Results for Spurs vs Everton

4 points ahead of Liverpool 6 ahead of Arsenal

5:17 pm

SPURS 3 EVERTON 2


Another victory at home for us as we maintain our status as the best team in the Premier League at home, being as we are the only undefeated side.

For the most part it was a comfortable routine win against a side who struggled with our high press and we should have won by more. Every quality team looks to constantly improve, they look to see what they could have done better.

We were totally dominant after a wonderful goal out of nothing from Harry Kane and should have put ourselves at least 2-0 up before half-time. Once again we were not clinical enough in front of goal.

In the second half their keeper rolled the ball to former Tottenham target Morgan Schneiderlin who perhaps dallied on the ball. However, I would like to highlight the work on Mousa Dembele. It was he who rushed to close down Schneiderlin who simply passed the buck and put his teammate in trouble for Dele Alli to poke the ball into the path of Harry Kane. He made no mistake to make it 2-0 and later missed a golden opportunity to get yet another hat-tick when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

He seemed a little indecisive, just as Spurs fell into the trap of playing safe and trying to simply see the game out. Jan Vertonghen slipped over when back peddling and it is 2-1 with 10 minutes to play. We score a third from Dele Alli having the awareness to make a run and substitute Harry Winks to see and play the perfect pass from the free-kick.

Again we let our concentration slip thinking we had won the game and suddenly from nothing it is 3-2, a simple unmarked tap-in. Concentration can still be an issue for us at times and switching off like this has cost us dear in the past.

The win was thoroughly deserved and maintain our second place in the table, which we will retain even if Manchester City beat Sunderland. Another game out of the way, four points above Liverpool, six above Arsenal and a run of games against teams in the bottom half. Now is the time to capitalize on that and put real pressure on the rest.


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4 points ahead of Liverpool 6 ahead of Arsenal 4 points ahead of Liverpool 6 ahead of Arsenal Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:17 pm Rating: 5

Video: Erik Lamela vs Everton

5:00 pm

PLAYER PERFORMANCE


It is easy to rely on memory when a player has a good or bad game, but individual player videos versus opponents allow us to check and confirm o alter our views. It allows the chance to look at movement off the ball and the various options a player may have, it allows the chance to see whether the pass into him was good enough.

We have already seen the performances of new striker Vincent Janssen, who impressed, Dele Alli, who wasn't up to speed and Hugo Lloris, who came off injured. Throughout this season I'll be bringing you highlight videos from our games so you can examine players performance and how his teammates are helping him, or if they are.

Next up is Erik Lamela who came of age last season as a Tottenham player. I haven't uploaded a video in this way on this site before and I'm not sure that it has worked so you can click the link and it will take you to a large size version: Erik Lamela Video Highlights




Video: Erik Lamela vs Everton Video: Erik Lamela vs Everton Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:00 pm Rating: 5

Video: Hugo Lloris vs Everton

2:30 pm

PLAYER PERFORMANCE


It is easy to rely on memory when a player has a good or bad game, but individual player videos versus opponents allow us to check and confirm o alter our views. It allows the chance to look at movement off the ball and the various options a player may have, it allows the chance to see whether the pass into him was good enough.

We have already seen the performances of new striker Vincent Janssen, who impressed and Dele Alli, who wasn't up to speed. He was a little rusty as he put it after the Inter Milan pre-season friendly. Throughout this season I'll be bringing you highlight videos from our games so you can examine players performance and how his teammates are helping him, or if they are.

Now it's the turn of our captain, French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. he moved late for the goal expecting a flick but if you watch the Everton player he has his back to goal so the only thing he could really have done is flick the ball to where it went. Perhaps Lloris should have anticipated that a touch earlier than he did and perhaps he would have got across to palm the ball away as usually happen in these situations.



