When it comes to Arsenal and Tottenham, it's important to say right now Arsenal and Tottenham have different goals right now.
Against the probability at the start of the season, Arsenal are competing for the Premier League title and top the table in mid-January.
Tottenham lag a full eight points behind them, and face a real dogfight to secure a Champions League spot, presently sixth, two points off fourth placed Liverpool.
They have also faced Arsenal twice this season, most recently being knocked out of the FA Cup - and face another period of rebuilding after Tim Sherwood replaced the sacked Andre Villas-Boas as manager.
So when it comes to North London bragging rights, at present it's the side who play in red and white who hold their heads the highest.
But should Spurs fans be entirely crestfallen? Not necessarily, for there are areas on the pitch where they are actually outperforming the league leaders.
Now some may say, 'why does this matter, Arsenal beat them twice?' and that's a fair point, yet the following give reason to suggest Tottenham possess the talent to kick on and compete more closely with their rivals - they simply lack the stability.
Having sold Gareth Bale last summer, Spurs bought seven different players in, yet several have not yet settled and are even being linked away.
It's in many ways a wonder given the bedding in period for players, manager change, and heavy defeats to City and Liverpool that Spurs are as close as they are to the Champions League places.
With Tim Sherwood settling into his new role as Head Coach, here are five areas on which to build and see positives, where Tottenham have outperformed Arsenal so far this season:
|Team||Total Scoring Att||Won Tackle||Accurate Crosses||Dribbles||Penalties Won|
Scoring attempts: In total Spurs have managed 47 more attempts on goal in the Premier League this season than Arsenal. This is hugely positive in terms of their chance creation, and midfield control. The problems comes in the players' lack of accuracy, for the results in goals scored are dramatically different.
Tottenham have one of the worst chances conversion rates in the league, yet the fact they are creating the opportunities in the first place is a positive to take. It is up to the club's owners to look at new strikers this transfer window, and Tim Sherwood and his coaching staff to help the players become more lethal in front of goal.
Won tackles: Tottenham's midfield have so far won more tackles than their rivals, which is in part to the defensive set up employed by former boss Andre Villas-Boas, and also due to the differing personnel. Arsenal possess only Mathieu Flamini as an enforcer type defensive midfielder, while Tottenham have Sandro and Capoue who can both play that role.
Accurate crosses: Tottenham's crossing stats are narrowly above their rivals, as they look to get the best out of new striker Roberto Soldado, who counts heading as one of his better traits. In Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela they, on paper at least, possess one of the best sets of wingers in the league. Arsenal have missed Theo Walcott this season via injury, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been out almost the whole season up until this point. With his return this is an area which Arsenal could very well end up leading come the end of the season.
Dribbles: When it comes to successful dribbling attempts, Tottenham's 265-193 is the biggest differential so far of any area between the two teams. This again goes back to their wingers, and new manager Tim Sherwood appears keen to play to their strengths. In the two Premier League games since the start of the year, Aaron Lennon has been most impressive.
|Name||Dribbles||Apps in 2014|
Penalties won: It's just luck, right? Or is it? Tottenham have won more penalties than any other Premier League side this season, something which has helped flatter Roberto Soldado's poor goals record, with just one from open play. Tottenham's success in this area can in part be attributed to their wing play, with Andros Townsend one of the players who has won a spot-kick this season. Getting into dangerous areas and forcing the issue is a sign of a side which is doing something right, and reason for encouragement.
image: © wonker