Liverpool (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 23rd September 2006

MEHSTG has not had much time to do a full preview, but the match opens a lot of opportunities for Tottenham.  None more than scoring after 300+ minutes without a goal and I think that they have the players to silence the home crowd and to close down the Liverpool team to not allow them the space they need to dominate.

With a range of players who could provide difficulties for the Scousers' defence, despite being without Lennon and Berbatov, I believe that it will be a tighter game than in recent meetings, with Jol being aware that he needs to pick up points quickly to get back in the groove.

It might not be the open and expansive Tottenham way we have played under Jol, but it might just bring results ...

PREDICTION : -  Liverpool  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


LIVERPOOL :  John Arne Riise (Ankle); Harry Kewell (groin, ankle, foot, septic arthritis); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Steed Malbranque (hernia); Dimitar Berbatov (groin); Aaron Lennon (knee); 


Sky Sports 1 - live coverage
Sky Sports 1 - Football First 20.35 Saturday (for those with Sky Digital you can choose whole match coverage)
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - (highlights)  - 
22.10 - 23.30 (repeated Sunday 07.35 - 09.00 BBC1)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - 22.00 - 22.45 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON DAB Digital Radio (London area only) & Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only




Liverpool   3   Tottenham Hotspur    0      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Premier League
Venue :  Anfield
Saturday 23rd September 2006
Kick Off :  12.45 p.m.
Crowd :   44,330
Referee :  Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)
Weather :  -  Warm, sunny
Teams : - 
Liverpool :



Gerrard (c)
Alonso (Carragher 85)
Gonzalez (Aurelio 78)

Bellamy (Luis Garcia 68)

Unused subs

Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)

Murphy (Mido 80)
Tainio (Davids 62)


Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Gonzalez 64
Kuyt 74
Riise 90

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  

Hyypia (foul) 69  


Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
A three goal loss does not adequately reflect the part that Tottenham played in this game, but it did highlight the difference between where we are and where we want to be.  Another defeat to one of the regular top four shows the progress Spurs still have to make.

The lack of involvement in the early stages by Danny Murphy and Teemu Tainio let Liverpool deal easily with the Spurs attacks.  Tainio was hampered by a heavy tackle by Hyypia, which the referee let him get away with with just a talking to.  Murphy was returning to the ground where he shot to prominence and after a while started to get embroiled in the midfield mix, with some good passing and movement.  One move with Jenas and Defoe almost provided the perfect pass for Keano inside Hyypia, but it was just too far ahead of the Irishman.

Defoe almost seized on a rebound off a Liverpool defender and Hyypia had to time his challenge right otherwise he would have conceded a free-kick centrally in front of goal.  After treatment, Jermain was ready to continue.

With Jenas filling in on the outside on the right of midfield, worked the line well, but his use of the ball was not always that good.  His crossing often hit the first man in front of him and sometimes his choice of pass was not the best, but he made himself available for the ball and worked back to tackle as Liverpool broke forward.  Tottenham's midfield worked hard and the expected silencing of the crowd happened, as the Spurs supporters asked if Liverpool needed a song singing for them.

Liverpool's first opening came after 12 minutes, when Ledley failed to clear his lines and Xabi Alonso, fresh from his goal from his own half against Newcastle United, struck a volley, but it bounced along the floor and Paul Robinson could only dive late because of the possibility of a player in front of him getting a touch on the ball.  Luckily they didn't and the ball went past the post. 

Halfway through the half, John Arne Riise was reduced to thrashing a free-kick wide as neither side found their rhythm and the strikers were shackled by the defences.  A couple of moments later, it was a defender - Ledley King - who could (and should) have opened the scoring, when he rose to meet Murphy's delightfully flighted free-kick that found him in the clear, but he missed the ball altogether and Jenas coming in behind him just failed to reach the ball too.   The former Newcastle man was well played in on the right by Defoe on the half-hour and he hit s first time shot that was designed to catch Reina out of position, but missed the target by some distance.

Assou-Ekotto stopped Gerrard getting in a cross at the expense of a corner, which was taken by Gonzalez and with Chimbonda trying to clear the ball as it swung in, he only succeeded in knocking the ball against his own post and Jenas headed away the follow-up effort off the line.  Gerrard was also involved in their next attack, when his shot was blocked by King moving his arm to the ball as he was standing outside the area, but referee Webb gave nothing.   Our Finnish midfielder popped up to volley Chimbonda's cleared cross that had to be blocked by Agger in front of goal and when the play moved to the other end, Robinson was called upon to make a fine save as Bellamy broke into the box to hit a shot across the England Number One just before the break.

With no changes at the interval, it was Liverpool who picked up the pace of the game quicker after half-time.  When Riise flashed a shot too high, it signalled a spell of home pressure, with Bellamy getting in the way of Kuyt, who was coming onto a header and ended putting it over the bar.

