In North London, there is an almost visible line stretching right down the middle. It flashes red and blue, and represents the constant struggle felt between rival fans that will forever bleed the results of their team: Arsenal and Tottenham. Its a funny thing, football, when this emotion can at one moment almost force a man to the ground, and yet so quickly can raise him up so he may laugh at his fellow man’s expense. And so it is, once again, for Gunners the world over, who stand cheering as the Tottenham fans sit pondering what might have been. What should have been.
For the uninitiated, St Totteringham’s Day marks the moment in a Premier League season where Tottenham can no longer mathematically finish in a higher position than Arsenal. Sadly for Spurs fans, that hasn’t happened now for 21 years – and many will fear that if not this season, then when?
For most of 2016, Arsenal have looked a club on the wane. Across town, meanwhile, Tottenham have been – Leicester aside of course – the talk of pundits across the UK. A team boasting an outstanding young manager who has been rewarded for his faith in some outstanding young talents. Harry Kane, Dele Ali and the rest have led a squad that looked to be turning the tide in the North London rivalry.
This was the year Spurs would flip the table. Their fans could feel it. Arsenal were out of the title race, Tottenham were going strong, and even after falling short of Leicester they still had second spot above the Gunners to play for.
Unfortunately for Spurs fans, and much to the enjoyment of the red half of London, Spurs did what they do best: they made an absolute Tottenham of the last four games.
Going into the final day of matches, Spurs needed just one point off a relegated and dispirited Newcastle side. Even with the Magpies going down to ten men, Tottenham found a way to lose 5-1. At the same time, with cheers ringing throughout the Emirates as the score from up north filtered through the crowd’s twitter feeds, Arsenal put four past a hopeless Villa (just two spots below Newcastle) to seal the fate: St Totteringham’s Day 2015\16 had arrived at the dying breath of the season.
Harsh on Tottenham? A tad lucky on the Arsenal side? Perhaps. But you won’t hear any Arsenal fans complaining.