On the surface, Liverpool and Spurs have a lot in common. Both start the season with new managers. Both managers are disciples of Jose Mourinho, though both favour a more attractive style of play to The Special One. Both sides have ambitions of a possible top-four place this season, but the odds are that Europa League glory is the best they can hope for. Both clubs have been through managerial upheaval (Liverpool have had four managers in as many years, Spurs have had five in eight years) and are desperately looking for a bigger stadium. Most tellingly, both sides have only one point after two games so far this season.
Where they differ though is in the outlook and the optimism of their fans. Despite being well beaten by unfancied West Brom on the opening day of the Premier League, Liverpool are fairly optimistic about their future under manager Brendan Rogers. Much of this optimism must stem from their impressive performance against league champions Man City, who only gained a 2-2 draw due to some charitable Liverpool defending.
Spurs were unlucky to lose a tough opener to Newcastle, and also unlucky to concede an injury-time equaliser to West Brom to end up with a 1-1 draw. Despite the reasonable performances, many Spurs fans are pessimistic about the season ahead, and Andre Villas-Boas remains an unknown quantity in England. Though he was severely hamstrung at Chelsea, he still has much to prove to the Spurs faithful.
Both sides have had mixed success in recent years in the transfer market. The follies of Kenny Dalglish are well documented, but players like David Bentley and Giovani Dos Santos never set White Hart Lane alight either. Both managers are keen to ship out players they see as not fitting their playing style, with Liverpool willing to take a big hit on the price they paid for Andy Carroll, and Spurs selling on last season’s captain and defensive stalwart Michael Dawson.
The evidence seems to be there that Liverpool are gelling, and Rogers is working hard to get The Reds’ talented youngsters as involved as possible. Due to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy‘s predilection for last minute swoops, AVB is still trying to figure out what his best team is, and who the hell he will be working with from Saturday onwards. With Arsenal apparently having another early-season wobble, fourth place could well be up for grabs, but will it be too much of a leap for either of these teams?