Spurs’ fiercest rivals; Arsenal have now leapfrogged their oldest foe into third place in the Premier League table with a hard fought 0-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
It’s not just bragging rights are at stake as the fourth place side in the Premier League faces an end of July start to their season; meaning their European season starts before their domestic season. There are of course many potential banana skins also in that Champions League final qualifying round stage. A third place Premier League finish however; would leave almost an entire month’s extra rest as a Champions League Group Stage place would be assured – possibly an important consideration in a major (international) tournament year as legs are certain to tire. Also this will help Arsenal hold onto their star players.
Six weeks ago, Arsenal’s season appeared to have been going off the boil. The Gunners had slipped to sixth place in the league following a run of one point from four league games and a humiliating 4-0 Champions League defeat at AC Milan, with many questioning whether the time had come for Arsene Wenger to move on as thousands of empty seats were regularly seen at the Emirates. However, six straight league victories later (together with a 3-0 home win over the Milanese) has seen the north Londoners rocket up the table and above a stuttering Spurs’ side into third place. The race for third spot looks like being a close one but, with an apparently easier run-in than their nearest rivals, Wenger’s side are in the box seat to take it on current form with the season entering its crucial final furlong.