To be truthful, although Tottenham is always on my mind, I have paid more attention to other matters this week, mainly how to avoid sliding under a German artic on the M25.
The Liverpool game, should it go ahead, provides a wonderful opportunity to strike at one of our main rivals for the one Champions League place that is available. We should grab that with both hands, taking a positive and bold attitude to Anfield without being reckless. That mindset has not come naturally to us in the past but a run of decent football plus five clean sheets could not leave our confidence any higher, and it would be a telling indictment should our motivation fall short in any way when tested.
Much has been said in the media about Liverpool’s over-reliance on Gerrard and Torres but when you have two players that good, I’d rely on them too. King and Dawson will probably start in central defence, although there’s a slight chance Bassong could replace Dawson because his mobility might be better suited to combating Torres. I don’t think changes will be made.
Bassong could be in the frame for left back too, where a more defensive minded player, away from home, could be better protection. Harry has used centre halves in this role very effectively at other clubs, although I would like Bale to have a chance with a few games to prove himself.
Redknapp seems to be adopting his protective paternal approach, which has always seemed to be the right way for young Gareth. Listening to the radio is not the best way to judge a player but a while ago 5Live provided an insight into how his lack of confidence affects his game. The commentators sit at the back of the press box and when Bale was brought on as sub in a midweek game against lesser opposition (can’t recall who, I’m afraid) on his way back from injury, they reported that the Spurs bench were repeatedly screaming at him to get forward, but he was not responding. This uncertainty has been apparent and an arm round the shoulder will work better than scaring the living daylights out of him.
Gerrard does his business in front of the back four, an area where we do not close players down or track the runners as well as we should do, so here is where the match could be won or lost. All the signs are that Palacios is playing his way back into form, and Hud will have to be on his toes. Not a ballet dancer is the big boned one, so first instinct should be to drop right back when Liverpool threaten. Their 4-2-3-1 means they do well in midfield but can be stifled closer to the box.
Liverpool in defence could be vulnerable down their flanks – I would have liked to have seen Lennon take them on – but Modric and Kranjcar do their best work linking in the centre. If the fullbacks can get forward, dangerous against that formation, they could link up too. In summary, so much is in the balance but keep up our form and we can do well.
Last Saturday we held the distinction of the highest crowd of the day, a healthy 35,000 plus. Much has been made of the poor attendances elsewhere, an indication so the argument goes that the Cup is losing its magic.
In comparison with other clubs, our figure was artificially inflated because it was the second of the two cup ties included on our season ticket. I don’t think this was the case at places like Middlesbrough and Wigan, whose paltry crowds were embarrassingly low. However, the loyalty of our fans would ensure bigger gates whoever we played. We also had a sensible pricing tariff and credit is due to the board for not unduly cashing in on the Leeds game, arguably the tie of the round. £30 and £25 with £10 for kids is fair enough.
Although the Cup’s appeal is in danger of being strangled by the all powerful tentacles of the Premier League, it is deeply embedded in the psyche of football fans, certainly those of my generation. Younger people, I’d be interested to hear your comments. This is less about the Cup and much more about money. Being a supporter is so expensive these days, fans have to prioritise and if the cup games are extra then obviously they will be the ones to fall by the wayside.
I’ve done so myself in recent seasons, for the first time ever. I am fortunate in being able to stump up for the season ticket, so I’m not asking for any sympathy here. I have a reasonable income but like everyone the outgoings are substantial too. I estimate that watching football takes up 95% of the total amount of money I spend on entertainment in the course of the year. Going to the pub or to gigs, buying music etc, all of these interests have been sublimated to the ticket credit card bill.
The Premier League clubs have less need than ever for the cash from a cup run, because their income is generated primarily from TV rights. Put a little in the way of the fans and keep down cup tie prices to fill grounds, provide a still decent income and perhaps most importantly allow the new generation of young fans to experience the joys of live football, just as I did at their age. And here I still am. It’s an investment.
9 thoughts on “Liverpool v Spurs Preview. And A Bit of a Rant About Ticket Prices”
Your last sentence: ‘allow the new generation of young fans to experience the joys of live’ is so true. I could afford to watch Spurs as a young fellow and I have been going since. A good investment.
I hear the Liverpool game may be postphoned. Hope SKY forces the issue, as we will not have a better chance of getting as we will Sunday, what with our confidence and the fact that johnson and Masch are missing.
Looks like it will be off. True what you said about this being a good time to go to them. Also, the transfer window could change their team.
If everyone hassles Sky enough they might not postpone it. They certainly don’t want it off and it’s only scouse supporters who are affected by the safety issues, so my money is on it going ahead.
A sensible article written by a Spurs fan???! I was certain it was going to be another “Liverpool are Crap” “Spurs could win the league” type of story, but I hold my hands up that I think this is quite a good article.
However, someone always covers themselves in glory.. cue StonyK
Hassle sky and it will be on?? Well, not unless they send gritters and a team of men to clear pavements.
Then the best bit…. Only scouse supporters are affected?? Stonyk is quite clearly an arm chair yid and doesnt realise that Spurs do have fans who attend games.
And as you (sorry, clearly not you) have over too miles to travel, surely the conditions could affect the Spurs fans more.
A sensible comment from a Scouser?!?! haha, thanks mate. TOMM, biased but with a heart of gold.
Good job I didn’t let the cat of the bag that Gerrard and Torres are my two favourite non-Spurs players in the prem…on a Spurs blog…oh.
# 200 miles.
Sorry.. was typing two hundred and deleted it to put 200 but fecked up
Alas browny, you are correct. I forget about the travelling fans, with myself not having to travel much (1. get out of bed, 2. sit in chair, 3. turn on tv!). Didn’t want to upset anyone with my comments but I was actually attempting to be sarcastic. I’ve been reading online that the general concensus is that Liverpool want to postpone the game for safety reasons, but Sky are not best pleased about it and are trying their best to keep it on. Of course these are just rumours, but it would probably best suit travelling Spurs fans more than the Liverpool as the journey would be a nightmare for the players as well as the fans.
All the best from the north west and davspurs therumourman and the NWcockerel .These are all the names I have used to stop the top four staying the same and don’t make the mistake of thinking its the right time to play liverpool the time to play them was when we beat them .The reason for this is a championship goalkeeper failing a drugs test for Energy drug Ephedrine and since this was there secret weapon for late late goals that had them earning the name DURACELL BUNNIES. by Foreign Manager he said wind them up and they will run all day he must have heard something because I had allredy found out why they played at a very high Tempo .The way to explain myself is like this. The Man Utd game and Aston Villa Games where fast tempo and the Reading and Pompey games where normal.This is why Gerrard and Carrager slowed down when playing for England and why one retired. So the answer is no the time to play them is when it doesent matter because we are way ahead not a possible point.The game will be called of because I live 10 miles from Anfield and the conditions are very bad and more snow is forecast
We love you DAVSPURS!
Really wanted the match to happen… I wanted to see how we would cope against a top 4 side without the pace of Lennon and BAE on the left. I still think the prospect of Modric and Kranjcar on both sides of the pitch is quite tasty. Agree?