Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 2 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 1
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 3
3pm Saturday 14 August 1999
White Hart Lane, London
After the pathetic and toothless display at Villa Park, Walter Smith had
to play a more attacking formation. Francis Jeffers started up front alongside
Kevin Campbell, but Dave Watson (and Michael Ball?) were injured, so a slimline
Richard Dunne came in at right back, to mark Ginola!!!
In the match, Everton were frequently outplayed by a faster and more competent
Spurs side, but went ahead with a fortuitous penalty after Jeffers timed
his slip perfectly when Walker challenged him. Unsworth
went for placement from the spot, and scored. However, Spurs
persistence and dominance lead to a Sherwood equalizer, with Everton bedazzled
by one of Anderton's many excellent corners.
In the second half, Jeffers did it again, with Walker catching his trailing
leg as the youngster rounded him after looking suspiciously offside from
a Campbell flick-on. Walker was bizarrely shown a yellow card (for what?
It should have been red or nothing!), and Unsworth converted much
But Everton still looked lacklustre, with Campbell getting poor service from
the barrage of deep lobs thrown up to him by Everton's hoofing defenders
as the midfield went AWOL. Spurs went on to give Everton a lesson in wide,
deep wing play finished with punishing crosses that produced two goals in
the last 10 minutes, as Everton's resolute defence finally crumbled. Walter
will no doubt talk this defeat down again, but it was clearly an opportunity
spurned. Its going to be a long hard season...
Sherwood (34'), Leonhardsen (82'), Iversen (86')
Unsworth (pen:24', pen:77')
Subs Not Used
Walker, Carr, Perry, Scales, Taricco, Anderton (85' Freund),
Sherwood, Leonhardsen, Ginola, Iversen, Ferdinand.
Baardsen, Korsten, Fox, Young.
Gerrard, Weir, Gough, Unsworth, Dunne, Ward (72' Cleland),
Gemmill (72' Hutchison), Collins, Barmby, Campbell, Jeffers (80' Cadamarteri).
Unavailable: Myhre, Watson, Williamson,
Parkinson (injured); Bilic, Branch, Grant, Farrelly, O'Kane
(transfer-listed); Ball (rested/not match-fit).
White shirts; navy shorts; navy socks.
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; white socks.
Gemmill (31'), Ward (38')
Who knows where this will
It's taken over a day of taking stock for me to get over the disappointment
of yesterday's game. I was utterly gutted after having first three points
and then one ripped from our grasp. This game was an acid test for both the
team and Walter Smith after Wednesday's embarrassment at Aston Villa. Win,
and the confidence would come flooding back. Lose and who knows where it
Everton's performance was littered with examples of why we continue to struggle.
Smith hasn't got to grips with managing a Premiership side that desperately
needs midfield creativity. Most alarming was the way we sat back on both
leads and invited Spurs to come at us. Worse, they did it playing the sort
of football that served us so well in the mid-1980s.
In the Blues' line-up the was no sign of Michael Ball and Don Hutchison was
relegated to the bench. Richard Dunne made his first start of the season
at right back and David Weir played centre-back alongside Richard Gough.
David Unsworth lined up at left back behind a midfield of Collins, Barmby,
Gemmill and Ward ,with the welcome return of the Campbell and Jeffers partnership
The game kicked off to the noisy strains of the Everton contingent camped
out in the corner of the South Stand. The teams took a few minutes before
Tottenham engineered one of umpteen crosses from wide positions and Anderton
glanced a header a foot wide of Paul Gerrard's left-hand post.
Six minutes later, the increasingly dominant Tottenham won a free kick on
Everton's right which Ginola swung in and Gerrard claimed at the lunging
feet of Iversen; it would have been a certain goal if the Norwegian had been
a yard closer to the ball. A minute after that, Ginola fed Anderton on the
outside of the area and with a clever shimmy, the England midfielder danced
through the Blues' defence before driving the ball goalward and forcing a
parried save from Gerrard.
