Neil Humphreys: Spurs build men, Gunners ruin kids
Tottenham's youth record shames north London rivals
The white jerseys are starting to dominate at Wembley.
For club and country, Tottenham Hotspur's boys are morphing into England's men. There could be six Spurs players in the Three Lions' World Cup squad.
They are settled in their international surroundings. They belong.
But, against Brazil in midweek, Gareth Southgate's line-up featured not one Arsenal footballer. His loss is Arsene Wenger's pain.
The kids are no longer all right at the Emirates. Tottenham's young scamps now dominate the north London landscape and tonight's derby will only reiterate the reversal of fortunes.
Mauricio Pochettino turns boys into men, but Wenger seems to be auditioning for a new version of The Lost Boys, a dispiriting tale of stunted talent and shattered dreams.
At Tottenham, Pochettino looks more like a gardener than a coach, such is his rare ability to take charge of a club's grassroots and cultivate quickly.
Harry Kane has blossomed faster than any other striker in world football, going from decent, physical threat to peerless goalscoring predator in just a couple of years.
Dele Alli was picked up for £5 million (S$9m) from MK Dons two years ago and could be sold today for at least 10 times that figure. The once mercurial prospect is now an integral part of Southgate's World Cup plans, as well as being the creative fulcrum for his club.
Eric Dier has just captained England against Germany and Brazil, Harry Winks dominated in both Spurs matches against Real Madrid and Ben Davies is already eyeing Danny Rose's left-back position on a permanent basis.
None of these players are older than 24, which is still two years younger than Andros Townsend.
The former Spurs winger was the kind of fast, flighty English footballer that Arsenal typically produced under Wenger.
Both penetrative and peripheral, entertaining and downright exasperating, Townsend was an Arsenal winger in all but jersey colour.
But Pochettino sent him packing. He knows when to cut his losses on an unpredictable talent, refusing to wait for potential to turn into pedigree.
And yet, remarkably, Theo Walcott is still at Arsenal.
He's a 28-year-old wunderkind still waiting for a career-defining breakthrough.
The kid who went to the 2006 World Cup with England didn't make it off the bench against Manchester City a fortnight ago. Walcott has become an unwitting symbol of Arsenal's malaise, a club gone stale.
Just five years ago, he represented a new wave of British talent at Arsenal. Like Ryan Giggs and the Class of 92, Walcott was going to be the slightly elder statesman for a youthful group breaking through into the first team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson all signed contracts and suggested that Wenger had rediscovered the talent-nurturing powers that once shaped Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry into superstars.
But it was another false dawn.
Gibbs, Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain have already gone.
Ramsey has dominated midfield for an entire season just once. Wilshere remains a brittle-boned enigma and Walcott is only 18 months away from 30 and still being spoken of as an untapped talent.
A couple of recent FA Cup triumphs suggest a degree of success, but it's all relative. Since Pochettino arrived at Tottenham, their net spend has been £12m. In the same period, Wenger's net spend is just under £200m.
He's not getting value for money any more than he's getting the most from his young footballers. Too many have been allowed to drift and endure in a fashion that seems inconceivable at Tottenham.
Pochettino has fostered a level of healthy competition not seen at Arsenal for a decade. Spurs can sell Kyle Walker, promote fellow Englishman Kieran Trippier and barely break stride.
On the other flank, Rose publicly accused Tottenham of lacking ambition and saw himself dropped in favour of Davies. A quieter, contrite Rose has since worked his way back into Pochettino's good graces.
The Spurs boss is just as adept at punishing wayward mavericks (Rose) and dumping erratic performers (Townsend) as he is at finessing preternatural talent (almost every other young footballer at the club.)
It's hard to imagine Pochettino tolerating the baffling, and often infuriating, inconsistency of Arsenal's brand names for this long.
He takes young players and makes them better. At Arsenal, they stagnate.
As a result, the Gunners have handed their once-stellar reputation of rearing promising footballers to Spurs, which only accelerates Pochettino's rise and Wenger's demise.
Tottenham get to choose from the pick of the litter. Arsenal pay over the odds for whatever's left.
And that's the saddest aspect of tonight's derby, whatever the result.
When Wenger glances across at Pochettino, he doesn't just see a rival on the rise. He sees the kind of talent-spotting manager he used to be.