The Fans View

Spurs away – the outside view

It is Sunday morning. It is a dark and grey Sunday morning at the start of November. I can see the house prices falling outside, and there is nothing on the TV, apart from cheesy children’s television, or preachy religious TV. You wish that there was a decent old movie like The Great Escape or Gone with the Wind, then a repeat of last night’s X Factor.

It is the Sunday after last night’s Tottenham versus Liverpool game. I always jump at the chance at catching live Premiership football. It was the first time that I had even been to White Hart Lane, and although I wanted to tick this ground off my 92-club list, I wanted to check out the 2008- 2009 vintage of the Liverpool Football Club first team. I have a lot of time for the reds.

I know more Liverpool fans then any other supporters of a Premiership team, and the recent victory at Chelsea had sent my friends into a footballing dreamland. I have been getting screaming text messages, reflections on the last time the Liverpool won the Division One title, and the weirdly happy sight of my friend’s office door, with the Premiership league table proudly pinned with arrows and exclamation marks.

On this Sunday morning, I wanted to write about the fluid nature of the Liverpool football team. This is a very pretentious statement, which is merely about how I believe that Liverpool’s attack is so much more this season. When the reds on the attack does not just mean balls from Gerrard to the strikers, or screaming shots from Gerrard that sends the kop into bedlam. I wanted to sit, watch, and enjoy this new Liverpool, and I was able to enjoy that action for most of the first half.

The reds did not break into any sweat during the first half. I texted the friend at half time to say that this was a training routine for Liverpool; that exercise where you shimmy around a load of plastic statues and take a shot on goal. Whilst watching Neil Ruddock drawing tickets from the raffle box like a National Lottery caller, I believed that Liverpool could be a complete outfit this season, even without Fernando Torres.

Liverpool could have been 6-0 up by the middle of the second half, and then it began to go slightly wrong. I presume that it was a case of facing an opposition that was abject in many areas, and when you spend ninety minutes opposing rubbish, you start to crumble to that level. However, when your manager substitutes your striker for Ryan Babel on a off day, your shape crumbles like a tower of Jenga bricks.

We all know what happened next. The match took on an air that Spurs could nick all three points. The home faithful had woken themselves up from baiting Darren Bent at every opportunity and moronically booing Robbie Keane every time their former hero touched the ball. Aaron Lennon began to perform his magic on the wing. Two goals were scored, and the final whistle blew. There was delirium in the home end, and the singing had stopped in the away end.

Two many players that I had hoped to enjoy, did not really meet my high aspirations. Ryan Babel as an out-an-out striker was such a let down. My hopes deflated like a limp balloon. Yossi Benayoun did his mazzy runs but nothing much else in the short time that he was allowed to perform his magic on the pitch.

Steven Gerrard performed his role as the heroic captain, but you can not break down walls with bare hands. He took on the air of frustration, which I experience every evening, when I am faced with a TV schedule that is full of motorway cop documentaries and soaps. Although pleased for the Spurs, I came away feeling deflated about Liverpool.

It is not the first time that I have turned up to watch Liverpool with inflated expectations, and come away slightly disappointed. I am hoping that this match was one of those freaky football occasions when you had the chances and pay for missing them at the end of the ninety minutes, It has happened before in the crazy world of football and it will probably happen again.

This match is not the end of Liverpool’s title hopes, despite the hopeful remarks of some Spurs fans in the snaking queue outside White Hart Lane railway stations. However the match reminds the Liverpool faithful and the club that the title has not been won in November 2008.

I am left wondering whether Fernando Torres is the key to Liverpool’s chances. I have laughed when my Liverpool supporting mates talk in hushed and worried tones when Torres is injured but I am wondering whether Liverpool can not function in a similar way to Manchester United without Ronaldo, or Chelsea without Drogba. A few careful January signings to bolster the side are essential, for the kop to achieve their title dreams.

14 comments on
Spurs away – the outside view

  1. We’re playing some fantastic stuff creating chances galore yet unable to finish teams off.This to me suggests that we need another centre forward who can replace and support Torres especially when the Spaniard is unavailable.
    Kuyt works hs socks off and Keane too can’t be accused of not trying but they lack the killer instinct of a Rush,Fowler and ofcourse Torres.

    Apart from Babel who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere the team is evolving yet perhaps a further signing needs to be made in January.Nevermind the Spurs who are proper also rans just making up the numbers though congratulations to them for fluking the league cup last season then sacking the manager!.Harry Redknapp is no messiah rather when the initial euphoria of his arrival is over someone will bring them back to earth with a good ass kicking!!.They should be used to that anyway!!

