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Everton v Tottenham:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 29
 Tottenham 14
 Draws 21
 Premiership
 Everton 1
 Tottenham 3
 Draws 4
 Last Season:
 Everton 0-0 Tottenham

 

Everton had 25 minutes in which to see off Glenn Hoddle's uninspiring Tottenham outfit after they had been reduced to 9 men, but an almost total reliance on angled balls into the box searching out the heads of Ferguson and Campbell failed miserably to pay dividends.

In a pulsating and often heated encounter, Everton had pleasingly dominated the first half with a mixture of impressive passing and incisive balls from the flanks.  Their efforts went largely unrewarded, however, mainly due to Tottenham's stubborn rearguard and a shocking performance in the middle from referee David Elleray.

On the stroke of half-time, memories of last season's home form came flooding back when Darren Anderton and Stefan Iversen (the latter clearly offside during the move) worked their way through for the former to put Spurs 1-0 up, completely against the run of play.

The Blues were evidently still stunned when they emerged for the second half; gone was the confidence of the first 45 minutes to be replaced by the old familiar reliance on the long ball.

They were, however, fortunate enough to finally get on the right end of an Elleray decision when Doherty was sent off for hauling Campbell down in the box and Ferguson dispatched the penalty with aplomb.

When Gus Poyet was given his marching orders just two minutes later, the Goodison crowd smelled blood but despite overwhelming possession and pressure, Everton never looked like finding a way through.



M A T C H    F A C T S
  Match Info  
  2001-02 FA Premiership, Game 2
8:00pm  Monday 20 August 2001
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: David Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)
Att: 29,503
Position: 4th
TV: Sky
Line-ups Subs not used
Everton: Gerrard; Watson (72' Moore), Stubbs, Weir, Pistone, Pembridge; Alexandersson (87' Tal), Gravesen (41' Unsworth), Gemmill; Campbell, Ferguson. Simonsen, Chadwick. 
Unavailable:  Radzinski, Gascoigne, Xavier, Cleland (injured); Nyarko (loan) 
Tottenham Sullivan, Tarrico, King, Bunjevcevic, Doherty, Ziege, Freund (75' Clemence), Poyet, Anderton, Sheringham, Iversen Keller, Davies, Perry, Thelwell
Playing Strips Formations
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 5-3-2; 4-4-2
Tottenham: White shirts; navy shorts; white socks 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Everton: Pistone (22'), Ferguson (49'), Weir (60') --
Tottenham: Ziege (63'), Sheringham (63') Doherty, Poyet


Premiership Results
 Everton 1-1  Tottenham
 Arsenal 1-2  Leeds
 Bolton 1-0  Middlesbro'
 Ipswich 3-1  Derby
 Aston Villa P-P  Charlton
 Blackburn 2-2  Man United
 Fulham 2-0  Sunderland
 Newcastle P-P  Leicester
 West Ham P-P  Chelsea
 


Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Bolton 6
2 Leeds 6
3 Man Utd 4
4 Everton 4
5 Arsenal 3
6 Fulham 3
7 Ipswich 3
8 Liverpool 3
9 Derby 3
10 Sunderland 3
11 Tottenham 2
12 Chelsea 1
12 Newcastle 1
14 Aston Villa 1
15 Blackburn 1
16 Charlton 0
16 West Ham 0
18 Southampton 0
19 Leicester 0
20 Middlesbrough 0
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
ToffeeWeb Long ball game misses jugular
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Speke from the Harbour Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Steve Bickerton Whistle-carrying prima donna
Richard Marland A Wasted Opportunity
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

Having already picked up their first win (and an away win at that) of the season, Everton might be under a burden of expectation for their first home game of the new season.  The presence of Sky Sports' television cameras - and the need to atone for some poor live performances before the eyes of the nation last season - might only increase that pressure.

Still, I'm sure Walter and his side will prefer coming into this match-up with an improved Tottenham line-up on the back of an encouraging win at Charlton than an opening-day defeat.

Tomasz Radzinski is again unlikely to start but Gary Naysmith is expected to be fit after missing out on Saturday.  Smith, could play the Scot in place of Mark Pembridge as left wing-back but may well field the same team that won at The Valley on Saturday, which means a chance for the Goodison faithful to weigh up the Campbell-Ferguson partnership on home soil.  

