Monday, August 17, 2009

Round 1, Spurs v Liverpool

The Football started yesterday. Not the American one either. If you've read any of my past blogs I follow soccer pretty hard and cheer for the Cleveland equivalent in soccer, Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Spurs opened the campaign with a rare home game (first one in honestly 5 years) to none other than Liverpool (a Sky Sport Top 4 Club). Going into the match I wasn't sure exactly who would start where and more importantly, who would be our starting strike pair. Would Robbie Keane be up for it, facing off his "boyhood dream" club? Why wouldn't he be up for it? Start Roman next to him? Nah, bad idea. Defoe? He's on form (netting two in a World Cup Qualifier) but it's rumored him and Keane don't exactly see eye to eye. Granted they've played together in the past and had good results (remember 2005-2006....something about lasagna...yeah I remember it real well). Or would our new signing of Frankenstein be paired up with Keane? I wanted Defoe, and we got Defoe.

A lot of people had reservations about Sebastien Bassong. Former Toon player, rated highly, but could he handle the pressure? Could he handle possibly covering for Ledley if his knee started to act up? Can he handle Torres coming at him? Corluka doesn't worry me at all (strong bias there). He's a bit slow yeah, but he doesn't play outside of his skill set and that makes up for his lack of speed. I honestly thought we'd see Bale play at left back. Instead we are treated to Benny Assou-Ekotto. I always love when BAE plays. I get frustrated because I always remember his performances of old where everything he did was surrounded by question marks. To his credit, he solidified his spot late last season with some strong showings.

Credit: Getty Images

Taking in the first 20-25 minutes, I ignored that I was watching complete garbage footy. Both teams played like garbage, but I honestly was just happy to see Spurs playing. I liked the choppy Internet feed I had that made it almost seem that our home kit was all-white. Until the zoom in's where the yellow reared it's ugly head. But in all honesty, I think the yellow isn't bad and I might get used to it. Come next year though, I hope it's gone.

I was laying in my bed watching the game while my girlfriend had the TV on the Food Network, so when I saw Huddlestone's free kick get deflected and the goal, I was excited to go 1 up on 'pool. When I saw exactly who made that incredible shot, I almost cried laughing. Immediate texts. This goal I can almost gurantee is Benoit Assou-Ekotto's career goal. Just a minute before half, a great way to deflate a team. However, this just meant we could (and usually would) sit back and let Liverpool come at us for the whole second half.

Sure enough, 10 minutes into second half Glen Johnson earns a penalty and Mr. England Stevie Gerrard (overrated) ties it up. Not to discredit Spurs, but Liverpool didn't look up for the game at all and played the way until the final 10 or so minutes. However, Spurs looked solid. Modric seemed out of place and wasn't able to get into the game the way we are used to. However his one free kick a few minutes after Liverpool's tying goal would be the goal to win the match. Luka's kick found Sea Bass' head for his first Spurs goal in his first game with Spurs. More texts come pouring in at this point. Even though that would be the match winner, I had my doubts that we'd eventually let them equalize within the last 3 minutes. They pushed hard from the 85th or so until the final whistle but Spurs held strong.

Credit: Getty Images

Lennon didn't really do much this game as neither did Modric. Luka did get some space and was able to pass but didn't have much room to work with. Central mid was completely bossed by Palacios and Huddlestone. All of you T. Hudd naysayers from the past few seasons are going to be proved wrong. I've always said Huddlestone is going to be quality for us. Our back 4 were incredible. Torres didn't do anything except stay on the ground as Huddlestone gave him a few words. If anyone can get me a .gif of that clip, I'll paypal you $10. No joke. I want that clip. Keane had 3 chances and honestly should have put one in. Defoe I really didn't pay attention to. The other two forwards didn't have any effect in the game. Gomes was solid except on his one challenge that lead to the penalty. But that's alright.

Also, when did Liverpool become so thuggish? That was a text my buddy sent me. And after watching a few challenges from Lucas, I wondered the same thing. Dirk Kuyt was an offender I believe late in the game on Assou Ekotto. Just seemed a bit dirty, which is odd for Liverpool.

After 1 game, we've got 3 points. That's more than we had after the first 8 last season. Triffic. Here's hoping to a solid performance Wednesday away at Hull. We need at least a draw, anything less there's no excuse. I don't mean to sound like a Top 4 or broke kinda fan, but no offense, it's Hull. Luckily, I have an off day from work, so I'll be watching the match for sure.

Lennon's gonna find his end product Wednesday and bag two. I feel it.

C'mon you Spurs!


Captain Canuck said...

I haven't seen as much as I want to.... I'll be interested to see how Man U can defend with the losses of God's Gift and Tevez...

My boy Van Der Sar ain't getting any younger...

Andrew said...

I'm pretty sure he's out for quite sometime.

United should be fine, they got Berbatov.