Tottenham 0 Liverpool 5: Three talking points
Tottenham 0 Liverpool 5: Three talking points as the Reds secure an emphatic win at White Hart Lane
Seemingly in the headlines one way or another, Luis Suarez added a further two goals against Tottenham Hotspur to maintain his blistering form this season. He has redeemed himself in the eyes of most Liverpool fans following his summer transfer saga when he was the subject of interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid. The Uruguayan seems to have completed the turnaround in his relationship with the club after being named Liverpool captain in the absence of Steven Gerrard. Suarez’s future is almost impossible to predict, if he maintains his world-class contributions of late, there is every chance he will be able to help Liverpool deliver the Champions League football that both he and the club crave and go a long way towards securing a long-term stay at Anfield, as the club reportedly are prepared to make him the highest-paid earner in their history. Alternatively, he could be paving the way for a more amicable split – even the most hardened Liverpool supporter should, deep down, be able to sympathise with Suarez’s predicament. In the prime of his career, he has reaffirmed that his talents deserve to be displayed on the world’s greatest stages and if Liverpool are unable to finish in the top four this season his professionalism and contribution can not be questioned. Even if they manage to reach their objective of a Champions League spot – he may already have his heart set on pastures new.
Liverpool’s squad step up to the challenge
The congested fixture list over the Christmas period is an important time for any team with Champions League aspirations and especially so for Liverpool, as it will provide a true gauge of the club’s progress under Brendan Rodgers. The Reds have proven that they can beat teams at the lower end of the table – a task which they have struggled with in recent years but in order to prove their top-four credentials they have to improve their performances against the top teams, especially away from home. With captain and talisman Gerrard sidelined and the transfer window out of arms-reach for the moment, the spot-light will focus on the likes of Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling. The latter, in particular, has impressed of late after he appeared to be on the verge of a loan-move away from Anfield to secure regular football. But he has suddenly become an important part of the squad and Rodgers will hope that the 19-year-old can build on his impressive form. Following injuries and off-field issues, Sterling has come back into the team in recent weeks with impressive performances to fill the gap and produced arguably his best Liverpool performance today against Spurs. The 5-0 victory was a very positive sign for the Reds but with away games against Manchester City and Chelsea later this month – further questions will be asked and the performances will go a long way in determining the outcome of their season.
AVB still needs time
Critics will look at Sunday’s result as a further indictment on Andre Villas-Boas’ reign as Tottenham manager. Without doubt, the convincing home defeat by Liverpool will be bitterly disappointing but in a season where few of the title-challenging teams have consistently impressed, there is plenty of time for Spurs to turn around their fortunes. The integration of seven new signings was always going to prove difficult when it came to mounting an immediate title challenge and if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was to make a managerial change, there is the risk of further instability at the club. Villas-Boas is Spurs’ sixth manager in 12 years and only Martin Jol and Harry Redknapp completed two seasons. Villas-Boas has a young nucleus of players who will undoubtedly improve over time. Of the current first team, only Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon have played for Spurs more than three years. Fluidity often comes with continuity and it will take time for this team to reach its full potential and Tottenham should, at the very least, give Villas-Boas until the end of the season.