Just after the hour, Jol introduced Davids to replace Tainio, with his impact being immediate.  He was set free by Defoe on the left and ran to the line before cutting the ball back to Jenas who was running into the six yard box, but as he stretched for the ball, he was unable to get a decent contact on it and it ended up going just wide of the open goal.  As Spurs rued the miss, Liverpool got on with the game and broke away, as Gerrard nipped past Assou-Ekotto on their right wing and his cross found Bellamy at the far post.  It looked a goal all over, but the Welsh striker struck his close range effort against the post, but luckily for the Reds, it fell into the path of Mark Gonzalez, who fired low into the net.  Sky told us it was 38 seconds between the miss and the goal and it left Tottenham looking back at what could have been.

Didier Zokora had a very good game and his surging run was only ended when Hyypia cynically brought him down 25 yards from goal.  It appeared an unsavoury introduction into  the Merseysiders' game, which they don't need to adopt.  Hyypia got a yellow for his troubles, but the free-kick was wasted as Defoe blasted it over the top.  Spurs must learn to do something better with set-pieces, as they seem to earn them, but can't finish them.

With 73 minutes on the clock, substitute Luis Garcia dinked a little ball through to Dirk Kuyt, who was onside, although the fallen Gerrard who was next to him was off, but the Dutch striker hit the ball home to make it 2-0.  At this stage, Spurs looked deflated.  Not that they gave up, but the way back was too far beyond them.

That was emphasised in the final minute when Riise moved forward with the ball and it took a while for anyone to come out to challenge him, but when they did he let fly with more effect this time and the ball rifled into the bottom corner of Robinson's goal beyond his dive.

Many will look at Jenas' miss and say that was the turning point in the game, but it was perhaps the miss that King produced that was more so.  A goal when Liverpool looked less likely to score might have hit at the heart of their confidence.  As it was, they showed that they are a formidable side once they get ahead.  The trick is to get ahead before they do.


The Funky Phantom



Reaction : -



The difference between winning and losing can be very slim.

Today ... it was inches. 

The inches that separated Pascal Chimbonda from scoring an own goal when he touched on a corner that hit his own post.

The inches that Ledley was away from heading us into the lead instead of completely missing the ball and the inches Jermaine Jenas was away from sliding his shot from Edgar Davids' pass into the net. 

Then seconds later we were behind when Bellamy missed an even better chance than Jenas, hitting the post, but Gonzalez was on hand to shoot home.  Inches the other way and the ball would have gone off for a goal-kick and all would have been well.

When Kuyt was inches onside after Assou-Ekotto stepped back to play him on, he slammed the ball past Robinson.

Then it was a question of feet, as Robinson failed to move his a few one way and give himself a better view of Riise rocket shot, instead of it coming from behind Dawson and leaving him too much to do.

Three incidents that went against us, but we had two before that which could have established a lead that might have produced a different outcome.  It was not that Liverpool were three goals better than us, just that they managed to convert the three decent chances they made.  I suppose we should be pleased that we are making opportunities against the top sides, but we need to stick them away to make the approach play worth-while.

While there are players who are not at the peak of their form at the moment, they might not be too far off coming together to do well.  It is Martin Jol's task to get the peak performances out of them.


I'm absolutely devastated.  There is no way Spurs should've lost this game.

After an early spell of pressure, Spurs settled down and played some really good stuff but just fell short in the final third, largely down to the woeful passing of Mr Invisible himself, Jermaine Jenas.  Through no fault of Keane or Defoe, the lack of service meant that our two little men were getting snuffed out with ease, constantly having to drift wide to pick up possession, as our supposed wide-men, Tainio and Jenas, weren't getting the job done. 

It was at times both joyous and difficult to watch, as Spurs played circles around Liverpool but with no end product.  One such pleasantry was the performance of Danny Murphy, back on his old stomping ground, spraying the passes around and breaking up attacks.  The former Crewe playmaker worked well in tandem with the formidable Zokora, who relished his battle with Sissoko, so young Huddlestone will have to wait a while longer for his chance on this evidence.

I'm not so sure about Tainio, who just doesn't look comfortable wide left and stands little chance of playing in the middle.  He works hard but we need more than what he's giving, mainly some genuine width and wing-play, which could come from Ziegler.  One man that should definitely sit out a few games is Jenas, as one good showing against a two-bit European side doesn't warrant continual selection, especially after his showing today.  Not good enough.  I felt that he was already having a bad game before that appalling second-half miss that led directly to the opener for Liverpool.

Why is Jenas in the side ?  Nine times out of ten he does bugger all and his continual inclusion sends out a bad message to fringe players like O'Hara, Yeates, Ziegler, Huddlestone, McKenna, and Dawkins, that no matter what they do, how hard they work their asses off for the reserves, they're not getting a look in. 

