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Arsenal and Chelsea – Their Common Foe (Part Six)

Concluding the series in which the rivalry both clubs share with North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) is examined in depth.

Part One to Four dealt with Arsenal.

Part One can be found here; Part Two here; Part Three here, and Part Four here.

Part Five looked at Chelsea and that can be found here.

This article comcludes the look at the Chelsea- Spurs rivalry.

Matthew Harding

During the 1980s, the rivalry with Tottenham went into abeyance, as Chelsea languished in the lower divisions, whilst Tottenham remained a top tier side.

However, when Matthew Harding began to pour investment into Chelsea, their form began to improve, and, having got back to the Premier League – as it became known – Chelsea soon became top dog of the tw0. Between 1990 and 2006 Spurs failed to beat Chelsea in the league once.

Roman Abramovich

Whilst Harding lay the foundations for Modern Chelsea, it is when Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 that their fortunes were transformed and they became one of the wealthiest clubs in Europe, and serial winners of trophies.

However, legend has it that that the club he initially intended to buy was Tottenham. He arrived in the capital intending to make a bid for the North London side, but was deterred after a trip through the area around White Hart Lane. Abramovich is said to have described Tottenham as worse than Omssk – a grimy Siberian city.

Instead, he diverted his journey to Stamford, Bridge and having met the then owner Ken Bates, decided to buy them instead.

Millions were poured in to the team on an off the field, widening the gap to Tottenham. It is, of course, a  counter factual argument, but even today Spurs fans will wonder what would have happened if he had bought them instead.

Sine Abramovich bought Chelsea they have won 18 major trophies, and Spurs just the one.


In recent years, with Chelsea and Tottenham competing for Champions League places, they have several times found themselves competing for the same player in the transfer window,

One such player was Brazilian winger, Willian, who las later to “enjoy” an unhappy season at Arsenal, but, who, in the summer of 2013, was one of the most sought after players in Europe.

Spurs, who had seen off competition from Liverpool for the player, thought that Willian was about to sign for them in a £30 million deal and he had even undergone a medical in North London.

However, Roam Abramovich then made a personal call to fellow oligarch, Suleyman Kermov, the owner of the Russian club that Willian played for at he time, and effectively hijacked the seal.

Willian moved to Stamford Bridge for a  slightly higher price, whilst Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho taunted Spurs for not conducting the medical in secret.

Tottenham were furious, and, in an act of retaliation, would later refuse to sell Luka Modric to their West London rivals.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge

In May 2016, Tottenham were as close as they had ever been to winning the league title for the first time since 1961, but with three games of the season remaining, they needed to win at Stamford Bridge to keep their hopes alive.

Spurs took a two goal lead only to be pegged back in the second-half by Chelsea, the result meaning that Leicester City had won the Premier League against all the odds.

The match itself though became known as “The Battle of Stamford Bridge” as the dislike between the two sets of fans spilled over on to the pitch.

There were 12 yellow cards – nine of them for Tottenham, a new record for the club – and a mass brawl at the end saw Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink knocked down into the pit of he dug-out. Some critics have called it the most shameful game in the history of the Premier League but it was just the latest in a series of flashpoints between the two clubs.

the seres in which the rivalry both clubs share with London neighbours
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs is examined in depth).

Part one to four look at Arsenal v Spurs.

Part One can be found here; Part Two here; Part Three here, and Part Four

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