Opinion: So near, but maybe next time

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Image: SpursWeb

I did predict the correct score; unfortunately, it went to the wrong team. However, I must say that we battled well, right up to to the end, no consolation though, but I am hoping that we are turning a corner. The next test will be against Everton away (another trip to Liverpool for me).

Just a matter of interest; it was on the Liverpool game day, 12 years ago (27th October 2007) that Juande Ramos took over as manager. He was also the last manager to win us a trophy (the League Cup, by beating Chelsea in 2008). He didn’t last long though, just a year, then Harry Redknapp took over.

I left home at 8.15 in the morning and got to my parking spot (near Everton’s ground) at 11.45. I then had a 35 minutes walk to Anfield.

Liverpool was founded (1892) following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892 and Houlding founded Liverpool F.C. to play at Anfield, where they are until this day.  Originally named “Everton F.C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd” (Everton Athletic for short), the club became Liverpool F.C. in March 1892 and gained official recognition months later, after The Football Association refused to recognise the club as Everton. From then onwards there has been hostility between the two Liverpool clubs. So, that is their beginnings.

When I got to the ground, I had a walk around, got something to eat and visited their memorial to the Hillsborough disaster. Chatted to Spurs Stewards and got into the ground at 2.30 (two hours before KO).

Met Rick and Beverley and chatted with them for a while and then finally went to my seat. The atmosphere at Anfield was, like always, full-on. We, in return, gave as good as we got (vocally, that is). Finally, the referee signalled for both teams to commence battle.

Harry Kane scored within 48 seconds of kick-off and keeper Paulo Gazzaniga pulled off several impressive saves to give us a 1-0 lead at half-time, but in the end, it didn’t help us.

The break to end the first half came, and we talked about victories and other possibilities. After about 15 minutes the players were back out, and we were set for battle again.

Liverpool’s Henderson equalised six minutes after the break. Disappointment all around, but we kept our fingers crossed and hoped for another goal. Unfortunately, Mo Salah thumped the winner from the penalty spot 15 minutes before the final whistle. I thought that Liverpool could have been there for the taking; we have a habit of playing badly against the lower teams but surprising everybody when we face the top teams (in this case, it wasn’t to be).

Spurs kept pressing, Liverpool kept desperately defending, until the final whistle went and our heads dropped, which is a common feature at away games of late. We dream at every away game that this game will be the game that will end our long away run of defeats (or draws).

Liverpool have dropped just two points in the Premier League this season and are unbeaten at home in 45 league games. But their undefeated record will come to an end, eventually. I was just hoping it would be by us and now.

Liverpool were made to work for their victory, needing several big chances to score before Henderson eventually slotted his half-volley into the far corner early in the second half. That came minutes after Son Heung-min had smacked the crossbar for the second time in the match – his first effort was nodded in by Kane from seven yards out for the opener.

Liverpool kept putting the pressure on, until, eventually it took its toll and Serge Aurier caught the back of Sadio Mane’s leg and gave away a penalty (Aurier again!), which Salah put past Gazzaniga with 15 minutes left.

So, there you have it, another loss and another away defeat. The last time we won away was back in January.

We did, as I said, battle well, and I hope all that keeps us in good sted for our trip to Liverpool next week; Everton on Sunday, but with a much-needed victory. Last season we thrashed them, hopefully we can do the same this time around.

After the game, I had a long walk to my car, got in and had a lonely three and a half-hour drive back home (well, apart from the music and an odd phone call from a few people). I reached home at about 11ish.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

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