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
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.