The opposition view...
There is a smile on my face that has been missing. Winning was nice - as was ruining Wednesday night for the Arsenal - both are reasons to be a happy Yiddo. Redknapp's arrival is also very pleasing; you cant help but love the guy. Comments like 'I just told him (Pavlyuchenko) to 'run around a bit' will endear him to the masses in the manner of Martin Jol. Dumping our continental set up and hearing plans for the new stadium is also good news as we attempt to play catch up with the big boys. But pushing all that positive stuff aside, there is no better feeling for me than knowing we are getting to the opposition.
Following our comeback at the Emirates, Wenger tripped over himself in his attempts to salvage some dignity. Having previously stated that the 5-1 loss to Spurs was the combination of an inexperienced team and an insignificant cup competition, Wenger had laid his cards on the table. A victory in the next league game would confirm his superiority and would have given credibility to his views - so when Spurs fought back from two goals down, twice, at the Emirates, there was nowhere to hide and the excuses and bitter words started. Actually, the bitter words started earlier that week with Walcott stating that there was no Harry Redknapp factor, Adebayor promising revenge for the 'insignificant' 5-1 defeat and Fabregas suggesting that Arsenals ladies side would get a point out of us - thanks for the pre-match motivation lads.
Post match, Wenger suggested that Arsenal were 'two levels' above Spurs (whatever a level is measured in?) and that his side had out-played but got nothing for their efforts. If they were that good, then I don't accept his excuse that they are also too young and naïve. Arsenals team have played together long enough to form a feared, cohesive unit and you cannot suggest otherwise just because you were outfought. Simply put, Spurs played until the end.
In true 'beaten manager' style, Arsene also had the cheek to suggest that his team gifted Spurs all of their goals. I will accept that Clichy tripped over the ball for Jenas' and that Almunia should have held onto Hudd's effort before Bent struck; but Lennon's goal was instinctive after Modric hit the post and don't try to claim that a 40 yard volley is a gift. In fact, Arsene might want to recall his own shower of presents. His side's opening goal was the result of a blunder by Gomes and their 2nd came from a free kick that wasn't a foul; the third should have been put in row z before Adebayor bundled it over the line and the fourth was a through-ball by Hutton.
But for all the whining and hypocrisy, I enjoyed hearing it. We got to them - and it would appear that we got to Liverpool too.
Following our victory, Rafa said that 'Liverpool dominated for 90 minutes'; that the 'better team lost'; that 'Spurs were simply lucky' and that he 'couldn't understand how his team didn't win'.
1. You dominated us for 60 minutes before making two substitutions that suggested you thought the game was already won (much like a certain Frenchman earlier in the week). Spurs played well enough in the last 30 minutes to make a game of it, even if we didn't have the clear-cut chances that Liverpool had.
2. You might want to ask your opponents this season if they thought Liverpool were the better team in each of their victories. You will probably find that many opposing managers share your belief that the better team lost.
3. Spurs were lucky; see answer 2.. Being lucky is something Liverpool have made into an art form so far this year and if luck evens itself out over the course of a season then Saturday saw a little bit of balance restored.
4. You don't understand how your team didn't win? Its very simple - Spurs
scored more goals (sorry - childish, but I couldn't resist it!)
Dignity costs nothing - but thanks for failing to show it. Thank you Arsene - thank you Rafa; thank you both for completing my week.