Friday 9th April 2004
There are few things more
likely to happen in football than Tottenham to give points to the needy.
Everton desperately need to get back on track after a good run of
results (two wins and three draws) came to an end when they lost to
Newcastle. The side have been battling to gain some semblance of
stability after an up and down season in which they have not been able
to string results together for any length of time.
As has been the situation
in recent seasons, Everton fortunes have been similar to
Tottenham's. We have both underachieved and both are fallen big
clubs, seeking to regain former glories, but slipping behind our local
rivals. The playing staff isn't too bad on paper, but with money
being spent, there still seems little direct progress up the
table. With Leeds, Man. City, Blackburn and Bolton still to play,
the relegation fate of some teams is still in Everton's hands.
Nigel Martyn has taken
the gloves from Richard Wright, while the promising England Under-21
Steve Simonsen looks set to leave Goodison to get some first team
football, after never establishing himself at the club as the number one
keeper. Martyn is reaching the veteran stage, but has performed
heroically in some matches. Never the best at crosses and kicking,
he does have his weaknesses, but we are unlikely to be able to test him,
without a big man up front, unless Kanoute plays alongside Defoe.
Wright left Arsenal to make his place in the England set-up permanent,
after they bought Lehmann, but a fall from his loft on Friday 13th left
him injured and he has not made a start since September.
The defence has seen the
return of Alessandro Pistone, the Italian central defender who has been
inconsistent since his move from Newcastle. Talented and a good
reputation forged with Inter, he has been found out a bit in the more
physical Premiership. Partnering him in the middle of defence is
Alan Stubbs, a more typically English centre-half, who is rugged and
strong, but often can be caught out by his desire to get drawn towards
the ball. A lively forward like Defoe might give him more problems
than a big man. David Weir and David Unsworth are out of the same
mould, although Weir is a bit more mobile. They both have an
understanding of what the Premier League is about and Unsworth has a
fierce shot, but not the legs to get up and back like he used to.
Weir also adds height to the back four, but there is plenty of that and
younger players with it too, like Joseph Yobo. The Nigerian has
taken a while to settle in, but his first goal for the Toffees against Newcastle
shows he can be dangerous at the far post at set-pieces.
Still young, his athleticism is a great asset, but his errors have
tended to be costly so far for his side. Wide on the left can be
found Gary Naysmith, who came from Hearts and although he likes to get
forward, a player who will tie him up defensively might restrict his
upfield advances. Rising star Tony Hibbert might be considered,
but is more likely to be on the bench, although he too has concentration
lapses, which can let opposition forwards cash in.
In midfield, Everton are
missing a number of players. Chinese international Li Tie is out
with a broken leg, Niclas Alexandersson has returned to Sweden to play
his football, while Scot Gemmill is on loan at Preston and Nick Chadwick
out at Millwall too. Therefore, they are pleased to welcome Alex
Nyarko back tot he side after a loan spell in France. He didn't have a
good introduction to the club and was faced on the pitch at Highbury by
an angry fan, but has provided a presence in midfield on his comeback,
which adds a defensive sensibility to their midfield. It is
something that Steve Watson also brings, originally being a defender
himself, but press-ganged into a midfield slot to beef up that area of
the side. Ironically, he has scored a five goals too - with three
coming against Leeds. A whole hearted player, but another who
might lack a little pace to keep up with younger legs running away from
Out wide, Kevin Kilbane
plays and like a tricky winger, he can go past a player and can make
runs late into the box. He can finish, although that is not a
speciality, having scored only three times in the league this season ...
so expect him to notch one !! The dynamo in midfield is Thomas
Gravesen, who wins the ball, can move forward with it and has the
ability to get on the end of balls into the box too. Not the
greatest of players technically, but one who shows a neat bit of skill
to go with his more tenacious attitude. His look-a-like Lee
Carsley is of a similar style, but his time with other Premiership teams
means we know a bit more about him. Something we cannot say about
Tobias Linderoth, the Swedish midfielder, who played against England
last week, but hasn't made a great impact on the PL. Able on the
ball, he makes a lot of good covering runs and prompts the attack, but
might not start, although he has been favoured over Carsley of late.