If Walter Smith was watching Man Utd come back against Fulham, he may have realised the value of a goal-area goal-poacher.  Strangely, Everton already have their very own in the form of one Joe-Max Moore.  He hasn't scored a goal in anger for Everton in over a year.  But shouldn't he be given another chance?

Alan Stubbs, who made a solid start to his Everton career against Charlton, will no doubt be looking forward to his home debut.  He has already impressed with evidence of a footballing brain and the ability to pass the ball creatively to fellow team players.

Tottenham, under new manager and former White Hart Lane star, Glenn Hoddle, remain an unknown quantity following their 0-0 draw at home to Aston Villa on the opening day.



Long ball game misses the jugular

by Lyndon Lloyd

The first home game of the season and a familiar story of failing to make pressure - and overwhelming odds - tell against insipid opposition.  This was Everton at their most frustrating, and they paid the price for some woefully one-dimensional attacking in the second half by failing to stamp out the resistance of nine-man Tottenham.

Tottenham, fresh from a drab 0-0 draw at home to Aston Villa on the opening day, were the team tipped for greater things than the mid-table mediocrity that they have enjoyed in recent years.  Everton are almost everybody's favourites to go down after a series of close relegation calls.

However, after a few minutes' settling down, during which time Paul Gerrard's butter fingers nearly gifted Spurs an early lead, Walter Smith's men quickly took the game by the scruff of the neck and took it to the visitors who offered little in terms of offence save for Iversen missing the first real chance of the game when he dragged his shot across goal on 12 minutes.

Everton, at their combative best in midfield, harried and fought for possession and tempers began to flare after a quarter of an hour just as Duncan Ferguson was starting to muscle his way into the game.  The big Scot had a tame looping header well saved by Neil Sullivan before having a reasonable claim for a penalty waved away by referee Elleray, whose worst moments were just around the corner.

A minute later, Sullivan flapped at one of the Blues' many corners and Niclas Alexandersson unleashed a fierce half-volley that smacked off the underside of the bar and away.  From the resulting corner, Stubbs had a good effort turned away by the fingertips of the goalkeeper as Everton pressed.

That wasn't to be the home debutant's best chance either.  Within minutes of his first effort on goal, he saw his goal-bound effort stopped almost on the line by his captain, Kevin Campbell, much to the crowd's displeasure.

Spurs managed to survive that relentless barrage on their goal and fashioned another chance for Iversen who again pulled his effort across Gerrard's goal and at the other end, a stinging Gravesen volley found Sullivan fortunately placed to stifle the chance.

It was to be the Dane's last sight of action because within a couple of minutes he had been stretchered off with a badly gashed leg sustained from Tarrico's vicious, studs-up tackle that went completely unpunished by the increasingly dire Elleray.  David Unsworth came on to replace him.

With the clock ticking towards half-time, Spurs made a rare foray into the heart of Everton's defence.  Anderton and Iversen exchanged passes in the area, with the latter offside before touching it on for the former who tucked home the opening goal to stun the home side.

Totally against the run of play, Hoddle's men had the lead and Everton's precious confidence was under threat.  Nevertheless, they went down the other end and had the ball in the net from Alexandersson only to have it ridiculously ruled out for a non-existent infringement.

The second half began with Tottenham growing in stature from their lead and Everton having seemingly lost their attacking impetus.

Gerrard again made a mess of claiming a cross and was relieved to see Iversen knock the ball the wrong side of the post from point-blank range.

Then, following a lengthy period bereft of chances, the game exploded into life again.  Doherty was penalised for pulling Campbell to the ground on the edge of the six-yard box, but it really didn't look that clear-cut.  Elleray pointed to the spot and flashed the red card at the Spurs defender for his trouble.

After Sheringham and Ziege had been booked for protesting, Ferguson stepped up to send Sullivan the wrong way with a confidently-struck penalty and the game was level.

Within two minutes, Tottenham were comically down to nine players after Gus Poyet's cynical and unnecessary body check on Steve Watson earned him a straight red card.  The game was there for the taking for Everton who had the drive for victory but not the means.