They were nervy times for Everton but we finally responded with the first
real chance after 18 minutes; Campbell beat off the attention of Scales to
lob the ball over Walker, only to see his effort bounce off the top of the
crossbar. At the other end, Ginola found himself in space for a shot but,
again, Gerrard was equal to the task, further strengthening his new reputation
as a fine shot-stopper.
By the midway stage of the half, the pattern of the game had been set. Tottenham
were running the game with some wonderful touches in the middle of the park,
interspersed with typically mazy runs from the irrepressible Ginola. However,
the Everton defence held firm. There was (and never is) any defence against
appalling refereeing and Paul Alcock put in a masterly display of ineptitude
and inconsistency. The statistic of Everton's two bookings to Spurs' none
told only half the story.
In truth, while Tottenham's home advantage seemed to make them immune from
punishment for bad tackles, Everton were to benefit from an iffy decision
on 24 minutes. Following a little piece of Jeffers magic the 18 year-old
fooled two Spurs defenders with a lovely drawback and shot on the edge of
the area that deflected away from a corner the ball broke loose from
a ricocheted shot. Jeffers led the chase and as 'keeper Walker dived at his
feet, Jeffers fell to the ground and won the penalty. The TV highlights suggest
that the Everton starlet was on his way to ground before Walker touched him
but the spot-kick was awarded and Unsworth was lucky to find the corner of
the net after Walker went the right way.
Everton were 1-0 up, against the run of play, and on the way to an unexpected
first win of the season. Two minutes later, it could, and should have been
two. Jeffers again broke free but was hacked down in the area indicating
a clearer penalty claim than the previous one. Obviously fearful having awarded
one penalty already, Alcock, unbelievably, waved play on.
Tottenham's response was to equalise. Anderton had seen Gerrard pull off
a miracle save by diving at full stretch to paw away his goal-bound effort
but, from the resultant corner, Tim Sherwood found himself unmarked to bury
a header past Jeffers on the line. It remains unclear who should have been
marking the former Blackburn midfielder but whoever it was, they weren't
doing their job properly.
Spurs, with their tails up, had the last chance of the first period when
yet another Ginola cross was met by Ferdinand who headed well wide. It was
the latest in a long line of victories for the French winger over Richard
Dunne who simply didn't have the pace or agility to deal with him. For that
mis-match, Smith has to shoulder the blame.
The half-time break was made easier by the knowledge that we were still on
for a point but that was tempered by the realisation that Spurs would win
comfortably if Everton continued as they had finished the first half. However,
Watford's 1-0 lead Anfield was met with great amusement.
The interval brought about no changes to either line-up and the teams kicked
off in the fine rain. Within six minutes, Gemmill, with Everton kicking towards
their fans' section of the ground, had had his first shot of the game fly
wide. At the other end, Ferdinand planted a free header straight at Gerrard.
Then, another refereeing travesty. Everton poured forward and Gough, chasing
a promising ball in the area was blatantly shoved over by a Spurs defender
who was nowhere near the ball.
On another two occasions, excellent chances for Everton were denied by pathetic
offside decisions from the lines-woman. The only surprise was just how easily
we now accept how the standard of officiating has deteriorated over the past
The game then fell into a stage where Tottenham were beginning to lose their
early momentum and Everton were happy to keep probing on the break. To spice
up Everton's performance and perhaps sensing victory, Smith withdrew Ward
and Gemmill in favour of Hutchison and Cleland.
Then, with 13 minutes left, a long ball was flicked on deftly by Campbell
into Jeffers' path. The youngster had delayed his run perfectly, remaining
onside, before flicking the ball past Walker who was the last line of defence.
The Spurs' keeper caught Jeffers' heel as he raced by and the Everton No
17 crashed to ground as the fans bayed for a second penalty. There could
be only one outcome: that Everton would be awarded their spot kick and Walker
would receive his marching orders. After all, FIFA's directives state as
Alcock pointed to the spot but, incredibly, Walker was only yellow-carded.
Nevertheless, Unsworth stepped up again and blasted the ball under Walker,
who had gone the right way again, to give Everton another precious lead.