Up front, everybody knows
about Wayne Rooney, but it looks like he is now suspended. Pressure has been heaped on him as a saviour
for Everton, but Moyes has done a good job in easing him into the
side. Injuries and suspensions have meant he has had to be used
more than perhaps Moyes wanted, but was enjoying a good run.
We also know about Duncan Ferguson, so it is no surprise he is suspended
for trying to strangle Steffen Freund. That will most likely see
Tomasz Radzinski partner Campbell in attack. The Canadian Pole is a
nippy striker, who can produce goals from the most unlikely angles and
works the line really hard, keeping defenders on their toes.
Gardner's pace will come in handy against him, with Doc taking Campbell as
the more physical option. Former Gooner Kevin Campbell is still at Goodison, although some Everton
fans seem to wonder why, as he rarely plays and when he does, he doesn't
impress. He might provide a more physical presence in the air, if
that is what Everton require. Everton also have Francis Jeffers on
loan from Arsenal, but he has done little to justify the price paid for
him by the Gooners and even a return to Merseyside had not rekindled the
flame that once burned within him. He's another one who hasn't
scored a league goal this season, so guess what ... ??
One last player who has
been brought in and looks to have a great future is James McFadden, the
former Motherwell man. He is fast, strong and shows the flair that
Everton fans love to see, although he too has been limited in his
appearances this season since arriving at the club. He could be
the one who can open closed doors for the Blues, but will Moyes go for
the safer option in Radzinski and Rooney.
Spurs need to start
scoring again and against Everton, there is always a chance of that
happening. They will be looking to tighten up after last week's
sloppy defensive display at St. James' Park, so it might be harder for
Spurs, especially as it is away from home, where we never do
well. A more forward moving team might throw some problems
Everton's way, but will Pleat abandon his "0-0 and hold on"
approach from the start ? Tottenham need to show that they can get
results in the run-in, but without a supply line from midfield, that
might be hard. For that reason, and with both clubs still needing
a few points to be safe, I predict that it will end ...
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.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
How do you think Everton have
played this season?
Way below par. The whole team hasn't seemed to get out of
first gear this campaign and it has showed in some of our results.
Who do you think is your best
player at the moment?
Up until the last few weeks it was a straight choice between
Nigel Martyn and Kevin Kilbane (as strange as it must sound).
Martyn is the first keeper we have had at Goodison Park since Neville
Southall who doesn't make Evertonian's have heart failure every time the
ball goes near the goal. Kilbane came from Sunderland who are
officially the worst team to ever play in the Premiership and he was
known as being one of their worst players - the signs weren't good.
He has proved EVERYONE wrong who thought they knew what to expect from
the Republic of Ireland international.
But on current form I would say that Wayne Rooney is probably our best
player at the moment. When we aren't playing well he seems to be
the only one who can create something and turn a game. He has been
carrying the side for the last few weeks to be honest. Although
Thomas Gravesen has played two of his best games of the season recently
and scored a couple of crackers too!
Which player isn't playing as
well in recent games?
Steve Watson looks a yard too slow and unfit if truth be known.
He seems to be labouring an awful lot but as there isn't really anyone
to challenge him for the position on the right side of midfield he keeps
getting a game.
You will be without the suspended
Duncan Ferguson. He has been out of the side for a long while, but
was just starting to score when he came back. How will the side
We won't, he is over-rated shit who has outstayed his welcome
in my opinion. The guy is, along with the likes of Kevin Campbell,
stopping Everton from progressing under David Moyes. Until these
two high wage earners are off our payroll we cannot bring anyone into
Goodison. There is a strict wage structure in place at the club
which has stopped us from going under but it is also preventing us
from going forward.
Any exciting new names in the
squad that we should look out for?
James McFadden - 20-year-old attacking midfielder/striker
we signed from Motherwell in August. He is the darling of the
Scotland squad these days but Moyes has got a plan for this kid which
involves the player being introduced into the first team VERY slowly.
