The Battle Of North London


There is a rich history of football in North London, and when you think of the beautiful game in that area of the capital, there are two clubs that instantly spring to mind. Arsenal and Tottenham. A lot has happened since they first met as neighbours in 1914, But out of these two who is the biggest and best?


It is without doubt that Arsenal come out on top historically. 13 league titles with the last coming in 2004. In comparison Spurs have only 2 to shout about, with the last coming 56 years ago. Tottenham do have a rich cup tradition, having won the FA cup a total of 8 times. Arsenal however dwarf that having won the greatest knockout competition in the world a record 13 times. The lilywhites do have the edge over their rivals in the League Cup with 4 victories to 2. In Europe Tottenham have 3 trophies to Arsenal’ s 2. Although neither can boast winning the one with the big ears.


First Division/Premier League Winners (2): 1950/51, 1960/61

FA Cup

Winners (8): 1900/01, 1920/21, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1966/67, 1980/81, 1990/91

League Cup

Winners (4): 1970/71, 1972/73, 1998/99, 2007/2008

UEFA Cup Winners Cup

Winners (1): 1962/63

UEFA Cup/Europa League

Winners (2): 1971/72, 1983/84


First Division/Premier League

Winners (13): 1930/31, 1932/33 1933/34, 1934/35 1937/38, 1947/48, 1952/53, 1970/71, 1988/89, 1990/91, 1997/98, 2001/02,2003/04

FA Cup

Winners (12): 1929/30 1935/36, 1949/50, 1970/71, 1978/79, 1992/93, 1997/98,2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2014/15

League Cup

Winners (2): 1986/87 1992/93

 UEFA Cup Winners Cup (European Cup Winners’ Cup before 1994)

Winners (1): 1993/94

Inter Cities Fairs Cup

Winners (1): 1969/70



Having moved from South of the river in 1913. Arsenal made Highbury their spiritual home. Many happy memories and trophies were won at the ground in Islington and many fans were sad to leave. In 2006 the gunners made the move to their new stadium at Ashburton Grove. The stadium was of course named The Emirates due to sponsorship with the airline of the same name. Success has come at a premium die to transfer funds being reined in due to the cost of the stadium. It does however boast a capacity of 60,432. Making it the 2nd largest in the Premier League. In comparison Tottenham’ s home has been White Hart Lane since 1899. With a capacity of 38,264, it is no surprise that the club have decided to move to an adjacent site having seemingly outgrow WHL. Boasting a capacity of 61,000, it should help Spurs compete on a better financial footing with their rivals.


Current Set-up

Tottenham had been knocking on the door of the top 4 for a good few seasons. Having twice finished in a Champions League spot, they came to the forefront last season to become a serious title contender. Despite finally finishing 3rd, the lilywhites have continued in the same vein this season as they remain mathematically in the title race at the time of writing. Led by Mauricio Pochettino, their current squad has youth on it’s side with the likes of Harry Kane and Dele leading the way. Other talents such as Cristian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele have taken Tottenham from also rans to serious title contenders. Arsenal on the other hand are currently at a bit of a crossroads. Despite talent such Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, the red half of North London have found this season’s league campaign a difficult one. Currently 6th they have a real fight on their hands to claim a top 4 spot. The scapegoat to their current problems appears to be long term manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman had guided them to plenty of success early in his reign, but saw things stagnate somewhat after the stadium move. However the gunners do have an FA Cup Final to look forward to and enjoyed success by winning the trophy back to back only a couple of seasons ago.


It’s hard to reach a conclusion without rephrasing the question. Historically Arsenal are the top dogs in North London, but history isn’t everything. A resurgent Tottenham look to have an immediate brighter future at the moment, but none  of us have a crystal ball. So Arsenal and Tottenham fans. Just who is the top club in North London?


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