13 minutes looked like an eternity to hold on but, as it turned out, Tottenham
only needed eight to turn the game on its head and break Evertonian hearts.
Again Tottenham came back. A floated ball was fingertipped by Gerrard, the
deflection was sufficient to put off Unsworth and another Blue defender at
the far post. When the ball dropped off the former's heel, Leonhardsen was
on hand to blast the ball into the roof of the net and level the game again.
Three minutes later, it was all over. Another slick Spurs move left Carr
in space on the right and his cross eluded the leaden-footed duo of Weir
and Dunne allowing Iversen to steal between the two defenders and plant a
header past the stranded Gerrard. 3-2 and Everton were destroyed. By this
time Jeffers had been withdrawn and Cadamarteri sent on in his place but
the chance for victory or even a point for that matter had
Team 6 Overall, they played with enough spirit for an away game
especially after Wednesday but they never really looked good enough
in the midfield to create the chances to win in their own right. They have
the air of a side simply making do in a time of financial constraint
which is exactly the situation.
The most worrying aspect is just how difficult they find it just to hold
on to possession. I am sure that the statistics on how long both sides had
the ball would be embarrassingly one sided. They have to sort that side of
their game out or they are in for a very long season.
Collins is wasted as a defensive midfielder and Gemmill, while inventive,
needs a playmaker alongside him for support. Up front, Campbell and Jeffers
are nothing without proper service. Still, there is plenty of evidence to
suggest that this Everton side will not go down this season just tread
water for another few months.
Gerrard 7 Another solid display that helped to keep the score down.
I still think I would prefer to have Thomas in goal but we'll see what happens
with Gerrard over the coming games.
Dunne 6 Lost as a right back and embarrassed too many times by Ginola.
Even when he was joined by Ward, the pair of them couldn't stop him getting
dangerous crosses in.
Weir 7 He is obviously a far better central defender than a right
back but is still not the answer to our problems in either position.
Gough 7 I was a little disappointed with him as he was a little slack
at times when you expect so much more from him. Still, he was solid for the
most part and it is nice to know that he is there to get his head on the
ball in times of danger.
Unsworth 6 His two goals and his readiness to get involved in attacks
down the left apart, Rhino was enough to drive you to distraction. A couple
of times he gifted the opposition the ball from defensive headers that could
have gone elsewhere and his attacking repertoire is so pathetically one
dimensional, it makes you want to cry; I lost count of the number of cross-field
balls to nowhere he despatched from the left hand side.
Ward 6 Anonymous as far as I can recall.
Gemmill 7 He is proving to be a good acquisition but he is far from
being the creative engine we need. Unlucky to be booked for an innocuous
challenge when Spurs regularly made worse challenges that went unpunished.
Collins 6 Reduced to little more than a terrier in defensive midfield
trying and not making a very good job of it. We know he has been told to
hang back more this term but he belongs in attacking areas.
Barmby 7 Remains one of our most creative and industrious outlets
and the fulcrum of most of our attacks.
Jeffers 6 Apart from the odd flash of brilliance and winning
our two penalties Franny was a little disappointing in that he was
a touch untidy. That will probably be a familiar tale this season as he gains
more experience but we heap more expectation on him. Thank God he is staying
with us, though, because we need him.
Campbell 7 He worked very hard but is still looking for his first
goal of the season. Apart from one clever lob, he never came close to scoring
but his partnership with Jeffers is going to be crucial for us. Franny feeds
off Campbell's knock-downs so well and, with a bit more penetration from
midfield, our fortunes will improve.
Refereeing 3 Appalling. No other word for it.
Iversen on target as Spurs survive two
Steve Curry, Electronic Telegraph
IT TOOK a long time for Tottenham to penetrate the barricade that Everton
goalkeeper Paul Gerrard presented to their strikers at White Hart Lane but
the London side twice came from behind to achieve success. Indeed, this was
a match in which goalkeepers figured conspicuously for while Gerrard was
somersaulting around his goal-line like a circus entertainer, Ian Walker
was conceding two penalties for fouls on Francis Jeffers.
