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Liverpool 2-0 Spurs: The Tottenham Way

Well on the bright side they all looked like they wanted to play The Tottenham Way. Sugar and spice and all things nice, with pretty passing and a minimum of three dainty touches in possession. Delightful stuff. Unfortunately this was an occasion which demanded urgency, a determination to win at all costs, a bloody-minded refusal to accept defeat and generally all those other clichéd attributes which Spurs perennially lack, but which are prerequisites for top-four qualification. I guess the absence of these attributes is a further trademark of The Tottenham Way. The other lot decided to roll up their sleeves and scrap for it; our heroes duly looked horrified, appearing close to tears each time a swarm of those uncouth Liverpool rotters descended on them like a pack of dogs.It was all rounded off, and neatly summed up, by possibly the worst attempt ever recorded in the history of the game at throwing-everything-at-the-opposition-in-the-final-ten-minutes. Instead of being camped in their penalty area we somehow contrived to allow Liverpool half a dozen point-blank chances inside ours, repeatedly insisting that they try and try again, as well as standing back to let them indulge in a spot of keep-ball whenever they got the urge.

Should I ever get the opportunity to storm into the Tottenham dressing-room and damn well scream at the players to fight, tooth and nail and ‘til the bitter end, in search of victory, I imagine the players would simply look quizzically at each other, trying to wrap their precious minds around the baffling concepts of which I speak, before retiring to the training-ground to engage in some delightfully pretty and gently-paced passing routines. In some parallel universe where tackling is completely banned from the game, our lot are absolutely awesome.

Even aside from the generally lacklustre attitude, we might have fared better if we had dispensed with the multiple-touch approach and just zipped the ball around first time, to leave the scousers chasing shadows (incidentally, even in absentia, this ball-dwelling is a misdemeanour of which Hudd is too frequently guilty). The one time we actually managed a one-touch move this we created our clearest chance of the match. By and large however, Modric and Kranjcar looked like foreigners of excellent technique who just could not cope with the pace and feistiness of a high-octane Premiership game. Jenas gave the definitive Jenas performance – backwards; sideways; earnest; energetic; ineffective.

The Refereeing Decisions

The most generous interpretation that could be given is that this whole business of the offside rule and its “phases of play” is sufficiently obscure to be entirely subjective. At the whim of the officials, Defoe was ruled against, possibly for having strayed offside back on Saturday against Hull. AANP’s latest watertight theory is that God supports l’Arse, and His will be done.

As for the elongated one’s penalty shout – less of a complaint, given that pens are so rarely awarded for the countless little misdeeds at set-pieces. That said, I don’t know what the opposite of a force-field is, but Crouch has one around him at all times, ensuring that whatever the occasion and whatever he does, if he is in the opposition penalty area he will be penalised. It’s the law.

However, the creases across the AANP brow this morning were caused by the performances of those in lilywhite rather than black. Creative though the refereeing decisions may have been, it does not disguise the fact that we were mightily disappointing, in such a crunch game. Points lost against weakened rivals is galling enough, but seeing points surrendered quite so meekly is vaguely soul-destroying. As for the buoyant optimism and spring in the step of just 24 hours ago, we denizens of AANP Towers have been given a most severe reprimand for such wild and thoughtless misjudgements.

I Kid Ye Not – We’re Still Fourth

And yet, come May we may very well make fourth. Everyone around us seems to have a gun pointed at their own foot and an itchy trigger-finger, so it could yet happen. Easy to forget we still are fourth actually. No extra points are lost for a display of complete impotence, or for an attempt to fashion a team around Jermaine Jenas; nor would we have gained any more points for beating Liverpool away than we will do if we turn over Fulham at home next week. Bad day at the office, but there are plenty of points left to be gathered.

 

AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, comes out on 16 Feb and is now available to pre-order from WHSmith, Amazon , TescoWaterstones and Play 

You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here 

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here

7 Responses

  1. Ashley J. Collie Says:

    Some of the “Tottenham Way” in the past has included the likes of Mackay, Roberts, Perryman, Mabbutt, guys who led on the field. . .where is that leader who’d grab up Billy Bremner by the scruff of his neck? And then grab up our pretty but pussy-footing lads and tell them to roll up their sleeves like our opponents and to get stuck in? Squad needs some freshening up and some backbone, no?

  2. Stanley Burkenshaw Says:

    Modric and Kranjcar in the same side is a luxury we cannot afford. Both have skill but are not particularly quick, and are easily brushed off the ball. Your point about leadership is very valid. When things get tough our boys are like rabbits in the headlights.

  3. Milky Bar Yid Says:

    When the going gets tough, Tottenham get fucked up the arse. Too many primadona wankers in our squad. Defoe is starting to get on my nerves, when is the little prick going to do the business away from home against the big teams? And this is the man who England will have to rely on to score goals in the World Cup! Robbie Keane is useless, Crouch a long piece of old c*nt! Bassong is on par with Ramon Vega but cost us £10m!! King is finished…..END OF! Dawson’s concentration levels are very poor and no matter how well he has played he is always prone to cock up big style! Modric and Kranky are technically good but in the heat of the battle just don’t stand up and be counted and Jenas is just the most ‘nothing’ footballer I have ever seen in my life – what the fuck does he offer?? I’m still trying to work out 5 years after signing him!! Its embarassing how heavily we rely on Lennon and how one dimensional we are without him, let me tell you that its something we may have to get used to unless we progress into a Champions League outfit as the hawks will be circling in the summer with Man Utd almost certainly biding their time to make yet another swoop at White Hart Lane. In a season where we are sitting 4th still we can still feel so disgruntled, gutted that the losses at home to Stoke and Wolves and the home draw v Hull aswell as the 2-0 lead at Goodison given away in the final 12 minutes shows that we should have at least another 10 points on the board, 10 points that before the season you would confidently bag without a second thought. I predict we wont finish 4th, but I do believe we are good enough to, the biggest and most important factor isn’t about ability….its about attitude and the majority of our players have the worst attitude I have ever witnessed at a football club.

  4. name Says:

    There have been several penalties awarded for shirt pulling in recent weeks, which suggests officials have been told to crack down on it.

    Yet it did not happen yesterday. Why? Howard Webb!

  5. Ted Says:

    Agree with an eariler poster that adding a Dave Mackay or Graham Roberts type would make a huge difference to the current side.

    Every successful side has players like that. We used to have players like that. Without the steel of players like that the silky flair players cannot flourish.

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