It's not good.  Sure, King should've put us ahead before Jenas' howler, but then again our star defender more than made up for his first-half miss with yet another commanding defensive performance, in which our back four looked great until just after the hour.  It soon became apparent that the weak-link of our new-look defence is Assou-Ekotto, a player that is capable, but also lacks concentration powers and lets his head drop when things go against him, and that's what occurred today.  The Cameroonian played a part in all three goals, none more so than the second, when Kuyt could've been called offside but for a sleepwalking BA-E.  The third was avoidable and anyone could be blamed for it, but BA-E was one of the nearest players that could've closed down Riise.

Still, the game was already over by then.  After going in 0-0 at the interval, Spurs took their foot off the pedal, while Liverpool most definitely pushed theirs down even harder and it paid off big time.  Spurs had their moments in that period, the Jenas one being the clearest, but we couldn't match the work-rate of Liverpool. 

Murphy came off to a rapturous applause from both sets of fans, fully deserved, as he produced some exquisite touches throughout, not to mention the most effective work from midfield.  Liverpool just couldn't get the ball off him and I think he deserves a run in the side now, injuries not withstanding.  It's a damn shame that Berbatov is out for a further two weeks because the attack is seriously not happening.  The two little-uns didn't work together today and Mido is struggling to get going, so chances are going begging.  I'm not about to call on Lee Barnard just yet, but something has to change, as we're drawing instead of winning, and losing instead of drawing. 

I recognise that Jol has tried to make changes but maybe it's not enough.  Jol must know who's at fault, who's underperforming and who's just plain taking the proverbial.  It is those that must be made an example of, either to give them a short, sharp shock to get them back up to an acceptable level, or to dump them in the stiffs until January when they can be sent packing altogether.  Despite his part in the Jenas chance, Davids was consistent in his rubbishness, losing the ball regularly and going AWOL for the three goals.  He should be dumped altogether, put on gardening leave, as we don't want the reserves' progress to be stunted by the Pitbull's presence.  O'Hara should take his place on the bench.  Jenas must now take his place on the bench, because he's taken the mickey for too long and we're running out of time to find the right balance.

What MJ could do is toy with the formation, perhaps use wing-backs until Lennon comes back.  I'd prefer to see him pack the midfield, using one up front, away from home at least.  Either way,
it'd mean a recall for Huddlestone, who could be a key player this season if given a run.

To sum up, Spurs played really well today against a top class side and should have got something but, due to errors, came away with nothing.  I'm gutted 'cos I know we were that damn good, we could've won.  If Spurs continue to play as they did in the first half but add some goals, the wins will outweigh the losses.


JJ's miss was absolutely disgraceful, but it masked another workmanlike huffing and puffing.
No chances on target, and our manager says "We deserved something from the game".
According to Jol on the club website the Fulham 0-0 was a good result ? And the wearisome excuse of European travel was also wheeled out.
Huddlestone and Zokora looked effective in Prague, but Tom has disappeared since ?
Who will score the goals from our midfield ?  When will Dawson or King, actually put a header away ?  Is Defoe on an eternal sulk ?
Am i a lone voice here ?  THFC needs stability, but if we fail to score against Pompey then questions will begin to be asked re: Jol's job ? 

Kevin Coaker



Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 3 Sheffield United 0 Saturday
Aston Villa 1 Charlton Athletic 0 Saturday
Fulham 0 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Manchester City 2 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Middlesbrough 0 Blackburn Rovers 1 Saturday
Reading 1 Manchester United 1 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 1 Watford 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Everton 1 Sunday
Portsmouth 0 Bolton Wanderers 1 Monday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 6 5 0 1 11 3 15 +8
2 Manchester United 6 4 1 1 12 4 13 +8
3 Portsmouth 6 4 1 1 9 1 13 +8
4 Everton 6 3 3 0 11 5 12 +6
5 Aston Villa 6 3 3 0 8 3 12 +5
6 Bolton Wanderers 6 3 2 1 5 3 11 +2
7 Liverpool 6 3 1 2 8 6 10 +2
8 Reading 6 3 1 2 8 7 10 +1
9 Arsenal 5 2 2 1 6 3 8 +3
10 Blackburn Rovers 6 2 2 2 6 8 8 -3
11 Fulham 6 2 2 2 5 9 8 -4
12 Newcastle United 6 2 1 3 6 8 7 -2
13 Manchester City 6 2 1 3 5 8 7 -3
14 Wigan Athletic 5 1 2 2 5 6 5 -1
15 West Ham United 6 1 2 3 6 9 5 -3
16 Middlesbrough 6 1 2 3 5 10 5 -5
17 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 1 1 4 2 8 4 -6
18 Watford 6 0 3 3 4 7 3 -3
19 Charlton Athletic 6 1 0 5 4 11 3 -7
20 Sheffield United 6 0 2 4 2 9 2 -7



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