Ex-Tottenham man: We are not in Arsenal’s shadow

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas has stated that there is no longer a gap between his old employers and North London rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners have been the dominant force locally for as long as Arsene Wenger has been at the helm, with Spurs fans despondent each year as their rivals fight for silverware.

However, in recent years the White Hart Lane side have been fighting for Champions League qualification and have improved significantly this term.

With the business end of the campaign upon us, Tottenham sit in second place and are three points ahead of Arsenal before today’s clash between the sides.

Mauricio Pochettino has put faith in a talented group of young players, with belief that they could well become English champions for the first time since 1961.

Jenas has stated that the stigma around the rivalry has been taken away and there is not much to separate the sides in the modern era.

“If we did beat Arsenal, it was always seen as a shock but it is not the same anymore,” Jenas told BBC Sport.

“I think that is part of the reason Arsenal fans are so frustrated, because they do not feel they have moved on and they know Tottenham have. That is what worries them the most.

“When I speak to Arsenal fans now – and I mean the proper football purists, not the ones who speak a little bit too much with their hearts rather than their heads – they will say there is no longer a big gap between the two teams.

“Spurs are no longer living in Arsenal’s shadow and I would put that down to a mentality shift at both clubs over the past decade.”