He is a regular in the reserves and has started appearing on the bench.
Next season will could be very important for both that young man and
What do the crowd think of Moyes
after this season's performances?
Despite what you might read in the trashy tabloids the crowd
are totally behind the Moyesiah ! We know that Moyes is trying to
take the club forward and we understand that he is basically doing it
with one hand tied behind his back due to the financial constraints he
is working within. He is a young manager and he sometimes gets it
a little wrong but most Evertonians can see the bigger picture.
And what of the plans for the new
There aren't any now I'm afraid. The big idea was to move
to a custom designed arena on the banks of the Mersey, next to the
Albert Dock but due to our executives not being able to find their own
arses with both hands and a map they failed to put a realistic financial
model in place to enable the project to get off the drawing board.
Add to this pressure from Liverpool FC Season Ticket holding Council
officials (I kid you not) and the fact that English Heritage (who own
the land) didn't like the design we proposed and the whole thing was
doomed from the start. And just to add insult to injury the whole
farce cost Everton a cool £1 million. There has been talk of
sharing Liverpool's new ground when it opens but I think they are
pissing in the wind asking us to squat in the new Anfield ...
What is the line-up expected to
Rooney and Ferguson are suspended, Jeffers, Weir and Stubbs are
injured so I guess we will start something like this:
What do you your fans think of
The feeling that I get is that there is a certain degree of
respect towards Spurs due to you being another of the traditionally big
sides in the top flight. This is backed up when you look at what
our two sides have in common: our local rivals are annoyingly
successful, we are both seriously under achieving, used to be loaded but
are now watching the bank balance and probably the most telling is a
lack of success recently.
Which Spurs player do you like?
A couple of your strikers interest me a lot! Although I
can't stand the man I think that Robbie Keane is phenomenal. The
signing of Jermaine Defoe was inspired in my opinion...
What do you reckon the score will
I hope it will be a nice, comfortable 2-0 victory for the
Toffee's but I'm a realist! I can see a 1-1 draw at the end of a
tight game lacking in any decent football.
EVERTON : -
Duncan Ferguson (suspended); Wayne Rooney (suspended); David
Weir (suspended); Wayne Rooney (suspended); Li Tie (broken leg); Scot Gemmill
(on loan to Preston North End)
Dean Richards (Achilles); Rob Burch (ankle); Mauricio Taricco (thigh);
Christian Ziege (groin)
Plus (Sky Sports PPV)
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Radio : Live commentary on Radio Five Live (909 & 693
Internet : www.spurs.co.uk
Live webcast (subscription only)
Tottenham 1 (Half-time score : 3-0)
|Friday 9th April 2004
|Venue : - Goodison Park
|Kick Off : - 20.00 p.m.
|Weather : - Mild, wet
|Crowd : - 38,086
|Referee : - R. Styles (Waterlooville)
|Teams : -
Everton : - Martyn; Pistone, Unsworth, Yobo, Naysmith; Watson,
Linderoth, Kilbane, Gravesen (Carsley 88), McFadden (Jeffers 80); Radzinski
Unused subs: Wright, Nyarko, Hibbert
Tottenham : - Keller; Carr,
Doherty, Gardner, Kelly; Davies (Ricketts 63), Redknapp (c) (Bunjevcevic
63), Brown, Ziege (Kanoute 46); Keane, Defoe
Unused subs: Hirschfeld, Jackson
|Colours : - (kits
courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
|Scorers : -
Everton - Unsworth
16, Naysmith 25, Yobo 41
Tottenham - Carr 76
|Cards : -
Linderoth (foul) 90
Redknapp (foul) 37,
Doherty (foul) 38,
Carr (foul) 43,
Carr (foul) 78
A fourth straight defeat left Tottenham
in a lowly position and with the possibility of getting dragged into a
relegation battle, as losing to a depleted Toffees side means it is even
harder to see where the next win is coming from.
