none of that first half, please?
A game of two halves from Spurs against the league leaders, one where they should have been on the end of a stuffing the other where they could have got something from the game.
Jose made a bold choice with hist starting XI, no… not playing the kid Tanganga, for his league debut, but starting with just eight players.
There was more to worry about in that starting XI than the kid. The logic for Tanganga was plain. The defence has been slow, the kid ain’t slow. The defence hasn’t been working, try something new. No the worry was three players who shouldn’t be anywhere near the start sheet.
For some unknown reason Rose was back at left-back. For some unknown reason a midfield pairing of Eriksen and Winks was Jose’s choice. No, me neither. So it was no surprise with nothing in the middle for Spurs that Liverpool pretty much dominated the game. Especially that first half, in which the hosts’ possession were hovering about just under the 20%.
It was awful stuff. The likes of Rose just kicking the ball away and it coming straight back. The only surprise was it took them nearly 40 minutes to open the scoring.
It was left to the kid to save them in the first couple of minutes with a couple of goal saving blocks, when not him it was Gazzaniga. What was a surprise about Tanganga’s inclusion was it was at right-back in a back four rather than in a back three. This meant Spurs had Aurier was on the right in a 4-4-2 formation.
Things didn’t really change until about the 70th minute when Jose finally made two of the changes that were really required. Eriksen was so bad that even Jose in his press conference before the Cup replay has been saying Eriksen was bad. Removing him and Rose – whose pass success was the worst of any outfielder by far, just above being a 50/50 – they went for Lo Celso and Lamela and all of a sudden Spurs were going forward.
Lo Celso has to start. He has to play. He offers far more than Winks or Eriksen – who thankfully looks to be off this January – he started the move that should have seen Son equalise, minutes after the substitutions.
Pressing and taking the ball off Wijnaldum, the ball went to Moura – who was one player who put a shift in all game, never stopped wanting the ball, never stopped running and trying. He passed it to Son in the box and from about 12 yards out the Korean skied a glorious chance he should have least got on target.
Minutes later and a better chance. Aurier played a glorious ball across the face of goal, curling round the defenders the keeper was helpless but somehow Lo Celso missed the target. No one knows how he managed to miss.
Could have won that. Could have been thoroughly outplayed for most of the game and come away with a 2-1 victory. Liverpool get the luck of those two misses while Robertson doesn’t even get a card for his red card challenge on Tanganga. Did VAR even look at it? When the changes were made it meant Tanganga moved to left-back when he looked injured Jose was going to bring on Jan at LB. Why? Why not Sessegnon?
Now if Spurs played like they did, once the subs were made, things would look brighter. But then Jose has to pick the right team to start with. Hopefully Eriksen will be gone shortly so the thought of playing him is history. Rose is surely now fourth choice left-back right now – behind Jan, Sessegnon and Tanganga. Fifth choice when Davies returns.
And Winks, I actually saw people saying he should be playing more, while pundits on the telly were highlighting his mincing about, doing absolutely nothing for Spurs, while the only goal of the game was scored. Now if the fanbois in the media are seeing it…