The North London Power Shift. How is it defined? Surely finishing above them this season and/or next season and winning silverware is one certain way of consolidating any tangible shift? Does attracting a better quality of player also count? Is the shift made up of less tangible stuff like simply knowing we're in the midst of change or does that leave far too many fiery arguments in a heated debate unresolved?
Place aside the hyperbole - there isn't a shift in power because such a shift doesn't happen overnight. Arguably there is a relinquishing of dominance that has been dying a slow death for almost ten years. Still, that is not for us to use as a gauge of comparison. Forever in your shadow is more apt for our neighbours, as they to wish to stand in the shadow of their past, too scared to step out of it and embrace the reality of the present day.
Arsenal's current plight is exaggerated because of the lofty heights they reached before they began to stagnate - even though that stagnation was still allowing them Champions League qualification. Revenue, however, is not a badge of honour and the frustrations are linked into the fact that a club of such stature (and gate receipts) should be performing at a higher level. But then again, if you take a closer look at their squad, their signings and their football it's obvious to all this is not the same side that bullied and destroyed for fun for a gut-wrenching period of time. If there is one other consistency to match their persistent top four finishes it's the fact they lose their best player(s) every summer.
It's hard to let go of a past that many of them still remember like it was yesterday. An anchor that is causing them more grief because of a reluctance to admit to change. A similar scenario might happen if Manchester United slipped up although most would suggest they won't be slipping any time soon which leads into another frustration that is cited by Arsenal supporters - if United could dig deep and continue to challenge for the title, why could they not do the same? Most young supporters of United do not know anything else outside of winning silverware. A season in second place is probably one of distraught emotions.
Success itself skewers and corrupts expectations. That's not to say I wouldn't wish that on our supporters to see how we cope with sustained glory. Although I will always admit to the fact that short spurts of success are always best. Makes you appreciate it more and retains your hunger for future adventures. Rather than run the risk of being spoilt and incapable of simply loving and enjoying your experience with the club you support. We haven't had a truly tangible success for a fair while but it's a good feeling to be able to look ahead and flirt with the idea that such an experience is a possibility. Spurs have been on the up for several seasons now. It's an equally positive trait that we desire more than what we have currently. Because what we have is progression not silverware.
With Arsenal, the boardroom politics, the debt, the rise and rise of the financial super-powers, Wenger's lost grip on scouting cheap players that he turns into world class superstars that want to stay at the club...it's a different footballing landscape to what it once was and the fuel that propelled the lucky ones during the earlier era of Sky Sports has been exhausted.
Arsenal don't have the quality they once possessed. Not in abundance and thanks to those financial super-powers, the modern day footballer can easily dismiss loyalty and patience and look elsewhere for a fix of tax-aided wage slips and silverware. Time is Arsenal's enemy. It ate away at the past leaving its thinning body further and further behind whilst Wenger has slowly walked forward, committed to his philosophy and football, but unable to run at great pace. That philosophy is looking jaded and out of time. Ironically time might also heal their wounds. Financial Fair Play will aid the clubs that churn out massive profits via the turnstiles.
Tottenham's plight is firmly in the past, the only prominent shadow that of Irving Scholar and his broken dreams. Seasons of abject mediocrity the resulting nightmare. We got caught with our pants down. Wrong decisions at board level and with managerial appointments and then the wrong attitude by any given coach to compliment the dizzy disarray. It's been a slow and emotional journey since Martin Jol took over another failed experiment and began our ascendency from pretenders to contenders. This being Spurs there was drama injected into most seasons. 2006 and its heartbreak. The calamity that was Ramos replacing Jol. Silverware at Wembley. Harry Redknapp. Losing a penalty shout-out at Wembley. Champions League. Ten point gap. Bayern Munich and 4th spot. Redknapp gone. Andre Villas-Boas. 3rd or better in our sights.
Ever present during this very recent arc in our history has been a backbone and spirit that continues to grow in strength. Even with the disappointments the club has gone through there has been continued positive change. It's always onwards and upwards, never looking back or falling back. Coach, players and supporters retain ambition. Hopefully, so will the chairman if we grace the Champions League again. These are good times to be supporter of Spurs. To be honest it's always a good time to be a supporter of Spurs. Even during those dark and desolate years in the 1990s we continued to believe. The club and your support is ever present. What happens on the pitch will always evolve, the football cycle will always take you on a journey - including rides you wish you didn't have to endure.
What is football without the unequivocally love for the shirt of the club you support? Everything else that happens is beyond your control. You believe and you belong, that is enough.
Every time we come face to face with heartbreak, we pick ourselves up and move on with it because we don't have a choice. Football is heartbreak. You have to pick up the fragmented bits off the floor before painfully sticking them back together again. But when you've done that and it's beating and pulsating and thumping against your chest again, accompanied by tears of joy, in those moments... they are the ones you never forget. Those moments are made better because of the time spent picking up all the broken pieces. You need the pain because the love will never feel as strong without it.
The power shift is just a fallacy. Denied by them, celebrated by us. It's deflection. It's hyperbole better spent ignored until its completely undeniable.
There is very little between both clubs at this moment in time. Both are without recent success in cup competitions. Both seek equilibrium. If I'm totally honest - I've always advocated the importance of CL football, if only because it serves to aid the club in being able to challenge domestically (for the title) but also appreciate that qualification every season is not a guarantee.
But for our neighbours to simply rely on it as a way to compensate for their own shortcomings is a dangerous game. Sure, the bragging rights are red until we finish above them but they're also white because we've recently beaten. We might be on the up but we have to be the ones looking down at them before any talk of a power shift can be entertained.
When you're knocked out of a competition and accept it in part as a positive in order to concentrate on getting back in it for next season, if you look close enough, if you wish to look close enough, you'll see the soul being sucked out of your club by a cruel and ironic Ouroboros which has you locked into its fruitless cycle.
Our neighbours are once more going to try and retain that cycle regardless of its empty repetitive destiny. We will endeavour to start our own, one that preferable doesn't consume itself. The power shift in North London is non-existent as the power has yet to be conquered, left waiting in no-man's land to be claimed by those that dare.
March into that land Tottenham. March on.