COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 5th March 2017
VENUE White Hart Lane
Everton SQUAD 1.  Joel ROBLES
3.  Leighton BAINES
5.  Ashley WILLIAMS
8.  Ross BARKLEY
9.  Arouna KONE
10.  Romelu LUKAKU
11.  Kevin MIRALLIS
12.  Aaron LENNON
14.  Yannick BOLASIE
16.  James McCARTHY
17.  Idrissa GUEYE
18.  Gareth BARRY
19.  Enner VALENCIA
21.  Muhamed BESIC
23.  Seamus COLEMAN
25.  Ramiro FUNES MORI
26.  Tom DAVIES
28.  Kieran DOWELL
29.  Dominic CALVERT-LEWIN
30.  Mason HOLGATE
31.  Ademola LOOKMAN
38.  Matthew PENNINGTON
-.  Luke GARBUTT
PREVIEW Everton are on a good run in the Premier League being undefeated since December and Ronald Koeman is shaping the side in the way of his playing, as developed at Southampton before he de-camped for Goodison.  The side are well-organised an drilled to get behind the ball when the conceded possession, using the target man Romelu Lukaku as their main attacking threat.  But the midfielders do get up quickly to support him, with them chipping in with goals to add to the main striker's tally.

With players like Ross Barkley - a player we have been linked with and Aaron Lennon - a player we know well, they have England internationals in their side and there is also Tom Davies - a newcomer - who is being tipped to follow them into the national side.  A skilful and tenacious player, he has the confidence to carry the ball up-field, so will need to be tracked when he breaks up a move on the edge of his own box.  Signed from Aston Villa, Idrissa Gueye is the one most likely to break things up in front of the back four, with a good engine to take him forward too.  This makes up for the aging legs of Gareth Barry, who picks up yellow cards regularly as he cannot catch players going away from him, other than in the foul sense.  Barkley is also not the quickest and pace might be Everton's undoing.  Lennon is quick, but Mirallis isn't keen on the defensive side of the game and McCarthy tries, but his boat sailed a long time ago and we dodged a bullet by losing out to Everton when he left Wigan. 

The back four are particularly prone to struggling with fast players, with Jagielka, Baines, Williams and Funes Mori all slow on the turn, so quick breaks on them could catch them out.

Robles has regained the gloves from Stekelenburg and has a mistake in him, so the percentage of shots on target needs to be high Sunday, to put him under pressure.  We need to make more of our set-pieces, but Everton do have height at both ends of the pitch when it comes to dead ball situations.  Morgan Schneiderlin's introduction should have added to their solidity and he can turn defence into attack quickly, with new signing Ademola Lookman bringing youthful legs to the Everton attack, usually at the end of the game, as Lukaku is their lone striker most of the time.

Tottenham bounced back well from the Europa League exit, but Stoke were poor.  I was expecting a tough game last week with Stoke, but that didn't materialise, so, who knows what will happen on Sunday ?  I imagine Everton will be more up for it, with a European place at stake for them, but if all goes to plan, I take a narrow win over the Toffees to make the most of results around us.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Everton    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Everton
Danny Rose (knee) and Erik Lamela (hip) are both unavailable, while Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all to undergo late fitness tests.
Everton TEAM NEWS :
Long term knee ligament victims Yannick Bolasie and Mo Besic are the only players missing from the Everton squad.

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Tottenham Hotspur  3 (1)                                                                       
Premier League
Sunday 5th March 2017
White Hart Lane
Everton  2 (0)

Kick off 13:30
Kane  19m 25s
Kane  55m 40s
Dele  90+1m 51s
Lukaku  80m 05s
Valencia  90+2m 55s
Dembele (foul on Coleman)  76 


Gueye (foul on Davies)  29
Williams (foul on Janssen)  90+5m


Crowd :   31,962 Weather :  Sunny with rain showers
Referee :  Michael Oliver (Northumberland) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Burt; Mr. C. Hatzidakis
Fourth Official :  Neil Swarbrick  
Spurs  kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Everton : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

