THE BIG KICK-OFF: Pat Mooney on Spurs and Arsenal's prospects

CAN north London s Big Two offer a sustained title challenge to the country s Big Two in the Premier League? After delivering the Carling Cup last season – the club s first trophy in nine years – the Spaniard has been one of the busiest bosses in the tran

CAN north London's Big Two offer a sustained title challenge to the country's Big Two in the Premier League?

After delivering the Carling Cup last season - the club's first trophy in nine years - the Spaniard has been one of the busiest bosses in the transfer market. Ramos has splashed out close to £50 million on Luka Modric, David Bentley, Giovani dos Santos, Heurelho Gomes and John Bostock.

And he is still hoping to buy another striker - Robbie Keane's departure to Liverpool was a big shock - and a centre-half as cover for Ledley King, who may not play regularly because of knee injuries.

Ramos has also shifted out more than half a team, including Steed Malbranque, Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda to Wearside, Paul Robinson has joined Blackburn and Younes Kaboul signed for Pompey this week. He also has to decide what to do with the sulking Dimitar Berbatov, who wants a move to the Theatre of Dreams.


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Yet for his creative signings, Ramos needs a tight defence to mount a title tilt.

Meanwhile, at The Emirates Arsene Wenger is banking on his young Guns to end three successive years without a trophy and a run at the title.

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Losing influential midfieldsers Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb - to AC Milan and Barcelona respectively - are big blows.

Although Wenger's only major signing is Samir Nasri from Marseille, he snatched promising Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey from under the noses of Manchester United as well as persuading wantaway striker Emmanuel Adebayor to stay.

Yet doubts remain over the Gunners' strength in depth after Wenger's youngsters ran out of steam last season.

Patrick Mooney

sports editor

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