a part of the London Borough of Haringey in 1965.
Major points: The 1960s was definitely Tottenham’s decade however their history making only took them to 8 major trophies compared to Arsenal’s 10 and only 1 trophy as a North London club compared to Arsenal’s 10.
The sixties saw Arsenal become a distinctly mid-table team however a UEFA competition win in 1970 saw a brief revival and the clinching of the club’s first league and cup double in 1971.
Tottenham had another small patch of cup success in the early 1970s with a UEFA Cup win in 1972 sandwiched between two League Cups.
Arsenal finished the decade with their 5th FA Cup in 1979 to extend their trophy lead over their now established North London rivals.
Major points: Tottenham won a European competition however they still finished the decade with 11 major trophies to their names to Arsenal’s then total of 14.
The 1980s started well for Tottenham as they went on to win 2 more FA Cups and another UEFA cup taking them level on major trophies with Arsenal however still vastly behind on league titles. Spurs started to wane as the decade went on and Arsenal finished strongly with a League Cup win in 1987 and a historic title win in 1989 to restore a trophy lead over Spurs.
Major points: A good start of the decade for Spurs once again overshadowed by the achievements of Arsenal with a dramatic league finish to take the total league titles to 9 to 2.
By their own standards after 30 years as a cup team Tottenham started and finished the decade well with an FA Cup and a League Cup win in 1991 and 1999 respectively. By contrast Arsenal won 6 more major trophies including a league title in 1991 losing only one game along the way, a League Cup and FA Cup double in 1993, a European trophy in 1994 and a League and FA Cup double in 1998.
Major points: Arsenal further increased their trophy lead over their nearest rivals and finished the decade with 11 to 2 in League Titles and a total haul of 22 to 16.
2000 to present
The first 5 years of the current period saw Arsenal win the FA Cup 3 times and the league twice including a sensational double in 2002 and an incomparable undefeated season in 2004. Tottenham won a League Cup in 2008, the most recent trophy for either club and their other highlights include running Arsenal close for a Champions League spot on two occasions although ultimately failing both times. The first time, in 2006, was blamed on a dodgy lasagne and the most recent, in 2012 saw the reportedly best Tottenham team in 50 years blow a 13 point lead over the reportedly worst Arsenal team in 16 years.
Major points: Despite a 7 year barren period Arsenal finished the current period with a total of 13 league titles and 10 FA Cups to Tottenham’s 2 and 8 with an average of 1 trophy every 2.4 years to Tottenham’s 1 every 12 years in the 21st century.
In a nutshell Tottenham whilst historically a very good cup team cannot be the biggest club in North London and have no right to tell Arsenal to sod off back to South London as Arsenal were a North London club for 52 years before Tottenham became a part of North London or London at all for that matter. Not to mention the fact that Tottenham haven’t been more successful than Arsenal for over 80 years.
Arsenal have won 27 major trophies as a North London club and 10 of those were before Tottenham became a part of London in 1965.
From a trophy point of view Arsenal have always had the same or more trophies than Tottenham since 1932 and have always been ahead since 1987 and ahead in league titles since 1931.
Tottenham had 7 major trophies and set numerous English records before 1965 so are and probably always will be Middlesex’s most successful team.
Spurs have a very long way to go to catch up with Arsenal and even further to go if you only compare their times as North London clubs.
A few facts for you:
- Tottenham have never won the league as a London club
- Arsenal were in London for 79 years before they were
- Arsenal were in North London for 52 years before Spurs were
- Arsenal have 27 “North London Trophies” Spurs have 11 – 2 less than Arsenal’s North London League titles
- Tottenham bid for the Olympic Stadium so relocation to a different part of London is weak ammunition.
So the next time a Spud tells you to piss off back to South London kindly educated them on the history of their club and their clubs geography and if that doesn’t work tell them to piss off back to Middlesex .
It seems that North London is well and truly RED.
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