Tottenham 1 Liverpool 1: You say you want a revolution ...

Posted by Mummy Spartacus (Mrs) on August 15, 2004, 12:15:59 AM

You say you want a revolution!

First league game of the season and a new manager to boot .... if you canít get excited over this then youíre in the wrong game. Iíd been looking forward to this match all week and even my 5.30 am alarm call couldnít spoil my mood.†The timing of the game was perfect as far as Iím concerned, Owen has gone, thatís life, but the game coming hot on the heals of his departure gave us all something to focus on. There was no way I was going to dwell on his leaving when the Reds were about to kick off our league campaign Ė you know how it goes ... the king is dead, long live the king.

Iíd decided to do a simple day trip for this one rather than my normal stop over down in that there London, I hardly ever go the game by coach, the last being Chelsea the last game of the season the other year (not good). This was going to be different ... in and out with Happy Alís, three points in the bag and back to Liverpool in plenty of time for a few scoops - sounds like a plan to me!

The journey down was pretty uneventful. The normal banter on the coach, some funny and only slightly crass songs, but I was more impressed with being dropped at WHL in time to walk to The Park pub and get there dot on 11.00 for opening time. Now thatís timing.

Met the usual gang in the pub and the jugs of beer were flowing - 2...4...6...jugs later (only a few pints for me I hasten to add) and the excitement was building - itís only a 10 minute walk to WHL from The Park pub and normally, or should I say of late, I would stay in the pub and stroll into WHL just on time. But today was different, still 30 minutes till kick off and I was heading off, couldnít wait to get in the ground and take my position. In fact I felt like a bit of a kid, like my first game all over again.

Bunked in the line for the away fans as the line seemed a bit too long to me. We were hanging about outside with all the Spurs fans filing past us and thatís when I heard it for the first time. We would hear it many more times during the day but that was the first ... ďwhereís your Owen gone? ... whereís your Owen gone?Ē taunted the Spurs fans. Made me feel sad for like a split second and then I remembered the last time I had to sit through that or stand as the case was back then.†Iíll tell you something, you donít want to be stood in the Gladwys Street (yes their end) only days after King Kenny has quit, right in the middle of a fucking cup run Ė broken hearted because your idol has walked and listening to thousands of Bitters singing ďwhereís your Kenny gone?Ē If I can get through that with me head held high, lose the game and still come out in one piece then thereís no fucking way some Spurs fans would be able to get on my tits (pardon the French) with their taunting.

Climbing the steps to the upper tier and I actually confess to Kirsty how excited Iím feeling. It wasnít just about this game, it was the whole thing. Thankfully she agreed (was it a girl thing?).

The boys take to the field and do the whole shake ye hand thing and the Premier League music plays. All seems a little ra ra ra to me but donít really care as long as it doesnít interfere with YNWA at Anfield.† The prodigal gets his name sang first (predictably so) followed by Carra. Not sure if any other names followed and if they did I donít recall them.

Rafa had his name sang almost immediately, but it wasn't until around the 15 minute mark when it was belted out good style as he was standing up on the touch line (like he does a lot) that he acknowledged the fans immediately with a wave. Now for anyone who was at Wrexham that was a significant little action in itself. Was funny as fuck when Rafa never acknowledged the fans at Wrexham last month (until right at the end) even after the constant singing of his name for near on 90 minutes. Donít get me wrong, we all knew it was a language thing, and that he probably hadnít recognised his name (sung to the super Dan tune) but it was funny as the whole thing dragged on and some of the local scallies started giving him stick. Not this time though Ė makes me wonder was it pointed out to him or did he eventually just pick up on it?

And to the football? Think Iíll go for a football clichť, ďitís a game of two halvesĒ or maybe ďitís a funny old gameĒ, take ye pick.†

Talking points from the first half (Iíve seen nothing on TV as yet):

Liverpool had a very good first half, felt we controlled the game well and to be honest Spurs werenít much of a threat. A great saving tackle from Hyypia stopped Defoe having a crack on goal and was followed almost immediately down the other end with what looked like a good shout for a penalty, Stevie went to ground after a challenge by one of their youngsters and without the benefit of a replay looked to me like a pen.†

Thought the Spurs players tried to put them selves about a bit and as a result we saw a few of them booked, our Redderís being one of them. Iím not sure why but I didnít recognise Gallagher as the ref, only found that out after the event, think heís a good ref but not today (mainly due to a few second half incidents).

