Bore Off, Brendan: Spurs Ride Their Luck But ‘Assault’ is Stretching it

Well I did try and do a live blog for the Liverpool game but it was about as successful as the time I went into Dragons’ Den with a jar of dead bees and asked if they wanted to fund my zoo. We can all strive to be better, were the words chiming in my ears this morning. A maxim that will ring true with most honest folk bar perhaps Dr. Philosophy Rodgers, who flat out refuses to believe he- or indeed any of his team- could possibly find room for improvement.

We were brulliant, he told us. Uxcullunt, he pleaded. I’m sure Liverpool fans looking at the league table last night mightn’t be too thrilled that, were this still the age of Teletext, they’d have to wait until page 2/2 before seeing their beloved team in low-pixelated lights. Maybe I’m wrong but I fancy Brendan Rodgers is a bit of a mentalist.

To the game and Spurs started like underfed dogs being released into the wild. Blistering into a two-goal before the clock had clicked into its twentieth minute. Gareth Bale had one of those spells in which, as a defender, there’s simply nothing you can do but be seen to be making some kind of attempt to catch him, when deep down you know the jig is up and you may as well be chasing the Boogey Man. At full-tilt and in the mood, he’s rather unstoppable. The good lady suggested after the game that the only reason he scored that face-walloping own-goal was to show Liverpool how it was done.

Bale is now the Merseyside club’s joint-second top scorer.

Rodgers claimed the game hinged on two penalty decisions not going Liverpool’s way, and it’s perhaps a valid argument in that you could’ve imagined them being given. There was a certain frisson between Dembele and Gerrard (sexual or not, I can’t determine) but the Belgian undoubtedly wins the ball with the slide-tackle. Calling it an assault it just desperate. Suarez is possibly fouled by Gallas but, again, it’s by no means stonewall/clear-cut/bang-on/100%

Perhaps Brendan could look to his own decision of playing Stewart Downing at left-back for a clue to his team’s problems.

Bit of a nervy second-half, to put it mildly, as the Reds ratcheted up the pressure, following and leading up to the goal. Dawson and Gallas appeared to be feeling the weight of tension as they frequently brought the stupids with their decision making and penchant for losing possession. But in the end, a mixture of stout-ish defending and Liverpool’s trademark profligacy meant the scores never evened up and Spurs just about got away with it. Money in the bank.




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26 Responses to Bore Off, Brendan: Spurs Ride Their Luck But ‘Assault’ is Stretching it

  1. avatar ste says:

    Brendan Rodgers is a disgrace and needs to go, as does FSG, however Liverpool are constantly screwed over by the ‘officials’, its incideous, blatantly robbed of penalties that you know would be given straight away, the other way, Liverpool achieved the impossible for a short period last night, they made average at best Tottenhamistan Hoofspurs look like a class team, you never beat Liverpool, Liverpool defeated themselves by not taking their chances (as usual – and their own fault) if they had of taken them it would have been a rout away win.

    • avatar grat says:

      lmfao @ ste
      I can picture the pock-marked little face screwed up in indignation and red faced fury right now.
      Nothing like an honest unbiased little rant is there – like Brendan methinks – in fact except for the first line it sounds like it good be jolly old Brendan writing that piece.
      At leaset AVB had the decency to give a fair review of the game – and most spurs fans admit we were lucky, funny there was absolutely no mention of the fact that spurs long ball was in part decided by the way the red hatchet men fouled any spurs player with the ball who had the termerity to cross the half way line – was it skrtel on Dempsy which was the closest thing to an assault in that game when he had clearly outpaced the scouse man and was brought down with absolutely no chance of getting the ball.
      As to reffing decisions – cry me a river mate – as the man states – both were anything but clear cut – and as for us who “never beat liverpool” sigh – someone needs a nice mug of horliks I think

  2. avatar Jima says:

    If buts and maybes, Spurs had a similar season to Livs current one when we had Crouch Defoe and Pav, wouldn’t really lose too many, but the 59 chances a game were squandered.
    Liverpool don’t have goal scoring midfielders either, spurs have loads-so you and Rodgers can keep on banging on about the bad luck and lack of decisions but this is the Prem and games are won lost and drawn by the smallest of margins, you’ll continue to get those bad decisions as will spurs, you just need to score enough or not concede so that the issues don’t affect the result
    That’s why we’re going for 3rd and you’ll be lucky to come top half
    Neither was a pen FYI, Hansen said so

  3. avatar lfc_nut says:

    Your face is a disgrace Ste.

