Tag Archives: Liverpool

Anything but easy! Tottenham 2 Liverpool 1

Back to back victories provide us with 6 points and once again our season is on the march. But that doesn’t tell the real story of this game. After a blistering start which led us to a two goal start we then succumbed to Liverpool’s pressing game got thrown off our rhythm and many of us were wondering how we ended up winning. In essence it may have something to do with Liverpool being wasteful in front of goal or adopting some unusual tactics.

For example, why was Steven Gerrard chained to the back four? He spent most of the game very deep and whilst he made some intelligent passes on the occasions he got into our box pandemonium set in and Dembele made a brave challenge before Walker cleared off the line in amazing fashion and then when he stopped taking the corners his header saw Lennon smash the ball into Bale’s face for what turned out to be the consolation.

Then they have a poor winger playing at left back and the left back playing on the wing. That certainly aided our first goal as Downing didn’t know where his man was and Lennon was free to tap in Bale’s cross and seemed  bizarre decision not aimed to assist when you have a flying man coming at you down the wing.

Thirdly what does Joe Allen do apart from running around? Whilst he fills you with no fear Suarez is a different kettle of fish altogether. His first touches were often outstanding and he missed a chance in the second half you would expect him to bury. Overall the Liverpool team did press like Brendan wanted them to in the TV programme and in the end it thwarted us and made us wasteful in possession.

We shouldn’t complain. At one times victories over Liverpool were extremely rare occurances but in recent times that has all changed.

Dembele, after a bright start, had a difficult second period and it might have been down to a lack of match fitness or just the constant pressure our players were put under to find a man in a white shirt. The game had started differently with Defoe picking Gerrard’s pocket to send Bale away for a blistering run and shot that was close.

Soon after another great run produced a back post cross that produced for Lennon the easiest of tap ins. The same Lennon that I was told doesn’t score enough goals in the Spurs shop before the game and that is true of most of our midfielders. The same can’t be said for Gareth Bale who had the bit between his teeth during our ascendancy hammering home a free kick that seemed to take a deflection off the wall to wrong foot Reina.

Winning a free kick is becoming like the Ronaldo show with Bale taking full responsibility and it may be for that reason why he went down so easily to earn his yellow card. The ball had gone dead for Gareth and the TV indicated maybe the slightest of touches on his boot so down he went. Don’t do it Gareth you’re better than that and we may end up missing on real free kicks if you don’t.

Gallas returned at the back to partner Dawson and we were lucky not to give away a first half own goal when Dawson smashed a clearance onto him. Lloris also continued and was lucky not to concede when he was out of his area before Henderson missed the target and apart from that it was fairly tidy performance from the keeper.

So our passing was off key and we failed to produce much in the final third during the second half but we come out with a win. I would put this down once again as a game in which our performance was forgettable for a large part yet outstanding to get us a 2 goal lead.

Maybe it was Liverpool proving to be better than West Ham or Reading that stopped us being good throughout but if we are to mount a really strong challenge we will have to be better than this to secure all three points. As an example if you gave Walker 10 goes at his goal line clearance how many would he execute as well as he did last night?

Maybe the quality of the Premier League is slipping while teams concentrate on keeping possession rather than scoring goals as Man City and Chelsea have demonstrated so far this season but we don’t consistently look like a top 4 side at the present time. I’ll take a spot if we secure it but I think we’ve got to look better than we are at the moment to really make sides frightened of us. Yesterday we started well but we need to keep it going and prevent our opponents from imposing themselves.

We know this Liverpool aren’t the side of old yet they should have had something from the game. At 2 up surely we should press for the third and an easy win in the time left and we were trying but got bogged down. When appointed I thought AVB promised a similar pressing game but it was nothing like Liverpools.

Final question of the night. If we play in all white and they play in all red why does the Ref have the red shirt on?