Video: Hugo Lloris vs Everton Video: Hugo Lloris vs Everton Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

Video: Dele Alli vs Everton

12:30 pm

PLAYER PERFORMANCE


It is easy to rely on memory when a player has a good or bad game, but individual player videos versus opponents allow us to check and confirm o alter our views. It allows the chance to look at movement off the ball and the various options a player may have, it allows the chance to see whether the pass into him was good enough.

In the last article I brought you the video of Vincent Janssen and throughout this season I'll be bringing you highlight videos so you can examine players performance. Now it's the turn of Dele Alli who said he was a little rusty after th Inter Milan pre-season friendly.





Video: Dele Alli vs Everton Video: Dele Alli vs Everton Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Video: Vincent Janssen vs Everton

10:30 am

PLAYER PERFORMANCE


I'll be bringing you individual player performance videos this season and we kick off with Vincent Janssen, followed by Dele Alli in the next article.

It is easy to rely on memory when a player has a good or bad game, but individual player videos versus opponents allow us to check and confirm o alter our views. It allows the chance to look at movement off the ball and the various options a player may have, it allows the chance to see whether the pass into him was good enough.

Vincent Janssen made his competitive debut for Spurs when he came on after 63 minutes and provided the energy we were missing up front.

Several of the players were coming back after the European Championships and looked laboured, as if they haven't had enough pre-season training, which they haven't of course.

Janssen had good movement and close control, his first touch took him away from opponents when he needed to, such as when he took the ball turned and played a ball back across the box to the edge of the area for Dele Alli, who blasted high and wide.





Video: Vincent Janssen vs Everton Video: Vincent Janssen vs Everton Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

Michel Vorm

7:00 pm
Michel Vorm takes a fair amount of stick from Spurs fans, a genuine keeper who showed his worth after a disastrous backpass had caught the unfit Vertonghem out. That left young Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu, although he was playing as a striker in the absense of Romelu Lukaku in this game, free with a one-on-one against Michel Vorm.

The Dutchman kept us in the game just before half-time when we were already 1-0 down. The hamstring strain to Lloris wasn't bad, he jogged off, it was a prevention substitution and if he misses any games it should only be one. I would expect him to be available next week.

Credit where credit is due.



Michel Vorm Michel Vorm Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:00 pm Rating: 5

Video: Mauricio Pochettino

2:30 pm

EVERTON vs SPURS


It doesn't take a genius to work out that the first half wasn't good enough and the second half was an improvement. The knee jerk brigade are already calling for a change to our successful formation, yet the European Championship players aren't even fully match fit yet. We are having to give thm game time to bring them up to speed, hence they looked sluggish. It isn't a surprise even if the performance was a disappointment.

The video below is the post match interview of Mauricio Pochettino who quite rightly wasn't happy with players and blasted them at half time.



Video: Mauricio Pochettino Video: Mauricio Pochettino Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

A disjointed point and Lloris injury

6:48 pm

EVERTON vs SPURS


Always was gonna be a tough start but should have won it in the end, need to start the way we finished but a decent point COYS

Do you agree with Micky Hazard? It certainly was a tougher game than it should have been. We saw one piece of skill and Lamela must have been working on his heading because last season they were going well wide.

Janssen nearly stole it, but he looked at home and shouldn't have any problems scoring in the Premier League.



Hugo Lloris had to come off with a hamstring injury after expecting a flick that never came for Everton's goal. It was a soft goal to receive and we should be defending that better. Jan Vertonghen was pressed into service while not really being fully fit, he has only had a week of training. Kevin Wimmer, who would have been expected to start has a hamstring strain and will be out to next week.



A disjointed point and Lloris injury A disjointed point and Lloris injury Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:48 pm Rating: 5

Team and Twitter Pics, U-18's win

2:36 pm

EVERTON vs SPURS


Not long until the start of the season for us. Hull City beat Leicester City 2-1 and currently sit top of the Premier League.

Spurs XI: Lloris (C); Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Wanyama; Lamela, Eriksen, Alli; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Davies, Carter-Vickers, Winks, Mason, Onomah, Janssen.

