With the game against Tottenham ahead Rich looked back to last season’s game against Tottenham at Goodison to remind us all of what we could possibly see on the weekend.
Saturday 13th August, 2016
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspurs
Everton: Stekelenberg, Holgate, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Gueye, Barkley, Deulofeu, Mirallas.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Rose, Vertonghen, Dier, Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli, Lamela, Kane.
The last time Spurs paid a visit to Everton, Goodison Park welcomed manager Ronald Koeman for his first competitive game in charge.
The Dutchman handed debuts to summer signings Maarten Stekelenberg and Idrissa Haha Gueye in a side depleted without the injured Romelu Lukaku and another of Koeman’ s summer signings, Ashley Williams.
Despite the grumbles at the lack of firepower in the starting line up (a theme clearly developing), it took the blues just 5 minutes to open the scoring.
A curling free kick taken by Ross Barkley from the left, in front of the Park End, managed to beat everybody waiting in the box and bounced its way past the stranded Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris, nestling in the keeper’s bottom left hand corner. What a start for the new manager!
Everton had several good chances to extend their lead in the first half, with the lively Gerard Deulofeu coming close twice, but frustratingly placed his shots too close to the substitute keeper, Michael Vorm. Kevin Mirallas also found space to test the last line of Spurs’ defence, but he too could only strike the ball right down the throat of Vorm. The half time whistle sounded, with the Blues convincingly ahead, but looking rather blunt in attack.
The second half came around, and in an all too familiar scene at Goodison Park, with many of the home faithful fearing its arrival, the worst happened. Completely against the run of play, Kyle Walker fizzed in a cross from the right hand side, meeting the head of Erik Lamela, who directed the ball past the stranded Stekelenberg and into the back of the net to make it 1-1. A harsh lesson for Everton, who simply hadn’t been able to take their chances.
Everton’s lack of a clinical finisher was clearly evident in a side which looked very balanced defensively, but unconvincing when trying to break down a stubborn Tottenham defence in the final third. The game finished 1-1 with the home side feeling by far the most disappointed with the point.
With a lack of a clinical striker proving a point in last seasons game could we possibly see a repeat of last year today? Here’s hoping not!
– Rich (@Richie3986)