4 January 1987
White Hart Lane,
The roots of the rivalry between the two clubs lie in the distant past. When Arsenal moved from Plumstead to Highbury in 1913, it seemed to some that they had 'invaded' Spurs' territory and resentment was compounded in 1919 when, after much lobbying by their chairman Sir Henry Morris, Arsenal were elected to the enlarged First Division... at Tottenham's expense. Even in the 1930s, when Arsenal were at their peak, Spurs occasionally managed to pull out something extra for the derby. In 1934, for instance one of the five times Arsenal won the League in the 1930s Tottenham put in an extra effort and beat the Gunners 3-1 at Highbury. Arsenal took full revenge the following season when they won their third successive title. Ted Drake grabbed a hat-trick in a 5-1 win at Highbury in October and in the return game it got even better for the Gunners who ran out 6-0 victors at White Hart Lane. Drake netted two more, as did new signing Alf Kirchen on a dream Arsenal debut, with Peter Dougall and Cliff Bastin wrapping up a victory that left Spurs - who would be relegated at season's end-devastated. That win in March 1935 remains Arsenal's best ever result at the home of their closest rivals.
The early 1950s was one of those rare periods when both clubs enjoyed success. Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1950, in 1951 newly promoted Tottenham won their first title and Arsenal clinched their seventh championship two years later.
However, as the decade wore on, both clubs had to rebuild and the exercise was more successful for Spurs than Arsenal. Bill Nicholson's return to White Hart Lane, as manager, in 1958, had galvanised Tottenham into one of their best eras. In 1961, they became the first 20th-century team to do the Double. They retained the FA Cup in 1962, then, in 1963, became the first English team to lift a European trophy-the European Cup-Winners' Cup. By 1967 the tide was starting to turn in Arsenal's favour again. On the morning of 16 September, George Graham got married, and that afternoon he slid in Arsenal's third goal as they beat the FA Cup holders Spurs 4-0, much to the dismay of his best man, the Spurs midfielder, Terry Venables. Since then, Arsenal have, on the whole, had the upper hand. Thee Arsenal fans celebrated loudly in the Tottenham High Road in early May 1971, when Ray Kennedy's last-gasp header at White Hart Lane clinched both the League title and the first leg of the Double.
In 1978 Liam Brady orchestrated the 5-0 away victory over Spurs. Alan Sunderland scored a hat-trick. Not until April 1983 when they annihilated the Gunners 5-0 would Tottenham wipe out the memory of that defeat. In 1986 George Graham returned to Highbury from Millwall id his first full season in charge held one of the more thrilling North London derbies in the 1987 League Cup semi-final. Spurs won the first leg at Highbury 1-0. Clive Allen, the Tottenham striker, netted again in the first half of the second leg. but after the break, Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn scored to force extra time and a replay. In the replay, Allen struck again for Spurs and Charlie Nicholas had to go off injured. With eight minutes left, Arsenal looked finished. Then Ian Allinson, on as sub for Nicholas, tucked away a close-range effort and ensured a furious final few minutes. With time running out, a shot from Allinson rebounded into David Rocastle's the path, who ran on to stroke Arsenal's winner past Ray Clernence. The Gunners went on to beat Liverpool at Wembley in the final.
In 1991, Arsenal and Spurs met in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Terry Venables gambled on the semi-fit Paul Gascoigne and the England midfielder lashed a magnificent free-kick goal past David Seaman to give Spurs an early lead, and then started the move for Gary Lineker to stab home Tottenham's second. Alan Smith headed in a cross from Lee Dixon to revive Arsenal hopes and they dominated much of the second half, but Lineker's breakaway goal killed the contest. Two years later, the north London rivals met at Wembley again in another FA Cup semi-final. This time, Tony Adams' goal decided the match. With ten minutes left, the Arsenal captain stole in unmarked at the far post to bury a Paul Merson free-kick with a stooping header. George Graham left Arsenal in 1995, but in October 1998 he returned to north London as manager of Tottenham, in a move that many Arsenal fans saw as disloyal, His joy was obvious when Spurs held out for a goalless draw at Highbury in his sixth game in charge, but less than six months later, on 5 May 1999, Dennis Bergkamp and Kanu took Tottenham apart in a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane. Graham's tenure as Spurs manager lasted only 17 months and his replacement was a man just as familiar with the unique rivalry of north London derbies Glenn Hoddle in the spring of 2001. Hoddle had not yet officially taken charge of Spurs when the two teams met at Highbury in March but he watched his new team get beaten 2-0, However, celebrations for Arsenal were muted, as that morning their former midfielder David Rocastle had died, losing his battle against cancer at the tragically young age of 33. Asa mark of respect the game was preceded by an impeccably observed minute's silence.
