FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 2 December 1995
Previous Match: Everton v Sheffield Wednesday Next Match: Everton v West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur: (4-4-2) Walker, Austin, Howells, Calderwood, Mabbutt, Fox, Sheringham, Armstrong, Dozzell, Rosenthal (McMahon 76), Campbell. Subs Not Used: Edinburgh, Day. Booked: Calderwood, Mabbutt.
Everton: (4-4-2) Southall, Unsworth, Watson, Stuart, Limpar, Amokachi, Jackson, Ebbrell, Kanchelskis, Parkinson, Short (Hinchcliffe 45). Subs Not Used: Horne, Kearton. Booked: Stuart, Amokachi, Ebbrell.
Ref: S Dunn (Bristol).
Guy McEvoy: I never intended going to this one but when Saturday morning came round I got that unbearable itch. I took my (very close to deadline) work with me to do on the train and headed for London. Imagine my horror therefore, when my arrival at Euston was greeted with a sign on the platform; "Spurs v Everton - sold out". Bugger. Still, I figured that having come 250 odd miles another 5 or so to the stadium wouldn't kill me.
Miraculously my faith in continuing to the ground was rewarded, after 10 minutes walking round like a scally constantly muttering "spares?, any spares?" (which confusingly sounds like "Spurs! Spurs!"), I found a bloke who had bought a ticket to sit with some mates and was willing to sell me his season ticket voucher for 15 quid (a tennor less than the seats in that area go for). I was in!
It was my first trip to White Hart Lane, and it struck me as a bit of a space camp. The first thing that you notice (though the away fans sitting in the proper away seats aren't able to see it) is that they have a Jumbotron screen stuck on the top of one of the stands. You get the whole game on the screen live (damn distracting when you're trying to watch the real thing and you find your eyes pulled to the screen by some strange magnetic process), however it does come into it's own in the ability to play instant replays during the match. Not sure how well such ideas would go down at Goodison.
My seat was next to the tunnel which meant that one of the highlights of the day was getting Andrei's autograph. So as not to feel too daft with all the other autograph hunters who were kids I came up with the cunning lie; "Can you sign this for my nephew". My nephew of course, has a fat chance of getting hold of it.
It was good to see that Craig Short was back in the squad, otherwise we were unchanged from the team that finished the Wednesday match.
We nearly succumbed to our habit of having a shocking start in the third minute when a well worked Spurs move that found Rosenthal was deflected off the bar. Within a minute though Limpar found Amokachi who made a good run and had his shot saved. From the corner (also by Anders) Short headed over. All this early activity was a metronome of the pace to come in the half. Commitment was high from both teams; many goals appeared likely.
One of the reasons we were able to raise our game must have been the response of the fans. Our full allocation sang from kick off like it was a Cup Final and didn't stop for the whole first 45 minutes. The Tottenham Fans, all in their suits where I was sitting, failed to raise a decibel between them - all except the bloke two seats away from me who had a 10 minute conversation on his mobile phone. Sad.
Anders played like a man on fire for the first half. He had two blistering efforts go close. Meanwhile, Kanchelskis was putting some good runs in down the other wing. Spurs could have gone in front twice: the first when Matt Jackson put a suicidal defensive header across the face of the goal; the second when Howles had a goal-bound effort take a deflection off Parkinson (?) that took it just wide.
Amokachi had the chance of the game after Sol Campbell had got the better of Andrei for the only time of the afternoon. So surprised was Campbell to find himself in possession of the ball that he completely lost his concentration and laid it back to the poaching Amo who was left with only Walker to beat. Unfortunately, in his effort to go round the keeper he found himself too wide and his angle narrowed. His shot rifled off the outside of the post.
The last 10 minutes of the first half seemed to swing the game back into Spurs favour. Anyone who doubts the ability of Nev to still mix it with the best should have been in North London yesterday. It was during this period of pressure that he pulled off two absolute top drawer reaction saves. There is plenty of life in the old man yet.
Craig Short's return to the first team proved to be unfortunately brief. He and Armstrong both showed dogged determination to meet the ball from a goal kick, instead they met each others head. It is the second serious clash of heads in two games - no one can accuse us of being soft in the air. Again, both players involved had to leave the pitch, again it was the Everton player who didn't come back. Short didn't require a stretcher too leave the field, but he was absolutely drenched in blood and will have had to have had several stitches. Let's hope he can return quickly. Unsworth pushed back into central defence and Hinchcliffe came on as sub.
The second half didn't quite have the pace and fury of the first, though it did have a sackful of incidents. There was fantastic work going on down the wings, and some wonderful touches from Messrs Limpar, Kanchelskis and Amokachi. If the points were given for style we would have cleaned up.