The lack of will to put up any resistance
was a disgrace to those who travelled through the horrendous holiday
traffic to get to Goodison Park. The staunch away support deserves
much better than this and the lily-livered first half display by the
Lilywhites was not what anyone expects from the side. Being three
down in the first half and rightfully it should have been about five, at
least. The defending was awful, but the biggest disappointment was
the lack of challenge to the Everton midfield by our own. Everyone
knows that they fight for everything and we just didn't bother, let
alone roll over for them.
early pressure was Everton's, with Spurs up against it from the
start. From Radzinski's early effort that was off target, the flow
was one way at Kasey Keller. KK stopped a fierce shot from the
Canadian striker and was lucky that Ziege was on the spot to kick it
away, but a sloppy piece of work by Gardner let Radzinski in behind him
and he had to concede a 17th minute corner. From it, Watson
flicked it on and Unsworth was able to knee the ball in at the far
post. Claims that it was offside didn't really matter, as the goal
had been coming for a while and it didn't take long until another came
Ziege had plonked a ball
straight at Martyn at the other end in a brief moment of respite, but
Kilbane got a near post header on a corner, but put it wide before they
got a second goal. A mis-timed challenge on McFadden by Doherty
gave Everton a free-kick some 25 yards out. Despite a wall,
Naysmith strode up to hit a shot that left Keller helpless as he hit the
top corner of the net.
straight from the kick-off, Defoe wriggled into space to hit a shot at
goal, but he failed to get it far enough away from Nigel Martyn, who
stopped it easily. There were some weak claims for a penalty on
the half hour when Davies and Keane linked well to produce a shot for
Davies that hit Naysmith on the arm, but Styles was not impressed.
So little was he impressed that he booked three Spurs players in the ten
minutes before the break, taking the names of Doherty, Redknapp and Carr
to make it a miserable 45 minutes for Tottenham. Doherty was
having a mare and he headed a short back pass to Keller, who came out to
head it clear. It was headed back over him by Kilbane and Doc got
back to head it away from goal, but nodded it straight back into the
danger area and conceded another free-kick. The misery was
complete when Gravesen lashed his shot at goal from the dead ball
situation and Kasey could only parry the ball in keeping it out.
As usual, it fell to a blue shirt and Yobo hit his second goal in
successive games to make it 3-0 from close range.
was hard to see what the team had thought they were doing. There
was no effort, no shape and little cohesion. Among the more
experienced players, there appeared to be little ingenuity to bring the
side together to sort things out on the pitch and when Ziege looked to
the heavens and threw his hands up in the air as a pass went behind him
and off for a throw-in, it was evident that there was little solidarity
among the players.
on for Ziege at the break was designed to provide an outlet to target
balls at from the back. However, Kanoute still appears to have his
heart elsewhere, as he gave little indication that his appearance would
have an energising effect like it did against Everton at the Lane.
It was only when Ricketts came on later that the midfield pepped up.
second half started with Everton on the attack again, with Gardner
nipping in between Carr and Keller to dispatch the ball from danger, but
in the next move, McFadden brought a good save from KK. Radzinski
was proving a troublesome presence, even though he was virtually a lone
forward and his wide play ended with him firing a couple of balls across
the six yard box and it was lucky for Spurs no-one was coming in on them
Stephen Kelly was having
a torrid time, with other players around him playing like novices, but
he did have one moment of note, when he took on Pistone and sped past
him easily to get in a cross that was blocked by Linderoth. The
introduction of Ricketts halfway through the half livened up the
Tottenham side a bit and within three minutes, he had set up the sole
goal Spurs got.