It gets better and better: Watford, Wigan, Liverpool and Newcastle

After enduring games against Watford and Wigan when the team, rather than the Manager, played like it had a prison sentence hanging over its head we regained our composure with an excellent defensive display at Anfield and a stupendous first half performance against Newcastle at Whit Hart Lane last night. As we appreciate sport at the very top level is all about confidence and having a clear head and that really shone through against Newcastle. Maybe it was the manner of the loss at Man City but it seemed more of a “got something on my mind” situation.

What’s more deadline day eyebrow raiser Louis Saha took 20 minutes to equal his haul for Everton this season with two well taken goals as we ran though a Newcastle team that took two mandatory counts in the first six minutes. You have to feel sorry for Defoe sitting on the bench looking on but for me Saha showed all that Pav didn’t for the majority of his stay at the Lane and certainly increased our options for the remainder of the season.

To be truthful I didn’t see all of the Watford game but in the second half action I saw we looked like the Championship side and without Kaboul could have been out. I had heard Rafa’s goal on radio commentary whilst driving and was shocked when I saw how far out he had been when he hit it. Thankfully we progress to the next round but if we don’t play better it could be interesting.

Next up was Wigan in a game which we took all of 20 minutes to get going in. Yes, a comfortable win but Wigan were so bad in the first half that they should have been lucky to get nil yet ended the game looking for a second. Having said that the goals when they came were wonderful. 

Modric’s deep chip across the box to Bale was delightful and Gareth took it brilliantly and despatched it for 1-0. Modric then got in on the act with a well hit shot from the edge of the box to give us a 2 goal lead at half time. In the second half Bale scored another excellent effort but to be honest the Wigan men were like subbuteo men sitting off him and allowing him to strike his now trademark left edge to right corner shot. 

Wigan’s consolation came from a looping deflection but at a time when we should have been inflicting further goal difference improvement upon them and as I said earlier they then pressed for a second. To be fair we did introduce all three subs including a debut for Cameron Lancaster who worked hard to get into the game so the team ended a little disjointed with Livermore having to drop to right back in place of Walker. He himself had been a sub coming on in the first half to replace Rafa who had ended up sitting down on the half way line and throwing his shin pads away in frustration.

This time it was a calf injury for Rafa rather than the usual hamstring and he didn’t make the Liverpool or Newcastle games. That could have presented a problem as Anfield has always proved a difficult place to get a result and our bench on the night showed how stretched the squad had become. Saha and Rose, who got on, plus new boy Nelsen, Khumalo, Luongo and Lancaster.

However, a stirring display gave us a creditable point with Dawson and Parker being outstanding. We also had a chance on the break during the second half which Bale unfortunately scuffed straight to Riena when he maybe had a little more time. 

Suarez was available but despite not being called upon to practice his handshakes got on after an hour and within minutes had planted a kick into Parker’s midriff. After the Manchester City game I suggested that Ballatelli might have been unlucky when standing on Parker but for me this Suarez incident was similar to the Lescott one. Is it important to make it look as bad as possible so that you get away with it? I suppose it is as that is how Stoke have got used to going about their work. 

Some years ago Drogba fell down for fun but then for no apparent reason stayed on his feet more and earned more respect for showing the player he is. Suarez certainly needs to take that wise counsel as he looks a good player who is too keen to win at whatever the cost rather than by exercising his skills. 

And so to Newcastle, with Lennon and Defoe returning to the bench, and a first start for Saha. Newcastle’s error may have been to try and give us a game for their early attack was cleared and suddenly Benny turned up on the far post to turn in Adebayor’s cross to light the blue touch paper with his opener. 

We’d hardly sat down before Adebayor crossed from the right for Saha to arrive perfectly and prod it home past Tim Krull sending us into raptures. Newcastle weren’t done and tried to come back at us but Dawson and King were solid at the back setting Luka back into possession from where he orchestrated further damage with a second for Saha and then Kranjcar making it four before the break. 

An early goal in the second and it could have been 10 but to Newcastle’s credit they battened down the hatches and did well in closing the game down. We still had plenty of second half possession and missed a couple of chances before Adebayor turned home a Saha header in spectacular fashion to add a goal to his 4 first half assists. 