Points though are not given for style, they are given for goals, and the chances of those were distributed evenly. Kan-Kan, Anders and Stuart all took us close, whilst Nev kept Armstrong and Rosenthal at bay at the other end. Having said that, the obvious weakness of Everton's play was that the shots we did have simply were not on target. For all the efforts that flashed wide or over, Walker was never forced to make a game winning save in the way that Nev was.
Spurs very nearly snatched it at the last, when Watson missed a pitch-length Walker goal-kick which then found Armstrong, but Matt Jackson was back to clear off the line and so the points were shared.
The draw was a fair reflection of play, though the scoreline was not. There were chances for both teams to have stuck in several. It was an afternoon of entertaining, committed, classy football. A point away from home, a clean sheet and increases our unbeaten run to 5. We have a formula that is working, the dream wingers combination is paying off, our passing game was at times exceptional, all we needed was someone to shoot ON TARGET - I wait with baited breath until Duncan is back to nod in the wing crosses, the potential in that combination is mouth-watering.
Southall 8 - My man of the match on the day. Some truly top notch
Jackson 7 - Functional, though never got into his stride going forwards in the way we've been used to. Responsible for the most woeful shot of the day, though saved the game for us at the end.
Short 7 - Pity his return was so short lived. Blood everywhere. Hope he's OK.
Watson 7 - A competent captain's performance from Big Dave.
Unsworth 8 - Dominated at left back, and despite my initial worries went onto play well in the centre when we needed him.
Ebrell 7 - The plan for the midfield was simple, close everything down fast, as soon as you get possession find a wing man. Very effective, though a less free roam of the park than enjoyed against say Liverpool.
Parkinson 7 - As above, also enjoyed a nifty charge up the field.
Limpar 8 - Pushing a 9 in the first half. Looked likely to score, had three fine shots a number of good runs and put in some good crosses.
Stuart 7 - With the thrust of every attack being down the wings, he seemed slightly unsure of is role. Nevertheless, some good touches, though never up to the standard he showed in THAT game against Spurs last season.
Kanchelskis 8 - This man just looks better and better. Had the beating of Campbell and made good use of it. Had a reluctance to shoot though, his one serious effort went over.
Amokachi 7 - Should have scored. Two clear-cut chances missed. Picked up the craziest yellow card for the most blatant hand-ball to be seen this season. Having said that, he once again showed rocket pace and a great feel for finding the positions.
Hinchcliffe (Sub) 7 - Settled down fine, made some good arial challenges, none of the inch-perfect passes we have come to expect, but defended well enough.
Mark Barrow: Despite the 0-0 scoreline, this was another very exciting game, and could quite easily have been 3-3 had it not been for 2 marvellous saves from Nev, our crossbar and post and some ineffectual finishing form both sides. Overall, I thought a draw was the fair result - we definitely had the better of the first half, but seemed to lose our way a little in the second and let them have a lot more space and time on the ball.
Although I thought Amo and Stuart both had very good games, we do (as the scoreline suggests !) lack a forward with a killer instinct in front of goal - lets hope Duncan starts knocking them in when he returns.
The first half performance from the Blues was more than matched by the vocal support from the travelling fans - I don't think I've ever seen anything like it - a Spurs fan friend who was at the game asked me "What were you lot on?" so our efforts obviously didn't go unnoticed - just a pity they weren't rewarded with a goal.
That said, a point away from home to a team in 5th position, in form and with no injury problems is no bad thing, and with Ferguson and Rideout to return, this result is even more encouraging.
One "Interesting" Statistic: A bit trainspotter-esque, but there wasn't one off-side decision for an hour - I'm sure someone will prove this wrong, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't.
Southall: 9 - One great save in each half - faultless performance from Nev. His save from Sheringham's (?) header in the first half proved, if anyone needed reminding, that he is still world class.
Jackson: 7 - Some sloppy passes, particularly in the second half, let him down but redeemed himself with a clearance off the line with about 3 minutes to go from Armstrong.
Short: 7 - Looked rock solid again, winning every header & never giving away possession. Withdrawn aftrer a clash of heads with Armstrong left him bloody and dazed - lets hope it's not too serious.
Hinchcliffe: 6 (Replaced Short) - Solid defensively, particularly in the air, which isn't something I usually praise Hinchcliffe for, but like Jackson, he misplaced too many passes.
Unsworth: 7 - Still seems a little lacking in confidence, but a good solid game nonetheless - a couple of Rhino charges to boot.
Watson: 7 - Like Unsworth, rarely put a foot wrong - dominating in the air.
Ebbrell: 7 - Didn't quite match his 'cavilier' performances of late, but again his work-rate was second to none and fed the two wingers quickly and accurately. Unfortunate to get booked and even had a shot (albeit rather tame) on target!
