Saturday 13th January 2001
|With an away win
finally under our belts, Tottenham travel to Goodison Park with another
victory on their minds. Only this time they are facing a Premier
League side and not one from the Third Division.
Everton has been a happy hunting ground in the recent past - even in the times when we have been so bad away from home. Not that that means anything, especially when you look at the way Everton came back against Watford last week in the Cup away from home. Walter Smith has tried to instill some fighting spirit in the side; that's why Duncan Ferguson has been back in the team lately. And although he has found it hard to get money from the board and to attract top players to the club, he has a nucleus of players who should be doing better than they are (sound familiar ?).
In goal there is Thomas Myrhe, the Dane, who has replaced knee injury victim Paul Gerrard. Myrhe lacks a bit of height, but the rest of the defence makes up for that, with Gough, Weir, Unsworth and Watson all good in the air. Former Spurs captain Richard Gough will be missing for this match, as he is out with a knee injury, as is Pistone. Les caused them all sorts of problems in the first game this season at the Lane and usually is up for a match against the Toffees as a payback for racist abuse he used to receive whenever he played against them in the past. If Spurs are to use his height as a potent weapon, then the crossing will have to be better than it has been and that could be helped by the return of Stephen Carr if he has recovered from his groin injury. Either side of these twin towers play Michael Ball, Alex Clelland or Gary Naysmith. Ball and Naysmith are the most likely to feature and both enjoy getting forward, so Spurs could exploit that space that will be afforded to them. Clelland has normally been used as a sub, so could feature and again Spurs could attack him as a weak link in the defence.
IN midfield, they have a lot of personnel, but many have not been regular features in the side. Nyarko came in a blaze of glory, but the Ghanaian has not been consistent during his starts at the club. However, as he showed against Spurs at the Lane, he is a very strong midfielder, who can make space and finish well. Scott Gemmill buzzes about and can get into the box, as does the Welshman Pembridge, Swede Alexandersson and ex-Gooner Stephen Hughes. Of these Alexandersson has always been the one who impresses me the most and Tottenham will need to pick up his runs from midfield. Another former Spurs who will not be out there is Paul Gascoigne, who is currently having a period of recovery after an operation on a hernia. He has not had a great time at Goodison since his move from Boro, but he still can produce a run and a pass to damage opposition defences. Thank goodness he won't be playing against us on this day. Dane Thomas Gravesen is the powerhouse in the middle of the Everton team and he will run all day. Spurs need to take him out of the game by passing the ball around him as if he tackles you it will feel like you have been hit by a tank. Also coming back from injury and a possible for contention is bizarrely haired Portuguese international (although banned for a considerable time for his dissent in the Euro 2000 match against France) Abel Xavier. He won't be hard to spot.
Kevin Campbell could have recovered from a virus to face Spurs and line up alongside Ferguson. The Scotsman's height and physical approach always provides Spurs with problems and the blue Campbell will have to be shackled to prevent chances reaching him. An alternative up front is Joe Max Moore, the American, although Israeli Idan Tal could be the more likely to play, being the latest signing by Smith. Striking options are a little limited as Jeffers is out until the end of January with ligament damage, while Cadamarteri has been out of favour to such an extent that a move to Tranmere Rovers has been rumoured of late.
Although Spurs might be buoyed by the Cup result at Orient, this will still be a tough game with Everton fighting to come away from the drop zone.
PREDICTION : - Everton 1 Tottenham 1
For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
|Everton 0 Tottenham 0
- Saturday 13th January 2001
Weather : - Cold,
Everton: Myhre, S
Watson, Weir (Cleland 9), Ball, Unsworth, Alexandersson (Tal 78),
Gravesen, Pembridge, Hughes, Campbell, Moore (Cadamarteri 78)
I heard on the way to Liverpool that Campbell and Ferdinand had been
added to the Spurs injury list I decided I would be content with a point
from the game. It was very much a point won as the young Spurs side
battled and rode their luck to earn a draw. It was a drab game with only
the odd bit of excitement. Luke Young came in at the back although he
was not up to his usual reliable standard and was frequently beaten for
pace. Korsten came in again up front and was quite simply pathetic.
Gascoigne is still on the Everton injury list and was joined by big
Duncan Ferguson after Dunc’s midweek contretemps with some intruders.
In the first half Spurs had one attempt on goal. It was a quickly taken free kick by Sherwood heading for the top corner, but Myhre was alert. Everton missed golden opportunities through Alexandersson and Campbell. Sullivan was looking in excellent form and made a couple of fine saves.
The second half saw Everton increase the pressure and create several chances, which they squandered or Sullivan saved. The former Gooner Kevin Campbell was having a particularly off day. It was backs to the wall for Spurs, but the youngsters battled away and in the second half Sherwood played a leaders role with his challenges and urging. Eventually George took off the worst two players on display. Leonhardsen was his usual weak self and was replaced on 64 minutes by Davies. McEwan replaced Korsten at the same time. Davies worked hard, put in some useful tackles and showed he can pass a ball. McEwan looked out of his depth but chased willingly; that alone was a greater contribution than Korsten made. The game gradually petered out to a goalless draw without Spurs rarely threatening the Everton goal. Rebrov worked well for the cause. Doherty had another good game and Ledley King was excellent. So an away point won by a very raw team and a job well done by the youngsters. On another day against stronger opposition this team would have struggled and the need for more experience in the squad is evident.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : – LEDLEY KING
Eric the Viking
|What can you say ? Without
any direct threat on the Everton goal, it was never likely going to be a
win for Spurs, but they did ride their luck to come away with a
point. The injury struck side did reasonably, but they were lucky
that they came up against a poor side in Everton.
As anyone who reads MEHSTG regularly knows, we feel that Spurs and Everton have a lot in common. Not as much money to spend on players as they would like, little to attract potential signings and the "big five" tag hanging over what is not a club of that status any longer. However, the difference is that Spurs have the Indian sign over the Toffees and have only lost once in 18 meetings now. While there are many bogey sides who plague Tottenham's life, we do have at least have one club who we reciprocate the service to.
For all Tottenham's profound lack of away form, it doesn't help when they have to field Willem Korsten. He surely must be the most lethargic player ever to pull on a Spurs shirt. I don't think it is like Chris Waddle, who used to look like he wasn't interested, or whether he really doesn't give a damn, you just wish he would get out of first gear once in a while. What ever possessed any club, let alone Spurs to put this man in football boots ??
There is little more to add apart from the fact that it is a point to the good. Not something that has been capable of being said on the return from an away game this season. That is about the only good thing that came out of the trip to Goodison.
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