Whenever there’s big news at either Tottenham or Arsenal, you can be sure that the rival fan bases will be in the comments – but current and former players also get involved with Martin Keown the latest to stick the knife into Spurs following Antonio Conte’s dismissal. Tottenham made it six straight seasons of finishing above Arsenal last year with league positions playing a key role in bragging rights in north London.
They’ve been closely matched for much of that time – that was until this season where Arsenal have blown their rivals away. There are 20 points between the two teams with Arsenal are on the verge of ending their 19-year wait for a Premier League title.
In contrast, Tottenham are in a tough battle to secure Champions League football for another season and have just announced Conte will no longer be in the dugout after the mutual decision to terminate his contract. Tottenham’s announcement late on Sunday night was soon mobbed by Arsenal fans mocking the club’s managerial situation.
And Keown has joined in with a sly dig at Arsenal’s arch-rivals, insisting Conte was right for his explosive attack on the club’s hierarchy. “I think they should have kept him through to the end of the season, without a doubt,” he told talkSPORT.
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“I think Arsenal has played a part. The fact Arsenal are 20 points clear of Spurs and this time last year there was a run-in for the top four, puts Spurs under enormous pressure.” Keown added: “He knew he was going and he wanted to say, he basically needed to say it, what was wrong at that football club.
“I think they should take stock of that, look through what was said and I think they should all reflect on it.” It was just a few months ago when things turned sour following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Tottenham when a Spurs fan disgracefully kicked Aaron Ramsdale.
The incident occurred after Richarlison barged into Ramsdale with the Arsenal goalkeeper seen celebrating in front of the South Stand, pointing and then kissing the badge on his shirt. And the Arsenal goalkeeper has certainly added some spice to the north London rivalry this season as he was seen mocking the Tottenham supporters in the fixture between the two sides earlier in the campaign at the Emirates.
He’s not the first player to draw ire from rival supporters following Theo Walcott’s infamous ‘2-0’ gesture as he was stretchered off the pitch back in 2014. TV and radio personalities also get in on the act with Piers Morgan and Laura Woods regularly poking fun at Spurs.
There may be 20 points between the sides this season, but the rivalry is certainly alive and kicking.