ARSENAL may be breathing down Spurs’ necks in the table, but it seems Harry Redknapp’s side have already taken their north London rivals’ crown as English football’s great entertainers.
A survey of Premier League managers overwhelmingly declared Tottenham Hotspur the most attacking team to watch, as they claimed an emphatic 75 per cent of the vote.
Arsenal, so often considered the most attractive side in the country despite their lack of trophies in the last six years, trailed in third with six per cent, with Manchester United second (12 per cent).
The poll, conducted on behalf of League Managers’ Association sponsors Barclays, quizzed all but four of England’s top division managers on which players and adversaries they rated most, and offers an early insight into where the end of season accolades might go.
Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers will be odds on to collect the LMA Manager of the Year award after topping the voting for most impressive manager with 47 per cent.
Rodgers’ brand of football, allied to a season in which his team look capable of comfortably retaining Premier League status, suggest he is destined for greater things at the top of the English game.
Not surprisingly, the Manchester City trio of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva were winners in the respective categories of best goalkeeper, defender and midfielder.
Arsenal’s rampant finisher, Robin van Persie, edged out Sergio Agüero in the classifications for best striker, drawing the battle lines for the forthcoming PFA and FWA Player of the Year nominations.
Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs is considered the most influential Premier League player of the last 20 years in a section dominated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s player. Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo also won support.
But although Phil Jones is rated the best young player in the league, there is a surprising absence of more recent Old Trafford recruits across all categories.
Wayne Rooney is startlingly considered only fifth best in the division — behind Demba Ba and tied with Luis Suárez with 13 per cent of votes — while in a result which suggests the survey pre-dates last weekend’s shift in momentum at the table, 67 per cent believe Manchester City will win the title. No United player even received a vote in the best keeper, defender and midfielder section.
Anfield took 50 per cent of the manager’s votes as offering the best match day atmosphere, with Stoke’s Britannia Stadium runner-up.
Finally, with a nod to the Premier League’s global audience and the multitude of overseas pre-season tours, the managers were asked which foreign supporters they considered most passionate.
Thailand topped the table with 27 per cent of votes.