Attack after attack ended with angled balls banged into the middle from the flanks in the hope that either striker could create an opportunity to score.  Very few chances arose, and those that did went begging thanks mainly to Sullivan being in the right place at the right time.

Campbell had a swivelling turn-and-shot stopped by the 'keeper, Gemmill thundered a shot just wide and Ferguson saw two chances balloon over the bar from decent positions.

Smith brought on Moore for Watson and later Tal for Alexandersson but the tireless barrage of long balls and total lack of incisive ground play brought about a predictable conclusion.  Everton had to settle for a draw that Tottenham certainly didn't deserve.

On the bright side, however, there were signs that when the confidence is flowing, Everton are a team capable of causing their opposition plenty of problems if not actually scoring any goals.  Alan Stubbs looks to be a fine acquisition, displaying poise and intelligent distribution, and Gemmill, Gravesen, Pembridge and Alexandersson put in pleasing displays.

But the reasons why fans didn't want Duncan Ferguson to return - despite his goalscoring record since signing from Newcastle - were all to evident today.

Using the option provided by his height is just too easy and it makes the team predictable and one-dimensional.  It was a problem that befell the Royle and Kendall III eras and also the first few months of Smith's tenure and it looks to have made an unwelcome return, particularly after the type of football the team played when the likes of Hutchison and Barmby were on song.

Everton must get back to playing it on the floor if they have any pretensions of avoiding another relegation dogfight.



Whistle-carrying prima donna

by Steve Bickerton

The first half began with Tottenham dominating and Everton repeatedly on the back foot.  But it didn't last as an inspired Thomas Gravesen asserted his authority, being both destroyer and provider as was needed. 

Some early chances went begging from both sides early on, but from about the 10th minute onwards it was predominantly Everton who were in the ascendancy.  The game was fast and furious and Everton were unfortunate not to take the lead when a Pembridge cross found its way across the box to Alexandersson.  The Swede struck the ball sweetly towards the top left hand corner of Sullivan's goal, but it rose at the last moment and struck the bar, making its way to safety as far as Spurs were concerned.

Alexandersson was in sparkling form in the first half, beating his man repeatedly and was again unlucky when a goal-bound drive was blocked by his own captain, as Campbell tried to ensure it crossed the line.  Stubbs too went close with an edge-of-box drive only for Sullivan to turn it round the post at full stretch.  Throughout all of this, Gravesen was the centre of attention.

It would seem that the Spurs defence had identified him as the kingpin as, towards half time, a cynical lunge from Taricco saw the Dane collapse to the floor.  He quickly leapt up, however, but hobbled to the touchline, where he dramatically dropped to the floor in an almost choreographed manner.

But this was no sham as the television replays at half time showed and the visit to the operating table later proved.  A gash needing 30 stitches, cruelly reminiscent of Gary Naysmith's injury last year, was the cause.  But in normal fashion the referee chose to ignore this action by the Spurs defender, an action which was the precursor to two further decisions before the half-time break which shook Everton's confidence.

Unsworth came on to replace Gravesen and as the team was still coming to terms with the loss of the Dane, Spurs mounted a couple of attacks.  The first came to nothing, but the clearance fell only to Anderton who weaved his way past a couple of half-hearted challenges and played the ball to an offside Stefan Iversen.  But neither flag nor whistle stopped the Spurs man, who laid it back to Anderton who gratefully found the back of the net.  We'd been mugged by both Spurs and the officials.

Undaunted, though, Everton struck back immediately.  One attack broke down, leaving Campbell stranded up front.  But the Everton captain was making his way back to an on-side position as Pembridge picked the ball up, wide left and delivered a perfect cross to Alexandersson who made no mistake, finding the Spurs net with great aplomb. T he Spurs defenders turned to march back to the centre only to stop as they saw that the referee inexplicably ruled out the goal.  There was neither contact, nor off-side involved.  The crowd, understandably, were furious.

Half time came with Spurs ahead 0-1.  How they managed that was beyond belief, but there were even more bizarre happenings in the second half.

The second half again saw Spurs pressing forward, but Scot Gemmill was beginning to impose himself on the midfield, dashing and darting, calling for the ball and pressing forward.  Sadly it was to no great effect as he lacked the assistance of Gravesen.  Unsworth was willing, but was no real substitute for the Danish international.

