Since Tottenham last finished above Arsenal in 1994/95, there have been five separate occasions in which they have threatened to reclaim control of north London's power struggle, coming within three points of their neighbours.
It seemed as though 2005/06 would never be defeated as the most agonising near miss. Spurs held fourth place from early December all the way to the final day, when an illness-assisted loss to West Ham invited the Gunners to not only steal the position, but Champions League qualification too.
However, what happened last term stung even more for some supporters. The Lilywhites emerged as Leicester's main rivals for the Premier League title while their foes floundered. With three games to go, they were five points clear of Arsene Wenger's men with a 15-strike superior goal difference.
Finishing above Arsenal was barely a consideration as it appeared so probable - well, Betting.Betfair still foresaw the leapfrog at 9.0 of course - with catching the Foxes the sole focus instead.
Even when that mission failed, they still went into the final day two points and 13 goals better off, yet the one combination of results that could see them overtaken occurred: they somehow lost 5-1 to relegated Newcastle - even conceding three times with a man advantage - as the Gunners beat Aston Villa.
The question now is where the momentum lies as the adversaries prepare to compete for space towards the top of the Premier League table again in 2016/17. Arsenal are rated 1.68/13 favourites to rank higher, with Spurs around 2.35/4 to bring 21 years of being the region's second best to an end.
The trends heavily support Wenger and co. That might seem obvious given those 21 years of domination but, in addition to that, on three of those four prior occasions that they let the White Hart Lane occupants move within three points of them, they stretched the gap noticeably in the next season.
After closing 1995/96 just two points ahead, they ensured that it was 22 by the end of 1996/97. When Martin Jol pushed Tottenham to within a point in 2005/06, Wenger responded by putting eight points of distance between them in 2006/07.
And when Spurs dared to view their coronation as north London's leading light as imminent after finishing a point behind in both 2011/12 and 2012/13, it was widened to ten points in 2013/14. If the pattern persists, Arsenal won't be bothered anywhere near as much by their neighbours in 2016/17.
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