Rev. Lovejoy On Speed Dial: Spurs 2 - Liverpool 1

Julian Finney

Blah blah blah

You tell me what's more likely: Liverpool can keep up this sort of performance but will start converting just slightly more chances as well as getting some calls that they haven't yet to turn these wall-punching performances into wins, or the performance will drop from this somewhat-promising level and the results will stay the same or get worse? Because I know which one feels more likely right now.

It's the same match. Defensive errors, poor finish-final ball, toothless possession, and no penalties given that were certainly earned from an incompetent ref. There's no other way to dress it up any more. I've run out of ways.

Bullets:

-While I will always appreciate Brendan Rodgers's aggressive mindset, this was balls over brains. Stewart Downing had no place against a team with such dangerous wingers, and it was only a matter of time before it cost Liverpool in a tangible way. The matter of time was seven minutes, when he completely lost Aaron Lennon.

-Secondly, naming the same team that looked so helpless in the second half against Swansea bordered on ludicrous. And putting Henderson ahead of Gerrard, where he's better off in-between the two midfielders with his tireless running, made less sense. And Gerrard just can't get three matches in less than a week, and looked it. I would have felt better if he looked like he gave more of a shit. The match happened around him, and his one chance to make a splash generally hit the first defender on his corners. Rodgers can't be afraid to sit Stevie when it's called for, and it's called for now.

-The matches are taking their toll on Raheem Sterling, whose main contribution was stupid fouls today and lucky to escape a card for it.

-I don't think anyone enjoys not giving Luis Suarez penalties he deserves more than Mark Halsey.

-I know Henderson will get shit for the missed chance, but if you look at how quickly Kyle Walker was closing it down, he kind of had to try to bend it around and back to get it in. Still should have done it. Fuck me.

-The Liverpool midfield is bypassed too easily on the counter, and that's not just fatigue on Allen's and Gerrard's part. They rush in and get caught doing so too often. But that's the players they are. Lucas will help, and there will be matches Allen can do it on his own. But this wasn't one of them. It might not be the worst idea later in the season to see if Conor Coady would be the better understudy for Lucas than Allen, who's probably better in tandem with someone like that.

But at the end of the day, how many options were there? If you wanted to rest Sterling, what could provide anywhere near the menace he promises? Shelvey from the start instead of Henderson? I don't know.

But it's starting to feel like this season will be nothing more than seeing who's part of the future solution and who isn't, and nothing more. There won't be a chase for Europe, or at least it doesn't seem like it. Maybe that can change, but the clock is ticking at deafening volume.

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