You don’t need a North London derby in the Premier League to get fans of either club going about how much they hate the other one.
Tottenham fans love mentioning how their rivals are bottlers, constantly finishing in fourth. But Arsenal fans love to remind Spurs supporters that they’ve never finished above them in the Premier League era. Not even last season, when Tottenham looked like the only side who might catch Leicester.
And that extends to the fans’ views on the players. Sol Campbell became the most hated man in Spurs history when he left Tottenham on a free transfer to join Arsenal.
It goes both ways.
But there is one former player who is respected, admired and even loved by both sets of supporters.
Who is that rare player, I hear you ask.
It’s the one and only Pat Jennings. The Northern Irishman spent lengthy stints at both clubs, even winning the FA Cup in the white of Spurs and the red of Arsenal.
Jenning started his professional career at Watford, but was swiftly snapped up by Tottenham in 1964. He would remain at White Hart Lane for the next 13 years, where he won the FA Cup (1967), the League Cup twice (1971 and 1973), and the UEFA Cup in 1972.
In 1977, with Tottenham believing Jennings was nearing the end of his career, the club transferred him to Arsenal. Amazingly, Jennings fought off all comers for the Gunners’ No 1 jersey for the following eight years.
He helped Arsenal to four cup finals in three years, but they only managed to bring home the bacon in the 1979 FA Cup final, with a win over Manchester United.
Jennings returned to Tottenham when he finally retired in 1986, and worked as a goalkeeping coach at the club until 1993.
A legend of the game, Jennings was capped a record 119 times for Northern Ireland, played more than 1,000 games at professional level, and even scored for Spurs in the 1967 Community Shield.
Better still, he’s pretty much the only player who Arsenal and Tottenham fans have nothing but respect for.
What a man.