Nevertheless Everton began to dominate once more and although Spurs looked lively on the break, there was never any great likelihood that they'd score again.  They were, however, looking solid at the back and there didn't seem any way that Everton could break through.  Suddenly the ever lively Ferguson rose to beat his man and fed Campbell with a neat header.  For once the Everton captain managed to maintain his footing long enough to half control the ball and force a challenge from Tottenham's Doherty.  The Irishman made the slightest of contacts, which combined with Campbell's propensity to slip, saw the Everton man hit the deck.  The referee awarded a penalty and then sent off the incredulous Doherty.  Penalty?  Maybe... Red card?  Never!

As at Charlton on Saturday, Ferguson took the spot-kick (even Rhino didn't try to take the ball off him) and calmly wrong footed the Spurs keeper to equalise. 1-1 and 11 against 10.  The odds were moving more and more in our favour. 

Within two minutes, the referee was the centre of attention again, this time for sending off Gus Poyet for a reckless challenge on Steve Watson, who had beaten him on the outside.  I'm not sure that it was a sending off offence, but I must admit that at least it was consistent with the referee's interpretation of Duncan Ferguson's similar challenge on an Espanyol player in pre-season which saw the big Scot being forcibly substituted, rather than being red-carded.

Effectively, at this point the game was over as a spectacle - with 25 minutes left.  From then it was lump the ball up to Ferguson, who won just about everything, in fairness, and hope we get a break.  In the end we were the architects of our own misfortune as shot after shot was wide of the target or drifted comfortably into Neil Sullivan's arms.

More confusing events, though, surrounded Walter Smith's substitutions.  The situation, with Spurs down to 9 men, was ripe for two wide men.  So, when Watson went off after Poyet's tackle, it was expected that there would be some minor adjustments at the back with Tal going wide left to complement Alexandersson on the right, giving Everton the opportunity to stretch the Spurs defence across both sides of the still narrow pitch. 

But no, it was Moore who came on, drifting into the already congested middle and offering no new ideas.  Tal did eventually take the field, but as a replacement for Alexandersson, who was shattered and with only two minutes left.  How on earth could he be expected to make a meaningful contribution in that short space of time (true there were still 4 minutes of added time to play, but Smith didn't know that at the time of the change).  That it ended 1-1 was no surprise with the referee and Everton's lack of finishing accuracy the main factors in what started off as a bright and promising game.

But in the end I'll settle for 4 points so far, as the boys in blue can only take heart from a spirited performance.  On top of that, we sat proudly atop the Premiership table: but only for one night sadly, as whatever happened in the Tuesday's Arsenal v Leeds game would ensure one of those clubs leap-frogging us. 

In the end, we rued the departure of Jeffers and the unavailability of Tomasz Radzinski.  Either one of these might have added a different dimension to the Everton attack.  Where we sit in the table after our games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Leeds United, will give us a more realistic evaluation of the what the season holds for us - and that point will have been reached in only four games time.

The abiding memory of the game, sadly, will be of the referee, a truly appalling performance.  Professional?  Improved?  No way!  It seems to have gone to his head.  Who'll perform his appraisal?  Will he get a written warning that his performance must improve, or he faces disciplinary measures himself?  I don't think so.  But maybe the FA and the Premier League can give us some comfort that action must and will be taken to stamp out the seemingly untouchable status of these whistle-carrying prima donna's.

Man of the Match

Thomas Gravesen was undoubtedly the prime contender for his first-half performance and Scot Gemmill eclipsed everybody with his running and tenacity in the second, but throughout it all one man stood, literally, head and shoulders above the rest and that was Duncan Ferguson, who produced a powerful display of the centre forward's art, goal scoring notwithstanding.



A Wasted Opportunity

by Richard Marland

Three rare luxuries tonight - 2 fit strikers, an unchanged team and a chance to sit, however briefly, at the top of the table.  After the opening day win at Charlton this was a real opportunity to get the season off to a flyer.

First half
We undoubtedly edged the first half, despite the half time scoreline.  We had a period of sustained pressure around the 15 minute mark, a series of corners, Alexandersson hit the bar, Stubbs had one pushed round the post.  It was the period of the game when we should really have taken charge.  We didn't make it count though and let them back into it. 