That Spurs deserved their victory, however, can hardly be denied and that
is six goals in two games within five days for their fans. Surely value for
money. The loss of Sol Campbell was a significant handicap for Tottenham,
who are already short of defensive players with Ramon Vega and Justin Edinburgh
injured. John Scales came in for Campbell. But there was some consolation
for George Graham, the Spurs manager, in that Les Ferdinand, hurt in the
impressive midweek win over Newcastle, was able to return to lead the attack.
Jeffers, omitted last week after putting in a transfer request he has
subsequently withdrawn, figured prominently but Spurs made the early running,
principally through the guile of Darren Anderton. Having lifted a free-kick
from 30 yards over the bar, Anderton glided a header from Mauricio Taricco's
left-wing centre just beyond the far post.
This was a busy opening spell for Gerrard. He saved instinctively when David
Ginola and Anderton showed excellent skill for the Frenchman to set up the
Englishman. Gerrard was active again when making a stretching dive to keep
out another effort from Ginola as Spurs sustained the pressure on Everton's
central defence, 37-year-old Richard Gough and captain David Unsworth.
Everton were restricted to the occasional chance on the break during this
spell. From one, Kevin Campbell, spotting Walker off his line, chipped Scot
Gemmill's throughball on to the top of the bar. Walker was then penalised
by referee Peter Jones for fouling Jeffers as they contested a ball just
beyond the far post. The Spurs goalkeeper got a hand to Unsworth's penalty
but was unable to prevent it going in.
Spurs, sensing that they had the upper hand, refused to allow this setback
to unsettle their rhythm and they finally made it count with an equaliser
in the 33rd minute. Gerrard had again produced the most acrobatic of saves
to keep out a perfectly placed Steffen Iversen header from Ginola's cross
but, when Anderton floated in the corner from the right, Tim Sherwood rose
to place his header beyond Gerrard's grasping right hand.
The heroics from Gerrard continued in the second half when he seemed, at
times, to be mounting a one-man blockade of Everton's goal. Ferdinand directed
a chip from Sherwood downwards but Gerrard somehow managed to get down to
block it. Then Anderton should have given Spurs the edge screwing his shot
wide of the target after Oyvind Leonhardsen had created a fine opening for
Everton then got a second controversial penalty with Jeffers and Walker again
involved, the Spurs keeper contesting that he had tripped the Everton forward
and earning a booking for his troubles. Unsworth dispatched the penalty in
the same right hand corner he had put the first.
Spurs again responded with an equaliser. Ginola created the chance with a
teasing centre from the left which Gerrard had to palm away but Leonhardsen
was positioned beyond the far post to drive the ball into the roof of the
net. With four minutes remaining, the Londoners took the lead. Stephen Carr,
getting forward increasingly, centred from the right and this time it was
perfect for Iversen to ghost in and direct his header into the corner.
Spurs have last laugh
by Brian Glanville, The Sunday Times
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, for so long frustrated by the Everton goalkeeper Paul
Gerrard, eventually won this strange switchback of a match. Twice, for all
their territorial dominance, they fell behind to penalties. Each was awarded
after a foul by their goalkeeper Ian Walker. But on each occasion he was
allowed to stay on the pitch.
Given the overall performance of referee Paul Alcock, this was scarcely
surprising. George Graham, Tottenham's manager, did not mince his words.
"I thought the officials were really poor, but the spirit among the teams
His view was especially interesting since, the penalties apart, Everton seemed
to be the greater sufferers from Alcock's omissions. Three times in the second
half Francis Jeffers twice and Kevin Campbell once Everton's
attackers were hacked down without hindrance. That is to say, they were not
even consoled with a free kick, let alone a yellow card.
Although Graham was largely delighted with his team's second Premiership
victory in a week "I thought in the first 45 minutes were as good
as when I came to the club; we played some absolutely tremendous stuff, when
you think of the saves their goalkeeper had to make, the defending they had
to produce" he was not over-sanguine. The championship? "I don't think
we're strong enough, I really don't."
