Skip to main content

News

  • TALKING LIVERPOOL
Subscribe to newsfeed 

TALKING LIVERPOOL

Posted on 26 October 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

LIVERPOOL PRESENT A formidable opposition. Particularly now, as they go into the game topping the League.

They consider Anfield as their fortress and they will be mindful of the fact that their last defeat in the Premiership was against Tottenham Hotspur.

It was a defeat that looked like it might reduce them to a position outside of the top two Champions League places. Fortunately, two good results at the end of last season reversed that possibility.

Based on a very strong defence, with Dudek proving an exceptional goalkeeper and Hyypia a very thorough, strong centre-half, a lovely striker of the ball with his right foot and very good in the air - particularly when they come under pressure.

They change the full-backs quite regularly, Carragher has obviously won the right sided place with the boy Wright leaving for Sunderland - perhaps not expecting to get too many chances at Liverpool with so many utility players.

This time last year I think Vignal was playing left-back, while Traore has since played there and Riise is the current occupant. Young Traore is now featuring in central defence in the absence of the injured Henchoz.

It was Litmanen, when he played, who used to make the clever passes and scored the goal that beat Tottenham there last year in a reasonably close game. Him leaving doesn't seem to have nullified their effect.

What has been interesting is the introduction of the two players from Senegal - Diao and Diouf. Lots of English clubs looked at Diouf in France and I think the general feeling was that he was very much an individual player. At times, perhaps, he didn't appreciate his colleagues as much as he should.

Maybe that was the reason why one or two big hitters in this country didn't spend the six or seven million that was being asked for him at the time.

Cheyrou and Diao are two midfielders Gerard Houllier has introduced. It seems that French players, or players reared in France, have done particularly well in the last few years when they've come to England and they are athletic players.

Liverpool's main strength is, and always has been, their work ethic as a team epitomised by the likes of Murphy. Gerrard is important to them because of his range of pass, his manliness, and so is Hamman.

I can't think of too many teams who are more powerful in midfield when they are on song than the axis of Hamman and Gerrard.

Owen makes chances, scores chances and misses chances. He is always there because of his willing predatory instinct.

The game looks, with a few points separating the teams, like a fantastic opportunity for Spurs to show that they can now cope with teams at the top. With games like Sunderland, Arsenal and Chelsea to come, it will give us a real barometer reading of our progress.

Our goal difference of plus two suggests, as do people who watch most of our games, that we may have had the breaks at the right time. If you balance that against the amount of injuries that we've had and the amount of times the manager has had to change the team around in vital areas - you get a broader picture.

The central defensive relationship has often changed, as has the front pairing - which has now settled down into a Keane-Sheringham duo.

At the back, is it Richards and Perry? Will Gardner be back? How soon will King be in? Does Doherty figure? Bunjevcevic also plays in central defence and spare a thought for Alton Thelwell, who hasn't played this season.

We look quite well off in that area and certain other positions. Obviously we a little bereft at the moment with Thatcher and Taricco out at full-back, along with Ziege.

But we've coped well with all our injuries this season and the position we have at the moment is a testimony to the extra depth and strength that we have in the squad and the progress of the young players, who have challenged the senior players.

Now comes the real test. Liverpool away is always a difficult fixture for any club - no matter who they are. I'm sure that Saturday's is going to prove a difficult game.

If we can silence the Kop with a good first 20 minutes and get breaks at the right times then, surely, we can come back in good heart.