Leon Osman came in after recovering from a groin strain to hopefully
provide more creativity and forward support in David Moyes's highly
effective five-man midfield.
The game started scrappily with neither side settling during the first
five minutes. Then some nice play down the right saw Bent
beat his man at the byeline and run into the Spurs area only to fall over
an outstretched leg... penalty surely? No, said our friend Graham
Poll. And you had a sense at that point Everton's glorious start to
the season would be undone today.
A Cahill header struck the post and an Osman header found Robinson's
body as the goalie made himself large in front of the the Everton
midfielder... vital chances in a period of Everton domination when they
hogged nearly 70% of the possession... but tellingly failed to score.
Spurs admittedly did have what looked like a very similar penalty
appeal when Defoe went down over Carsley's leg, but a fraction of a
millisecond earlier, he had poked the ball to a player who was, it turned
out, dubiously off-side. A lucky escape.
[Apparently, according to The Independent, there was a half-time
tunnel scuffle involving Davie Weir, Tony Hibbert and Thimothee Atouba...]
And so it was into the second half, with Spurs getting more into the
game, and for once getting the better of Carsley, leading to a corner.
(Their first? After Everton had at least ten!) in it came and
was repulsed. But the second ball was a much better out-swinging
cross deep into the Everton area. Parmalot leapt meet it with his
head, firing a perfect ball looping over Martin and into the far top
corner of the net. Unstoppable. Against the run of play.
And all those chances....
The rest was painfully predictable. Ferguson came on in a bold
move, sacrificing Carsley; Everton switched to to 4-4-2 and Route One, he won loads of
flick-ons... no-one knew where they were going. Everton failed to
score. And he's played in every game so far!!!
Redknapp, who had been an obvious target for the fans all afternoon,
got everyone screaming after he came down hard with his studs on Cahill's
leg, ending the midfielder's lively contribution to the proceedings right
there and then. Red card, of course? Don't be silly; this is
Moments later, Defoe decided he could do the dirty, going in on Davie
Weir with a horrible two-footed studs-up lunge. Red card, of course?
err.... See Above.
Watson had come on too but he was poor.... Surely McFadden could
do something? Nope. He was quite frankly pants. Utterly
dismal. The perfect stage and he completely blew it.
So. Eight hours of football without letting a goal in.
Spurs once more our bogey team... But scoring was always going to be
Everton's weakness, as it proved to be today. We are going to find
it very, very hard to score goals...
Match-ups with Tottenham used to be occasions to dread. Our record against
the lilywhites of North London before last season was atrocious, but after
a typical 3-0 collapse at White Hart Lane in the first half of the campaign,
the Blues laid one part of the Spurs hoodoo to rest with a scintillating
display in front of the Sky Sports cameras in April.
It was Everton's first home win over Spurs since April 1997 and the performance
David Moyes's side put on that night was apparently enough for them to
decide to take the rest of the season off because they didn't win any
of their next six games and finished a depressing 17th.
This season, of course, things are very different. Since suffering a
4-1 hiding by Tottenham's rivals from Highbury on the opening day, the
Blues have taken 16 points from 18 and conceded just two goals. And no
one needs reminding that we are sitting pretty in third place in the table
with second spot, for 24 hours at least, beckoning as Chelsea don't play
The architect of Spurs' destruction in April was James McFadden but the
most he can hope for this time around is a place on the bench as Moyes
will no doubt continue with the successful 4-5-1 formation with Leon Osman
likely to return to the midfield following a groin strain. Steve Watson
would be the sensible choice to make way so that the Cahill-Carsley-Gravesen
triumvirate can be retained.
At the back, Alan Stubbs and David Weir have formed a solid partnership
and the fact that they kept Joseph Yobo on the bench at Portsmouth speaks
volumes for the renaissance these two wily old campaigners are enjoying
in front of Nigel Martyn. Tony Hibbert has been a revelation and, thankfully,
the efforts of the other 10 men on the field have so far hidden the liabilities
represented by Messers Pistone and Naysmith.
Up front, Marcus Bent will no doubt be asked to lead the line on his
own once more, with Duncan Ferguson ready to cause disruption rather than
pose any goalscoring threat from the bench should things be even or go
in Everton's favour in the first hour.
Tottenham, under new boss Jacues Santini are a much-improved side having
bought heavily and wisely in the summer. It means that the club whose
fortunes have perhaps mirrored those of our own most closely in recent
years has also made a solid start to 2004-05 and currently occupy a mid-table
berth going into this weekend's clash.