Earlier in the week Jeffers had gone contritely to his manager Walter Smith,
withdrawn his demands for a transfer or a huge rise in salary and committed
himself totally to Everton. At 18 and with one call-up for the England squad
already behind him, the future could be bright indeed. Above all, he will
clearly not be intimidated by rough treatment, for all his youth. He has
dash, anticipation and enterprise.
But the first half was really a contest between Tottenham and Gerrard. In
the 17th minute a typically insidious run by David Ginola ended with a pass
to Darren Anderton, who neatly made himself space for a drive that Gerrard
turned round his right-hand post.
That Everton were not to be taken lightly was shown in the next minute when
a long ball by Scot Gemmill enabled Campbell to break through Tottenham's
central defence and lob the ball over Walker. Fortunately for Spurs, it landed
on the bar.
Tottenham soon resumed their bombardment. Les Ferdinand and Oyvind Leonhardsen
set up Ginola, whose fierce left-foot drive was turned round a post by Gerrard.
It seemed no more than a matter of time before Tottenham scored, yet four
minutes later, it was Everton who went ahead.
Nick Barmby, who had a largely subdued match against his old team, shot,
Jeffers pursued the deflected ball, Walker dashed after him and dived, Jeffers
fell, Alcock awarded a penalty. "I don't think the first one was a penalty
at all," said Graham, and even his counterpart seemed doubtful about it.
Be that as it may, David Unsworth, the Everton captain, stepped forward to
put the penalty away with his left foot.
Re-enter Gerrard nine minutes later when Steffen Iversen got his head to
Ginola's left-wing cross, and the goalkeeper, this time using his left hand
rather than his right, gallantly got it away for a corner.
The respite was all too brief, however. Over came the right-wing corner kick
from Anderton and Tim Sherwood, who had headed a goal against Newcastle United
last Monday, now headed one against Everton. There was still time before
the interval for Gerrard to save a high shot by Anderton after a free kick.
Little had been seen of Ferdinand, and indeed the spectators would not see
much more after the 52nd minute, when he got his head to Sherwood's right-wing
cross, only for Gerrard to block the ball, even if he could not hold it.
It would be fully a quarter of an hour before Gerrard was tested again, turning
over a strong right-foot drive by Stephen Carr.
Graham said he was not surprised his team could not maintain the pressure
in the second half when they had given so much in the first. Nevertheless,
it was a big surprise when Everton regained the lead from another penalty.
When Campbell flicked the ball on, it went to Jeffers once again. Graham
said he thought his team were trying to play offside and that if it was not
offside, then it was definitely a penalty.
No doubt about that at all, since Walker dived at Jeffers and down Jeffers
went. The case for sending off the goalkeeper seemed open and shut, but Alcock
was having one of those days. Unsworth, however, put the penalty away between
Walker and the right-hand post.
Tottenham recovered once more. Five minutes later Ginola crossed from the
left, a high ball that seemed to be Gerrard's to intercept. Unhappily for
Everton, however, he could not reach it and Leonhardsen, at the far post,
hooked in the equalising goal, his first for his new club.
After 86 minutes Tottenham took the lead for the first time in the match.
Little Carr, ever active and adventurous down that right flank, put over
a cross that seemed likely to be intercepted by an Everton defence which
won high praise from Graham for the way it dealt with Tottenham's steady
supply of crosses. But this was the one that got away. Iversen, who had also
headed a goal against Newcastle, now stole in to head the winner.
"I was disappointed in the way we gave away two goals from the crosses,"
said Smith. He was also disappointed that while two of his men were booked
in the first half, none of Tottenham's was. "It always seems to be an Everton
player who gets a booking," he lamented, "and it puts us under pressure."
But the pressure yesterday was largely Tottenham's, and had it not been for
Gerrard in the Everton goal, they would not have had to rise so dramatically
from the canvas.
