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Inside Lane: Mind the gap Arsenal? Let’s not start that again!

PUBLISHED: 10:03 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:40 06 March 2013

The temperature rises in the north London derby as Spurs and Arsenal players clash

The temperature rises in the north London derby as Spurs and Arsenal players clash

EMPICS Sport

Tottenham blogger Ben Bloom examines Spurs’ prospects of staying ahead of the Gunners.

Don’t say it. This year every Spurs fan is banned from using the words “mind”, “the” and “gap” in the same sentence.

No-one needs reminding of what happened last time. We might be seven points clear with 10 games to play but things are about to get a whole lot tougher.

First up we have to go to Anfield and take on Luis Suarez and co. With just one defeat in our last 15 games there is every reason to be confident - but if we lose we are back to watching Arsenal snapping at our heels again.

The following five games then include trips to Chelsea and Swansea, as well as the visits of Man City and Everton, which means we still have to play five of the top eight sides in the league. Suddenly seven points doesn’t seem so huge does it?

There is also the difficult – but hugely welcome – issue of the Europa League. Andre Villas-Boas said he wanted to get Spurs used to playing three matches per week.

If our sights are set on winning the trophy then we will have to squeeze a whopping seven extra matches into what already promises to be the toughest 10-week period of the season.

Having not been rested or rotated at all this season, the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon have got to be dangerously close to running on empty.

Is that all the negativity done? Right then: What a result!

Rarely has a north London derby been so important for both sides and the Lane was absolutely bouncing at the weekend.

From back to front almost every Spurs player delivered. The back five looked as solid as at any time this season, the midfield were creative as ever and our man up front, Emmanuel Adebayor… well it’s good to have room for improvement.

Has there been a better time to be a Spurs fan over the past 20 – or even 50 – years? For the first time in the history of the Premier League we have a group of players that can form the basis of a proper top-four or (whisper it) title-challenging team in the near future.

We’ve got the best player in the league, we’re full of confidence and, most importantly, we’ve got the points on the board so our destiny is in our own hands.

Glass half full or glass half empty? Third place and a European trophy? Easy.

Follow me on Twitter @benbloom2

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