They played some nice passing stuff and on two occasions managed to release Iversson through our rather static back line, he failed to convert but the warnings for this, and forthcoming games, were there.

At the end of the half the wheels came off somewhat, they scored thanks to a nice passing movement and then some luck with the breaks in the box.  Our most effective player, Gravesen, was taken off on a stretcher, the victim of a horrible studs up challenge by Tarrico.  We almost resecued it deep in stoppage time when Alexandersson had a goal ruled out, Campbell being harshly adjudged to have pushed someone as the cross came over.

Second half
The early part of the second half was a little worrying.  Tottenham were playing the controlled football whilst we seemed unable to string two passes together.  Salvation didn't appear to be in sight till the game was turned on its head in five minutes.  First we got a penalty after Doherty was adjudged to have impeded Campbell, Doherty was also sent off.  Harsh it may have been but as Liverpool have shown you don't look gift horses in the mouth.  Dunc confidently converted the penalty.  Within a few minutes Poyet had also seen red for an agricultural lunge on Watson. 

We now had twenty minutes to break down 9 men.  We failed and never really looked like succeeding.  One save we forced out of Sullivan and that was fairly routine.  Tottenham packed the box and we didn't have the wit to break them down.  We found space down the flanks but failed to support the man on the ball.  Frequently it was pinged wide to Unsie on the left but no-one tried to overlap him or to try and enigineer a through ball, all Unsie could do was go back across the line or launch a cross.

Summary
Playing 20 minutes against 9 men this has to go down as a wasted opportunity, although in reality a draw was probably a fair result.  Our spell of pressure in the first half, the number of chances we created then and also the harshly disallowed goal meant that we deserved something out of the game.  Tottenham deserved something for their neat passing, their ability to open our defence up and the intelligence and diligence they showed when down to 9 men. 

As always these days when we fail to win or perform as we would like some of the crowd focus turns on Walter.  Maybe Tal should have been introduced earlier, maybe he should have been introduced instead of Moore. Substitutions are always a moot point and in this case I think irrelevant, the eleven on the pitch should have been able to break down the 9 men of Spurs.  That they didn't was due to their lack of intelligence in the situation, they didn't use the flanks intelligently enough, they didn't move the Spurs defenders around enough, and they failed to engineer a single proper chance.

But, lets not get too disheartened.  We would have settled for 4 points from our first two games.  We are still unbeaten, as players get more used to the system and each other we should improve, and Radzinski should give us a much needed alternative up front.

Ratings

  • Gerrard 7 Not too much to do and he dealt competently with what he had to do.
  • Watson 6 Don't think he was ever truly fit.  Whole hearted as ever but unable to offer a consistent attacking threat.
  • Weir 6 Not at his most commanding, probably adjusting to new systems and players around him.
  • Stubbs 6 Did OK but not overly impressed.  His much vaunted passing wasn't much in evidence and there were hints of defensive vulnerability.
  • Pistone 5 Not too impressed.  Looked lackadaisical particularly late on when he failed to support Unsworth adequately down the left flank.
  • Pembridge 6 Typical hard working performance, without much end product.
  • Alexandersson 6 No denying his goal threat, hit the bar and had one disallowed.  His final ball often disappointed and his crossing was substandard.
  • Gemmill 6 Another who did OK.  Did his best to unlock them late on but there was a distressing lack of movement ahead of him.
  • Gravesen 7 Our best performer in the first half and one of his best performances in a blue shirt.  He was focused, committed and dangerous.  Bloody typical that he should have to be carried off injured.
  • Ferguson 6 The pick of the front two.  Despite being fouled to the usual outrageous degree, he provided a constant threat and did all that he could with the service provided.
  • Campbell 6 Still some way short of his best.  Not convinced about the long term viability of the partnership with Ferguson.
  • Unsworth 6 Did nothing wrong.
  • Moore 5 Never really got involved
  • Tal 5 Ditto Moore

Team 6 Some good points but limitations defensively and attacking were shown up during the game. 

Man of the match
I'm sure it would have been Gravesen if he had completed the match, over than that no-one leapt out at you.  For me, Dunc probably just shades it. 



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