Saturday 15th October 2005
examine the facts ...
Spurs are third.
Everton are bottom.
Everton have never won at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.
Well, what do you think the outcome will be ??
It has an Everton win written all over it, as they must hit form some time. However, the same could be said for Spurs, who are in third place, but without playing particularly well so far. What transpires might be interesting match for those lucky enough to get a ticket.
Everton will be keen to turn things around and David Moyes will not tolerate any more failure from his team. With Martin Jol, he will be determined to make sure that the Tottenham side keep on the heels of the top two. With player son each side having been involved in international games in the preceeding week, it might be a tired group of players who take to the field, but once the whistle blows, they will be giving their all for their individual reasons (as well as their collective ones).
Simon Davies returns to White Hart lane in the blue shirt of the Toffees having suffered with shin problems again, but he appears to have overcome this as he has done well for Wales in the last week. His play will be up and down the right wing, where Lee and Davids might pair up to defend the Welshman's runs and take the game to him. The Everton midfield will also feature Tim Cahill, although Moyes thinks he should have a rest from Australian duty), Leon Osman and Kevin Kilbane. Osman is busy and knows where to be in the area, while Kilbane usually patrols the left touchline and has a sway of the hips he uses to get past defenders. Stalteri will need to be on his mettle to keep him form getting away down the line. With Mikael Arteta suffering from concussion, he might be missing from the side to face Spurs and former Man United England international Phil Neville has been playing in midfield to add some steel there.
The forward options include Duncan Ferguson, James Beattie, James McFadden and Marcus Bent. With Beattie not quite ready, he might be rested or on the bench with Ferguson and Bent partnered up front to give Spurs a mix of strength and speed to deal with. With the defensive options available to Martin Jol, they can probably handle most partnerships now. I just hope Ledley will be fit to play. Dawson will be up to the battle of playing against Ferguson in the air and Ledley can match Bent's speed, but if they are not fit, it could open the door for a Huddlestone/Naybet pairing, which would be interesting.
The defence has been hit by injury as well as the other parts of the team. Veteran David Weir continues in the middle with Joseph Yobo and have Portuguese defender Nuno Valente and new signing from Italy Matteo Ferrari on the other side. With Keane and Defoe vying for one place alongside Mido, who should be fit, it will be fascinating to see who Jol picks. Keane has a great scoring record against Everton and Defoe has a bit more confidence after a couple of decent games, while Robbie has suffered playing for the Republic this last week. Either combination or all three (if Jol goes 4-3-3 as he did at Charlton) will cause problems for the Toffees back four. Tony Hibbert and Alessandro Pistone are both injured for the visitors, thus limiting their choice even further.
With Everton set to start with a 4-4-2 and Spurs the same, the way the midfield move and pass the ball will determine who gets the upper hand. With the respective league placings of the teams, it would look like a comfortable Spurs win on paper, but football is played on grass and once across the white line, form might take a back seat. While I wish Spurs would win games they are supposed to, I think that the dogs of war style Everton might reappear and get something from the match ...
PREDICTION : - Tottenham Hotspur 2 Everton 2
For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Noe Pamarot (knee); Wayne Routledge (broken foot); Anthony Gardner (thigh); Ledley King (thigh);
EVERTON : James Beattie (calf); Tony Hibbert (knee); James Vaughan (knee); Andy van der Mayde (groin); Alessandro Pistone (knee); Gary Naysmith (ankle); Lee Carsley (knee)
available on BBC radio, it can be heard in these countries on these
|Tottenham Hotspur 2 Everton 0 (Half-time score : 0-0)|
|Premier League||Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Saturday 15th October 2005||Kick Off : 15.00 p.m.|
|Crowd : 36,247||Referee : Dermot Gallagher (Banbury)|
|Weather : Hot, sunny|
|Teams : -|
Lennon (Reid 73)
Ferrari (Ferguson 66)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Cards : -|
|Match Report : -|
The 150th meeting between the two sides ended with Spurs doing what they should have done for so many years in putting away teams that they seem better than. Not that Everton didn't make it difficult for them with an organised and defensive display that also carried a little threat at the other end, but they look like a side without confidence and without the firepower to win a game at the moment, as exemplified by their sixth game without a goal.
The early pressure came from Tottenham but amounted to nothing, apart from a yellow card for kicking the ball away by Cahill. Marcus Bent had a shot that he didn't connect with properly and then Kilbane wriggled through challenges from Jenas, Dawson and Stalteri before blasting a shot at Robinson, which he kept out.
Going forward Stalteri linked well with Lennon and the Canadian's cross was just flicked away by Yobo before Mido closed in. Weir denied Mido once more a minute later when Martyn had acrobatically saved Dawson's header from Lennon's cross and the Egyptian followed in the rebound. Lennon was showing his jinky skills and his pace off to it's best effect, as he used both to run at the Toffees defence.
