Dele Alli has claimed that Arsenal are no longer their biggest rivals, with Chelsea having become the most fierce rivals on the pitch.
The Spurs midfielder accepts that the feeling may well be different for fans, but where the players are concerned, the rivalry with Chelsea is much more fierce, a feeling that cannot be ignored.
“I think if you ask the fans they will give you a different answer, but as players – the way things have been going with the league and the games – the rivalry with Chelsea is bigger than the one with Arsenal, because of what they have done to us in recent years,” Alli said.
“For fans it’s different, because the North London derby is massive, but as players I think it’s Chelsea.”
The Blues have had a long-standing dominance over their North-London rivals, going unbeaten in all competitions for a whopping 26 matches in all competitions starting in 1990, so you can understand why Spurs would have endured a torrid experience playing Chelsea over the years, but these comments tell me that maybe some players do not feel as passionate about our rivalry as the fans do.
Arsenal and Tottenham’s rivalry has been around for a lifetime, and neither club’s fans will ever forget the day that our club lifted the Premier League title at White Hart Lane, on way to earning the title of Invincibles in 2004.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Alli was trying to take some sort of swipe at our club, with the rivalry definitely not one to be played down.
Do Arsenal players have the same passion for the NLD as our fans do? Could Emery have downplayed the derby during his time as coach?