If we were Alan Pardew, we'd feel a whole lot better if Rafa Benitez took a job far away from the Premier League. He looks the most vulnerable to a Spanish coup...
Although Tony Pulis has been widely criticised for Stoke's style of football, he has also reminded us that there is more than one kind of successful manager...
* Two clubs going in opposite directions, then. As Tottenham move back above the European champions and just two points behind the Premier League champions (until Monday night, at least), it seems as though Arsenal's season is just ebbing away. No great fuss, no great fight...just a limp Aaron Ramsey shot (more on him later), a misplaced Olivier Giroud pass, an ill-conceived high line/offside trap. Arsenal's best chance of qualifying for the Champions League is relying on a Chelsea collapse which, given the lie of the land over there, is not out of the question. But perhaps it would be better for them not to make the top four.
Something needs to change at Arsenal, be that the manager, the board, the approach to spending money, training methods, coaching staff - whatever it is, the club can kid themselves that everything will be okay while they're still winning that fourth-place 'trophy', still bringing in the Champions League money, but if not it might shock them into doing something. At the moment Arsenal exist in a vague state of purgatory, not sure what sort of team they are, doing quite well by everybody else's standards but not by their own. While finishing fifth might not be enough for the rest of us to cry salt tears, even by Arsene Wenger's measure of success, this is close to rock bottom. Perhaps they need that before they can go on.
* Another hope for Arsenal to reel in Spurs is their respective run-ins. Tottenham still have to play Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, while the only other top side Arsenal have to face is a cruising Manchester United - interestingly, that game is on the weekend between the dates for the two legs of the Champions League semi-final. That's the optimist's view, but even if Spurs do slip in those tough tests, would you trust Arsenal to make up the difference?
* Arsenal's record against the top four this season reads played seven, won one, drawn one, lost five. Chuck in the best teams they've faced in the Champions League (Schalke and Bayern), of which they've drawn one and lost two, and you begin to see why they're not doing so well.
* That's Tottenham's best unbeaten run (12 games) since the 1984/85 season. When they finished third, by the way. The Daily Mail's Matt Lawton tweeted after the game that 'some of us may have been too quick to dismiss AVB'. No sh*t Matthew. As Tottenham move back into third, Andre Villas-Boas's achievement thus far must not be under-estimated, given that he has at best a similar level, if not a worse squad, at his disposal than the one that eventually finished fourth last season. Of course, that should provide a cautionary tale, because it was about this time last season that the arse fell out of their campaign. Somehow, you don't expect that to happen again this time.
* It was noticeable and, it must be said, hardly surprising that Spurs improved after Emmanuel Adebayor was forced off by injury, replaced by Jermain Defoe. Adebayor's listless, post-permanent contract season has been well-documented to the point that it's almost become a cliché to remark upon it, but the forward ambled around in a rather uninterested manner, without attempting a single shot, misplacing 40% of his passes and just for good measure lost Per Mertesacker with some slack marking for Arsenal's goal. When Jermain Defoe came on and actually showed some willingness to...you know...run around a bit, Spurs looked much more threatening. Indeed, it was his willing and excellent pass that set Gylfi Sigurdsson up for the golden chance that he mystifyingly passed, a chance that would have wrapped the game up with time to spare.
* What must be encouraging for Spurs is that they didn't rely on Gareth Bale to win this game. Of course, he made a pretty sizeable contribution with his goal, but other than that this was one of his quieter games, helping to put to bed the notion of a one-man team.
* "Why, why, why?" exclaimed Gary Neville after the second Spurs goal, bemoaning not just the calamitous defending from the visitors but the potential for more fun and games at either end with both deploying a high line of defence. The difference between the sides deploying this tactic is of course that Spurs simply have players more suited to it. Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson might not be speedsters, but they're collectively more mobile than Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen, who seems to have stones in his boots at the moment. And of course, that's not the main reason why Villas-Boas's boys are better at it, with Hugo Lloris the pseudo sweeper usually out of his goal so quickly that a forward rarely has time to take advantage of the space. For Tottenham's second, Wojciech Szczesny seemed surprised that Lennon was clear, was too slow to react and allowed the winger to skip round him too easily. One doesn't imagine Lloris would have been so charitable.