Despite the new arrivals at "The Lane', though, their biggest threats,
come from two players who were acquired by the previous regime: Robbie
Keane — a perpetual thorn in the Blues' side — and Jermaine
Defoe. Backed by a midfield containing Jamie Redknapp , Simon Davies and,
of course, Sean Davis, and a defence boasting the pacey Ledley King, this
one won't be easy, especially as Tottenham have lost just once so far
(last weekend's 1-0 home defeat by improving Manchester United.)
They also have a creditable 1-0 win at Newcastle, but injury to Freddie Kanoute
won't have eased Santini's chagrin over the size of his squad. Well, Jacques,
take a walk in David Moyes's shoes!
Given the confidence with which Everton are playing right now and the
recent run of results it is getting to the point where the Goodison faithful
will be disappointed if we don't win this one. The bar has been raised
to the point where this has become thee type of game the Blues should
win if they hope to remain in contention for Europe.
They will struggle for goals again but if the determined rearguard can
continue its superb form and the Blues can play their game of containment,
the opportunity is there to nick the odd goal and claim that second place
behind the Champions, even if only for a day!
This will be the 147th meeting between
Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions, and the 75th at
Goodison Park. This match will be the 25th meeting in the Premiership.
Everton's full record against Tottenham
Our record at home to Tottenham is:
The last match between the sides was on
9 April this year when goals from three of Everton's defenders on the
night (David Unsworth, Gary Naysmith and Joseph Yobo) secured a 3-1
victory. In fact David Unsworth's goal was his last for Everton.
There have been 6 Everton hat-tricks
against Tottenham, with the last (and also the last hat-trick against
Tottenham at Goodison Park) being Tony Cottee's in a 3-1 victory on 5
October 1991, just under 13 years ago. Jimmy Harris' hat-trick on 11
October 1958, at White Hart Lane, was the second instance in Everton
history of a player scoring a hat-trick and still being on the losing
side, as Everton recorded their biggest defeat, in terms of goals
conceded, as they went down 10-4.
The most common victory for Everton is
1-0 which has happened 16 times in Everton's 49 victories. Spurs' most
common victory is 2-1 which has happened 13 times in Tottenham's 52
victories. The most common draw between the teams is 1-1, which has
occurred 23 times in the 45 draws between the sides.
Everton's record for 2 October is:
This is the first time the sides have
met on this day. The last match on this day was in 1999, when Everton
drew 1-1 with Coventry at Goodison Park. On this day in 1984, Everton
scraped through their European Cup Winners' Cup tie against University
College Dublin with a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park after the first leg had
ended 0-0 in Dublin.
Bob Kelso was born on this day in 1865
in Cardross. Bob was signed from Newcastle United and went on to make
just 1 appearance in the inaugural Football League season in 1888-89,
before he was sold to Preston North End. The club then bought him back
from Preston in time for the 1891-92 season and, over the next 5 season,
Bob went on to make 102 appearances, scoring 5 goals in the process,
before he moved to Dundee.
George Beare was also born on this day
in 1885 in Southampton. Signed from Blackpool, George made 118
appearances and scored 19 goals before his transfer to Cardiff City after
the 1913-14 season.
Michael Ball was born on this day in
1979 in Liverpool. Signed from an apprenticeship in August 1996, Michael
made 139 appearances, and scored 8 goals, for Everton before his high
profile move north of the border to Rangers in August 2001. During his
time at the club, Michael made 1 substitute appearance for England which
remains, to date, his only full international cap.
Ray Wilson appeared for England on this
day in 1965 in their 0-0 draw with Wales in the Home International
Three years later, John Hurst and Howard
Kendall won England u23 caps in a 3-1 victory over Wales u23.
Milestone's that can be reached in this
Off-key Everton come up short
Everton will count themselves very unlucky not to have taken at
least a point from this game after twice hitting the woodwork and
having an early penalty claim turned down by "Mr Anti-Everton,"
Graham Poll. Ultimately , however, they were beaten at their own
game as Tottenham did just enough to grab a goal against the run
of play and shut up shop to grind out the win in the second half.
Moyes made just one change from last weekend; Leon Osman returned
to the starting line-up at the expense of Steve Watson after recovering
from the groin strain that kept him out of the win at Portsmouth.
The game started in scrappy fashion for the first quarter of an
hour but Everton had an early penalty claim as early as the fourth
minute when a great run into the area by Marcus Bent ended in the
striker seemingly being tripped by Erik Edman but, not surprisingly
given his apparent bias against the Blues, Graham Poll gave nothing
and waved play on.
