One of England’s longest-running and most competitive encounters, the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal makes for one of greatest rivalries in Premier League.
The matchup dates back to the early 20th century and has added tons of thrilling chapters to its book of history. Since the start of the Premier League era, both clubs are constantly competing not only to outdo one another but to make a name for themselves at the top echelons of European football.
The North London derby is much more than two rivals facing off for 90 minutes, it’s the dichotomy between the two ways of living in modern-day north London.
Pro Soccer Talk’s Joe Prince-Wright dives into the derbies origin, its development and its actual reality.
Robbie Earle & Robbie Mustoe touch base on how their each adapting to day-to-day life without any professional football action worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic (0:40), how the game moves forward from here (4:50) and what certain players, coaches and teams have done to help out amid trying times (14:00). Plus, discussion on what they’ve been doing to stay active and healthy while living safely in isolation (23:00).
An amazing academy: From Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw in recent years to Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier in the past, Southampton have always had a reputation of being eager to play youngsters and that helps massively with recruiting the best young players from around the UK and Europe. Their training facility in the New Forest national park is geared around developing young talent and if you are a fan of Southampton you’ve seen some of the best young talents in recent history pass through the club. The odd player like Le Tissier or James Ward-Prowse will stick around for their entire careers but one of the things we love most about Southampton is how often new players come through their academy. This season their most recent win against Aston Villa saw five academy products involved for Saints and one for Aston Villa, as they continue to develop top young talent which provides the club with players they don’t have to pay for, plus they can sell them on for huge profits. Will Smallbone, Michael Obafemi and Jake Vokins are the latest youngsters who will break through in the coming months. And so the conveyor belt continues.
Becoming the best feeder club in the Premier League: A feeder club, selling club, call it what you want, but there’s no doubt Southampton have become the top team to develop promising talent and then sell players on for huge profits. Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Morgan Schneiderlin were bought by Saints, improved at St Mary’s and then sold on for huge profits to the Premier League’s big boys. Southampton’s fans obviously do not enjoy seeing their best players sold each season but it provides them with valuable income to compete with the top 10 teams. Due to their huge overhaul in 2014 when Mauricio Pochettino left for Tottenham and Shaw, Calum Chambers, Lallana and Dejan Lovren followed him, new manager Ronald Koeman was able to lead Saints to seventh and sixth place finishes in back-to-back seasons. With four-straight top eight finishes from 2014 to 2017 with Europa League appearances and cup runrs, Southampton became the model of consistency despite losing their best players and managers. We have to give a special mention Pochettino and Koeman who both moved on to bigger jobs but owe Saints a lot for allowing them to thrive in the Premier League since their return to the big time in 2012. Moussa Djenepo, Jan Bednarek and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are the latest examples of players bought for relatively small sums from Europe and developed into Premier League regulars at Saints. Southampton are a family club and their is a close connection between the fans and players, which allows them to develop away from the spotlight of some of England’s bigger cities.
Danny Ings: The local lad played for Bournemouth, Burnley and Liverpool before returning home to play for his hometown team and boy has he made up for lost time. Ings, 27, didn’t get into Saints’ famed academy as a youngster and took a long, tough, winding round to get back to St Mary’s. After several injury-plagued seasons at Liverpool he is now fully fit and this season he’s been a revelation with 18 goals in all competitions for Saints. He is the reason they are clear of relegation trouble up until this point in the season. Everybody loves Ings. Jurgen Klopp and every single Liverpool fan adores him and there’s not a neutral out there who isn’t happy to see him scoring goals and playing with a smile on his face. Ings is on the verge of the England squad and he leaves everything out on the pitch each time he plays. He is wearing the number nine shirt and scoring goals for his hometown team and he grew up in a house just three miles from St Mary’s stadium. Ings is home and Southampton are so glad their $22.5 million signing from Liverpool is feeling comfortable and, most importantly, scoring goals.
‘Klopp of the Alps’ has a clear plan: It is safe to say Ralph Hasenhuttl has a clear playing philosophy and plan for Southampton and now he has been in charge for 18 months you can see things starting to come together. Southampton have one of the youngest teams in the Premier League so there’s still a lot of mistakes in their play, especially defensively, and Hasenhuttl has been hamstring by his predecessors making several mistakes in the transfer market with pretty much all of the $100 million they received from Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk in January 2018 now spent on players who are out on loan. The so-called ‘Klopp of the Alps’ is expected to sign a new long-term contract at Saints in the coming months and he loves giving young players a chance to shine, just like he did at RB Leipzig before he arrived in the Premier League. Hasenhuttl loves young, hungry players who are brave, press high and excite the fans. After Leicester smacked Southampton 9-0 earlier this season, Hasenhuttl went back to basics and Saints have been superb in recent months with wins against Chelsea, Leicester and Tottenham some of the highlights. Hasenhuttl completed his coaching badges in Germany at the same time as Klopp and their playing philosophy is eerily similar. The Klopp of the Alps looks set to stabilize Saints after recent relegation scraps and if he is ever handed money to spend, he could certainly push them back into the top 10.
First up, the latest transfer news out of Stamford Bridge says that Chelsea are interested in signing Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
According to German outlet Bild the 34-year-old is on the lis of goalkeepers Frank Lampard and Chelsea are looking at as they aim to upgrade their goalkeeping position.
Neuer has been at Bayern since 2011 and has won everything possible with the Bavarian giants, with his current contract due to expire next summer after he recently rejected a one-year extension. Bayern have signed promising young goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, 23, from Schalke and have been linked with a $100 million move for German international Marc andre Ter Stegen if Neuer does move on.
The Blues have plenty of attacking talent but they have conceded 39 goals in 29 games so far with only Burnley and Arsenal conceding more goals (40) in the top 10.
Neuer is coming towards his prime as a goalkeeper and if Chelsea can snap him when the transfer window reopens for a small fee, given his contract will have less than one year remaining, it would represent a huge upgrade and some much-needed experience in their defensive unit.
Another London club looking to add experience in the defensive department is Tottenham, with Jose Mourinho said to be keen on signing Diego Godin from Inter Milan. There hasn’t been that much transfer news swirling around Tottenham and this may not the kind of addition Spurs fans would be hoping for.
Godin, 34, has been admired by Mourinho for some time as the former Atletico Madrid defender is a master of the dark arts and looked close to signing for Mourinho at Man United two years ago before instead signing a new deal at Atletico.
Uruguay’s captain has spent the last season at Inter Milan but a report from Corriere dello Sport states that he will be allowed to leave this summer as he hasn’t slotted into Antonio Conte’s plans in a three man central defense.
With Jan Vertonghen set to be out of contract this summer and Spurs’ continuing to leak goals galore, Mourinho is said to want to add experience at the back to hold things together. Godin would fit the bill but would this potential move to the Premier League come too late in his career?
The way he plays means that pace isn’t exactly necessary as he reads the game superbly and his aerial ability, ability to cover and organize is why Spurs would bring him in. Adding Godin alongside young defenders like Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez could work well, plus Toby Alderweireld is also around. Godin is reliable and Mourinho certainly needs more reliable defenders around if his time in charge of Tottenham is going to be a success.