In many ways this result is what could have happened in a number of games had we put away our chances and what looked good was the way Saha and Adebayor worked together. Defoe did get onto the field and had a few runs but nothing opened up for him to remind Harry of his talents. 

Both Wigan and Newcastle were a big reminder to Harry of the affection with which is currently held at White Hart lane. Last night he was bombarded with a continual outpouring of emotion from all sides of the stadium asking him to stay and continue managing this team. 

The team were fantastic last night so Harry had little to do. Unfortunately a problem with a plane prevented Harry from travelling to Liverpool but had he we might have played better in the second half. His work will be cut out from now till the end of the season in our games at White Hart Lane. 

Whilst Manchester United will come out and play Stoke, Swansea, Norwich, Blackburn and Fulham will no doubt have taken heed and unless we can open them up early doors we face further 10 men back games to avoid further goal fests. 

Before then its FA Cup and then that lot up the road. That promises to be some game.

Come On You Spurs    

We’re back! Tottenham 4 Liverpool 0

Having seen Manchester City cut us to shreds today’s game against Liverpool gave us the chance to see how good they are and also how far we have come after an encouraging display at Wolves last week. Much will be made of the “reduced to 9 men” but the game I saw showed Parker, once again, making a massive difference in midfield; Adebayor mounting a charm offensive whilst making a contribution and helping himself to two goals whilst Adam got dismissed after 30 minutes and Henderson and Downing were anonymous.

The Dalglish factor has been massive to Liverpool but today it could not handle the way in which we started such was the level of our performance. The midfield of Modric, Parker, Bale and Kranjcar controlled everything and the opening goal was as good a strike by Modric as you could wish to see.

Last weeks game against Wolves showed Luka in recovery after a shocking first half against Manchester City for which he rather than Kranjcar should have come off. Had he done so he might no longer be a Spurs player but he seems to have refocused and if he and Parker continue in this vein we ought to mount a decent challenge this season.

This was the big concern for G and I weighing up how long it might take to get his head right. Today he showed he is back and let’s hope that it continues.

The addition of Parker has been immense. We got badly beaten in our first two games for our failure to defend from midfield and put in tackles. His arrival puts pressure on Sandro to improve further to get back the shirt but it also offers much for some away fixtures playing them both. Better than that he showed leadership on the pitch, encouraging others and discussing things that hadn’t gone well with others even Ledley King on one occasion.

Then up front Adebayor showed what he offered over Pav and the departed Crouch for the second game running and had the partnership gone a little better with Defoe we might be seeing positive goal difference tonight. Having said that its early days and for two games running both striker has scored so who can ask for more. 

Unfortunately JD missed an absolute sitter in the opening minute of the second half and at only 1-0 you could see Liverpool getting back into it. That moment might have arrived when Suarez was brought down on the edge of the box and his sublime chip on another day might have produced a goal. He needs to keep his temper in check and was booked for sarcastically clapping the linesman. Elsewhere Andy Carroll had his third outing at White Hart Lane and increased our view of his value to around the £35 mark.  

There was also the surreal situation when Liverpool were down to 9 men and at 3-0 where we seemed to stop playing. We had 100% possession but were just moving the ball around in midfield not approaching the goal at all. Having established such a poor goal difference before getting our season on the road I felt we needed to attack them while they were down and therefore the fourth goal was the icing on the cake. 

I can’t conclude without talking of the pace shown by both Bale and Walker. We know Bale has pace and can destroy defences. Liverpool did not seem to appreciate this and got caught our particularly in the first half and on the other flank Walker showed an unbelievable turn of pace and great attacking flair. It certainly got Van Der Vaart keen to get onto the pitch in the second half.

Against City we were destroyed by their power, today we did the same to Liverpool. It was a great performance by all of the players and shows that if we keep it up at home and keep things tight away from home we can be there or thereabouts for the Champions League places when the business end of the season is reached.