15  Eric DIER

12  Victor WANYAMA
19  Mousa DEMBELE       (29  Harry WINKS  78)

  2  Kyle WALKER
20  DELE Alli 
Christian ERIKSEN  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  87)
33  Ben DAVIES

10  Harry KANE      (  9  Vincent JANSSEN  90)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
27  Kevin WIMMER
  7  Heung-Min SON


    1  Joel ROBLES

23  Seamus COLEMAN
25  Ramiro FUNES MORI
  5  Ashley WILLIAMS     
  3  Leighton BAINES

18  Gareth BARRY  (c)  (16  James McCARTHY  64)

  8  Ross BARKLEY
26  Tom DAVIES  (11  Kevin MIRALLIS  64)
17  Issidra GUEYE       (
19  Enner VALENCIA 81  )

10  Romelu LUKAKU 

Unused subs: 
30  Mason HOLGATE
  6  Phil JAGIELKA
31  Ademola LOOKMAN

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Ronald Koeman
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Chang
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Umbro
Match report

Another tough game failed to materialise into the game I thought it might become, as Everton only woke up in the last ten minutes to give Spurs something to think about and fail to deal with a couple of attacks that left what should have been a comfortable win at 3-2 when the final whistle blew.  Thanks to Harry Kane's finishing, Harry Winks' quick thinking and Dele Alli's skilfully deft touch, Spurs saw off the late challenge to grab the three points that keep them in second place, as some of those around them in the table lost touch this weekend.

From the start, it was clear to see that Everton had reverted the best part of 20 years to replicate the style of Joe Royle's "Dogs of War" Toffees side, with the emphasis on the physical side of their play.  Tackles were flying in and arms used liberally to prevent Tottenham players getting past them, with referee Oliver being particularly lenient on the fouls that were being committed.  Kane had a tough time against Ashley Williams, when the defender was allowed to fully embrace the new interpretation by the match officials that allowed him to fully embrace the Spurs striker with both arms.  Ironic that he was booked in the last minute for doing the same, but a lot more vehemently, as he slung substitute Vincent Janssen to the floor ... something he had previously done to Kane in the first half.

So, with three defensive midfielders in their side, it wasn't hard to see what Koeman's tactics would be.  Stifle the play, nick the ball and pump it forward to Lukaku.  It may be a way of playing that gets them points, but not today, as Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen did very well against this direct style of play, winning headers in front of Lukaku or letting him head the ball on to nobody in particular.  Kane had already been launched into by the new Everton starlet Davies, who failed to show much of what all the fuss is about, before Schneiderlin left his mark on Alli and Gueye left Dembele holding an ankle. 

The match had been marked down as the battle of the two number tens.  Kane v Lukaku, but my particular favourite battle was Schneiderlin v Wanyama.  Two players who Spurs had pursued when they were with Southampton, with Schneiderlin off to Man United, while Victor came to Spurs.  The winner would help dictate the outcome of the match by providing the platform for their side to play off.

With Tottenham's line-up from last week fit and ready to take the field, from the kick off Everton made it clear they were out to make it difficult for Spurs to get past them, whether using fair or foul means.  With the players closing down quickly, the first ten minutes was disjointed, with play not flowing at all.  Jan Vertonghen notably produced a fine tackle in the box to stop Lukaku progressing to a shooting position, then there was a break for Spurs, with Wanyama setting up Ben Davies for a shot that Barry blocked.  Toby and Jan were being allowed some time on the ball when it was played out from the back, as Everton were slow to close them and they both enjoyed coming forward with the ball, with Jan trying a shot later in the half.

Spurs produced the first real threat on goal, with Davies playing the ball into Kane from the left 25 yards out.  Harry turned away from Gueye and made a move infield, finding himself free 22 yards out and he struck a fierce right foot shot past Robles's right hand and inside the post to give Spurs a 20th minute lead.  The supposedly defensive midfield strength had melted in front of Harry and he does not like to spurn such a generous invitation, especially when Barry failed to get close to him and turned his back when he let go of his shot.  It was one of many fine strikes Kane has scored with this season and hopefully there are many more to come.

