By Tony Attwood
This article was written with a few games to go in the 2011/12 season. Now we know Arsenal finished 3rd, Tottenham 4th this season, and Chelsea… well, Chelsea…
Anyway, here’s the record and in due course I’ll add the extra line to show this season…
The issue of beating Tottenham in the league has become something of an obsession of late, and yet when I have asked a few friends which year it was that Tottenham actually did beat us in the final league position, there was some argument.
Yes, I know ancient history is boring, but sometimes it is good to know the facts. So here they are: the top clubs in London, and the Arsenal v Tottenham issue.
So there it is – the last time Tottenham beat us in the final league table it was by coming 7th, and we came 12th, in 1995. That was, in case you were not here at the time, the season in which George Graham was sacked as manager. The time before that Tottenham beat us by coming 8th.
In 1994 the second London club behind us was Wimbledon who were 6th. QPR were 9th as the third London team, WHU were the fourth London team in 13th.
The current run of our ending up higher than Tottenham started with the Bruce Rioch year in which we came 5th.
So what to make of these figures? Nothing much, of course, I just put the list together to answer the prime question about Tottenham’s position in the league. But I think the top half of the table is interesting. Chelsea, since the injection of the Abramovich billions are the top London club – just as Wimbledon could have been if Merton had given them a new site and Abramovich or an Arab oil state ruler had chosen them.
And yet, even with the billions, it looks as if the Chelsea reign is coming to an end as top London club. Despite all that money. And I find that rather encouraging. We were top club in the capital for 9 years, Chelsea has been for 7, and now?
Tottenham’s best position through this table has been one appearance at fourth. Chelsea have had nine years in the top four. This could be the season when quite a few things change.
I’ll be returning to the Bertie Mee series in the next article