King of the dive Dele Alli has played down the rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham by claiming that Chelsea is a bigger opponent compared to the Gunners right now.
Arsenal and Tottenham are the biggest rivals in north London and for years the game meant far more to Tottenham players and their fans as Arsenal continued to surpass them domestically.
However, the tide has turned recently with Spurs enjoying a new stadium and reaching the Champions League final last season.
Arsenal is currently not competing in the Champions League and they have been absent from the competition since the 2016/2017 season.
Alli claims that the Lilywhite fans still consider their game against Arsenal as a big deal, however, the players consider Chelsea a bigger opponent and a more important team to beat because of their recent history.
The Blues historically stopped Spurs from winning the Premier League in 2016 and that seems to have stuck with the players.
Alli said as quoted by the Mail: ‘I think if you ask the fans they will give you a different answer, but as players – the way things have been going with the league and the games – the rivalry with Chelsea is bigger than the one with Arsenal, because of what they have done to us in recent years.
‘For fans it’s different, because the north London derby is massive, but as players I think it’s Chelsea.’
Well, that may be true today but the Arsenal Tottenham rivalry will be there for many many years to come and players like the diver will fade into memory and his failure to reflect the passion of that North London rivalry between the fans may go some way to explaining why Spurs, even in their recent rise, still cannot consistently get the better of Arsenal.