Sam Prystupa from Canada was first through the away turnstile & into our end at Goodison Park! Video soon.

U18s FT: Spurs 4-1 - Griffiths with our 3rd, Smallbone replied for Saints, Oakley-Boothe finished it on 90mins.


COYS

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Team and Twitter Pics, U-18's win Team and Twitter Pics, U-18's win Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:36 pm Rating: 5

The best time to be playing Everton

12:30 pm

EVERTON vs SPURS

Everton are only 70 per cent ready for Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur, admits new Everton boss Ronald Koeman. That is exactly the point I was making the other day, a new manager, new players, they have to get used to a new system, there is no better time to be playing them away. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have the same problems.

Ronald Koeman's form in his managerial debuts: Vitesse Arnhem (W), Ajax (W), Benfica (D), PSV Eindhoven (W), Valencia (L), AZ Alkmaar (L), Feyenoord (W), Southampton (L) - WWDWLLWL

Jan Vertonghen will be fit for our opening game of the Premier League season, Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed. Everton new signing  Ashley Willams isn't ready to play, while Romelu Lukaku and Chris Coleman remain doubts.

Spurs have won 33% of their opening Premier League matches and lost 50%. Everton have won 17% of their opening fixtures and lost 33%.





The best time to be playing Everton The best time to be playing Everton Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Subs bench vs Everton is Poch's biggest decision

9:00 pm

TOTTENHAM TEAM TALK

Everton vs Spurs

The new season is only a week away and Tottenham have a settled side with only one position up for grabs. Mousa Dembele is banned which leaves Pochettino with a decision to make.

New signing Victor Wanyama isn't a Dembele replacement, he is more defensive than Dembele so if he is selected it would mean Eric Dier changing roles and moving into the Dembele position. That is unless we decide to go for the two defensive, defensive midfieders and ensure we start off the season by not being beaten.

For me, that cautious approach is the wrong one for several reasons. Firstly we don't want to start the season playing catch up, we want to start with a win. We were successful last season away from home with our approach so why does it need to change now. Then there is the fact that Everton has a new manager, it is, therefore, an excellent time to be playing them. The players have to get used to what a new manager wants, the system he wants to play and there will be players at the club who he wants to replace.

Teams take a while to grasp what a new manager wants and during that time they are vulnerable. It is a game we should be targeting a win from and as such the Dembele replacement should be someone who will get forward as well as defend. Certainly Eric Dier can perform that role, but then so can Ryan Mason.

He may not be loved by a section but he showed against Inter Milan he was back on the ball. He was at one end hitting a first-time shot and missing the target when he should have done better inside their penalty area. At the other end, he was rescuing us with important challenges in our own box to stop dangerous attacks or block shots.

he was also wearing the captain's armband pre-season, not something you do for a player you are looking to sell as some assume. Pochettino likes him and I expect he'll start alongside Eric Dier with Victor Wanyama coming on for him during the second half, hopefully, to try and seal a win.

Predicted Spurs XI vs Everton (a)
Lloris (c)
Walker Alderweireld Wimmer Rose
Dier Mason
Lamela Alli Eriksen
Kane

The other debate is the substitutes bench. If you use 4  of the 7 places up with a goalkeeper and three defenders then you limit what you have left, given Vincent Janssen is also bound to be on the bench. Do you leave a full-back out to provide space for another attack minded player? 

Does Harry Winks get a look in after a superb pre-season for him? Is there a spot for Nacer Chadli and will his omission signal he is to be sold? If you leave out a full-back, which one Trippier or Davies? If Wanyama is on the bench do you choose the more attack-minded Onomah over Winks? Is there any place for Tom Carroll?

Quite frankly the composition of the substitutes bench causes more consternation than who starts!

