Are you all sitting comfortably, have you all recovered? Good, because here is where the nightmare returns!!!! Sorry folks, just got to be done 😟
Well what a mish mash of a match that was agin the r*d Scousers. Thoroughly over-run for 55mins, could easily have shipped 4 or 5 goals, but in the end could just as easily have won the match – somehow. At least the team showed tenacity and stickability.
We were caught asleep in bed while Liverpool were up, teeth brushed, breakfasted, played some footy, vindaloo in the local curry house, and were holding a boogie at the local disco by the time we stirred. Yawn, oh dear sir, have we disturbed you – so sorry, carry on, as you were. 💤💤💤.
(Here’s a link to a prematch crowd video by Bob Rumsey to whet your appetite.)
Ok, it wasn’t quite that bad, but it does give the drift to the feelings of the Spurs fans reactions after (and during) the game.
Liverpool played as I expected them to. Fast, hard and positive in the tackle, high press, and tight knit. Spurs by comparison were slow in movement, dilly dallied on the ball at the back, caught in the press, and when they weren’t they made a half-hearted telegraphed pass that was easily intercepted, – so much slower than a slow boat to China that a ‘Pool player was on top of our guy to make a tackle and to have a back-up player in place. Our two DCMs (at home, mind you!) sat deep, they had no choice, but the three in front, offered them little going forward to sustain an attack often enough. On the odd occasion we did, another ineffectual pass would be intercepted and one or two passes later Liverpool were bringing Vorm into action. Vorm was excellent. He made a worldy of a save within the first few minutes, (see it Here ). He had a couple more good saves in the half, and gave a masterclass in the art of the sweeper keeper.
Meanwhile, Stanley went in search of the lesser spotted Eriksen. He was glimpsed every now and then only to disappear again. Maybe he was auditioning for the role of the Scarlet Pimpernel – they seek him here, they seek him there, that elusive Pimpernel!
He wasn’t the only one reported missing during the half-time dispatches though. So, not all the blame on young Christian please. Harry was as laboured as in previous matches – mind you he didn’t receive the ball that often. Dele was quiet too as was Lamela. No spark anywhere. Sluggish is the word that was brought to my mind by Dr Hotspur.
Walker had the bug and was replaced mid way through the first half. – by Jannsen! Dier went out to RB and made a good fist of the job, and Dele came back to assist Wanyama. Wonder if Walker had Dele’s bug from last week (Dele Belly!) Maybe a few of our players were off colour with it too, or am I just trying to find an excuse. The changes did make a bit of a difference as Spurs did make the odd foray deep into enemy territory, but they didn’t come to much, but we were getting back into the game a little as the half went on.
Liverpool meanwhile were buzzing around like demented flies and with the help of Vorm, they had nothing to show for their trouble. Although still on top and on the front foot the match looked to be heading to be goalless at halftime. However, fate played it’s hand in the 42nd minute. Firmino received the ball and pursued by Lamela, headed for the by-line on our right, once there a sharp right turn and a dash towards our box. There was a coming together of feet, and down he went in the box – penalty. It was the merest of touches, but at speed it does have its consequences – one of Newton’s Laws of motion came into play. Anyway, he didn’t dive, and Lamela didn’t ‘foul’ him either, just one of those things. To add salt to the wound the slo-mo replays showed the actual offence occurred marginally outside the box but the ref doesn’t have a slo-mo referral system and that was that 0-1 Liverpool (Milner) Penalty. Then it was half-time. Liverpool did deserve their lead though. Good value for it too.
As far as Liverpool were concerned the second half started as the first finished – buzzing and on the front foot. Not so for Spurs who were somewhat more lively than in the first half, I wonder if The Poch had a word in their shell-like.
Play approached the Liverpool box with Dier in possession in an advanced position a-la Walker. He put in a square pass, but only to a man in a r*d shirt and with a sweeping move forward Mane had the ball in the back of our net about 3 seconds later. Fortunately for us, the eagle eyed Lino saw that Lallana big toe nail had strayed off-side and he was proved correct on the slo-mo replays, but he doesn’t have have a spo-mo referral system, so good for him, but if he had missed it, as he could so easily have done, the match would have been so very different. Klippity was doing his excellent impression of a Wooden Top puppet with a cut string on the sideline (old person’s comment!)
Nevertheless, the lino didn’t miss the off-side and Spurs some how gradually took control of midfield, and started to get the FBs further forward providing width and stretching Liverpool more across the pitch. Jannsen kept their back four busy too. Perhaps Coutinho being subbed changed the direction of the game in our favour, perhaps the sainted Klippity got it wrong.
Toby had a couple of good headers that worried their goalie when he came forward for corners and set pieces. Eriksen had a strike from distance, and it ended up a distance away from the goal too. Poch went down the tunnel and kicked the stand in frustration. Another sign that Spurs were creeping closer to an equaliser. Klippity wasn’t smiling anymore.
Dier made another move down the right to the by-line, put in a good cross, Lamela got a head to it, Rose rampaged forward unmarked into the box, the ball came to him, and by now under pressure, he slotted a left foot shot into the back of the Liverpool net 1-1. Yay! Klippity broke another string and entered a gurning competition. By this time, Spurs deserved the equaliser.
Kane was replaced by Onomah to see the game out, and nobody was too surprised. Poor Harry! Spurs had a good break only for Young Onomah to have strayed off-side. Then Liverpool broke forward again in added time with players over, but Vorm was excellent at saving a deflected shot, making it look easy and the game ran out to an end.
At the end of the day I would say that overall Liverpool deserved a win, but Spurs didn’t deserve to lose either, so in the end a good draw for Spurs.
But why were Spurs so sluggish at the start of the game? Poch has said we aren’t fully fit yet, and ths is still doing the pre-season style physical work and still to start the tactical stuff Read here (Independent). He blames the Euros for this. But other teams are flying out of their blocks and they have had many players at the Euros too. Eriksen wasn’t at the Euros! Maybe it is that and maybe there is a bit of a bug in the camp too, but I’m not convinced. I’m inclined to think that they are being over trained physically and they are leaving their performance on the the training field. It’s very easy to do. I was warned of this by my coach many decades ago when I was an athlete (yes, I wasn’t always a tubby!) and all the signs are there. The individual effort from the player(s) is obvious, but the body isn’t reacting in the same way it should. There is a slowness of reaction or thought which is indicating a mental tiredness as well. Another symptom of over training. I’m no expert, but it is how I am picking up on things – from my armchair that is, watching on the telly, so make of that what you wish.
A better action for action match report can as usual be found on the Spurs Odyssey Site
The international break is up next and transfer window closes then away to Stoke. Will be interesting. Hope Harry and Dele get a rest. Stay safe, stay strong, #COYS
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Photos and videos obtained via public domain Internet, social media and screen shots from my iPad. Thanks also to Bob Rumsey and Spurs is our passion on FB for their video links.