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 By Tony Mabert

What was life like when Tottenham last finished above Arsenal in 1995?

Tottenham Hotspur's win over Arsenal in Sunday's North London derby has broken the habit of a generation by ensuring that Spurs finish above their local rivals in the Premier League for the first time in 22 years.

Not since Gerry Francis, who replaced Ossie Ardiles in mid-season, led Tottenham to a seventh-placed finish in 1995 have the White Hart Lane club laid claim to being the pride of North London, but Mauricio Pochettino's side can now not be caught by Arsene Wenger's men in this season's campaign.

To put into context just how long Arsenal had the upper hand over their local rivals, here are 22 things to show what the game of football and the wider world were like when Spurs last finished above the Gunners.


1. Blackburn became Premier League champions

Rovers may be battling relegation from the Championship this season but, in 1995, Kenny Dalglish brought a first league title in 81 years to Ewood Park, thanks in no small part to Alan Shearer top-scoring with 34 goals.

2. The Premier League had 22 teams

Crystal Palace were the unfortunate club to be relegated despite finishing fourth from bottom. Four teams went down and just two came up as the top flight was reduced to 20 teams for the following season.

3. Wenger was still "Arsene Who?"

Arsene Wenger took charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight at the start of 1995 and stayed until the middle of 1996.

Then coach at J. League side Nagoya Grampus Eight, Arsene Wenger was still a virtual unknown in Europe. Stewart Houston became Arsenal's caretaker manager following George Graham's sacking in February 1995 and was in the dugout for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, when former Spurs midfielder Nayim broke Gunners hearts with his famous, long-range lob in extra time that won the trophy for Real Zaragoza.

4. Dele Alli hadn't been born

Not until April 11, 1996, six days short of a full calendar year after his future club had confirmed their league finish above Arsenal, was Bamidele Jermaine Alli born in Milton Keynes. Meanwhile, as the 1994-95 season ended, Harry Kane was still three months short of his third birthday. Further afield, Lionel Messi was a seven-year-old in Newell's Old Boys' youth system while Cristiano Ronaldo, at the age of 10, joined Nacional's academy.

5. Spurs star Jurgen Klinsmann misses out on top awards

Hristo Stoichkov was the reigning Ballon d'Or holder and was succeeded by George Weah, with Klinsmann and Ajax's Jari Litmanen rounding out the top three for the 1995 prize.

Romario was reigning FIFA World Player of year having won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil. Weah was also next to win that award, beating Maldini and Klinsmann, who left Tottenham for Bayern Munich in the summer of 1995.

6. World-record transfer fee = 14.5 percent of Paul Pogba

Gianluigi Lentini was the world's most expensive player in 1995, having cost AC Milan £13 million from Torino three years earlier. The record for a transfer fee has been broken 12 times since, most recently with Paul Pogba's £89.3m move from Juventus to Manchester United last summer.

Andy Cole was Britain's most expensive player at the time, following his shock £7m move to Old Trafford from title rivals Newcastle. The Pogba deal was the 11th time the British record has been surpassed since 1995.

7. Diego Maradona was still playing

Diego Maradona was playing for Boca Juniors, sporting a hairstyle that was not in fashion at that or any other time.

The mercurial No. 10's best days were well behind him and his reputation was forever tarnished following his 15-month ban for failing a drugs test, but Maradona was still in gainful employment in 1995, returning to boyhood club Boca Juniors for one last hurrah.

8. Johan Cruyff was Barcelona coach

The late Netherlands legend, whose blueprint for success is still in effect at the Camp Nou to this day, was still in the midst of his reign as coach that brought the club 11 major trophies, including four Liga titles and a first European Cup.

9. Eric Cantona was kicked out of football

In January 1995, Eric Cantona attacked Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons at Selhurst Park.

Manchester United's French striker was in the middle of serving his nine-month ban from football for launching a kung fu kick at a Crystal Palace fan after being sent off at Selhurst Park. He returned the following season and led United to a Premier League and FA Cup double.

10. Key changes on and off the pitch

Football rulemakers IFAB made several changes to the laws of the game, which came into effect in 1995. They included a maximum of three substitutes permitted in any match, half-time being extended to 15 minutes and an attacking player in an offside position not being penalised if not interfering with play.

11. The pre-Sepp Blatter era

FIFA's president was Brazil's Joao Havelange; Blatter's infamous reign, which ended in resignation in 2015 amid the corruption scandal that rocked world football's governing body, would not begin for another three years.

12. MLS didn't start until following year

While plans were already afoot for a national league in the United States to replace the defunct NASL, Major League Soccer would not begin play as a 10-team championship until 1996.


13. Bill Clinton was U.S. president. There have been three men in the White House since then. John Major was the UK Prime Minister; four have since followed him into No. 10 Downing Street.

14. The O.J. Simpson trial had the U.S. transfixed for much of 1995, beginning in January and ending with a not guilty verdict in October.

15. "Forrest Gump" was the big winner at the 1995 Oscars, picking up six awards including best picture, director and actor. "Toy Story" was year's highest-grossing movie worldwide.

16. The second season of "Friends" was midway through its run on U.S. television.

17. Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G were still alive and making records. Oasis released hit album "What's The Story, Morning Glory?" and had their first No. 1 single in the UK with "Some Might Say."

Motorola's StarTAC, the world's first mobile phone, had not yet been released in 1995.

18. Motorola's StarTAC flip phone and Nokia's 8110 'slider' (immortalised in "The Matrix"), both of which revolutionised mobile phone technology, were both in development but would not be released until 1996.

19. Yahoo! launched its first search engine interface on the nascent World Wide Web.

20. Sony released the PlayStation to the rest of the world, having launched it in Japan in December 1994.

21. Apple purchased Steve Jobs' NeXT, bringing their co-founder back to the company a decade after being forced out and providing the catalyst for the companies reinvention as a global tech giant.

22. Forbes named Bill Gates as the world's richest individual, replacing Japanese real estate magnate Yoshiaki Tsutsumi.

Tony Mabert is a senior editor for ESPN FC. Follow him @TonyMabertESPN


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