There was a lot of this
While it is tempting, and certainly wouldn't be incorrect, to lament yet another draw that probably should have been a win, most supporters probably aren't quite as dejected as some other performances at home where the Reds couldn't get it up and left their companions unsatisfied and underwhelmed, wondering why we didn't choose more stout and youthful partners for the night.
Yes, Liverpool's attack was blunt and uninspiring for long stretches. But there are few teams that can boast the shield of Michael Dawson, Ledley King, and Scott Parker. There's a reason for Spurs' position in the league, and while Gareth "I like it on the ground" Bale gets a lot of the headlines, he couldn't do that without the platform that this simply magnificent trio provide. They, and the rest of the Tottenham team defended brilliantly. This was clearly their plan, what with all the injuries they're carrying. Shame they had to get it so right on this day.
Yes, you have to be able to break even the most solid of defenses down if you want to claim a spot among the league's elite. That doesn't make it acceptable, just easier to deal with. Liverpool ran out of ideas, and even a solid Plan B or C would have still crashed against the white wall that those three provided.
Of course, crossing to an actual body or getting more than one or two guys in the box might have helped.
-I don't think I can say enough about how good I thought Dawson was. While Liverpool didn't present him with myriad problems or tactics, he had an answer for everything he did see. This John Terry and England business really shouldn't be that big of a deal, because if healthy Dawson is clearly the superior player at this point in their career. Capello's problems would be even less if Ledley King weren't basically a science experiment to get on the field. Can't tell you how happy I am that he was fully operational today.
-That said, Liverpool's final ball was just horrific. That's probably not even a strong enough word. Their crossing, which eventually became the only ploy, was so wayward I thought Blind Faith was going to write a song about it. There are reasons for that.
With Enrique injured, there's little option other than to put Johnson at left back with Kelly slotting in on the right. But even though Johnson's willing to get forward on that side constantly, Kyle Walker was only happy to let him have the left foot open, which just isn't going to work. A cut back on to his right foot allowed Spurs to get into position to deal with anything that came in. Same problem for Craig Bellamy out there. When things started to bog down, even in the first half, it might not have been the worst idea to have a short stretch of Bellamy, or even Kuyt, through the middle with Carroll, with Gerrard shifting out to the right. But then that probably would have left Adam and Spearing to deal with Modric and Parker on equal terms. Though they nullified that threat with the aid of Gerrard through the middle, that still doesn't leave anyone comfortable on their own.
-Dirk Kuyt went back to being what we lament about him -- paceless, with the touch of an SUV, and unable to pick a pass. More than a few movements died with Kuyt having the ball spring into the air as if carrying Duck Dodgers of the 24th and a half century to Planet X.
-While not given much to work with, it was inventive as Andy Carroll's been. It took a pretty class tackle from Dawson to keep a very clever run from resulting in a serious chances for the big Geordie. There were some neat turns and takes as well, and he's clearly as confident as he's ever been in red. Now he could use some help and assistance.
-Steven Gerrard was seemingly everywhere in the 1st half, if only to shake the attentions of Parker. But it looked like he ran out of gas a bit in the 2nd, and that made him a little easier occupied by Parker.
-Spearing had what is probably going to be the typical Spearing match at this young age. Full of energy, some nice tackles, some over-exuberance, and a couple shaky passes resulting in giveaways. But he's getting more reserved.
-I want this whole Luis Suarez thing to be over. While I'm delighted to see him back in the team, I can't say I was too comfortable with the returning Spartan warrior reception he got from everyone. Of course I think he was treated harshly, but it seems as if a lot of people associated with the club can't understand why he was suspended at all. The best case scenario here is that he mistakenly, or awkwardly, or ignorantly insulted a fellow player due to race, and that shouldn't sit well with anyone. But I keep going back and forth on this, the whole thing just leaves me uneasy, and I'd just like it to not be a story any more. Of course, that's probably going to have to wait until after Saturday, isn't it?
-And of course, four minutes in he boots Parker in the nads. It just can't be a quiet occasion for El Pistolero, can it?
Not the worst result ever, but it makes Saturday more of a must-get-something. Four points back, three teams to leap. Daunting, but hardly impossible.