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Tottenham Hotspur Women 1 - 2 Liverpool: Spurs continue slide toward relegation scrap

What went down during Rehanne Skinner’s last game in charge?

Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women’s Super League
It was just that kind of day
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Women racked up a 9th straight loss away at Liverpool, and they did not look good doing it. Afterward, the powers that be decided nine was the magic number and relieved Rehanne Skinner of her duties.

For her last game in charge, Skinner trotted out a bit of a departure from her typical formations. Tinja-Riika Korpela started in goal with a back four of Ash Neville, Amy Turner, Molly Bartrip, and Kerys Harrop ahead of her. Angharad James and Drew Spence partnered in midfield, along with Rosella Ayane and Mana Iwabuchi. Nikola Karczewska and Beth England formed a strike duo up top.

Liverpool looked the stronger side nearly from the get go, but Spurs managed to score from their first semi-promising spells of play. After a nice interplay between Niki and Ash on the wing, Spurs cycled the ball around midfield. Drew Spence found Rosella Ayane in the center of the pitch, and Rosella held several defenders off the ball before rocketing a shot at the near post. It was a great, confident goal–if only it had been a portent of things to come.

Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women’s Super League
Short lived joy.
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Instead, Liverpool equalized just four minutes later with a bizarre, looping deflection that Korpela couldn’t really do much about. They added a second in the 36th minute after slicing through us like a hot knife through butter. Later on, Rehanne Skinner claimed the goal may have been offside. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway; Liverpool had plenty of chances to score, and it was only thanks to Tinnie Korpela’s fine work in goal that our deficit wasn’t worse

At half time, Eveliina Summanen replaced Drew Spence. Liverpool continued to play around us with ease, and save for a few half-chances that came from spells of toothless possession, Spurs never really threatened to make up the deficit. To add insult to injury (no pun intended), Beth England came off before the 60th minute, presumably to save her for the upcoming relegation 6-pointer against Leicester, and Mana Iwabuchi walked off just ten minutes later with a physio.

Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women’s Super League
Worsening vibes.
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

My original notes for this article included a passionate screed about why it was time for the club to part ways with Rehanne Skinner. As you surely know by now, those notes turned into the article announcing her sacking, so instead I’ll leave you with this: a good manager coaches a team to be better than the sum of its parts. Right now, Spurs are very clearly worse. The squad is flawed and thin, but there’s talent there.

I don’t know what Vicky Jepson can do in three days, how her approach might differ from Rehanne Skinner’s. All I’m really looking for is getting talent on the pitch, getting those vibes back up, and maybe, hopefully, getting some actual points. It should be possible, but we won’t really know anything until after the Leicester game. Stay tuned, I’ll be back with more then.