It was only a minute later when he took a long diagonal ball from Vertonghen, laid it off to Eriksen and took the return before stepping inside a rash challenge from Williams and only Robles coming out quickly to block his shot at close range inside ten yards of goal.  The ball came out awkwardly for Eriksen and he could only slice the follow-up shot over the bar.  Dele and Kyle linked well on the right wing and the ball in took a touch off a defender, which allowed the keeper to reach it just before Kane got in at the near post.  Christian almost doubled the lead when Walker played him through on the right and his early take caught Robles out and the keeper was stranded and thankful to see the ball go just wide of the far post

Mori got away with a knee high tackle on Kane, but Eriksen's free-kick was just too far ahead of Dembele and Kane and evaded the far post too.  Kane was hindered by Williams hand on his shoulder as he went for the ball and Wanyama was having his shirt pulled, but the officials didn't see any of that.  However, Tottenham came even closer to scoring again in the 28th minute, with Victor running onto a poorly cleared low Vertonghen cross, but getting a shove in the back by Barkley as he did, but his shot came back off the post for Kane to slice wide from what was an offside position. 

Finally a yellow card was produced for an Everton foul and Gueye's injudicious tackle on Davies saw him cautioned.  Everton's passing was ragged, but they did get Barkley out wide on the right and Hugo had to be sharp to get a touch on it to take it out of the danger area.  When Ben Davies put a high ball to the far post at the other end of the pitch, Christian Eriksen was the surprise man on the end of it and his header floated just wide of the far post, with Kane coming in on it, but too far away from the ball.

So, a first half that Spurs bossed, but came out of with only a one goal lead, which could have been a tenuous lead, but within ten minutes of the restart, Spurs had doubled their lead and it was that man Kane again.  Spurs had threatened with a Dele downward header not powerful enough to trouble Robles, but the keeper had to do better in the 54th minute.  Walker played the ball back to Lloris, who passed out to Vertonghen and he exchanged passes with Davies then ran from the halfway line into the box before firing a fierce shot in at the near post that Robles beat out for a corner.  Nothing came from that, but when Dier played a fine ball down the right for Walker to chase, the full back barged Baines out of the way and just managed to keep it in, but the ball went straight to the Everton keeper.   He rolled the ball out to Schneiderlin, ten yards outside the edge of the penalty area.  Under pressure from Dembele, he tried to pass to Williams, close by him, but Alli got a touch on it to divert it into Kane's path left of centre and Harry strode into the area before sliding it between Robles' legs as he tried to throw a block on the shot.  It was testament to the efforts the team put into the pressing game and a clinical finish from the man who can't stop scoring at the moment.

With just over half an hour to go, Everton were surely going to give it a go, but with their set-up, it was difficult to change things around, being so defensively minded.  Mirallis and McCarthy came on for Barry and Davies, but it was Spurs on the attack again, with Jan trying another shot after moving forward and only Funes Mori's block stopped it being on target.  The visitors did start to look forward more and when Barkley took a return pass from Lukaku, he got a shot off, but he got underneath it and it lobbed it's way at goal making it easy for Hugo to collect. Dembele was booked for his first foul on Coleman and the free-kick was played short for Mirallis to shoot, but it was blocked and Dembele then played a through ball to Eriksen, but it was just too far away from him to get anything on it as Baines covered.

Mousa made way for Harry Winks and from a corner soon after, Dier volleyed back a clearance that caught Williams smack in the midriff and then Spurs had a good chance, when Davies picked out his fellow full back Walker at the far post and he volleyed the ball back into the centre of goal, where an unmarked Kane waited.  His shot was blocked and Eriksen put it into the net, butt he whistle had gone for Kyle being the slightest  distance beyond the last man.  Then suddenly and most undeservedly, Everton were back in the game.  MIrallis came in off the left just inside the Tottenham half and played the ball through the middle to Lukaku.  Helped by Vertonghen slipping over, it left him a free run on goal and he buried his shot from 18 yards just past Lloris' right hand as he shot across the keeper.  With ten minutes left, Spurs should have had the game sewn up, but now they might have to face an Everton rally.