  4. avatar Longwell says:

    Both penalty appeals were very narrow decisions, but I think Dowd got them both correct – although I freely admit my bias here. Gerrard and Suarez were both felled by Spurs defenders, but only after the ball had been taken off them cleanly prior to contact. Risky challenges, and definitely heart in the mouth moments for me, but Dembele and Gallas got the ball before getting the man. Contrast that with Glen Johnson wiping out Bale on the touchline before hooking the ball back into play late in the second half. Right in front of the assistant and no foul given. Could easily have been a booking.

    Overall I felt Liverpool were unfortunate not to get at least a point from that game, even with Spurs ripping them apart in the first 20 minutes or so. Like West Ham, I think their mistake was allowing Tottenham to get too comfortable in midfield until they went behind. Once Liverpool got their legs under them and Spurs backed off their high press, the pendulum swung well in Liverpool’s favor. Spurs’ fitness wasn’t good enough to maintain the frantic press in the second half, and Allen and Gerrard suddenly had plenty of time to pick out the runs of their front three. And Gallas played them onside about four times.

    I give Rodgers credit for being brave and pushing his fullbacks way up in the second half, which meant Spurs had no wide outlets with Bale and Lennon having to defend so much. And there’s no reliable out ball besides them once Dempsey ran out of gas and was subbed. Sigurdsson did his defensive work well, but he’s not a hold-up option. If Adebayor wasn’t suspended, I think Tottenham wins that game a lot more comfortably.

    I would have brought on Carroll instead of Siggy, though, and probably would have done it five to ten minutes earlier. Spurs needed that extra passer in the midfield to control possession better; Dempsey and Sigurdsson weren’t contributing much in that respect, being positioned higher up. Anyway, Liverpool were able to keep the pressure on and really should have scored three or four had their finishing and general sharpness in the box not let them down. Unfortunate that the same refrain keeps popping up, but you Liverpool supporters posting here can take a lot of positives from the performance (though perhaps not *quite* as many as your manager wants to). Once your boys got their act together, they kicked our butts for a good solid hour.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    Nice opening there Fox.
    Rogers talks the same bollocks as our man Andre, I think it’s called
    ‘Taking the pressure off the players’
    But we can afford to be magnaniwhatsit because we won.
    This was a game of twenty minutes as far as Spurs were concerned.
    If this was a film that broke down half way through the first reel
    we’d all demand our money back.
    I suppose three points will have to do instead.

  6. avatar Rio ispursso says:

    A game review within 24 hours of the final whistle WFRF?

    I like my reports pithy, unresearched and at least 48 hours late.

    You’ve changed, man.

    • avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

      Don’t worry, Rio, normal service will be resumed ASAP.

      Days late match reporting, two paragraphs (at a push) and deliriously under-researched.

      Sorry for the confusion.

      Breaking News: Modric Moves to Madrid!

  7. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    Fox, I don’t think Brenda is a mentalist; I think he is carrying on the traditions of Benitez, Woy, and KK in making sure the blame for being less good than the other team lies somewhere else. After all, Pool are a big club, OK; and big clubs have great players, you follow? The only way such magnificent players don’t win is because they were cheated out of their rightful victory, OK. Look at the game; Pool had all the possession, right? And football is all about keeping possession rather than opening up a defence and, ya know, actually scoring. And never mind that most of the possession was a slow build up in Pool’s half; passing is the way forward!-and sideways and back, too. It’s an utter travesty for an incredible Liverpool side not to win at Spurs. Forget the last 7-8 times where Pool has lost there, all travesties, OK? Biased referees, assaults of better players by their inferiors, the nerve to give the imperious Martin Skrtel a yellow for an honest hackdown of Dempsey, and opponents who have the gall to not be awed by their ancient league titles and, ya know, put the ball in the net just shows how deep the conspiracy runs. Through the looking glass, people, OK?

  8. avatar Nick says:

    Some pretty balanced opinions there from the Spurs fans and some pretty biased rants from us Liverpool fans.

    Overall, a draw would have been a fair result but you can’t really expect to ship 2 goals in the first 20 minutes away and then go on to win the game.

    I don’t think either penalty shout was a penalty but when all is said and done, Henderson should have made it 1-1 when he missed the open goal and we created enough opportunities to get a point out of it.

    No-one to blame but ourselves is my opinion!

    • avatar Nick says:

      Sorry – I wrote this before I saw seattlespursguy’s “interesting” piece.

      I will change that to “mostly balanced opinions from the Spurs fans”.

      • avatar seattlespursguy says:

        Banter, innit?

        Actually, Nick, I rather like Liverpool, but I don’t like managers who deflect blame and peddle self-delusion–a problem I had with our previous boss. I don’t think it helps your team to tell the players they are brilliant and outclass the opposition, but poor officiating keeps them from winning. Serious question: do you think a player will bust his ass for the cause if he knows the manager will give him a cuddle and tell him he’s great no matter what? After all, it’s the refs and the cheating opposition’s fault, right?

