Was losing out to Tottenham a blessing in disguise for Liverpool?

 

Tottenham Hotspur fans are a pretty black and white bunch by nature. They worship Bale, always have, even supporting him through the “jinx” phase.

They immediately adored Rafael van der Vaart even when it became apparent that zero athleticism clearly wasn’t a deal breaker in his move from Madrid. They loved ‘Super Pavlyuchenko’ even though he was rarely super and often very average.

In contrast there were some players that never really got any love, Crouch was one even though he did little wrong, Corluka was another, Bentley, Adebayor.

Some can change the perception; Benoit Assou-Ekotto initially received no great warmth yet in the last few seasons he has turned this around and become something of a cult hero.

Someone however who has literally split the crowd is Clint “Deuce” Dempsey. The erstwhile hardcore American rapper arrived at White Hart Lane on deadline day last August and has since scored 12 goals in 32 games plus 11 substitute appearances.

Many of the Spurs faithful remain unconvinced as to his capabilities and see him as not quite good enough to play wide nor centre forward nor just off the front man.

Others consider him a valuable asset, significant for his attacking versatility and cite his goals home and away against Man United as well as the important Man City and Stoke strikes in the run in as demonstrations of his value.

The last minute almost panicky way in which the deal was done perhaps set the tone for some supporters perceptions and left many feeling a little short-changed, he wasn’t Moutinho, he wasn’t Willian,

It’s like promising your girlfriend a 100 rose bouquet from Interflora and cooked dinner on Valentine’s Day and then turning up with a couple of pansies from the late night garage and a Cornish pasty.

It should be remembered however that many Liverpool fans were unhappy that their club missed out on the former Fulham player, the owners reportedly deeming him too expensive.

Dempsey was the second player last summer who was widely anticipated to be Anfield bound before heading to North London. Gylfi Sigurdsson chose Spurs ahead of a reunion with Brendan Rodgers with whom he’d played under at Swansea.

The outlay for both was something in the region of £15m and it would be interesting to know whether Liverpool fans now think that’s money well saved.

It’s probably still too early to judge and both players with their performances at the end of the season as well as their recent form at international level will be hoping for greater success next term.

The Liverpool v Spurs battles in the transfer market look set to continue with Tom Ince and Toby Alderweireld amongst the latest players to apparently be coveted by both Rodgers and Villas-Boas.

It will be intriguing to observe whether the in and out seasons had by Dempsey and Sigurdsson result in some of these targets now deciding to choose red.

Allen Whyte

 

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