Kenny Dalglish oversaw an awful Liverpool performance against Spurs
Although he can have some cause for complaint, there were certainly more glaring issues than the referee in Liverpool's play.
Here are five issues that contributed to Liverpool's woeful trip to White Hart Lane.
Jordan Henderson attempts to track back to help Jamie Carragher
Kenny Dalglish switched to a 4-4-2 for the game today and went man-for-man with the Spurs side.
However, Spurs were playing their first choice formation, which emphasised their pace up front and from the wings.
By going like-for-like, Dalglish allowed Skrtel to be one-on-one with Gareth Bale for much of the first half, which was disastrous, and demanded that Charlie Adam contribute directly with the midfield tussle against Scott Parker and Luka Modric.
Instead of playing in the 4-2-3-1, which gave Liverpool extra numbers in central midfield when Jordan Henderson dropped in to help out Lucas Leiva and Adam, Dalglish's men were being pulled all over the place.
Liverpool was dropping off to allow Leiva to fill in the space between the back four and the middle of the park, which gave Modric room to thread the ball at will.
Not being tight to the Tottenham engine room meant Liverpool could not impose themselves and were having trouble keeping the ball in a very slow start.
Having two up front became a lesser threat than playing with one because Liverpool could not provide any meaningful service.
Andy Carroll in a Position More Familiar Than Against Spurs
Andy Carroll has received a lot of criticism recently, some deserved, some unwarranted.
Carroll didn't have a good game today, but he certainly wasn't helped when Dalglish told him to operate as a right-winger after Charlie Adam was sent off.
Not only did it seem bizarre that often long balls were being hit from the back toward Luis Suarez up front, but Carroll also found himself chasing around in a daze, dropping in to try and help cover his deteriorating right-back from the rampaging Gareth Bale.
Dalglish had made a rod for his own back by leaving Carroll on the pitch when the only reason to keep him on was to play him as a front man to try and hold up the ball.
If Dalglish didn't feel he could do the job then he should have taken him off and put in someone who could have lived with Bale and perhaps link the midfield to Suarez.
This would have been particularly useful for a period of the game when Tottenham was not being overly impressive going forward.
The only explanation I have is that Dalglish didn't want to knock Carroll's confidence by substituting him again after he has spent so much time on the bench this season.
I don't see how playing Carroll on the right-wing did any more to preserve his fragile confidence, though.
Mike Jones Makes a Performance of Giving Luis Suarez a Yellow Card
Referee Mike Jones was happy to brandish the cards today; his grandiose showing of a yellow to Luis Suarez was typical of a referee enjoying the spotlight.
His first booking of Charlie Adam was a little harsh, and his second was nonsensical.
As the ball came down, Adam was keeping his gaze fixed firmly on it. Trying to stretch for the ball as it dropped, Scott Parker came in from behind and to the left of Adam, and charged in as the Liverpool man went for the ball.
Was it a foul? Adam certainly impeded Parker, but it was certainly not intentional nor in any way reckless.
Jones seemed to give a lot of free-kicks when it wasn't necessary, disrupting the flow of the game and raising a growing sense of frustration from the Liverpool players.
Was Jones fully to blame for Liverpool's defeat? Of course not.
However, Dalglish's attempt to put pressure on referees seems to have backfired, and it possibly gave an easy excuse for his players' sense of injustice. At times the players were so busy blaming the poor refereeing they didn't take responsibility for their own lack of clarity and frustrating performances.
Jamie Carragher had a problems with the pace of the game against Tottenham
Playing with two very flat banks of four meant that Tottenham's players very easily found positions to get into one-on-one races with Liverpool players—which showed just how slow Liverpool was in central midfield and central defense.
Charlie Adam had a bad game all round today, as he misplaced half of his passes and was late to the ball quite often—including the second yellow card.
The yellow card was definitely a harsh decision when it was obvious Scott Parker had moved in from Adam's blind side, and the Liverpool midfielder had no idea Parker was dashing in.
Regardless, Adam and Lucas Leiva did not have the pace to pick up Tottenham when they broke from midfield, particularly with Lucas drifting toward the right after seeing the number Bale was doing on Martin Skrtel.
At the back, Daniel Agger's injury was very unfortunate, but on countless occasions, Jamie Carragher was dropping three yards behind the rest of the defense due to fear of being outpaced by Jermaine Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Liverpool was lucky to keep the score down in the first half, and Carragher standing with his arm in the air, while playing a Spurs attacker on-side, was a painful sight seen far too often.
I have been one of the people defending Carragher's recent mistakes, but today wasn't about sloppy errors—it was about a player who knew he didn't have the legs to live with his opponents.
Martin Skrtel is Outmuscled by Jermain Defoe
The above picture depicts Jermaine Defoe brushing off Martin Skrtel. A picture paints a thousand words, but Skrtel's ineptitude deserves a few more.
Skrtel isn't a right-back, and he isn't even a first-choice central defender, but his performance today was disastrous.
Burned for pace by Gareth Bale over and over again, Skrtel resorted to grabbing at the winger whenever he came near—which led to his first yellow card.
Constantly out of position, Skrtel had a torrid time, and it was only when Dalglish assigned Jordan Henderson to double-up with Skrtel on Bale that the Tottenham player realized he had any opposition.
Of course the injuries to Liverpool's fullbacks caused the problem in the first place, but I was amazed that Dalglish had not foreseen this problem and assigned help for Skrtel from the start.
After Adam was dismissed, Henderson moved inside and, astoundingly, Andy Carroll was moved to right-wing.
After this switch, Bale suddenly found himself one-on-one again with Skrtel and proceeded to embarrass the Slovak defender.
His frustration boiling over, the second yellow card was inevitable, and sure enough, Skrtel ensured any chance of Liverpool getting back in the game ended with his sending off.
Being physically bullied by Jermaine Defoe was an example of how Skrtel showed absolutely no commitment, which is simply unacceptable.
Skrtel's performance was the worst defensive display since the days when Djimi Traore would come out of the tunnel like a clown entering a circus tent.
Luis Suarez Challenges Scott Parker
One can only hope that this was the worst Liverpool display of the season; everything that could have gone wrong certainly did.
Kenny Dalglish has a number of problems that need to be sorted out very quickly.
First, he has to realize that playing a flat 4-4-2 leads to Liverpool being outpaced in every area on the pitch. Liverpool reverts to playing in straight lines down the channels, and the ball retention that was the signature of the team's best performances this season evaporates in this system.
Secondly, a decision has to be made about Jamie Carragher. He is visibly deteriorating, and he is either a liability due to being run off by quick strikers, or his fear of being left behind causes him to drop deep and play the opposition onside.
Thirdly, Martin Skrtel should only be on the pitch as a last resort; he should be embarrassed by today's performance.
Finally, Dalglish has to recover some confidence and get the team playing again. A cup tie against Brighton and a home game against Wolves would seem to be ideal opportunities to rectify the situation.
This isn't the end of Liverpool's Champions League aspirations, but any further slide could knock the team's progress substantially.
Liverpool's course needs to be righted—and quickly.