Dele Alli believes Tottenham's bitter rivalry with Chelsea has now usurped the north London derby against Arsenal.
Alli says there is more hatred from Spurs' players towards their Stamford Bridge counterparts - while conceding the Arsenal game is still probably bigger for the fans.
Alli believes the magnitude of the dislike between the two sets of players is now greater than the rivalry with Arsenal.
"I think if you ask the fans they will give you a different answer, but as players - the way things have been going with the league and the games - the rivalry with Chelsea is bigger than the one with Arsenal, because of what they have done to us in recent years," the England midfielder told Copa90.
Uhhhh ya think?
Spurs and Chelsea have been in absolute battles towards the top of the table in recent years, so it makes sense that Dele Alli would come out and say this. There's simply no time to worry about little ole Arsenal, who are lucky to get a Europa League spot these days. It's almost like if during the last NFL season Tom Brady came out and said: "Yeah we don't really care about the Dolphins, we're more focused on the Chiefs." OF COURSE, the players care more about playing Chelsea! It's a bigger game.
Not to mention the fact that an Arsenal - Tottenham match is just kind of sad. You've got one side singing about a title they won in 2004 that they won't shut up about, whilst the other side is singing about how they almost won the Champions League. Very telling from both sides. A trip to Stamford Bridge usually means you're playing a team that's either competing for a title or a top 4 spot. A trip to the Emirates usually means playing in a half-filled stadium against a mid-table team.
I knew Arsenal was done competing for the Premier League after the 2015/16 campaign. It felt like the one year they could've actually won the league and they came in second place.... to Leicester City. Tottenham also had a shot to win the Prem that year, only to blow a 2-0 lead against Chelsea, handing Leicester City the title, in the now-infamous "Battle of Stamford Bridge".
This is the game that probably kick-started the hatred between players on both sides. How could Spurs players possibly forget that time they could've maybe almost won the Premier League? Those types of opportunities are very scarce for Tottenham fans and players alike, so you might as well take em where you can get em I suppose.
From a Chelsea point of view, I don't give a fuck who calls us their rival. Chelsea fans have been chanting "We hate Tottenham" during every team intro since like 2014 now, not even as a rivalry thing, just as a "fuck-these-guys" type of thing. The only thing we care about is bringing trophies back to the Bridge. We couldn't care less about lil bro Tottenham and Dele Alli. We're unbeaten in our last four against Spurs. The game is just more of a formality at this point.
It's just a sad day for Arsenal and Arsenal fans. I feel like the only things they had left were talking about the invincible and looking forward to the North London derby. Now that their biggest rival has pretty much said they don't care about Arsenal anymore I think the question has to be raised. Who does care about Arsenal anymore?
PS - Happy 15th Anniversary to Chelsea winning their first Premier League. Start of the evil empire as we know it.