Liverpool’s serious position

Monday, October 31 – 1910
But what of Liverpool? The “Reds” are indeed going from bad to worse, and after two months of failure they find themselves right at the very bottom of the ladder. Six points out of ten matches are all the “Reds” can claim, and the first quarter of the season has gone.

It is truly a most disappointing position for a club which last season finished runners-up to Aston Villa. But the Liverpool club were ever inconsistent. They are either near the top or the bottom of the table.

Their supporters are beginning to lose heart, the repeated failures at home causing keen disappointment. It was hoped that after the victory over Bristol City the tide would turn, and even the big defeat at Newcastle did not alter this view, but on Saturday the play of the team must have convinced the onlookers that something drastic will have to be done if Liverpool are to make headway in the League tournament.

1910 LFC v THFC sketch

Changes tried against Tottenham did not work smoothly, and the play of the team generally was very ragged. The game altogether was not one which roused much enthusiasm; indeed, it was a very poor exposition of the code.

Liverpool lost because they failed to take advantage of the openings which came their way, and really that penalty incident in the first five minutes seemed to upset calculations altogether. How Parkinson managed to put the ball where he did is one of those things which no fellah can understand.

The missing of this penalty seemed to turn the whole course of the game, for the Livers near goal were never to be depended on. Brough was a great sinner. The inside right on several occasions found himself right in front of the posts, but somehow he could not get the right direction. He received from the left wing in a beautiful position, but in his anxiety he shot across the goal.

The Spurs began to assert themselves, and when Crawford handled in unnecessary fashion the free kick ultimately led to the Southerners gaining a goal, and they never looked back. It was a fine shot on the part of Minter, and Hardy was well beaten.

Crawford is rather fond of handling; at any rate in the last few games he has been rather frequently penalised for this offence. Right up to the interval the Spurs had the better of the play, but Brough ought to have equalised.

For a considerable time in the second half the Livers looked like making amends for their previous failures, but again was the lack of finishing work noticeable. They did get on terms as a result of a scramble. Parkinson dashed up to prevent the ball going out of play, and he fell in doing so. He succeeded, however, in placing across the goal where Brough placed in into the net.

After this there was a lot of disjointed play. The forwards working without method, and the halves failing to combine, there was no definite play of attack decided on, and although Joyce saved several shots in lucky fashion, the play of the Livers did not inspire confidence.

Certainly at one period the “Reds” were rather unlucky in not getting another goal when that shot struck the inside of the post and came right across the mouth of the goal. The ball appeared to be over the line, but before another Liverpool man could get up one of the Spurs’ backs had booted the leather out of danger.

The Spurs’ front line played with more method than their opponents, and when they were in the vicinity of Hardy they were always dangerous. Middlemiss on two occasions was almost through, only the dexterity of Hardy preventing the winger from finding the net. At length, however, after the Livers had failed, the Spurs obtained what looked to be a rather simple goal.

The Liverpool defenders did not appear to offer any opposition, and from a centre Humphreys had little difficulty in placing the Spurs ahead. The visitors are not a great team, and their victory makes the position of the Livers all the more serious. The Londoners undoubtedly deserved their victory, if it was only for their more dangerous forward play.

I was certainly disappointed at Chorlton’s showing in the half-back line. He was never at home in the position, and seemed to wander considerably. He left the wing man entirely alone, and was more often in the centre than in his proper position. Chorlton will have to improve greatly if he is to gain a position in the intermediate line. The back would seem to have lost – temporarily at least – all his old resource.

I trust he will soon recover his form.

Robinson worked hard, and was unfortunate in being injured; but the fact remains that Liverpool require two good wing half-backs. Harrop has played better, and the backs were not as reliable as usual. Hardy made some clever saves, but I thought he ought to have prevented the second goal.

Longworth was the better of the backs.

The Liverpool forwards as a line were a complete failure. Arthur Goddard worked hard, not only doing his duty on the right, but often working into the centre, once with almost successful results, as his final shot only just missed the mark.

Brough had a very sorry afternoon, the little inside right being sadly at fault near goal, and he must have been most disappointed at his own shortcoming. Parkinson was unceasing in his efforts, but he could not get away from Kennedy. Orr and Uren were perhaps the better wing, but the line as a whole left a lot to be desired.

On the Spurs side Joyce kept a fine goal and Bulling made a capable substitute for Elkin. The halves were all workers and the forwards were more dangerous than the opposing five. Steel, Minter, and Middlemiss being the pick.
(Evening Express, 31-10-1910)

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