Kewellís cross from the left was cleared well but only minutes later that man Cisse gets his first and itís no more than Liverpool deserve Ė timing couldnít have been better. Think it was Carra who got the ball to him and all the Liverpool fans go mental, it was celebrated well, a lad a couple of rows in front of me starts belting out a cracking Cisse song to Kirsty and my approval, and by the time the half time whistle comes weíre all well happy if not bloody hot and needing a cold drink.

And now for the second half, itís worth mentioning (not an excuse) but it was a bloody hot day at WHL and some of our lads on the bench had t-shirts on that were soaking wet due to the heat and they had only been farting about on the touch line.

The game's about to start and the first song I hear is the Spurs fans singing Englandís number one to the lad in goal. Iím not sure if I was suffering from heat exhaustion at this point because the first thing I do is look to the goal in bemusement. Why take Dudek off me thinks? Realise itís the Spurs goal and rather than the penny drop I think why havenít we changed ends ... fucking hell, Iím beginning to wonder now how many pints I did have and maybe next time a breakfast will help. Obviously itís Robinson in goal and nothing to do with Kirks at all - clueless Spurs fans methinks.

There was one bit of midfield action that had me up off my feet screaming, not because it was a sublime ball from Stevie or a great little flick from Pongo, but it was actually a bit of a scrap in the middle of the park. Stevie was in there in the middle of it all like you would expect but it was pleasing to see a couple of other Liverpool players close by, all wanting the ball. Think it may have been Didi and another but showing this commitment and desire for all to see had the whole travelling red army up on their feet, cheering them on. I love seeing things like that, even if you ain't the best player on the park (of course Stevie was† ;) ). Give us that fighting attitude and work ye socks off for the reds and the noise level rockets in support.† †

I donít want to moan too much about the second half but I will say that at the time I wasnít too happy (stay with me on this).†I felt frustrated. I really didnít see Baros as a threat at all and, not just on todayís performance, Iím far from convinced from watching his CLUB football that heís gonna be up for the job. Also disappointed to see the two main strikers off the field with just Pongo up as the main outlet when as far as Iím concerned the game was still there to be won. Saw Rafa actually wave our players back at one point ... what the hell ... Iím looking for signs of a revolution but thinking shit Iíve been here before. I couldnít decide whether he was thinking right we have this one lets hold on to it or if he was thinking even a draw would be a good result†? It was no surprise when the goal eventually came.†

Hmmm the goal, first impressions for me was, shit heís been beaten at his near post AGAIN. Now I havenít seen it on TV so if Iím been overly critical then Iíll admit it once Iíve watched it, but from my angle I was disappointed to see us concede from there. Iíll say no more till Iíve seen it.

So the game finishes and I leave WHL feeling despondent and a little downbeat. Those that know me will vouch for the fact that I sulk anyway if we donít win but in particular if Iím feeling frustrated with certain decisions. It always takes me a bit of time to come round and mull things over, kinda assess things, so itís back to the Happy Alís coach (lovely air con†...) for the trip back to Liverpool and a bit of thinking.


I started thinking about who impressed me most today (hmm Redders as always† ;) ). The player that came to mind immediately was Josemi. I thought he had a great game Ė solid in defence and looked comfortable on the ball, the only player on the field that Rafa has brought in (I donít count Cisse) and I definitely liked what I saw.†Then I find myself mulling over the time factor. Heís been in charge a few months, only had the players a few weeks, not yet been able to bring in his own players although one or two of ours have left, and add to all that the fact thatís its all new to the players and I realised how short sighted Iíve been not to mention bloody unrealistic. Iím letting past football cloud todayís game, me who couldnít wait for the NEW era to start was still feeling the affects of the last one Ė how stupid.

Iím glad of a few things that came about today, I donít look back in anger so pleased to see the Ged banner (Merci Gťrard 1998-2004) and as he was there no doubt he saw it also.† Delighted to see Cisseís first league goal for us. I was lucky enough to see both The Midget's first and last goals for Liverpool and I can only hope Cisse scores as many goals over the forthcoming seasons, but Iím more pleased with the fact that the future's bright and I can see that.†I liked Rafaís comments post match, of course the strikers would be tired at this stage of the season and playing in them conditions. Itís a point away at a ground that we donít traditionally have a good track record on and the initial signs were good. Time for another clichť ... ďRome wasnít built in a dayĒ or how about ďno one ever said it was easyĒ.

All in all a bloody good day!

© Christine 2004

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