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Russell Berrisford

Russell Berrisford

Russell’s support of Derby County eventually led him to leave the country. He has lived in Canada since 2007 and currently writes about soccer for The Vancouver Sun.


TANGENTS

Harry Redknapp and Spurs Face Crucial Game

Written by on March 2, 2012 | 19 Comments »
Posted in Tottenham Hotspur

When Tottenham lined up against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday it is probably fair to say that their manager Harry Redknapp’s standing had never been higher in the game.

He had created a side that were still seen as potential title challengers and was…

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19 responses to “Harry Redknapp and Spurs Face Crucial Game”

  1. Roberto Senyera says:

    Liverpool FC:

    The bad news: After their home loss today at the hands of the mighty Arsenal they can officially kiss their chances of finishing fourth goodbye.

    The good news: After their resounding victory via PKs against a second tier side last Sunday they have European football to look forward to next season. Good shopping there Kenny! Let’s see — Carroll 35M £ + Downing @20M £ + Henderson @20M £. UEL participation — priceless.

  2. Roberto Senyera says:

    And if WBA, now just only four points behind LFC, overtake Kenny & LFC in the final standings is there any justification for KD to keep his job? How about a P45 and re-hiring RH. After all, Roy did more with less.

    Oh, that’s right, KD has that lovely Mikey Mouse Cup to parade around Anfield to justify his massive spending. I forgot about that. Point taken.

  3. J Rob says:

    Roberto:

    Firstly, well done to WBA. Deserved to win today and they have a good side that Hodgson largely inherited.

    And I agree that Liverpool have underperformed relative to their spending.

    Did you watch Liverpool the first half of last season? Absolutely atrocious. Worst of all despite all of Hodgson’s supposed defensive acumen they were terrible at the back. Off the field he seemed completely out-of-his-depth and gave the impression that Liverpool were just another club in his journeyman career. His signings (albeit with a lot less money) with the exception of Meireles were all failures.

    This season they’d be a lot higher if not for their inability to score goals. Today was another example of perhaps the most profligate home team I have ever seen. Penalty missed, woodwork hit twice and an open goal opportunity missed. Given that Liverpool lacked Agger,Gerrard, Johnson and Lucas they did well to be the better side against a close to full-strength Arsenal.

    Lastly, Liverpool won a “Mickey Mouse” cup. The team they played today have won nothing in seven seasons. How did they get there? They beat Brighton, Stoke and Chelsea away and beat Man City over two legs. That feat would have been unimaginable under Hodgson. Northampton beat Liverpool at Anfield in the “Mickey Mouse” cup when Hodgson was manager.

  4. Roberto Senyera says:

    Here are some gems from the Guardian today, enjoy:

    “Liverpool’s line-up cannot offer but one conclusion: if Arsenal don’t win this, Wenger should go,” writes Sasu Laaksonen, who if memory serves – and sorry if I am either misrepresenting you – is a Liverpool supporter. “The defensive spine of Carragher, (Agger-less) Skrtl, Spearing and Adam is either tedious horror or hilarious comedy. Liverpool will be out of the top-four race today. Dead certain.”

    “Do you think Liverpool are better with or without Gerrard?” asks Avery Kode, before answering his own question in the arch style. “He may be a non-conformist in terms of unselfish positional play and defensive responsibilities at time, but he’s surely the most technical of their Europa League-standard midfield bunch.”

    “Let me join the rest of the world in having an opinion on Andy Carroll,” begs Tom Fraine. Fair enough. “I personally think he’s a slovenly lump …”

    10 min: Oh dear, Stewart Downing. Suarez goes after a ball down the middle. He’s clear of the Arsenal defence, but Szczesny slides out quickly to deflect the ball from Suarez’s path. The ball drops to Downing, 35 yards out, with the goal gaping. Sadly for Liverpool, their £20m man has none of Xabi Alonso’s long-distance skills, and he misses the ball with a fresh-air swipe. Dear lord.

    “Interesting to see two England wide men on the pitch,” lies Gary Naylor. “While Walcott continues to tantalise with glimpses of what might be, Downing merely confirms what never was. England should think about Leighton Baines as a wide man – he would be the Moneyball option.”

    19 min: And it’s missed! Kuyt hits a poor effort towards the bottom left. It’s parried back out by Szczesny, but into the middle of the gaping goal. Henderson is coming in from deep to hammer home, but Kuyt decides to get in the way and cushion a side-foot goalwards himself. Szczesny somehow springs up and gets across to save! Stunning goalkeeping, and more penalty-based incompetence from Liverpool who, despite last weekend’s shenanigans at Wembley, have been laughably poor from 12 yards this season. It’s like Michael Owen never left.

