Lancashire police have denied that they assisted in the high-jacking of the Tottenham team coach on Wednesday evening and accompanied the coach to Anfield. Liverpool University students completed the fixture in look-alike masks.
Barry Catflap who stood in for the Tottenham manager said,'I thought I'd blown it when I replaced two defenders with, er defenders and brought on Robbie Keane but it looked as if Spurs might be getting back into the game at the time'
The FA will not investigate as it was all for charity and Tottenham have been at the forefront of charity over the years.
Where are you on the 'suicide / couldn't give a shit, knew we wouldn't get fourth anyway' matrix today?
Or for that matter the 'Harry is our saviour and should not be criticised / Nah small time and will never get us to the next level' index?
Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning? With 16 matches to go statistically there is still all to play for but that's not how it feels. Liverpool, with our help, are back on the road and it looks as if the top four cartel will continue. The fact that Arsenal are top of the league having come back from 2-0 down to Bolton and might win it playing the kind of football we can only aspire to only adds to the trauma.
We didn't play badly at Anfield. Actually we didn't really play at all. We had plenty of possession, for passages of the game we dominated but we never really threatened. We lost not to a better team but to a more organised and determined one.
Key players like Modric and Kranjcar performed poorly but if you consistently punt the ball 60yds. over their heads how can they contribute? When we got the ball down Palacios, Jenas, and Modric almost contrived a goal. Time and time again the pattern of play was: Gomes to Dawson; Dawson long punt to Crouch; Crouch poor header; Liverpool get possession. Not once but nearly twenty times until I lost count. It's not good football and it didn't work .
I suggested at the time that the signing of Crouch would be a retrograde step and was assured by Harry fans that the route one method was not in his plans. Crouch's height was a useful tactic to be used sparingly. It hasn't worked out that way very often and it certainly didn't last night. Defoe is a moody striker who needs a scoring partner to fill in the gaps. Even our disgruntled Russian is worth a try.
We are still fourth but can be overtaken by Villa and Man.City. We are not on the edge of a precipice here, perhaps just a grassy knoll. There has been a gradual decline in our points per game ratio and scoring tally. In the first seven games we scored 17 goals in the league and got 15pts. In the last eight we scored 10 goals and got 11 pts. But now is when the physical and psychological pressure begins and last night's game suggests that we may not be up for it.
I think Harry got the tactics wrong and for large parts of the game excluded our key players. He also got his substitutions wrong although I assume Ledley's was for injury reasons rather than tactical ones which would have made no sense. Bassong and Dawson could have quite happily continued for me, they have done well. Swapping right backs is at best a hopeful gesture as is bringing on Robbie Keane on his present form.
If you are going to change the game you need game changing manoeuvres. Bring on players who might make a difference: Gio, Pavlyuchenko or Rose, or change the formation: put Modric or Kranjcar closer to the front men, swap wings, but play more football and cut out the long ball.
Play to our strengths. We could have matched them by going 451, that would have been better for all the good that Crouch was. O'hara might have been a good starter for this one. I'm not even sure I want to win playing the way we did last night.
Am I calling for Harry to be sacked? I am not. Do we need a new job lot of players? We do not. Constant change and the search for messiahs and saviours has been our downfall for too long.
Am I a bit over the top after a defeat in a game that had Defoe's wrongly disallowed goal been allowed to stand the result might have been different? Probably. Do I think we will finish mid table? No. I think we are likely to miss out on Champions' league but should finish 6th. which at the beginning of the season was what I had hoped for.
A little more flexibility from Harry over players, substitutions and tactics and we can beat Leeds at the weekend and Fulham next week and we will all feel a little better. But although poor performances may be forgiven they can never be forgotten. Otherwise how will we learn from them? Leeds at the Lane should be a foregone conclusion if we play football. 'Should be' and 'if' show how confident I am.
This game was an unpleasant reminder of the Spurs that always seems to lurk just around the corner and which we thought, or hoped, had been quietly buried this season. The skeletons fell out of the cupboard with some clatter at Anfield. Everton, Stoke, Wolves and Hull and the performances against the top four in general are post it notes on the Tottenham fridge reminding us of the Spurs that promises so much and delivers so little when it really matters.
This was the game that will very likely define our season. The game when we could have put so much history behind us and the chance to deal a real blow to one of our main rivals. And we didn't take it.