By the 15th minute mark, however, Everton were beginning to build
some pressure and following two unsuccessful corners, Thomas Gravesen
launched a long throw into the area which Tim Cahill headed off
the outside of the post.
Two minutes after that, Osman connected with a Cahill cross but
his header was blocked at point-blank range by Paul Robinson. So
unlucky but it was great work on the right by Cahill.
With Kevin Kilbane enjoying his match-up with Pamarot down the
left, the Irishman chested the ball on after 26 minutes and with
time to shoot, he flashed a shot across goal and a foot wide. A
minute later, he charged into the area again to meet a cross from
the right but Pamarot did enough to get in the way and divert the
ball clear. The fans appealed for a penalty but Poll was correct
on this occasion when he said no.
After half an hour, Spurs began to find some rhythm of their own
but while Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Keane did enough to suggest
that the threat was there if the Blues lost their concentration
at the back, they were well shackled. When Defoe did manage to find
space, he was unfairly flagged offside but Martyn made the decision
academic with a fine parry. Keane then found the back of the net,
only to have that effort struck off for offside on both him and
In between, Cahill had another, less convincing header saved as
the home side went into the interval perhaps disappointed not to
have made their 60-40 share of possession pay during the first 45
Neither side made any changes at half time but the second half
was only eight minutes old when the deadlock was broken completely
against the run of play. A short corner came back to Keane who crossed
to the back post where Pamarot powered the header past Martyn. It
was the first goal Everton had conceded in some eight hours of league
While Spurs took heart from the surprise goal and introduced a
more assured look to their play, Everton responded by upping the
tempo and when Osman wriggled past his marker on the edge of the
area and fired goalwards he was dismayed to see his shot bounce
off the post where Kilbane couldn't react quickly enough to convert
the rebound, Pamarot clearing his lines with the challenge.
After two successive corners came to nothing, Moyes decided to
introduce Duncan Ferguson for the industrious Carsley.
Then a sickening studs-up challenge to the knee by Jamie Redknapp
on Tim Cahill left the Australian writhing on the ground and the
fans angered that the former Liverpool player only saw a yellow
card brandished by the referee. Cahill was forced to leave the field
as a result, Watson replacing him for the remaining 28 minutes.
The affair got even more heated when Defoe jumped in on Weir with
both feet and was also shown only a yellow card. Weir had to be
restrained from registering his disapproval with more than just
Ferguson's presence had the predictable effect of channeling everything
down the middle, the use of width that had been successful in the
first half abandoned for the ineffective route-one strategy. Moyes's
attempt to rectify the situation was to introduce James McFadden
for Pistone with 14 minutes left.
And the Scot's first touch resulted in him barreling straight through
the Spurs defence but a poor touch just before he was about to shoot
pushed the ball on to the sliding Robinson and the chance evaporated. But the attacking ideas appeared to have dried up and Spurs played
an effective game of containment to frustrate the home side. It
was epitomised by the worsening performance of Gravesen who was
eventually booked for a poor tackle late on.
The match officials added four minutes of injury time for the various
stoppages but it was Spurs who nearly grabbed a second with the
last chance of the game when Keane engineered space for a shot but
blazed over from 18 yards out.
Given our form in recent games, the optimism with which we approached
this match and the manner in which we dominated the first half,
this was an enormously disappointing result. If it had been masked
by the heroics of the past few weeks, the crippling effect the lack
of signings to bolster the attack before the transfer deadline will
have was laid bare today.
Duncan Ferguson simply isn't a viable goalscoring option when the
chips are down and the more headers he won in the final third this
afternoon, the less effective they became. With Bent tiring and
appearing to experience some discomfort from his hamstrings again,
it was left to the midfield to carry the attacking threat, something
that became increasingly difficult as Spurs pulled men behind the
ball and formed an impregnable rearguard.
Gravesen's desire to either make things happen or assume the departed
Carsley's role of breaking up the Tottenham attacks evaoporated
in the last third of the game and while Osman huffed and puffed,
he was thwarted by the woodwork and an organised Spurs defence. The same went for McFadden who was closed down at every opportunity,
no doubt deepening his crisis of confidence.
If Everton play the way they did in the first half against Southampton
and Norwich, they should come away from both games with victories
that will put them back on track at the right end of the table. But Moyes must take a long hard look at his attacking options and
think seriously about the likes of Nick Chadwick as a striking alternative
to Ferguson whose presence continues to bring out the worst in the
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