Parkinson: 7 - Guilty of getting caught in possession once or twice but, like his partner in the middle, worked hard to close their midfield down, amd did so effectively.
Kanchelskis: 7 - Should have done better when blazing a shot wide, and came up against a good marker in the impressive Campbell who played Kanchelskis as well as anyone could, but Andrei is unstoppable when in full flight - another great performance.
Limpar: 8/9 - The Swede upstaged the Ukrainian, and was our biggest threat. Always had the beating of Austin and was unluckly not to score with two long-range efforts in the first half. Missed his easiest chance when Stuart found Limpar unmarked in the area. He went for the volley and pulled it wide, when he probably had time to bring it down and steady himself, but then its easy for me to say that! - Man of the Match for me.
Stuart: 8 - Some good, intellegent support play, several good runs at the Spurs defence, and linked well with Amo and the two wide men. Had one shot saved in the first half, which was effectively his only chance. His heading ability for one so small never ceases to amaze me, beating Campbell and Calderwood on several occasions. Looked better when up front partnered by Rideout - definitely needs someone to play off if he continues up front.
Amokachi: 7 - Would have been 9 but for two chances going begging and a ridiculous handball that got him a yellow card. Like Stuart, his support play was superb. He had some great runs at the Spurs defence and created several chances. I thought his running of the ball and ability to find space merited particular attention, especially after accusations of laziness last year. Should have scored with two good chances though, especially when though on Walker after he latched on to Campbell's backpass.
Overall team performance: 8
By Clive White, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON'S dogs of war ground out a point with another terrier-like performance which, while not reaching the giddy height of last April's FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham, nevertheless provided a solid platform on which to build in the months ahead.
It was a result which did no damage, either, to Tottenham's burgeoning reputation. Gerry Francis' team have now lost only one of their last 13 league games and there is a promise of more fruitful days ahead than this one, with the next four games against struggling teams.
No-one needs to ask Joe Royle what he wants for Christmas: a player who can keep his head out of trouble. No sooner had Duncan Ferguson returned from a short spell in Barlinnie prison for butting an opponent - only to face further suspension - than Everton lost the services of fellow striker Paul Rideout after a clash of heads of a more innocent nature. Defender Craig Short was at it yesterday, colliding head-on with Chris Armstrong in an ugly-looking 43rd-minute incident from which the Everton player did not return.
Rideout's absence meant that Daniel Amokachi returned to lead the line, a painful reminder for Tottenham fans, if they needed it, of the FA Cup semi-final drubbing when the Nigerian came on to score twice and spike the fairytale ending to Jurgen Klinsmann's season.
Still buoyed by the victory on their last away-day, in the Merseyside derby, Everton were not short of attacking verve, even if Anders Limpar often had to go it alone, being both provider and finisher.
The only difference between the Swede and his Tottenham counterpart Ruel Fox was that Fox had something worthwhile at which to aim. Only some last-ditch defending of the type for which Everton have become renowned prevented Tottenham going in at halftime comfortably ahead.
Within 14 minutes of the second half starting, Hinchcliffe added his name to the list of Everton saviours
After only four minutes, Fox's sweet back-heel set in motion a move which ended with Ronny Rosenthal taking a reverse-pass from the little winger and driving for goal. But the ball was deflected by Short's leg against the crossbar.
It was almost 20 minutes before Tottenham really threatened again, and then it was Joe Parkinson's turn to get his body in the way of another goal-bound effort, this time from David Howells, after another twisting run by Fox.
A sloppy back-pass by Sol Campbell let in Amokachi, but Ian Walker, haring from his goal, steered the striker wide, and Amokachi could only hit the outside of a post with his shot. Not to be outdone, Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall pulled off an acrobatic save to turn aside a well-placed header by Teddy Sheringham from a cross by Fox.
Everton were able to accommodate the loss of Short without too much reorganisation. Andy Hinchcliffe came in at left back, allowing David Unsworth to move into the centre and to gain some respite from Fox.
Within 14 minutes of the second half starting, Hinchcliffe added his name to the list of Everton saviours as he instinctively cleared off the goal line after a Sheringham free kick on the edge of the box had taken a nasty deflection.
It was stubborn resistance, from a side who have not won on their last eight visits to the capital this season, but was almost broken when Armstrong stabbed the ball past Southall, only for Matt Jackson to appear from nowhere and clear off the line.
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
By David Barnes, News of the World
Blood poured from the heads of colliding Chris Armstrong & Craig Short. Sweat there was a plenty.
And the would have been tears too, in the Spurs camp if Anders Limpar's finished had matched his creative skills.
When Daniel Amokachi bundled Colin Calderwood aside to cross into the area, Limpar had the game's destiny at his left foot.
He pulled his volley narrowly wide to deny Everton the win they just deserved.