Lee, on the other flank, was also attacking well, with a run into the area in the 33rd minute, which brought a lunge from Ferarri that saw the Korean felled, but the appeals for a penalty were waved away. The pressure was kept on when Dawson again rose highest at the far post to head a corner from Michael Carrick goalwards and Nuno Valente was stationed on the line, where the ball hit him before being put out of harm's way.
Everton worked a set-piece move and Kilbane ran in at the edge of the area to hit a shot that Jermaine Jenas was alive to and blocked well. Then Jenas was at the other end, with a clever back-heel from Lennon setting up the England midfielder for a shot that was comfortably fielded by Martyn in the end.
Turning around at 0-0, it looked as though Tottenham needed a goal to settle them and perhaps break Everton's resolve. The Blues were taking a good grasp of the Tottenham attack, but there was scope for the midfield to break forward.
It was nearly the visitors who went ahead, with Phil Neville's long cross picking out McFadden, who tried to hit the moving ball and sliced it horribly high and wide. Jermain Defoe exhibited his ability to run at defenders with a neat turn of pace past Ferrari and he drilled a shot into the near post, which Martyn saved well. But three minutes later Mido broke the deadlock. 57 minutes were on the clock when Lennon intercepted Yobo's cross-field pass and slipped it wide to Stalteri. The full back pulled the ball back to Jenas, who crossed into the area and Mido got across the front of Yobo to glance the ball into the net off the far post. It was the sort of header we all hoped that Mido would bring to the party when he joined and so it is proving. Not just a target man, but also someone who can bring others into the game and create chances too.
Mido almost repeated the dose a minute later, but put his downward header wide, but in the 64th minute, he headed on Robinson's clearance to Defoe on the left and his measured cross picked out Jermaine Jenas, making an unmarked run and he headed in past Martyn from about 10 yards out. Moyes had had enough. Off stripped big Duncan Ferguson to replace a defender and the five in midfield went to four with one moving back, while Ferguson moved up front. Four minutes later, the tactic almost paid off, with a Ferguson header from McFadden's corner, brilliantly tipped over the top from six yards out.
McFadden's next contribution was to clatter Lennon and pick up a yellow card, leaving Aaron to limp off to be replaced by Andy Reid. With a quarter of an hour left, Defoe hit a shot, but failed to get any power behind it and Martyn saved easily and with eight minted remaining, substitute James Beattie reacted quickest to a corner from old boy Simon Davies, but put his header wide.
Spurs won the points deservedly in the end, but almost let it slip when Ferguson added height and power to their attack. Dawson stood tall and Robinson pulled off his now customary excellent saves, with Davids tigerish in midfield and Jenas showing what qualities he can bring to the Tottenham side. Ledley and Carrick had quietish games and perhaps their injuries made them play within themselves, while Lee and Mido looked full of life and the rest must have done them good.
The next two games will be good barometers of our progress. Man U away and Arsenal at home should test the Spurs side and hopefully, they will rise to the challenge. Not that there is far to rise at the moment, sitting in a heady second place behind Chelsea. Well ... if they slip up ...
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - JERMAINE JENAS
only my second visit to the Lane this season, I went home a far
happier man than on my previous trip - the Rob "Chelsea"
Styles game. This one had 0-0 written all over it at half
time due mainly to some dogged and often dodgy Everton defending, but
Martin's half-time pep talk worked wonders. Especially so for Jenas,
who everyone in the Park Lane end said had to go off at
halftime. Blimey, how wrong were we.
Mido took his goal especially well and he looks like a striker who wants to play for us the more I see of him ... unlike some with had in the past. Then enter JJ with the first of hopefully many in the Lilywhite shirt.
I can't remember the last time we won with two headed goals but I'm sure you could remind me (Ed : - Not sure I can Richard !!).
I've got to also mention young Aaron Lennon. What a talent this boy is going to be. Let's hope they don't need him back in the under-14s because he don't look old enough to play for the first team.
I also have an idea maybe you could pass on to Sven ... play Ledley up front for England with Owen. At least he has scored this season more than Peter "Rodney" Crouch has done.
Finally, before I go, can someone at the FA please charge "Chelsea" Styles with bringing the game into disrepute. How he couldn't send off the 24 million pound man is beyond me.
Good luck for the rest of the
|Other scores this weekend :|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||Arsenal||1||Saturday|
|Wigan Athletic||1||Newcastle United||0||Saturday|
|Birmingham City||0||Aston Villa||1||Sunday|
|Manchester City||0||West Ham United||1||Sunday|
|9||West Ham United||8||3||3||2||12||7||12||+5|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||9||2||2||5||9||16||8||-7|
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