Spurs Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Carter-Vickers, Wanyama, Onomah, Janssen



Subs bench vs Everton is Poch's biggest decision Subs bench vs Everton is Poch's biggest decision Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:00 pm Rating: 5

Points from the Everton game

9:00 am
There were several points from the Everton game at White Hart Lane yesterday that leapt out.

We started the game slowly again, looking as if we didn't want to challenge in the air for the ball, but back off and let them have possession. Time after time Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard played the ball forward to Lukaku who had a free header back to one of his team mates.

Then we at last started to go outside our man wide, but such was the novelty of it, the crosses that followed were appalling. They weren't just over-hit, they were wildly over-hit.

Ryan Mason was getting past Harry Kane in the manner than neither Eriksen oe Lamela normally do. He was looking for opportunities and once again when through with only the keeper to beat, the keeper saved his efforts, that's 4 out of 4 saved now..

There were too many occasions when a Tottenham player received the ball and didn't know what to do with it. That is down to vision and demonstrates why I have been advocating we include things like this and mentality work as a more prominent part of our training. Our finishing showed again that it's a requirement.

We get to the final third and we are not composed in front of goal, Kane is a goalscorer so we don't have to worry about him too much, but Chadli's effort he put over the bar from 8 yards with just the keeper to beat and no defenders to worry about was pathetic. Composure comes from being cool and calm under pressure and that is emotion, which is controlled by the mind.

Om the plus side we were working the ball around and making space to move forward, just wasn't entirely sure what to do when we got there. Eric Dier is looking comfortable in his role, Bentaleb looked better after a rest and Rose had a good game, perhaps a few more of our players involved over the summer need a break.

I did expect us to be missing 6 players for the start of the season, the players involved over the summer needed a rest and should have had one. A player can't just keep playing, they need a break, they should be a month behind the rest of the squad.

We have two new attacking players to introduce and hopefully they will give us the creative spark we are missing at the moment, it's all a bit too workmanlike at the moment.

Further Tottenham Reading
Stadium Competition
Lennon to West Ham or Everton before the window closes
Arsenal and Chelsea fixture problem for Spurs



Points from the Everton game Points from the Everton game Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:00 am Rating: 5

Few selection headaches for Pochettino this week

6:00 pm
Christian Eriksen is still out with an injured knee so misses the Everton game while Andros Townsend, whose future is uncertain at Tottenham, has recovered from his and is in contention to be included in the squad.



Clinton Njié, who apparently has not been dating and is not engaged to actress and movie producer Syndy Emade, will not be starting against Everton. If you look at other Pochettino signings it is quite common for them to have to get used to the system a little in training before they are thrust into the starting line-up.

Fellow new signing Heung-min Son  is unlikely to get international clearance in time, but may well be presented to the crowd before the game.

The Spurs head coach revealed in the pre-game press conference that his new signing is not fit enough to start and it would be a big risk to play him. A lack of fitness can cause injury as a player tires and fatigue induces mistakes, perhaps some of our players have needed a little more rest than they have had. I expected 6 players to miss the start of the season given that they would need a rest after summer activity yet we are playing some who aren't fully fit yet.

Danny Rose has been confirmed as fit again after his muscle injury so Pochettino will have a tough decision to make over who takes the left-back role.Ben Davies has started this season better than he started last season and has already provided an assist for Nacer Chadli to score against Stoke City.

Do you keep faith with Ben Davies and have Rose fight for his place or do you put Rose straight back in which would possibly send the wrong message to Davies. Rose was exceptional last season, but it might be the time to leave the defence alone for a bit. There is no right or wrong decision really, just personal choice.

We need to stick with players rather than chop and change so I don't expect to see Vertonghn dropped after a poor performance last week just as I didn't expect to see Alderweireld dropped after changing the game in Stoke City's favour the previous week.



Few selection headaches for Pochettino this week Few selection headaches for Pochettino this week Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:00 pm Rating: 5

Spurs players start to knuckle down

7:49 pm
The ITK in November caught up with the news I brought you in October that Mauricio Pochettino was her to stay and that he had been told he could simply leave players to rot if the didn't buy into what he was doing.

