“Arsenal look a bit special”
Former Tottenham player Jamie O’Hara fears a past bet will come back to haunt him after admitting arch-rivals Arsenal are “looking a bit special” this season.
The Gunners enter the new year with a seven-point lead over Manchester City after a 4-2 win over Brighton at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday.
The result also put Mikel Arteta’s side 13 points clear of fifth-placed Spurs to give their Champions League hopes an almighty boost.
One man who doesn’t like to see the Gunners flying high is ex-Tottenham star O’Hara, who confidently declared his beloved club would finish above Arsenal this season.
“Spurs will finish above Arsenal,” O’Hara said in August, leading former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor to say: “I’ll bet with you.
“The bet is that if Spurs finish above Arsenal I have to wear a Leeds United shirt for at least five shows. If Arsenal finish above Spurs, you must wear an Arsenal shirt for five shows.
Almost five months have passed and it’s safe to say that O’Hara is starting to worry a bit.
After watching Arsenal ensure they see the new year with a good lead at the top of the Premier League, O’Hara said: “I’m going to have to wear that Arsenal shirt, aren’t I? I feel it coming!
“They are flying high at the top of the board, can they actually win?
“Now they are seven points clear, the fact is they can afford to lose to Man City and still win the league – that’s the scary thing!
“The thing we always see with Arsenal is when you have a game like this you go to Brighton, and they can struggle, they can be bullied, they won’t.
“But fair play to Arsenal, they play top level football.
“You look at them now and Odegaard, what a player he has become, a top player. They just look like a complete side.
“The title is there for them now. They have the bit between their teeth, they have confidence, they have this conviction.
“There is something going on there, that’s for sure. They look a bit special.
“It’s going to be tough to watch as a Spurs fan, that’s for sure. Every time I watch Arsenal I’m like, ‘Somebody just beat this team!’
“It pains me to say this, but I actually find it very difficult not to enjoy watching this Arsenal team play. They are so good.
Despite the sound position, Arsenal boss Arteta, whose side welcome third Newcastle on Tuesday, said his side were not getting carried away.
“It’s still a long, long race to go,” he said of the title chase.
“My excitement comes when I go into the dressing room and the players talk about what they should have done better today.
“And that means they know we can play even better and be better, and against Newcastle we have to be better.
“(It was) a big win, really happy, a really tough place to come.”