Of course, Arsenal's tactic of playing that high line and pressing Tottenham high up the pitch was working for a fair while, but the problem with that strategy is you really have to keep it up for the whole game, which is so physically demanding as to be almost impossible. While plenty of blame will be rightly placed on the dawdling defence, Sigurdsson then Scott Parker were given too much time to pick out their defence-splitting passes.
* It's possible that, after buying a talented but raw midfielder, beating Manchester United to his signature, then seeing him return from a horrific injury to the first team, Arsene Wenger has a sentimental attachment to Aaron Ramsey. At present, that would be one of the only explanations for his continued presence in the first team. Time and again Ramsey slows down Arsenal attacks, seemingly unable to make a quick decision, preferring to dither and sportingly let the opposition defence reassemble. There was a moment in the first half that seemed to sum him up - Ramsey was on the right flank, on the very edge of the defensive line when the ball was passed through to him. Instead of chasing the ball and looking for any offside flag later, he stopped, looked for said flag, but when it wasn't raised he belatedly made to chase the ball. Of course, by that point the chance was gone. Arsenal's squad is pretty thin, but surely there must be a better option than Ramsey at present.
* However, Ramsey wasn't Arsenal's most disappointing midfielder. These are games that Jack Wilshere is supposed to excel in, to grab and win on his own while his teammates were floundering. In the event, Wilshere was anonymous, and while these sort of stats should only be used as an illustration rather than a stand-alone point, his pass completion rate was only 73%. His average for the season is 87.3%.
* Olivier Giroud was neatly summed up by an Arsenal-supporting acquaintance - he's an option, but shouldn't be the option. In some ways it's unfair that this perfectly decent striker with a perfectly decent scoring rate should be compared to Robin van Persie, but replacing the Dutchman with Giroud more or less sums up what level Arsenal compete on these days.
* "It's very frustrating. We were 2-0 down when we should have been 2-0 up. It was a strange game to lose." Quite so, Arsene Wenger. The first half was basically all Arsenal up until Spurs scored (it was their first shot on target), which is basically their problem now and forever. Too often, they don't grasp the nettle, seize the day or whatever other cliché you want to use. It suggests an attacking deficiency of course, but also a psychological one. Wenger is fond of praising Arsenal's 'spirit', but it after every result like this it seems clear that this is an illusion.
* Of course the other obvious reason for the score at half-time was the dreadful defending from Arsenal. Personal highlights were Thomas Vermaelen spinning round for the second like a dog walker trying to disentangle themselves from a troublesome set of leads, and Nacho Monreal casually waving Aaron Lennon through to score. Somewhere in Brazil, Andre Santos approved.
* The really frustrating thing for Arsenal fans must be that these are mistakes that are happening over and over, without a great deal really changing. In fact, barely anything is changing. The confidence that Wenger has in his own methods that was once a strength has turned into a weakness.
* Assistant referees. The great under-appreciated participants in football. For a while, largely after the Andy Gray thing, Sian Massey received plenty of fairly patronising 'well dones' for getting offside decisions correct, but in fact most top-level assistants have got this skill down pretty well, and it's just that Massey stands out, so she was praised. We saw another example for Tottenham's opener, when a speeding Bale was shown to be about level with the dawdling Arsenal defence, and he was correctly called onside by Darren Cann. Hats off.
* Oh, and here's another nice thing about the officials. Mark Clattenburg's rather liberal use of the advantage is something that has been missing from football for some time. While it is of course the refuge of the bore to say anything about rugby is superior to football, the referee giving things a little longer between offence and decision is one of the very few things that the oval-balled game does better. Some may bleat about him taking too long, but it is surely better to wait a few seconds and see if awarding a foul is actually advantageous.
* It would be unfair on the fans of Chelsea, West Ham etc who have been castigated for assorted horrible chants this season, not to point out that when Adebayor was receiving treatment for the injury that eventually saw him leave the field, some Arsenal fans were heard to belt out charming ditties such as 'Let him die' and 'Angola, it should have been you'.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter
Where to start.... Playing a high defensive line with Mertesacker in defence? Playing Giroud with Podolski on the bench again? Asking Ramsey and Arteta to play defensive midfield roles? This is pretty basic stuff that I would expect a Sunday Pub League coach to address, not a manager who earns £7.2m per year. Same old same old - its time to move on, Arsene.- vaseline gang