Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t




By Bulldog Drummond

There is quite a bit of nattering going on the media, as you might expect, about the Arsenal v Tottenham game on Sunday.  There are odd statistics here and there, comparisons of the manager, all the usual stuff.  But in the media that I read there was no mention of something that, as I contemplated writing up this part of the preview series of articles for the match, struck me as the biggest statistic of them all.

It it a very simple statistic, and one that is blindingly obvious if you take a good look at the results in recent years.  But it is one that the media don’t really want to know about.

It is that in the last dozen games between the two clubs at the Arsenal Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur haven’t won.  Indeed Tottenham Hotspur, so beloved of the media, have only ever won one league game at the Arsenal stadium since the club moved the 750 yards or so from Highbury.  11v11 have the data if you want to check.

Now that particular moment was on 20 November 2010.  It was a match in which the referee decided that Arsenal needed the yellow cards (three of them in fact just to make the point) but Tottenham really shouldn’t have any cards although he did eventually give one to van der Vaart being the only Tottenham player carded just to try and make the bias look a little less obvious.    Younès Kaboul scored the winner in the 85th minute.

And that was it.  The great and glorious and (don’t tell the media) single victory by Tottenham at Arsenal since the move across the road from Highbury.

Now I do know that statistics like this can be challenged with the current preferred phrase being “I simply don’t believe it”, as if belief was of importance.

But really a figure such as this really isn’t that surprising given Arsenal’s dominance in the games overall: 86 wins to Arsenal, (42%) 67 to Tottenham (32%) and 54 draws.

Now I do know that I can on occasion make mistakes with statistics, and sometimes they are absolute whoppers with assorted laughter ringing around the kingdom when the error of my way is pointed out.  So this time I am going to print the list of games.  (And why not since it makes such fun reading?) 

All these games, as noted, were in the top division, Tottenham not having taken a sojourn in the second tier since 1978.  (Arsenal as you will know, were last in the lower reaches in 1914/15 but were elected into the first Division after the war on the expansion of the league.   But even then Tottenham and their media hangers-on couldn’t quite take it and put about the notion some 45 years later that Arsenal had bribed their way into the top division.  If you want to read the full and most detailed story of why and how Arsenal were elected into the top league in 1919, and why Tottenham were rejected, that is here).

Anyway here are the results of the last dozen Arsenal home games against Tottenham.  30 goals to Arsenal and 14 to Tottenham making the average scored 2.5 to Arsenal and 1.17 to Tottenham, suggesting that a score of 2-1 or 3-1 would be a pretty reasonable supposition for this game.


Date Match Res Score
26 Feb 2012 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 5-2
17 Nov 2012 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 5-2
01 Sep 2013 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-0
27 Sep 2014 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1
08 Nov 2015 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1
06 Nov 2016 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1
18 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-0
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2
01 Sep 2019 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 2-2
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1
26 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-1
01 Oct 2022 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-1


And there we are.  If any other media now reports on that, I’ll be happy to claim they have nicked my research, although in reality the data is all there for anyone interested.  As for why the media won’t tell us this… well either because they couldn’t be arsed to look it up, or they won’t be seen reporting the fact that historically Arsenal have been the better team.  For the media, that just isn’t an option.

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8 Replies to “Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t”

  1. Great report, a true Arsenal fan, unlike some of these fake Arsenal websites that devalues Arsenal players being sold and over price rubbish players falsely connected. you know what i mean. The game tommorow will no doubt start as Arsenals 11 vs Tottenham 12, if you include the bias ref. I take that back, i mean Tottenham ‘s 13, i forgot about VAR. I hope cheating Tottenham get some early yellow cards to stop their fouling tactics. Arsenal need to field a tough team to start and fast pass them off the pitch

  2. One thing is sure. On the field, the number of Arsenal players including the manager with NLD experience is higher then for Sp*rs…. this should help as well as just Arsenal being capable to play unstopable football.

    And now that Odegaard has committed long term, the team has a probable stability for 5 years that will be worth many points and victories.

    Looking forward to this NLD.

  3. Interesting what fans think about their rivals. Tottenham fans, rightly in my opinion, think the media are very anti the club for so many reasons and that they love the establishment club down the road. All I’ve been seeing and hearing this week is that Tottenham never win at Arsenal

  4. Bit of a pointless article. Spurs have a poor record at a few grounds, so what ? On the other hand they have a great record against City, again so what ? It’s always about the next match, then at the end of each season you count up the points. As Henry Ford said history is bunk, or at least irrelevant.

  5. Jod I am sorry you didn’t get it. In analyses of human behaviour we look for patterns and then make predictions from those patterns. If you touch an electric fence and get a shock that doesn’t mean that you will get a shock the next time, but you might. Do it five times and you get a shock each time and then you generalise from that the point that the fence gives you a shock. So a pattern is seen and that is the point.
    True, the next time you touch it the electricity might be turned off, but most sane people will think there is probably a greater chance that it is on.
    That is the answer to the so what: as intelligent beings we look at what has happened in the past and use it as part of our prediction of the future.
    We also consider if things have changed of late and in the articles on the forthcoming match we have done that as well. Trends don’t go on for ever – even in the Ice Ages when it gets colder each winter, eventually the pattern ends, but for most of the tens of thousands of years of the Ice Age it gets colder.
    Hence this sort of analysis becomes the basis of predicting human behaviour. A child runs out into the road and gets knocked down by a car. Another child does it. We don’t ask so what, we say, “Look out for cars when crossing a road.”
    Quite why you can’t see it is, I am sorry to say, completely beyond me. But then each person has his or her own way of using data.

  6. Of course Arsenal will be favourites given ALL factors but unfortunately, this report means very little in isolation.
    Different season, managers, players, form, tactics, etc ALL have a bearing on the result as will the referee & (possibly) VAR.
    Maybe, the media don’t care about this as they view it as (mostly) unimportant, each match IS different regardless of the past?
    IF supporters are 100% honest, I’m sure they’re confident of winning BUT a little nervous as even poorer Spurs teams in the past, in league & cup games, have come back from being behind to draw or win, whether that be at home or away.

  7. BIG Mal

    What is an ‘Establishment Club’? Not quite sure what you mean by that.

    Unless of course it means a club that has ‘established’ a way of actually winning things.

    Please explain.

  8. “The media”. Which mead are you referring to? Because in the broadsheets that I read, and most red tops too, they pointed out Spurs’ poor record at Arsenal multiple times. Besides, it’s hardly some secret piece of information – everyone know their record is poor away to Arsenal.

    You make some very interesting and valid points on this site, but the constant victim mentality is really coming across as small-minded now. We are not victims, and there is no bias or conspiracy against us specifically.

    Why not just focus on the very good things you already do?

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