Iversen sinks Everton
by Norman Fox, The Independent on Sunday
George Graham reckons he has always been misunderstood. In spite of all those
"boring, boring Arsenal days" he says he has always been an enthusiast for
exciting football. Spurs fans will begin to believe him if Tottenham can
recover from conceding two penalties and being 2-1 down with 13 minutes left,
as well as graft and delight in equal proportions as they did at White Hart
Within the space of the season's first eight days both clubs had already
experienced the misleading pleasure of premature high praise and equally
too hasty condemnation. Everton had been acclaimed as being "passionate"
and "tireless" in holding Manchester United to a draw at Goodison last Saturday,
then dismissed as "lamentable" in a 3-0 away defeat by Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Spurs had been "outplayed" by West Ham the previous Saturday but "dominant"
against Newcastle on Monday. So, beware the hyperbole of summer.
Certainly Spurs quickly re-united themselves with their form of their previous
match and Everton resumed looking as frail as they had in theirs. David Ginola
teased a defence lacking the authority of Dave Watson, and when his 17th-minute
contemptuous glide past two lunging tackles led to Darren Anderton forcing
a desperate save from Paul Gerrard, the omens for Everton were dark.
The flow continued with waves of Spurs attacks until Kevin Campbell managed
to take up a rare counter-attack and lifted the ball high over Ian Walker
and on to the crossbar. Not that anything else promised much for Everton
until, after 23 minutes, a shot from Nicky Barmby struck Francis Jeffers
who, after his unseemly wage dispute, needed to redeem himself. He chased
the ball to the goal-line but was beaten to it by Walker, who seemed to have
pushed it away before Jeffers stumbled over him. Even so, the referee gave
a spot-kick which David Unsworth converted.
For 10 minutes only Tottenham's indifferent finishing and some outstanding
goalkeeping by Gerrard prevented them from balancing the score. Then Ginola
centred deep and Steffen Iversen's header was superbly tipped over by Gerrard,
who was rewarded cruelly only a few seconds later when Anderton's corner
was headed past him by Tim Sherwood.
Lacking adequate cover in front of him, Gerrard was constantly tested. A
penetrating centre from Sherwood shortly after the interval saw no serious
challenge to Les Ferdinand, but Gerrard managed to parry his header clear.
Stephen Carr, whose attacks down the right spoke volumes for Everton's midfield
problems, brought about Gerrard's finest save, a push round the post from
a fierce shot.
That hand-bruising deflection became even more important when, after 76 minutes,
Walker came out to meet Jeffers, who was chasing Campbell's through ball,
and up-ended him. The referee had no qualms about awarding Everton another
penalty, but let Walker escape with only a yellow card. Again Unsworth slammed
in the kick.
Everton's fortunate advantage lasted for five minutes and, sadly, it was
Gerrard who offered Spurs a way back. As Ginola's centre began to drop Gerrard
failed to make proper contact and Oyvind Leonhardsen, at the far post, had
an easy equalising shot. Carr continued to thrust forward and, after 86 minutes,
his centre was flicked in by the hard-working Iversen. "Come to George Graham
for entertainment," the Spurs manager remarked with a wink.
Graham in harmony with the
Graham and Walter Smith of Everton fall into the category of make-do-and-mend
managers, employed by clubs with plenty of tradition but constrained by market
forces. Doubtless, the post-match huddle into which they fell centred on
the difficulties of replenishment.
For Smith, whose work is hindered by ongoing confusion over Everton's ownership,
there was the frustration of conceding two late goals after going ahead with
the second of David Unsworth's two successful penalty kicks, both awarded
against Tottenham's goalkeeper Ian Walker in tussles with Francis Jeffers.
"We got ourselves into a good position, then allowed Tottenham to force the
game into our penalty area," he said.
