After three games without a win, the White Hart Lane crowd were desperate for a first victory of the season but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Eriksen’s injury has provided a conundrum for Mauricio Pochettino. We don’t have another player with the subtly of pass or the ability to seamlessly link defence and attack. Against Leicester the manager tried Erik Lamela but the Argentine disappointed in a drab draw. Here he went with Ryan Mason.
The young midfielder has usually featured in a more withdrawn role for the first team but his lack of experience in that position has often shown him up. He has a history of playing much further forward in our youth set-up and I think that role is more suited to him. He lacks the finesse of Eriksen but he’s very positive in his passing and makes some excellent forward runs as evidenced in this game.
In defensive midfield Pochettino partnered Dier and Bentaleb. I thought Dier had an excellent game, making timely tackles in the open field and having the discipline to shield the defence. When he was first thrown into midfield in pre-season I was very dubious but he has grown into the role. It’s looking less and less likely we’ll buy an experienced holding player before the deadline, so let’s hope he keeps improving.
Against Leicester we struggled to make chances. Here that wasn’t the problem – Spurs outshot Everton 20 to 8. The issue was finishing those opportunities. Our lack of potency up front was our downfall. At least Pochettino has attempted to address this, with new signings Clinton N’JIe and Son Heung-min waiting in the wings. I can’t wait to see what they can do. With four games already gone, it’s just a shame Levy has left it so late to complete the deals.
The Sky commentary team were making a big deal of Harry Kane’s “goal drought” – a whole three games before this match. The media seem to have already decided that this year’s Kane narrative is “difficult second season”. If there is any truth to the contention, the main factor has been a lack of support for the striker. He’s had to drop deep and play provider on many occasions.
There was one big chance and perhaps he was more hesitant than he would have been last year. Put clean through by a great pass from Nacer Chadli, he found himself with only Howard to beat. The ball got slightly stuck under his feet but the keeper did well to not dive early and stopped a reasonable effort with his legs.
I still remain unconvinced by Dembele as a wide forward. Ironically the one time he used his undoubted talents where it hurt the opposition, he injured himself and had to go off. A great shimmy to beat the defender almost presented Kane with a chance in the penalty area but that was the last we saw of him.
Dele Alli came on in his place and looked much more lively. Like Mason he makes good runs and gets into dangerous areas. One such occasion saw him almost break the deadlock but he blazed over after an Everton mistake had gifted him the chance.
The defence looked much better this week. We don’t seem to have the same problems with players getting in behind us we had last term. Maybe that’s because of Alderwiereld, or even Dier’s more solid presence in midfield. There was one scary moment near the end as we allowed Oviedo to get a cross in, Kone glancing just wide. It was similar to the way we conceded the second goal at Stoke.
It was great to have Rose back who showed admirable pace and commitment. Walker made an early mistake to let Everton in but was otherwise functional. I couldn’t help thinking this could have been the game for Trippier. With Everton missing Leighton Baines at left back there was an opportunity to attack them out wide and get some crosses in, something the new arrival from Burnley thrives on.
Tim Howard was Everton’s best player, which shows Spurs’ dominance. It was unfortunate we couldn’t find a way through. Overall this was a much more positive performance than the bore draw against Leicester. We still have no win but with the two exciting new signings to come in I have renewed hope for the season.
Should Spurs have won this game? Do you think we need to add some more players before the deadline? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.