Spurs players start to knuckle down


There has been a bit of a power struggle with the players thinking they could exert their influence to play the way they wanted and Daniel Levy coming down firmly on the side of Pochettino and assuring him he had total control of the playing staff at the club.

That power struggle has seen some inept performances but the majority of players have now grasped the fact that they are not in control any more. It's buckle down and do what Pochettino wants or leave. The only alternative is the situation Paulinho found himself in, simply not playing.

Today was the first time we have seen a semblance of what Pochettino wants the players to do. There was more closing down in this game than any other home game and thus the underdog triumphed. Yes we were clearly the underdog, just as we were in the last home game against Stoke, such has been our relegation standard play.

Many of us were saying last season the only position Chiriches can possibly play is right-back and again he offered evidence that he is more reliable there than at the centre of defence, although there were still some wayward passes, especially a pass back early in the first-half.

Tottenham looked more solid, yes there were areas to improve but the important thing was not just a win, but progress and hope. Today is not a day to look for the problems but to enjoy the improved mentality and commitment.

It's a real bonus that Roberto Soldado scored the winner as that should do his confidence a power of good, not just a goal but a goal that secures the points, it makes it all the sweeter for him. We could really do with him scoring in the next Premier League game as well, to start to show what he can do.

Pats on the back all round today.


Spurs players start to knuckle down Spurs players start to knuckle down Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:49 pm Rating: 5

Bentaleb Man of the Match & free-kick was legal

7:00 pm
I see Richard Keys, the man thrown off Sky Sports, is about the Spurs free-kick vs Everton stating that it was illegal.

'Spurs' goal shouldn't have stood versus Everton, Mark Clattenburg should've ordered a re-take,' continued Keys. 'The ball was some ten yards from the original offence when Walker took the kick.

'Full marks to him - black mark to Gareth Barry for giving the ball up so easily. But law 13 states the kick should be taken from the place of the offence. Spurs got a distinct advantage because it wasn't.'

Kyle Walker free-kick vs Everton
Kyle Walker free-kick vs Everton with thanks to the Daily Mail

Ian Snodin in the Liverpool echo writes:

'Mark Clattenburg didn’t do much to improve his standing in the eyes of Evertonians on Sunday.

He waved away a decent claim for a penalty, prevented Everton from taking a quick free-kick because he wanted to book Mousa Dembele – then allowed Spurs to score the only goal of the game from a quickly taken free-kick ... 10 yards from where the original offence took place.

 But that’s all so much nit-picking.'

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The Morning Article (opens in a new window): Steffen Freund Director of Player Development
Yesterday's Article: Will Sherwood be asked to take on Levy's Project?
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In fairness to him he complains that Everton created nothing in the second half and switched off at the free-kick. What neither point out is that the free-kick was taken 10 yards BEHIND where the offence took place, not in front so no advantage was sought to be gained. It was where Everton themselves put the ball.

A throw-in for instance can be taken from behind the offence, Kyle Walker takes most throw-ins from behind where the ball went out. These people should be applauding a brilliant piece of vision and awareness from Walker and Adebayor. Walker delivered the perfect ball, shame his crosses weren't of that standard, Ade was pointing to where he wanted the ball and was onside for once.

Walker has many critics and his crossing was sub standard on Sunday but his one moment won us the game. The ball still had to be delivered right and it was.

Incidentally I listened to an American commentary on the game and they gave the Man of The Match to Nabil Bentaleb.

With Dembele and Paulinho going forward together, they were frequently in the Everton box at the same time, Bentaleb was left holding the fort and in the first 8 minutes was run ragged. Then as they pointed out he grew into the game, adjusted his position, got closer to his opponent and cut the Everton threat out at source. From that point they didn't create a great deal.

