20 games into the campaign, the two North London rivals are right in the thick of it at the top end of the table, and both have shown signs that this can be a truly special year for them.
The Gunners lead the pack, having amassed 42 points, and have also won 13 matches—more than any other side in the division.
Spurs, by contrast, are fourth, six points behind their local rivals, four behind second-place Leicester City and three behind Manchester City, who occupy third spot.
While the Lilywhites have only managed nine wins—four fewer than the Gunners—they boast the best defensive record in the league (having only conceded 16 goals) and have also lost the joint-fewest number of matches, having—like Leicester—only been defeated twice.
These stats, as well as Arsenal’s lamentable history of choking at crucial moments, have convinced Hoddle that Spurs ought to be considered as true title contenders this term.
“Other than Leicester City, Tottenham have been the most consistent side in the Premier League this season,” the former England international and current pundit told the Daily Mail [via the Daily Star].
“Unlike Arsenal, their defeats haven’t been meltdowns. There have only been two, and one of those came from a last-minute Newcastle goal.
“The other was on the first day of the season at Manchester United. Their back four looks to be the best, having conceded the fewest goals this season.
“In this extraordinary season, with Chelsea falling by the wayside, Manchester United weaker than ever, Manchester City inconsistent and even Arsenal prone to some awful performances, Spurs have an opportunity which may not present itself again,” he continued.
“This team has a chance to be better and they must seize it. They need to exploit the fact that Chelsea and United are weak at the moment and that is why I believe the board need to grasp the moment as much as the players.
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“The players would have settled for the top four at the start of the season. Now I believe everyone at the club should reach for more.
“If they maintain this form for a couple of months, the dressing room ought to be able to summon the belief that they can win it.”