    Not for the first time this season – in fact, for the 458th time this season – Liverpool are left shaking their heads as the woodwork vibrates. “Jim Beglin on ESPN said Downing’s chance landed on his ‘weaker foot’,” reports Colm Cosgrove, “but surely that should be ‘weakest foot’, seeing as both feet are useless.”

    And here is a real hum dinger — “If I ever find myself up against the wall facing a firing squad, I pray that the shooters are all wearing Liverpool shirts,” writes Justin Kavanagh, in an email entitled “Poor execution”.

    “Even as a Liverpool fan it’s comforting to see the world working fairly,” writes Niall Mullen. “Liverpool fail to win so many games simply because of a lack of quality. It’s not rocket surgery.”

    “Liverpool might be getting frustrated, but their play has been much better than the last few weeks because of Carroll’s absence,” suggests Mike Phillips. “It’s not just his individual play that hinders Liverpool, its the way he makes the team around him play – slow, long and ponderous. Suarez and kuyt look much livlier without him. Kenny et al are just trying to save face by playing him.”

    “For all Liverpool’s bleating about hitting the woodwork so often and being so unlucky, can we just be honest for a second here?” asks Alex Till. “Hitting the woodwork is missing the target.”

    60 min: I haven’t seen him, but the Arsenal fans are singing “What a waste of money”, so I can only assume Andy Carroll is warming up for Liverpool. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb there.

    68 min: Downing looks to jink past (yes, really) Song down the right. He’s upended. A free kick in a dangerous area. Adam scuffs possibly the worst free kick in the history of all sport into the box. It’s cleared by the front man. Where have all these £10m set pieces gone?

    “I bet that Henderson and Downing heard the waste-of-money chant,” begins Steven Hughes, “pulled their collars away from their throats with their index fingers, before sighing with relief as they saw Carroll (luke)warming up on the sideline.”

    84 min: Adam has the ball, 35 yards from goal. Henderson is free on the right, screaming to be put clean through. Adam elects to spin round and round – 360 degrees, 720 degrees, and so on – like a dog preparing for beddy-byes, or Scott Parker. The pass is never made. Very poor from Liverpool’s playmaker.

    88 min: Downing is replaced by Bellamy. Shouldn’t this change have been made earlier? Anything between 87 and 89 minutes earlier?

    FULL TIME: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal. And that’s it! Robin van Persie has won the day for the visitors. Liverpool carved out most of the chances, but what’s the point if you do little or nothing with them? They missed a penalty, fannied around quite a lot, and were punished by brilliance. Liverpool director of football, or whatever he is, Damien Comolli says there’ll be no major signings in the summer. If that’s the case, Liverpool are going nowhere, and quickly to boot. Arsenal, on the other hand, are still dreaming of next year’s Champions League, and possibly finishing above Spurs, the way things are going.

    All credit to Scott Murray of the Guardian and his fellow emailers.

    Cheerio.

  5. Roberto Senyera says:

    J Rob,

    I’m just having a little friendly banter here. And as Gus can attest to, I’m not the biggest Liverpool fan. Unless, of course, they play ManU.

    “Did you watch Liverpool the first half of last season?”

    I did. My favourite match was when the Wolves won at Anfield. That one was mint.

    “…he seemed completely out-of-his-depth and gave the impression that Liverpool were just another club in his journeyman career. His signings (albeit with a lot less money) with the exception of Meireles were all failures.”

    One could say that KD is out of his depth with his insistence on overspending on over-rated British ‘talent’ and compounding that problem by continually playing that ‘talent’ even when it has proven to be substandard. Sometimes even playing said ‘talent’ out of position when it is painfully obvious to everyone that it’s not working (i.e. Henderson on the right). If you’re going to over spending on a product at least look sophisticated and, much like beer, spend it on an import. In football, you’ll be saving money. And with the exception of Suarez, I’d say KD has little to blow his horn about in the transfer market.

    “This season they’d be a lot higher if not for their inability to score goals.”

    To that I would say, if my auntie had bollocks she’d be my uncle.

    “Lastly, Liverpool won a “Mickey Mouse” cup. The team they played today have won nothing in seven seasons.”

    True. But the team they played against has at least won the league after the advent of colour television.

  6. Rob says:

    They didn’t have color televisions where you lived in 1990???

  7. J Rob says:

    Arsenal. And I like Arsenal.

    BUT true or false – after putting together one of the best sides of all time Wenger has overseen a team that has gotten a little worse every season and a lot worse this season?

    Well – you can tell from the question what my view is. Most puzzling of all is Wenger’s belief that defensive organisation is no longer a pre-requisite for success.

