So to Baltimore for our third North American tour pre season match. This time it was against Spurs.
ESPN’s pre match amble suggested that both teams had Champions league ambitions and that his game would give everyone a clue of what to expect over the course of the season. I doubt it and ESPN should not patronise and assume that their audience have only just discovered football. Clearly there is a long way to go before we know how things have fallen however, with Gomel, in the Europa League qualifier, awaiting on Thursday I guess some form of coherence was required?
The pre-match shenanigans started off with the American national anthem which must have bemused everyone except Brad Friedel in the Spurs goal. During the over enthusiastic Las Vegas Lounge rendition the cameras cut to Jamie Carragher who looked like he was crying. He could have been out of exasperation however, it was sweat pouring down his face which, along with the state of the pitch (a bit long apparently), and the fact that both sides know too much about each other, perhaps explained why this game ended up scoreless?
Liverpool began sporting their black/grey away kit. This was an obvious move as clearly our all red clashed with Spurs all white! Colour blind or thinking it’s some other reason could it be because there are no washing machines in the States so the red home kit was still dirty? Why else would we decide to make the change? Liverpool’s new second kit is in the shops now!
The first half had its moments, Kane and Downing (more speculatively) both wafted efforts just past the post. Adam and Morgan will regret not making more of their opportunities the latter seemed to stub his toe, or get it caught on by long grass, and his shot ended up going tamely wide. Morgan did much better with his second chance cleverly slipping Spurs’ offside trap, latching on to a long ball but Friedel got his angles right and pushed his shot away for a corner.
The main talking point in the papers after the game seemed to centre around a tackle by Charlie Adam on Gareth Bale. It wasn’t good, he caught him around the ankle area with the ball nowhere near winnable. However, there was no malice and the fact that Bale got up and carried on suggested things were Okay if not then surely the decision to let him play on made his injury worse?. Despite this Andre Villas-Boas, taking leave from the book of North London rival’s manager, moaned and complained about the tackle as if football wasn’t a contact sport and that everyone should make an exception and walk on egg shells when they play his team.
“I think it was a very nasty challenge from Charlie. The player had gone and he came in from behind on Gareth’s ankle. I did not know the previous history between the two. I do now… at half-time Charlie came to me and said something about the challenge. I can accept that but I think he should go to the player to say sorry.”
One assumes that Adams said sorry to AVB when he talked to him so I think AVB should stop overreacting. Is he going act like this every time one his players gets injured?
I say injured because Bale carried on and set up the best chance of the game which Lennon, with the goal at his mercy, and the woodwork threatening to knock his head off, hit the post.
The second half wasn’t much better. The highlight being Skrtel’s “Maradonaesque (come on it was bit like it!) run aka Argentina against England in 1986. Sadly comparisons ended when he tried to shoot! On the hour we saw Gerrard make his campaign entrance and Fabio Borini his “debut”. Carroll entered with his Spurs namesake ten minutes later. However, aside from a yellow card for Gerrard, it was nothing more than a short workout in the sun.