Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham, Post-match reflections: A refreshing lack of class from Michael Dawson, and Suarez’s other qualities
Missed the game? Relive our coverage: Premier League: Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham, as it happened
* Michael Dawson is not a classy centre-back – no better than you would expect on the ball, not gifted with a great range of passing, and unwilling to do much outside his own penalty area. Despite all that, the likes of Roger Johnson may take a look at him to note that an agricultural, aggressive style of defending need not make one a brain-dead oaf. He makes a block-and-lunge heavy style work, firstly by virtue of being very good at blocking and lunging, and secondly being in possession of a brain and some positional sense. He was supreme tonight, and was called upon to bail out his supposedly superior counterpart Ledley King on more than one occasion. If the likes of Gary Cahill get in the Euro 2012 squad ahead of him, it’ll be a mystery.
* Sky Sports’ coverage of the returning Suarez was at best ignorant and at worst disgraceful. “Fairytale comebacks” were spoken of – we all remember when Goldilocks got done for racism – and ‘wouldn’t that be a story, if he scored the winner!’ was the theme du soir. A proven bigot scoring the winner is not generally a story you would wish to see.
* Handily, Suarez took it upon himself to get over the racism furore by reminding us of his many other villainous qualities – grappling Scott Parker’s eye and hoofing him in the midriff whilst making no attempt to play the ball.
* When Suarez received his ban, much was made of what a wonderful chance Andy Carroll had to break his way into the first team. The window of opportunity expired tonight, and Carroll has surely blown it in spectacular fashion. His misses haven’t quite been as bad as Torres’, the man he was intended to replace (and a fact that you sense will one day be spoken of in amazed tones in ‘bizarre transfers’ discussions of the future), but that’s only because he simply isn’t effective enough to get into a position where he might miss a sitter. Liverpool’s problems will not go away without a rethink of their style and strategy.
* Stewart Downing’s period of ineffectiveness continues apace. It may not be his crossing ability that’s at fault – attempting to beat Kyle Walker for pace suggests a worrying lack of ideas.