  2. If Stevie G gets injured (he usually does at some point) you arent the same either.. If you also lost Carragher at the same time, you would be decidedly average. Those two boys make your team. As a Spurs fan, we desperately need someone like Jamie C. Honestly you could hear him screaming at the other Liverpool boys above everyone else in the groud. Spurs aint got anyone like that – and while we dont have any strong leaders like Gerrard and Carragher even I will admit that we will never quite be good enough. As for relegation, even though we are bottom again, we are only 6 points off Everton in 7th. I do not think we will get relegated.

  3. As regards getting results without Torres, we failed here but managed it against Utd, Chelsea and most other teams we’ve played this year. I find it one of the most positive aspects of the season so far is that we haven’t been lost with El Nino. Of course it was going to catch up with us sometime, but joint top of the table, largely without him is fantastic in my book.

  4. well i guess liverpool have now come down to earth with a bang. being top of the table was a fluke in more ways than one. the majority of our games were won by the skin of our teeth. the well earned wins being man united and chelsea. but now its time to smell the coffee. the top teams arsenal,man utd and chelsea have vastly superior goals for average than liverpool. they have to improve in that direction to win the title winning games 1-0 as a result of lady luck will not work over the long haul.we need consistant performances from our top players.a big question mark hangs over fernando about the injury jinx. if he can only play 20 games a season then that will dampen our aspirations of silverware.

  5. Liverpool’s strongest 11 is easily as good if not better than both Man Utd’s and Chelsea’s. That’s been proven this year by us winning from a goal down against united (without our one man teams of Torres or Gerrard) and also by ending chelsea’s unbeaten home run. To be honest, it makes me laugh listening to the likes of spurs bitch back at us about blowing the title. How many managers have you had since Rafa came to liverpool? I think Spurs really need to look to boardroom level to source their problems. Daniel Levy actually tapped up Juande Ramos? Why? He’d have been better off tapping up Ron Atkinson, he might have won a few more games for you. what about Jacques Santini? Another good appointment? i think the Spurs chairman needs to stop trying to be a celebrity and get his face off the telly and out of the papers and start making some decent decisions. What will happen when Redknapp’s limited brand of football becomes exposed and you still find yourself fighting with the likes of Bolton and Hull for 5th spot. We all know how this saga will end.

  6. Right on Anfield Online…one win against the reds and suddenly the lowly Londoners think they’re all that. Whilst I wish you well, I’d suggest you spend your time more wisely: praying that you get out of the bottom half of the table…

  7. Actually, last time I looked you were bottom of the league. I suggest Spurs fans don’t make wild assumptions that Liverpool ‘won’t win anything this year’.

    Look forward to knocking you out of tournament that gave you the last bit of silverware in about 20 years.

  8. 6-0 up in the first half? Were you actually at the game?
    You wont win anything this year. Overall – you aint as good as Man u or Chelsea. You will be 3rd at best.

  9. Nicky

    Tim said clearly he wasn’t a dyed-in-the-wool Liverpool fan – hence the title ‘The outside view’.

    No, we’re not sulking either. We haven’t ‘blown it’ and nice to see a Spurs fan supporting Chelsea.

    Last time I looked you were in the relegation zone.

  10. 6-0 up by the middle of the first half!! Are you sure your not a dyed in the wool Scouser. Maybe two or even three at a pinch Maybe the angles looked different from where you were sitting.I must admit Spurs laid on a lot of gifts. I think it was spirit that won the game

  11. I suppose Tim Sansom lives in Milton Keynes or somewhere, never actually ever been within 100 miles of Liverpool or though it is true that Tottenham were outplayed and did ride their luck but come on have liverpool never had one of those days, They rode their luck against Hull and the result could have gone against them. Even though Spurs have been crap we should have had a penalty against Portsmouth and one against Hull so it is about time luck was on our side. Keep on sulking `Pool cos you have just blown it. Come on Chelsea.

  12. Interesting article. Liverpool’s performances are often like Spurs in that you come away from seeing their matches feeling perhaps their results tend to flatter them. Liverpool’s position in the league to me is no more convincing than Spurs taking points away from either Liverpool or Arsenal. I’m a Spurs fan by the way – I wish we were going through the soul searching of a first league defeat of the season – and I wish our lot were half as good as yours.

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