        Anyway, good luck the rest of the way.

        • avatar Nick says:

          It’s all good fun mate.

          I think BR is doing all right with th eplayers he has but he needs to make some changes in Jan and then a few more in the summer before we can start to compete at the top end of the league. All he’s doing at the moment is trying to keep morale high in the players he probably needs to sell (Henderson / Downing).

          I actually though Spurs were better under Redknapp tbh. AVB has spent a bit of money in the summer but I don’t think he’s improved the side and if you lose Bale it could put an end to all of the good work that has been done at Spurs over the last 4 seasons!

          Anyway – best of luck for the season.

          • avatar Longwell says:

            To be fair to AVB, the only players signed after he took the reins were Adebayor (who was kind of a fait accompli regardless), Dembele, Lloris, and Dempsey. Vertonghen and Sigurdsson were on board before the new head coach.

            I don’t have the exact tally, but I’m pretty sure Tottenham’s net “spend” in the summer was actually slightly in the black by a few million quid. Couple that with Ledley’s retirement, and I have to say Andre’s done rather well considering the resources he’s been given. It’ll be interesting to see if Levy gets the checkbook out in January if Spurs are still there or thereabouts in the scramble for a Champions League place.

          • avatar Nick says:

            I forgot about the Modric money to be fair.

            I was implying though that he has brought in a number of “his” players but I don’t think he has improved the team. The football Spurs were playing last year was excellent at times.

            Still, given time, maybe AVB will get it together. After all – that’s what I’m hoping for BR!!!

    • avatar Longwell says:

      It was a funny game. Tottenham created enough chances to be more than 2 to the good at halftime, and Liverpool had opportunities to be level at 2-2 by the half. Thank fuck Kyle Walker is really fast.

      Cheers for your thoughts, Nick. Always nice to have a reasoned view from the other side of the fence around here.

    • avatar ruetheday says:

      It’s a lot easier to be balanced and objective when you’ve got the three points. To be honest, I thought Gallas vs Suarez was shockingly bad and a likely red, but then Dembele vs StevieG looked a very soft one, had it been given – Brendan’s not doing himself any favours likening that to assault.

      Cracking game from Bale, but he looked (to me) to be playing for himself. He seems to be modelling himself on Ronaldo, which is great fun to watch, but not always the best way to get results. Still, Dempsey’s looking a little better (I said a *little*), and Walker probably deserved a Man of the Match – goal line clearance aside (what the hell were we doing there? Daws went walkabout, Gallas got back goalside just to admire the view, Dembele made a valiant scramble but failed to get it safe, and only Kyle had the nous to actually *defend*) he made some huge contributions and looked a real leader at the back (likewise against the Hammers)… And just a few weeks ago he looked like he’d lost his mojo. A fine example to all, I say.

      Back on the negative side (it’s what I do best), Willy G really looks a bit of a liability these days – nothing too dramatic against the Scouse, but his positioning is suspect and his challenges are panicked and risky. The sooner we get back Kaboul and put the old man out to pasture, the better.

  9. avatar Longwell says:

    Ya’ll catch Carlo Cudicini taking the piss out of Bale on the Twutters?

    @Capitancarloc: What a great goal @GarethBale11…not the free kick though! hahah 😉 sweet 3 points

  10. avatar Aran says:

    A game of two halves and no word of a lie! A great game of football all told – certainly a game that any neutral could enjoy.

    We’re looking here at two sides in transition, both have new managers and both have high expectations – though it’s fair to say that the Spurs’ ambitions will be loftier than those of the ‘Pool. And transitioning isn’t a linear thing, right? You’ll get improvements followed by backwards steps, some bits clicking more quickly than others, games that ebb and flow a little more than those of more settled sides. This game typified that.

    Spurs’ counter attacking, speedy wing play has clearly “clicked”. Defensively? Still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Liverpool are getting better too but they lack the overall quality of players of THFC. Bale is becoming truly unplayable – Lennon too is stepping up. Dembele is brilliant, a box to box ball of energy and movement and Walker is re-finding his form. Lloris is world class… just top notch. Sandro’s still young but I think Parker will have to fight to get back into the side. Good to see Dawson getting some game time too.

  11. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    Well, that was quite a week. 9 points from 9 can sure reduce the moaning. The football hasn’t been brilliant at times but we are getting an idea of what AVB can do with the players available. Get Benny, Parker and the Bull back, along with a couple of players in the window, and we can rotate a bit more and hopefully build on this.

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