Cutting a threat at source is a factor overlooked by many who look for mistakes later at the end of a move and blame that individual. This is often where Dawson and Walker get wrongly criticised. I can tell you a coach looks to find the source of a problem and prevent it there.

Prevention is better than cure. If you keep treating the cure (the end result error) then it will simply keep occurring but if you treat the cause it doesn't happen in the first place. That was what Bentaleb did so well and why he was far more deserving of Man of the Match than Adebayor.

I'm not sure fans have grasped Bentaleb's role or indeed the gun-ho way Spurs are playing with on Sunday two central midfielders attacking at the same time. It was a switch from Sherwood's normal system and shows that he is adaptable to the opposition. After the first 8 minutes our defensive set up was good and easily contained Everton in the second half although it did mean we had little attacking threat.

Games like this often revolve around one moment of brilliance so Adebayor and Walker deserve the applause along with Bentaleb.




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Bentaleb Man of the Match & free-kick was legal Bentaleb Man of the Match & free-kick was legal Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:00 pm Rating: 5

Life at the Top

11:17 am
Spurs vs Everton 9th Feb 2014


Soccer Sunday see another Spurs game, the early kick-off this time, and another crunch tie. That is the way of life at the top of the Premier League, it provides a pressure players have to be able to deal with.

Liverpool thrashed Arsenal just as they thrashed us, Chelsea marched on, Man City slipped up away from home again, Southampton, the rank outsiders for a Champions League place, could only draw and Manchester United play the woeful Fulham today. Why weren't Fulham woeful when they played us?

Having been hammered by Man City for the second time this season, all be it with the help of the officials, and only gaining a draw away to Stoke, the Everton game suddenly takes on added significance.

Apart from being our rivals, today you could suggests determines whether we are chasing the Champions League or the Europa League. A look at the Premier League table now see the danger of a gap starting to open.

Chelsea   56 pts GD +27
Arsenal    55 pts GD +22
Man City 54 pts GD +41
Liverpool 50 pts GD +33
Everton   45 pts GD +12
SPURS    44 pts GD -1

Six points behind Liverpool before today. If we are to challenge for the top four we simply have to win today because it is very difficult to close a gap once it starts to open. Our record against the top teams is woeful, the worst of all our rivals, we have claimed only 2 points at home against the top seven.

We have only earned 11 points from our last 10 home fixtures (W3, D3, L4) and we have won just 2 of our last 13 Premier League matches against Everton. That all paints a poor picture.

There are some positives however. We are 2 points better off than at the same stage last season when a record number of points still didn't get us Champions League football. We have scored in all 8 Premier League games under Tim Sherwood, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 1. Only the current top three clubs have earned more points in the same period. Spurs are yet to lose a league game from a winning position this season.

Negatives, positives, we can look at them all we like, at the end of the day it boils down to how players handle pressure. The end of a season has seen Spurs bottle it more than once, the pressure being too much for some of our lads.

That pressure affects the staff as well, they are under pressure to get the tactics right and can only sit, watch and hope. They get a chance at half-time to change things but it's down to the guys on the field.

Pressure sorts the men from the boys, the good players from the high quality players. You perform or you bottle it. You can handle it or you can't. The mental side of the game takes over, can you pick the right pass under pressure, can you make the right decision again and again and again or is your mistake going to cost the match.

Different players respond in different ways. We don't know how this squad will handle the fear of a gap developing if they lose to a rival today. Their record is poor, this is a must win game. Chasing two teams is a lot harder than chasing one, whilst one may slip up asking two to do so starts putting the odds against you.

What way will Tim's selections go, will he get the formation right, will his gun-ho tactics work against a passing team. In a few hours we will know if we are still outsiders for the Champions League or whether we can virtually give up on that idea.

Fingers crossed, come on boys, COYS.




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Life at the Top Life at the Top Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:17 am Rating: 5

Everton Match Build-Up

8:31 pm
Injury Update

Andros Townsend is back in contention after 8 weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury as is Mousa Dembele after missing the Hull City draw with an ankle injury.