Eight days later the two teams met at Old Trafford in the FA Cup semi-final. Arsenal dominated after Spurs had taken a fortunate early lead, eventually winning 2-1 thanks to Patrick Vieira's header and a late Robert Pires strike after Spurs goalkeeper Neil Sullivan had performed heroics. It proved to be Sol Campbell's last game for Spurs. In recent years there have been some memorable clashes between the two sides. The 3-0 victory at Highbury in 2002 was notable for an amazing 70-yard run and finish from Henry that won Match of the Day's Goal of the Season. Perhaps the most spectacular game in the last few years was in November 2004, when the Gunners won a thriller by the odd goal in nine. That man Pires again netted the vital fifth with just nine minutes remaining on Spurs' new head coach Martin Jol's home bow. Subsequent seasons saw a number of tense and hard-fought stalemates until a superb performance and goal from Adebayour and a brace of penalties from stand-in captain Gilberto gave Arsenal a 3-0 win in the first north London derby at the Emirates. In January 2006 the two old foes fought for a place in the Carling Cup Final. The sides could not be separated after 180 minutes and went in to extra-time 3-3 on aggregate. Wenger's young guns triumphed 5-3 under the Emirates lights thanks to an Aliadiere shot and an own goal from Pascal Chimbonda.
Savez-vous quel est le manager le mieux payé d'Angleterre ? Il s'agit de Lawrie McMenemy (ex-Southampton) actuellement à Sunderland qui n'a évité la relégation en Division 3 que grâce à sa victoire lors de la dernière journée contre Stoke. Sunderland a huit millions de francs de dette à l'ouverture de la saison, alors que son manager (qui vient d'être reconduit dans ses fonctions) a gagné en dix mois la somme de deux millions. Si je vous raconte cette histoire, c'est uniquement pour vous prouver que nos amis anglais vivent un football fou, fou, fou. Ne croyez pourtant pas que la folie soit générale. La saison passée, une douzaine des plus grands clubs ont menacé la ligue professionnelle de faire sécession et de créer la « Super League » réservée aux riches. Finalement, le projet a pu être repoussé mais la Division 1 sera réduite l'année prochaine à vingt clubs au lieu de vingt-deux. Avec la victoire à trois points et le nul à un, on ne peut plus dire que l'Angleterre ne bouge pas. Malheureusement ses supporters, eux, sont encore beaucoup trop turbulents. Les tournois d'été sur le continent leur ont donné l'occasion de se faire tristement remarquer.
Moralité, l'U.E.F.A. qui doit se réunir prochainement pour décider du retour éventuel des clubs anglais dans les coupes européennes pourrait bien prolonger le bannissement de quelques saisons encore. Dommage car les mastodontes de la League valent le déplacement côté spectacle. Bien entendu, ce sont les deux clubs de Liverpool — L.F.C. et Everton — qui font presque l'unanimité dans les pronostics. Les Reds qui ont réussi le doublé n'ont pas fait de folie à l'intersaison. Ils ont vendu Rush à la Juventus pour 40 000 000 de F, mais le Gallois portera cette saison encore le maillot qui a fait sa gloire. En attendant de dépenser l'argent plus tard, Dalglish a fait venir le défenseur de Sunderland Barry Venison (22 ans). Plus de folie chez le voisin Everton qui a recruté Dave Watson, le défenseur international de Norwich. Mais la perte de Lineker parti à Barcelone risque de se faire sentir. Des Catalans qui sont venus également à Manchester dénicher un autre attaquant en la personne de Hughes. Manchester Utd — d'habitude très dépensier — devait également se débarrasser de Jesper Olsen. Derrière ces trois super-favoris, on cherchera à éviter les dernières places fatidiques. Leicester M Oxford et Coventry devront s'accrocher alors que Charlton et Wimbledon vont trembler eux aussi. A remarquer également la présence de sept clubs Londoniens.