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.