Vlad Chiriches, Sandro and Erik Lamela are all unfit and will not figure.

Head Coach Views

Tim Sherwood says he has no plans to change his teams style of play when they face Everton on Sunday afternoon.

"This season has been a change under Martinez, he’s had a terrific start and it’s up to us to try and halt their charge.

"I don’t think we have to adjust to Everton, they won’t adjust to us. If we win our personal battles, we’ll come out on top."

Match Facts

  • Tottenham have won just two of their last 13 Premier League matches against Everton
  • Spurs are two points better off than at the same stage last season
  • Tottenham have scored in all 8 Premier League games under Tim Sherwood, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 1. Only the current top three clubs have earned more points in the same period
  • Spurs have only earned 11 points from their last 10 home fixtures (W3, D3, L4)
  • Tottenham have gained the fewest points (2) in home matches between the top seven teams this season
  • Spurs are yet to lose a league game from a winning position this season.





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Everton Match Build-Up Everton Match Build-Up Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:31 pm Rating: 5

Selection Conundrums

6:30 pm
Selection conundrums for the Everton fixture looming on the horizon on Sunday afternoon.

In goal Hugo Lloris picks himself as does the back four assuming no fitness problems, Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose.

Kyle Naughton simply isn't good enough, nor is Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul seems forever on the way back from injury and lacking match fitness. He can't wait for the Europa League to start again I suspect.

It is in front of them we have dilemmas. A plethora of midfield players to fir into a 4-2-2 system. We have purchased players to play 4-3-3 and now playing with 2 wide men we only have 2 central midfield berths available.

That is and has caused us problems with us again fitting square pegs into round holes playing Gylfi Sigurdsson or Christian Eriksen wide on the left.

Presumably if near a decent level of fitness Andros Townsend will come in on the left hand side with Aaron Lennon on the right. That leaves us Gylfi Sigurdsson, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele, Paulinho, Sandro, Etienne Capoue Nabil Bentaleb, Eric Lamela (with his perennial thigh strain) and Nacer Chadli all fighting for 2 midfield berths.

There is going to be a lot of wasted talent on the sidelines.

Adebayor starts up front of course so it's a question of persevering with Roberto Soldado or dropping him to the bench to make way for someone behind the striker, unless you play Defoe of course.

If Townsend played Eriksen I would think would get the nod leaving Paulinho +1, possibly Dembele to fill the midfield berths.

If Townsend doesn't play I would suspect Eriksen would go wide and Soldado would retain his place.

Quite what Tim Sherwood is going to do who knows.



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Selection Conundrums Selection Conundrums Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:30 pm Rating: 5

Do two left footers create a problem?

5:20 pm
Everton 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

It was the same old story, plenty of ball, look good, take plenty of hit and hope shots, create virtually nothing and give away virtually nothing.

You can't knock the defensive record, 1 goal conceded away from home in all competitions, the defence play their part in that, our heroic goalkeeper plays his part but the midfield play a tremendous part as the shield as well. The lowest number of shots conceded in the league by any team this season, a stat not to be sniffed at but it comes at a cost. We simply don't create anything.

Now some of you will point to all the shots we have but they as I say before are hit and hope things, clear cut chances and tucking them away are the bread and butter of Premier League titles. If you consider a clear cut chance to be an opportunity you expect and not hope to score from then we have created 3 in 4 games.

Defoe had one against West Ham, he missed we lost, Soldado tucked away the clear cut chance against Aston Villa, against Hull he had a tough chance with the defender on him and you could argue today the Vertonghen penalty was a clear cut chance, so 4 at best.

We sit fourth so all is not lost, if we took a poll we'd probably all be quite happy with where we are. I mentioned in an earlier article that we have to have more points than our opponents because of goal difference and that it may become a factor at the end of the season. We could be second but we have half the goal difference of Chelsea and a quarter of the team below us, Manchester City.

