For a man whose grasp of the English language remains a work in progress, Mauricio Pochettino has a knack of saying the right things.
Quizzed on the significance of Tottenham’s 14-point lead over Arsenal, he quipped that his Spurs side are ‘playing and fighting for bigger things’ as oppose to just finishing above their north London rivals.
“It’s not important - the gap we have with Arsenal,” Pochettino mused. “The most important thing is to do our job, try to win games and try to reduce the gap with Chelsea.”
While the feat would be significant – and any margin greater than 10 points would represent the largest gap between the sides in nine years – it would remain an anomaly of this famous rivalry in the Premier League era. An overdue victory in a fight they have been on the back foot of for too long.
They cannot afford to rest on such laurels once the bell sounds this time. Arsenal did just that, and now they stare up, dazed, from the canvas.
St. Totteringham's Day – the term coined by Arsenal fans to mark the day it became mathematically impossible for Spurs to finish above the Gunners – was first introduced back in 2002.
Clever, fun, but a record soon overplayed. It was used in an official match programme during the 2007-08 season when Arsenal faced Aston Villa. What started off as harmless fun became a clear sign that the club - by then enduring their longest spell without a league title under Arsene Wenger – had adopted the feat as actual success.
A club that had celebrated an ‘Invincible’ campaign just four years before was glorifying what should have been regarded as a given, not as an achievement.
Nine years on, that once jovial triumph owned by the fans is at risk of becoming a joke, and it would be unwise of Spurs to repeat bad habits and do the same.
The release of a commemorative DVD celebrating a 4-4 draw at the Emirates in 2008 did just that by ridiculing an impressive fightback in stoppage time.
So Tottenham, follow Pochettino’s lead and push on for real success this time.