They were unlucky to lose central defender Craig Short in that dreadful clash with Armstrong towards the break.
Both men left the field, Armstrong resuming with an angry swelling alongside his left eye.
Amokachi was such a lively contender in his bid to win a permanent place in Everton's team that both Calserwood & Mabbutt were booked while trying to subdue him.
He came close to the winner when Sol Campbell struck a careless backpass.
Amokachi slipped past keeper Ian Walker but struck the outside of the post from a difficult angle.
Matt Jackson's goal-line clearance five minutes from time saved Everton the point their hard-working performance deserved.
CarlingNet: Pacey wingers Andrei Kanchelskis and Anders Limpar provided further evidence that they are developing into one of the FA Carling Premiership's most potent attacking forces in this goalless White Hart Lane encounter.
The Ukrainian and the Swede tortured Tottenham full-backs Dean Austin and Sal Campbell, taking Everton close to their first White Hart Lane League win for 10 years.
Both missed comfortable chances though and then watched their own defenders clear from the goal-line to deny Tottenham.
Both teams hit the woodwork and either side might have won an exciting contest. Tottenham had been beaten only once in their previous dozen League games and almost snatched a fifth minute lead when Ronny Rosenthal fired a Ruel Fox cross on to the Everton crossbar off Dave Watson.
Limpar three times came close to beating Ian Walker before Everton too hit the woodwork. Kanchelskis bamboozled Campbell along the right before Daniel Amokachi nipped in to fire the loose ball against a post.
Neville Southall denied Teddy Sheringham with a diving save before Everton lost centre-half Craig Short with blood streaming from a facial wound after a sickening clash of heads with Chris Armstrong, who also briefly left the field.
Substitute Andy Hinchcliffe came on at left-back with David Unsworth switching to the centre but re-shuffled Everton should have siezed the need a minute before half-time.
Amokachi stole around the back and cut the ball into the path of Kanchelskis, who shot wide with only Walker to beat.
Limpar's 50th-minute volley beat Walker but skipped past a post before Everton survived in the late stages with two goal-line clearances.
Hinchcliffe hooked to safety after Sheringham's shot from a 59th-minute free-kick had penetrated the visitors' defensive wall and Jackson was there to save Everton three minutes from time after Armstrong had out-paced Dave Watson and touched post before Everton survived in the late stages with two goal-line clearances.
Hinchcliffe hooked to safety after Sheringham's shot from a 59th-minute free-kick had penetrated the visitors' defensive wall and Jackson was there to save Everton three minutes from time after Armstrong had out-paced Dave Watson and touched the ball past the advancing Southall.
Daily Mail Soccernet: The contest which started brightly but lapsed into dreary stalemate the longer it continued seemed about to produce a thrilling finale when Chris Armstrong escaped the close attentions of the Merseysiders' defence to accept Ian Walker's long clearance and head for goal.
His shot beat the onrushing Neville Southall but Jackson, racing back, hooked the ball out of the jaws of the goalmouth. It was the second time in the second half that the visitors had been forced to rely on the last ditch intervention of one of their outfield players.
For in the 59th minute Southall was left stranded when a free-kick from Teddy Sheringham was deflected wide of him. This time substitute Andy Hinchcliffe ws perfectly placed to hack the ball away when a goal seemed likely.
Hinchcliffe was introduced into the action moments before half-time following a nasty accidental clash of heads between Armstrong and Everton central defender Craig Short. While the Tottenham striker was able to return within three minutes of leaving the field, Short departed with blood streaming from a wound and took no further part in the proceedings.
Any fear of Everton's efficient defence being disrupted by his departure proved to be unfounded. For David Unsworth switched to the centre of the defence and Hinchclifee slotted in at left back to keep Everton sound and resilient at the back.
Unfortunately, like Spurs they lacked the cutting edge to produce the decisive strike which would have settled the match. While Daniel Amokachi and Andrei Kanchelskis were both in lively form their worked produced few clear cut openings. Everton's best chance fell to Anders Limpar but from a cross by Kanchelskis the Swedish international vollied wide.
While Walker had little to do, his counterpart Southall pulled off the two significant saves of the afternoon, plunging to his right to keep out a powerful header from Sheringham and then going to his left to hold Gary Mabbutt's chip. On the two other occasions the goalkeepers were beaten, the woodwork prevented a goal.
After only four minutes, a fierce drive from Ronnie Rosenthal was deflected onto the Everton bar - while in the 28th minute Amokachi went round Walker from Campbell's misplaced back-pass but saw his effort come back off the outside of the post. It was that kind of afternoon.
This is the first of many Match Report compilations that does not feature a contribution from Dave "Blue Eyes" Shepherd. His colurful comentaries on Toffeeenet have been a gift for exiled blues everywhere.
He will be sadly missed.
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