There will always be fans who put show before substance, who look at a player and say he had a good game, he was lively, but at the end of the day the bottom line is what did they create. A damning statistic is the zero assists from wide men in 10 games. This quite simply has to be addressed, it will cost us in the long run if we don't.

With the tactics as they are we have paid £26 million for a penalty taker. The logic escapes me. We could have played the ball into the channels behind the defender today, Soldado was calling for it but we didn't, at least not straight away as we should have done. We delayed the pass to long.

Do we think we are Barcelona and have signed Leonel Messi to weave through a forest of legs centrally? Lukaku highlighted the difference today, he to had no service but he could well have scored inside the 6 yard box with a ball put into the near post from the wide area.

The Sky 'expert' Peter Beagrie was saying we couldn't cross the ball because there was only Soldado in the box, well Lukaku was the only man in the box and he nearly scored. A striker wants those balls, Giroud scored against us with one. Had Lukaku turned it in do you think Beagrie would have been saying the wide man shouldn't have been playing the ball? Of course not. You play the ball there for your striker to attack that spot so why are we not playing it?

Are we trying to score the perfect goal every time, do we have Arsenal syndrome? From 10 Premier League games you would expect something for Soldado from wide.

Holtby was busy today, he certainly gives the team energy but I see a small problem with him and Townsend together. When Townsend gets the ball he usually cuts inside onto his left foot and starts running parallel with the penalty box looking for a shot.

Holtby is also left footed so when the ball comes to him, to get a shot he has to continue the on the same path when we need, at that specific point, someone to be able to go the other way. That gives the defenders more to think about, creates a bit of indecision. At the moment it's simple just keep pushing the left or let them play it square again. It's a small point but it's not helping us in those central areas where we are trying to pick a lock.

Yes he can go the opposite way to Sigurdsson but lets be honest Sigurdsson usually only goes as far as the inside left channel, Townsend goes central. Sigurdsson looks to make a run into the box like Norwich and Chelsea, Townsend doesn't so a right footer doesn't have the same problem from that side.

Do we need to see Townsend play the ball inside and attack the channel whilst Soldado pulls out to create a hole and lay him in like he has done twice for Sigurdsson? Do we have enough diagonal running in and around the box, it just all seems very flat, all very predictable, all very easy to defend against. Should Holtby be making runs into the box to take defenders away for others? Lots to consider when watching a re-run of our attacking game, as yet the solution evades us.

Surprisingly some Spurs fans have been muttering about Sandro questioning the need for him, today I thought he had a fabulous game while he was out there. The wall he was giving the centre-backs was great, he kept Lukaku out of the game by cutting off the supply lines to him which meant Chiriches didn't have to deal with him to much.

Free kicks are an issue without Eriksen on the field. Yaya Toure or Kyle Walker taking a free-kick vote now. Yes I thought so, no votes for Walker. Why is he taking them when all he can do is biff it. A free kick needs dip and curl to go over the wall not round it straight at the centre of the goal where the keeper just stands still and says thank you vet much. Is that seriously what we have figured out on the training field as the best option?

A point, a good point? It feels more like 2 points dropped though, an opportunity missed. Another game to say ah yes but we are still trying to gel.

Next weeks fixtures on Saturday see;
Aston Villa play Cardiff City
Chelsea play WBA
Crystal Palace play Everton
Liverpool play Fulham
Southampton play Hull City
Norwich City play West Ham United

and on Sunday;
Spurs play Newcastle United
Sunderland play Manchester City
Manchester United play Arsenal
Swansea City play Stoke City

You would expect Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Southampton and Man City to win with a coin toss between United and Arsenal.

We'll be starting next weeks game in 6th after the Saturday set of fixtures with the pressure on.



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Do two left footers create a problem? Do two left footers create a problem? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:20 pm Rating: 5
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