It was nearly put to bed when a Walker header from Robles' clearance was headed back into the Everton defence and Funes Mori missed it, leaving Kane a free run on goal.  Unfortunately, he took a heavy touch that took the ball too close to the keeper to do much and an attempted dink over him, just hit Robles in the chest.  Lukaku then hit a 20 yard shot straight at Lloris and the Spurs keeper had to run out of his area to head clear a high through ball that was dropping for Valencia.

The game should have been wrapped up in the second minute of added time, when Spurs got a free-kick as Williams put a judo thrown on Janssen and got a booking.  With Sissoko and Janssen standing close to the ball, it looked as though the Everton players thought Spurs were going to run down time by taking the ball into the corner.  They hadn't prepared for Dele's sharp run into the box and Winks' ball picked him out, allowing him to flick the ball past the keeper, as he made it 3-1.   Schneiderlin failed to cut the ball out and Baines wasn't alert enough to go with Dele, so his flick that took the ball over and beyond Robles' reach saw Spurs sharper into the dying minutes to finish the job.

But it wasn't quite finished, as a Wanyama foul on Barkley gave Everton a free-kick 40 yards out and the England midfielder got up to take it and it went into the Spurs box.  Toby missed a header and Valencia got in ahead of Dier to side-foot the ball in from close range to narrow the margin to 3-2.  It was slack from Spurs, who might have thought the game was almost over.

There was barely enough time for the game to be restarted and the final whistle brought  great cheers from those who had stayed until the end to witness an end to end finish, but an important win for Tottenham.

So, Kane won the battle with Lukaku and more importantly, Wanyama was head and shoulders over Schneiderlin.  Spurs played a very high line, forcing Everton to play long and too long for Lukaku sometimes, helping Spurs clean up at the back and allow the full backs to get forward and push Everton even further back.

A fine win that gave Spurs a club record of nine straight victories in the Premier League, keeping Tottenham second and all they can do is keep going, ignoring other results and juts making sure we get results in our games.

Tony Laughton




Everton are so named as they are ever-presents in the top flight of English football for one hundred years.


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What you thought
East Stan I love the Tweet that big fat John Hartson put out about Harry Kane's handshakes with Dele Alli, saying he should save it for the training ground.

Frankly, as long as he keeps scoring, who cares what Hartson says.

Still, when you are more accustomed to kicking your team-mates in the head on the training ground, I suppose team bonding things like working out goal celebrations aren't really for you.

#Cringe !

- -.


Other scores during this week :
Leicester City 3 Hull City 1 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1 Saturday
Manchester United 1 Bournemouth 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Middlesbrough 0 Saturday
Swansea City 3 Burnley 2 Saturday
Watford 2 Southampton 4 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Crystal Palace 2 Saturday
Sunderland 0 Manchester City 2 Sunday
West Ham United London - - - -day
Chelsea - - - -day


League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 26 20 3 3 55 19 63 +36
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 27 16 8 3 53 20 56 +33
3 Manchester City 26 17 4 5 53 29 55 +24
4 Liverpool 27 15 7 5 58 33 52 +25
5 Arsenal 26 15 5 6 55 31 50 +24
6 Manchester United 26 13 10 3 39 22 49 +17
7 Everton 27 12 9 7 44 30 44 +14
8 West Bromwich Albion 27 11 7 9 36 34 40 +2
9 Stoke City 27 9 8 10 32 40 35 -8
10 Southampton 26 9 6 11 32 33 33 -1
11 West Ham United London 26 9 6 11 35 44 33 -9
12 Watford 27 8 7 12 31 47 31 -16
13 Burnley 27 9 4 14 30 40 29 -10
14 Bournemouth 27 7 6 14 37 51 27 -15
15 Leicester City 27 7 6 14 30 45 27 -15
16 Swansea City 27 8 3 16 35 59 27 -24
17 Crystal Palace 27 7 4 16 35 46 25 -11
18 Middlesbrough 27 4 10 13 19 30 22 -11
19 Hull City 27 5 6 16 24 53 21 -29
20 Sunderland 27 5 4 18 24 50 19 -28


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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