There are many teams in London and hence many derbies. Every week you can look at the fixture list and see teams from the capital squaring of across the division. But none of the derbies have ever quite managed to match the North London derby for passion, hype and excitement. Something magical happens when these two sides meet, and their rivalry is one of the bitterest and most passionate in the English game.
In the Premier League era, since the foundation of the division in 1992, Arsenal have been the dominant side. Spurs fans have had to watch as Arsenal won leagues (including the unbeaten season), qualified for the Champions League year in and year out and won domestic trophies. Arsene Wenger crafted his side into one of England’s “Top 4 clubs” and for a short time that top 4 seemed unreachable. Indeed, up to the start of the 2014-2015 season Spurs had only managed to finish above their rivals on two occasions. However, Spurs managed their own success winning the League Cup and moulding players like Gareth Bale into world beaters but the team were always fighting hard for their place in the upper reaches of the table. Only in the 2010s did Spurs manager to cement themselves in the Top 6 and turn into Champions League contenders, the gap truly began to close and the North London rivals are closer in the table than ever before.
From the very first meeting in 1897 until the Present day the North London derby has created memories, made heroes, caught out villains and provided entertainment for all to see. White Hart Lane and Highbury (now the Emirates) have never been as electric as when the locals are in town and the fans seek out the fixture first when the list is published. A manager can be having a great season, but defeat in the North London derby can have fans turning.
Recent times have seen some exciting matches as both teams throw caution to win. Who can forget the 4-4 draw in 2008 or the back to back 5-2 wins Arsenal recorded at the Emirates in later years. Perhaps the most memorable game occurred in 2002 at White Hart Lane when a dominant Arsenal side emerged 5-4 victors in one of the Premier Leagues most thrilling matches. Whatever the occasion, whenever these two sides clash there is passion, joy, tears and emotion. This is one derby even neutral fans never want to miss.
Both teams are Premier League mainstays and with transfer fees paid out on world class players, strong youth policies and a long tradition, we will be treated to the North London derby, with all its glamour and passion for some time to come.