Turning inside, he
slipped a ball inside the defender to Carr, who took it in his stride
curling it left-footed past Martyn into the bottom corner. It
sparked a little flurry of occupation in the home penalty area, with
Keane having a shot blocked from a corner and Brown forcing Martyn to
save after Gravesen had let the ball escape his reach. In between,
Carr pulled McFadden back as he had a clear run on Kelly and received
his second yellow card and his first ever sending off.
left Spurs short, but that did make them push forward, with Ricketts
playing a one-two with Kanoute and hitting his shot wide, while Kanoute
also did the same in injury time.
the determination of the Everton side, it was never going to be an equal
contest, as Tottenham lack sufficient numbers of players who are willing
to give their all for the the mere ninety minutes they are out on the
pitch. Keane, Brown (in the second half) and Ricketts when he got
on the pitch were worthy of mention. The others need to buck their
ideas up before Monday, as most of the teams around us at the bottom are
battlers and Spurs seem to think that all they have to do is turn up for
The next few games will
rudely abuse them of that notion.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : -
Settling down in front of the telly to
watch Tottenham take on a side a depleted side that had more injuries
than us (if that’s possible), I thought that we might have a chance of
taking all three points!
Well the first five minutes told me that
we had two chances of taking all the points. Fat chance and no chance.
The Spurs players were second to every ball and were put under pressure
as soon as they got the ball, and forced into mistakes. A goal to
Everton was on the cards, it was just a matter of time.
All three goals came from set
pieces. Surely, Pleat must look at the defensive partnership of
Gardner and Doherty and see it just doesn’t work. Just as the
Gardner and Richards partnership doesn’t work. Opposition teams
do their homework and know that Doherty or Richards are the weakest
links. Why did we let Perry go or why aren’t we playing Mabizela
? King should play there. He expressed his preference for
playing at centre back (and did so for England with great
success). I and many others cannot understand why Pleat continues
to play Doherty ?
The mid field was just outrun. The
Everton players worked hard. Very hard. Closing down,
harrying and not letting The Spurs players settle on the ball.
Technically Spurs players are better than their counterparts, but the
Toffees showed what they lacked in skill, they more than made up for in
commitment and playing for “The Shirt”
Our strikers had a go, but apart from a
weak shot from Defoe, Ziege and a penalty claim from Davies we really
did not look like scoring. Three nil at half time.
The second half Spurs showed more, but it
was too little, too late. Pleat really does need to have a close
look at his team selection, because it’s PANTS !
The form we are in is pure relegation
form, and if the players and caretaker don’t buck their ideas up then
it will be Nationwide for us.
For Smiler's take
on proceedings, click here.
I am a season ticket holder at
Spurs and have been watching them since i was old enough to understand
I have just watched the Everton
game and I am sick to the back teeth of watching players who are half
hearted about Spurs and also I am sick of the fact that Spurs seem to
constantly employ people to pick our team and they haven't got a clue
!!!??? Pleat is a dickhead who has bled Spurs dry for too long (£300,000
a year ?). How many games do we have to watch where he picks the
wrong team in the first half and loses us the three points ? I am
sick to the back teeth of wasting my money on watching sub standard
football from players that could barely get into the Wimbledon team let
alone play for Spurs !
Somebody please explain to me how a useless tosser like Doherty gets
into our team every week ??????
Plus he has been given a new contract ?????
Pleat is incompetent, and it is
disgusting that we as supporters of Spurs have paid good money for 95%
of the season to watch a team without a proper manager !
When I watch Spurs play at the
moment I can see that all they have on there minds is their summer
This is not good enough and I
hope that our new manager (We haven't got anybody lined up by the way
! The board have lied to us again !) will be somebody who will
install a stronger mentality plus a will to win. Spurs has become
a club that you go to (from a players perspective) for an easy ride with
good money and not too much expectancy ! This has to stop.
I always get the feeling that
Spurs are rotten from top to bottom, and as a loyal supporter for more
than 30 years I think I deserve better. It is a fact that Spurs
have never finished in the top six and they have never finished in the
bottom six, but every home game we fill the stadium and the away support
is always excellent.
It is all too easy for the Spurs
board. The fans have become too complacent. Every season has
become the same. We don't expect to win but we have a few beers
and a good day out and there is always next season ?
This has to stop and we should
demand more. We are one of the most expensive clubs in the Premier
League to follow and so we should expect more.
Pleat has to go and we must
install a top class manager (money no object) to steer our club back to
where we should have been 10 years ago ! . How many millions have crap
managers wasted of our money ? (If only we had employed decent managers
this Easter weekend :