“The Doldrums Derby” How the media is denigrating Tottenham v Arsenal

By Bulldog Drummond

I am not sure that calling Tottenham v Arsenal the “Doldrums Derby” as the Mail did was valid.  Did they label any Chelsea game like that when they sank to 10th, or any Liverpool match when they were in the lower reaches and spending 30 years without a League title?  No, of course not.  But this is Arsenal, so insults are welcome.

It is however of course true that Tottenham’s record of late has not been so good.

Date Game Res Score Competition
19 Feb 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Red Bull Leipzig L 0-1 Champs League
22 Feb 2020 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-1 Premier League
1 Mar 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton W L 2-3 Premier League
4 Mar 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City L 1-1 FA Cup (2-3)
7 Mar 2020 Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1 Premier League
10 Mar 2020 Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur L 3-0 Champs League
19 Jun 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United D 1-1 Premier League
23 Jun 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United W 2-0 Premier League
2 Jul 2020 Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur L 3-1 Premier League
6 Jul 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Everton W 1-0 Premier League
9 Jul 2020 AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur D 0-0 Premier League

So in their last ten Premier League and Champions League games they have two wins, and two draws.  And they have scored two goals in matches twice, while beating WHU and losing to Wolverhampton.  Otherwise it is noughts and ones.

However contrary to the general approach in ghost matches, they have won their home games since the arrival of the lockdown games.   Indeed their ghost game record is not as bad as their general approach: two wins, two draws one defeat in the League.

Arsenal have made it three wins two draws and one defeat since the lock down in the League.  Our extra game of course was the FA Cup away victory over Sheffield United.

In fact overall this season is that Tottenham seem to have had a split personality when it comes to home and away games.  At home they have won ten, drawn three and lost four.  Away they are have been fairly shocking winning three, drawing seven and losing seven.

That is interesting because Arsenal’s decline since coming runners’ up in the league in 2015/16 has been largely because of a collapse in away form.   Now we find Arsenal’s away form throughout the whole of this season has actually improved a little while Tottenham’s has declined.  That suggests we are on the way up.   Here’s the away form table.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 17 13 2 2 29 14 15 41
2 Manchester City 18 10 1 7 41 22 19 31
3 Chelsea 18 9 3 6 36 33 3 30
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 7 6 4 23 18 5 27
5 Southampton 17 8 3 6 26 23 3 27
6 Leicester City 17 7 4 6 31 17 14 25
7 Manchester United 17 6 5 6 22 19 3 23
8 Burnley 18 6 5 7 17 27 -10 23
9 Sheffield United 17 4 9 4 14 19 -5 21
10 Arsenal 17 4 8 5 19 21 -2 20
11 Crystal Palace 17 5 5 7 16 26 -10 20
12 Newcastle United 18 5 2 11 18 37 -19 17
13 Tottenham Hotspur 17 3 7 7 21 28 -7 16

OK it is still not a great record away from home, but it is an improvement and that has been much needed for three seasons.

As you would expect Arsenal are considerably ahead of Tottenham in terms of north London derby results across the years.   Excluding friendlies and other games outside the main competitions we have won 82, drawn 53 and lost 64.

But the old dominance of most of the Wenger era has now gone.   Of the last ten games against Tottenham we have only won two… a truly shocking statistic.  True Tottenham has only won three and one of those was a league cup, but really it ought to be better than this.

Date Game Res Score Competition
08 Nov 2015 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1 Premier League
05 Mar 2016 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
06 Nov 2016 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1 Premier League
30 Apr 2017 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
18 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-0 Premier League
10 Feb 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2 League Cup
02 Mar 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
01 Sep 2019 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 2-2 Premier League

It is now nearly nine years since we had those consecutive 5-2 victories.  We have not beaten them at WHL in the League since 2014!

But a comparison across the last ten years is also interesting.  In terms of trophies we know of course that Arsenal win 3-0, with three FA Cups for Arsenal and no trophies to Tottenham.

But in the League Arsenal have had a second, two thirds and three fourths.  Tottenham have had a second, two thirds and three fourths.  Its neck and neck – just as it is in the League across the last six league games – Arsenal slightly edging it with three wins one draw two defeats to Tottenham’s two wins three draws and one defeat.

Of course what both clubs do have in common is a change of manager, and as we have seen before, changing managers does not generally result in an immediate improvement in results.  Of course occasionally it can do – the arrival of Mr Wenger meant improvement from the start as we won three League titles in seven years – more than Tottenham have won in 71 years in the top division of the Football League.

So a new manager can work.  But mostly, that sort of change either takes a long time to come to fruition or doesn’t ever work at all.  As Tottenham can testify.





2 Replies to ““The Doldrums Derby” How the media is denigrating Tottenham v Arsenal”

  1. Of course it is a Doldrums Derby.
    Arsenal’s current away form will mean that Spurs will be in deepest doldrums after losing at home.
    (that is, of course, provided the match officials abide by the Laws of the game and not those according to Riley).

  2. Too much to expect, I am afraid.

    In order to make up for the ref error on Thursday, at least one Kane penalty is almost a certainty.

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