    The question of British vs foreign players is irrelevant. Dalglish made a bet on players with EPL experience. Arsenal’s current squad is proof that you can collect just as many mediocrities from overseas.

    As a Liverpool fan we can certainly help you re-adjust your expectations.

    But being generous Arsenal still have the Champion’s League this season. There is still a chance they can beat Milan by 4 or 5 after perhaps the most clueless performance by an English side in Europe in living memory.

  8. Soccerlogical says:

    I actually thought Liverpool controlled the midfield and were the more sprightly side. As always, Sczesny gets better every game and RVP is pure class. Even though Arsenal are a one trick pony, it is a very GOOD TRICK!

    Additionally, should Liverpool also win the FA Cup, this season should not be considered a failure by any fan and ALL credit should be given to KD (a failure financially for owners perhaps).

    Finally, regardless of the price tag on Carrol, I think investing money and game minutes in Jordan Henderson is a pure waste of time as he is just another garden variety player of the English system. I have never seen one instance where anything he has done on the field suggests he has any sort of talent or potential to be anything more than a Darren Gibson at best.

  9. Gus Keri says:

    A rhetorical question,

    When someone spends a very long time reading all what the media wrote negatively about Liverpool and spend even a longer time writing them in this website with hardly mentioning a thing about Arsenal, it makes me wonder: Does he love Arsenal more than he hates Liverpool? or does he hate Liverpool more than he loves Arsenal?

    Note:
    this is not an invitation for a discussion or argument.

  10. Gus Keri says:

    At the beginning of the season, I predicted that AVB would be gone by 6 months.
    I think Abramovich have a personal issue with me. he waited few weeks after the 6 months mark to fire him.

  11. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – It amuses me how all the pundits kept suggesting the likes of Benitez and Hiddink as replacements without giving the slightest though to DiMatteo who could well prove to be Chelsea’s silver lining.

    I think Mourinho is going to Tottenham as Arry’s replacement because Abramovich will look like an even bigger fool (if that is possible) should be eat crow and beg for Mou’s return.

  12. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    I agree with you on Di Matteo. I think he has a great opportunity to prove his worth now.

    I remember when he was at West Bromwich; he got a lot of praise for his beautiful style of play but unfortunately, he didn’t have the right players to implement it.

    But knowing Abramovich’s way of thinking, it is going to take a massive performance by Chelsea to convice him of keeping Di Matteo. Nothing less than a long winning streak will do.

  13. J Rob – memory doesn’t stretch as far back as Spurs against Real Madrid last season? Or Manchester United losing to Basle or Manchester United failing to qualify from a poor group in 2005?

  14. J Rob says:

    Bobby. The key word was “clueless”. Man Utd were poor but had a plan. Likewise Spurs. Arsenal appeared to line-up at the San Siro with absolutely no idea how they would play the game. Their on-going defensive frailty gets a pass occasionally in the EPL but was ruthlessly exposed by Milan.

    Chelsea have a tough run in but this is the same squad that was 2nd last season with the addition of Meireles, Cahill, Mata, and a fit Essien etc. They have the ability to play a lot better. De Matteo didn’t seem to have the greatest defensive record with WBA so he’ll need to improve in that respect.

  15. Rob says:

    No shame in getting beat by Milan. Even at 4-0 as bad games happen. Hell even Liverpool trounced Madrid 4-0. As for it being the most clueless performance(I’m guessing you mean worst) I would have to give that to Chelsea of recent memory. Didn’t they lose in the second or third round to some Icelandic club in the Uefa Cup?
    BTW J Rob, I thought you were a Liverpool supporter? It’s halftime and Arsenal trail 4-0. Just a reminder, Liverpool in the final was being played off the pitch and losing 3-0. Long ways to go…

  16. J Rob says:

    Rob..good luck to Arsenal. A victory will make the miracle in Istanbul seem rather pedestrian in comparison.

  17. Rob says:

    What?! This Arsenal side, who is probably better than that Liverpool side, coming back against Milan, which is much weaker than that 2005 side, would be a greater feat? You’re crazy man

  18. J Rob says:

    On the way to the final in 2005 Liverpool beat Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Mourinho’s Chelsea in the knockout stages without losing an away game. Hard to imagine the present Arsenal side doing that.

    If Arsenal concede they need to score six. Think they have managed clean-sheets against Bolton and Leeds in 2012. So there is some hope.

  19. Rob says:

    Not sure what you’re trying to say there? They only beat Leverkusen and Monaco away from home in that Champions League. They even lost to Grazer AK away from home.

    Btw, I’m a Liverpool supporter. Its just I recognize nothing is over.

    In fact the year prior Milan lost to Deportivo after establishing a 4-1 first leg lead. So history is there…

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