There was a lot of expectation around the Lane today amid a game that was certainly going to be the first real test of the Pochettino era. Some of that expectation was probably far too high given that we have only really played some pretty poor teams thus far. There was also the fear that there would be a massive knee jerk if the result was a heavy defeat for a team unchanged from the one that defeated Queens Park rangers with some style.
Liverpool, without Suarez would surely be a weakened side was one thought , totally ignoring the return of Balotelli but also ignoring the fact that this is a Tottenham way that is only a couple of months old. Not a couple of seasons in the case of the Rodgers method already a subject of its own book.
Early in the game we made the sort of defensive errors that we should all be used to by now. Fortunately, Super Mario had left his shooting boots on the continent but more defensive frailties allowed Liverpool to take the lead when Sterling put the ball in the net on 21 minutes. The signs were not good but against the odds Spurs found some of their fluency and could easily have been level, or even ahead, but for Adebayors header going over and a cruel bounce in front of Nacer Chadli just as he lined up to strike the ball.
At Half time there was a consensus in my part of the ground that we could get a result of some sort but it all went wrong very early in the second half. Joe Allen burst into the box, Eric Dier stuck out an arm and Joe Allen went down to be granted the softest penalty you are likely to see this season.. For me it was indicative of how the cheats in the game have won the battle with weak referees in that the merest of touches elicits a theatrical tumble to gain a foul whilst later on in the game (after it was well and truly lost it must be said) cheating of a different nature went unpunished as Adebayor had his shirt nearly ripped off his back as he jumped for a header in the Liverpool penalty area.
The penalty against us knocked any fight we might have had out of us and the introduction of Andros Townsend could not stop Alberto Moreno dispossessing him (with the aid of another slight tug of the shirt) and marauding unchallenged for half the length of the pitch to shoot low past Lloris in the Spurs goal.
A 3-0 defeat then and what appears at first glance to be a display of our limitations but for twenty minutes at the end of the first half we matched Liverpool and created good chances but Liverpool have been playing this system a lot longer than us. The European factor has not kicked in for them yet (and I still think that will be a significant factor in their season) and some players were playing as if they were unsure of who they will be playing their next game for. Tomorrow night we will know the shape of the squads and Pochettino will know what he actually have to work with until January. Dier will learn that he will have to be careful of who he touches when defending and we as supporters may learn not to expect too much this early in reign of our new regime.
Let’s at least see what tomorrow brings before the knees start jerking too much.