There is no better time to have a North London derby than today. With 34 games already played in the English Premier League, Arsenal and Tottenham are neck to neck in the race not only to finish ahead of each other but also to make it into Europe either the Champions League or the Europa League.
For the past few seasons, Tottenham have been finishing ahead of their North London rivals, Arsenal, thereby denying the Gunners the joy of celebrating St. Totteringham’s day. While Arsenal fans would be wishing the club finishes in an European spot, preferably top 4 so that Champions League football returns to the Emirates after some seasons, they would also be hoping St. Totteringham’s day happens.
Today’s North London derby would be the first for both managers. For Mourinho, it would be his first after succeeding former manager, the Argentine, Mauricio Pochetino and for Arteta, it would also be his maiden one after replacing fellow Spaniard, Unai Emery.
For Mourinho, he has not had it easy in the London derbies since becoming Spurs’ boss, losing both London derbies to Chelsea. For Arteta, he posed a mixed result against same Chelsea in the London derbies, winning one and scrapping a draw in the other one. How eager he would be to secure his first London derby in the North London derby.
In the first North London derby of the season, a clash between former managers, both teams battled to a 2-2 draw but with stakes higher now, managerial guards changed, both teams would be hoping for a change of fortune with respect to the results that would he posed.
Both teams have their own stars to look up to. For Spurs, they would expect inspiration from their talismanic English striker, Harry Kane who has since returned from injury and with just a goal short of being the record scorer in the North London derby, he would be fired up. For Arsenal, they would be pinning their hopes on their Gabonese striker who is very much in the race for the Premier League golden boot.
Despite this being the first North London derby without the fans no thanks to the covid-19 pandemic, the atmosphere might be strange but the battle will still be fierce as the bragging rights of North London is at stake. For Mourinho, it is his first North London but for Arteta, he has had prior experience as a player having played for the Gunners so he knows on a North London derby day, nothing would excite and appeal to fans more than a derby delight.