Both the incidents that led to Everton goals were contentious, the second
penalty carrying a hint of offside against Jeffers before Walker sent him
sprawling and, despite Everton's resolute defending, victory would have flattered
Coming under great pressure in the first half when Tottenham's passing was
most purposeful, Everton needed Paul Gerrard's reflexes to keep them in the
game. Rated third choice until a week ago, Gerrard pulled off a string of
outstanding saves the best of them to thwart Darren Anderton, who
was in the form of a man with something to prove while negotiating a new
Tim Sherwood brought Tottenham level with a near-post header from Anderton's
corner and Graham put their late recovery down to burgeoning team spirit.
"I thought our response to the second penalty was tremendous," he said. "Nobody's
head went down and we got what we deserved. It comes from the work put in
on the training ground, the spirit that's built up there."
Jeffers's bright display affords Everton
by Alyson Rudd, The Times
TIME flies when you are having fun. At Tottenham Hotspur they think it is
still this time last week. Everton think it is Christmas. "That's three games
already," Walter Smith, the Everton manager, sighed. "It seems like 30, but
it's only three."
No wonder Smith sounded weary. Just watching Everton leaves you feeling heavy
limbed. They put in a monumental effort as Tottenham bombarded their penalty
area and, with a great deal of assistance from the goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard,
the back line just about coped for large chunks of the game. When Everton
took the lead, it became tougher still, for Tottenham's level of self-belief
is running high and George Graham's side reacted with indignation and yet
more high-speed crosses into the box.
The worrying thing for Everton is that it is hard to see how they could have
improved on this performance. With Francis Jeffers back in the fold, they
were able to apply a little misery themselves and took the lead twice. Each
time it was Jeffers's nimble runs inside the penalty area that befuddled
Ian Walker. Although the first penalty decision was harsh, the second could,
and probably should, have resulted in the goalkeeper's dismissal. In between
the two penalties, both taken by Unsworth, Jeffers very nearly forced a third.
Had Jeffers left Goodison, it would have been time to check Everton's price
for relegation. For all the angst caused by the saga of turning Kevin Campbell's
loan period into a concrete signing, Jeffers is the striker most likely to
keep hope alive this season. "Sometimes these things happen," said his manager
of Jeffers's contribution on his comeback. But it was no coincidence. This
player is important.
It was indicative of the match's high entertainment value that the fact that
the visiting side was awarded two penalties was so easily absorbed. Everton's
studied application in midfield was in stark contrast to Tottenham's verve.
Last season Graham reiterated the importance of early crosses. His side have
reacted with gusto with Ginola skipping, then unleashing, from the left and
Leonhardsen and Carr providing ammunition from the right.
Leonhardsen, who scored the second equaliser from a Ginola cross, was an
astute purchase. Somehow his commitment and athleticism never counted for
much at Anfield, even though Liverpool sorely needed such qualities, but
at Tottenham he looks the perfect fit. "He's one of the best athletes in
the Premiership," Graham said, and he needs to be given the pace at which
Tottenham operate. You know when Graham rates a player, he expects more.
So even though Leonhardsen was near faultless, his manager insisted: "There's
a lot more to come from him yet."
Anderton, who suffered more dismissive praise, could be on his way out of
White Hart Lane after a contract dispute. On Saturday, operating in his favoured
central midfield role, Anderton was dangerous but he is not as robust as
Graham's other midfield players and began to wilt in the second half. He
did take the corner kick for Sherwood's expert header that made it 1-1 but
his own finishing was wayward.
The right wing, where Anderton is usually placed, is, in any case, being
exploited by Carr, who lacks his team-mate's finesse but makes up for it
with energy. His cross set up the winner for Iversen in the 87th minute.
Then Tottenham indulged in a few minutes of short passing inside the Everton
half, the crowd cheering as the visitors failed to make a single interception.
The home supporters were generous in acclaiming Richard Gough, who played
alongside Weir in central defence for Everton. Gough, 37, who joined Tottenham
13 years ago, was a great favourite before leaving for Rangers. It was not
easy for him in the face of this relentless display by a Tottenham side that
has been inculcated with their manager's determination. If, without diluting
it, they carry on having fun, they could progress markedly in less time than
we all thought might be needed.
Times Newspapers Ltd