Chelsea's long-standing hex over Tottenham Hotspur seems to have run its course. Worse yet for the blues their London rivals appear to be gaining the upper hand in league standings too.
Domination doesn't really do justice to the record Chelsea have over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Both clubs are founding members of the League and both have been present for the 20 years of the competition. In that time Chelsea have triumphed in 22 games, there have been 13 draws, and Spurs have won a meagre 3 matches. Those stats suggest a consistent gulf in class between the teams, and although that has certainly been the case for the majority of the Abramovich era, it wasn't always so.
For much of the 90s Chelsea were mid-table battlers armed with a couple of players who could turn a game – much like Spurs. It was only towards the end of the millennium that they began to emerge as the talented multinational side that we know them as today. Even then it took until the 2004-2005 season for them to win their first Premier League title and begin a period of invincibility against most teams in the division. So why is it Spurs have such as dismal record against the Blues? The clubs have shared many of the same players (Scott Parker, Gus Poyet, Eidur Gudjohnson, to name a few) and even had the same figures in charge with Glenn Hoddle and Frank Arnesen being central to the recent history of both clubs, but despite their similarities Chelsea have always come out on top. An impending fixture between the two clubs, although fierce in London rivalry, has always been a bit of a forgone conclusion. However, in 2008 all that seemed to change.
Wembley was the venue for the Carling Cup Final that year and although Spurs were the underdogs history suggests that you shouldn't write off Tottenham in a Cup Final at Wembley. The game was frenetic and unbelievably mid table Spurs triumphed over Abramovich dream team. That defeat echoed through the rest of Chelsea's season and having been in the running to win three competitions they ended up being runners up in all of them.
The record between the two clubs over the last few years paints an accurate picture of where they now are.
In the Premier League Chelsea agonizingly lost their title to Manchester United on goal difference and significantly in March 2008, after the Carling Cup win, Spurs secured a draw in a stonking 4-4 game with Chelsea at White Hart Lane. That fixture, one that on paper Chelsea should have won, represented a shift in their long standing Premier League dominance. Although Chelsea went on to recapture their Premier League title in the 2009-2010 season and achieved FA Cup success, their previous strength against Tottenham dissipated. The next six games between the two in the Premier League resulted in two Chelsea wins, two Spurs wins, and two draws bringing us up to December 2011 and what has turned into a hugely significant clash.
The record between the two clubs over the last few years paints an accurate picture of where they now are. Spurs under Harry Redknapp have transformed themselves into potential title contenders and Chelsea under four different managers since 2009 look vulnerable. With the emergence of Manchester City, the reborn Liverpool, the resurgent Arsenal, and the ever present Manchester United, Chelsea are in danger of slipping out of the hallowed Premier League top 4. At a time when the club needs to string together a series of wins to restore player/fan/boardroom confidence an upcoming match against Tottenham Hotspur would have been seen as a gift four years ago. Now though its Tottenham in the ascendancy and its Chelsea who will be walking out on the pitch at White Hart Lane wondering whether they are set to become just another statistic in a season of domination for Spurs.
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