Come on Spurs….Let’s Munch on Some Toffee
Ah, Everton. A team I should have some fondness for because they’ve got noisy neighbours like us and while I was growing up for some reason most of my friends wore their blue and pretended they were Neville Southall or Tony Cottee, but I don’t. It annoys me how they go from one season to the next flitting between challenging for Europe or escaping relegation. It annoys me how they spend most of their games playing without a striker and have done for a couple of seasons. It annoys me that they claim to be well supported but rarely fill their stadium. It annoys me that Tim Cahill is now playing on the other side of the world and not picking up points for my fantasy team. Most of all though, they annoy me because they always seem to play better against us, even though our record is very good against them, recently they’ve been a tougher nut to crack.
Today’s ITK is: “keane, bentley and giovani are leaving, and kranjcar will stay. Beckham is still on, and that a new striker is on the table…
A little interval for all you rumour whores out there. Of course, all of that isn’t really ITK, even though it’s come from the internet’s biggest egomaniac transfer leaker. The beauty of ITK is it’s ability to change at any point and when things don’t happen there are always reasonable sounding excuses. For example, lets say Keane doesn’t leave. The reason for it will probably be because he won’t take a pay cut and would prefer to sit on the bench. Beckham doesn’t come to Spurs? Well, that’s down to not being able to agree the image rights part of the contract.
Sorry, I digress. As fun as the whole transfer window is the ITK stuff really bugs me. I’ll do a separate piece at some point in the near future about possible signings, rumours and Mr Golden Balls himself. Back to what’s really important at the moment, Everton.
Hopefully, players don’t get as distracted by all the rumours and Sky Sports News constantly at The Lodge as we fans do because we’ll have to be on top of our game to get 3 points tonight and put more pressure on those above us. I mentioned Tim Cahill being away on international duty and given how important he is to them, that’s a massive plus for us.
I don’t see this game being much different to the previous game at White Hart Lane. Everton will pack the midfield and try to play on the break. A strange thing to do for a home side but that’s David “Mr Adventurous” Moyes. I heard somewhere that a large proportion of Everton fans are actually in favour of him leaving the club. I’m not sure about that myself, given the small income the club generates and a lack of funds that make Arsenal look like Man City, his ability to keep them in the top flight has been nothing short of miraculous. However, I do understand why some would feel that way. I can’t think of too many situations where a spurs crowd would accept a lone striker and hoping for a 0-0 game after game after game.
Wow, I really am babbling today, sorry about that. So, with Everton playing a five man midfield it’s there the game will be won and lost. It’ll be interesting to see if Moyes decides to go for five men across the middle or four with one sitting just in front of the back four to keep an eye on vdV. Both could be effective but personally I’m not sure man marking vdV with the other players we’ve got would be beneficial. Whoever Moyes could put on him wouldn’t be as intelligent as our Rafa.
Bale was marked out of the game at White Hart Lane by a combination of Coleman and Neville. I can’t see Moyes changing that template having had such success but if he had any sense and if Coleman passes a late fitness test he would. Coleman tore us a new one in the same fixture last year. Remember the one? 2-0 up and not even out of first gear? Second half Coleman pushed forward from his right back role, ripped Bale to shreds and suddenly it’s 2-2. Could’ve been an off day for Bale but Benny handled him fairly easily at WHL although then Everton barely got out of their half after they grabbed an early goal. Surely tonight they’ll have to go on the attack? That’s when we’ll be at our most dangerous.
If a side was ever made for counter attacking football it’s this Spurs one. Don’t tell my mum this because it’s a little bit rude but I’m still waking up half way through the night in a state of arousal having dreamt about our second goal on boxing day. Yummy with a capital Yum. It’s why we’re such a difficult team to face. What would you do? Defend and let us come on to you, hoping to sneak a goal on the counter or from a set piece? How about attack our previously* leaky defence and just try to outscore us? Then you’ve got the problem of leaving space for quite possibly the best midfield in the country to play in. The only solution I’ve been able to come up with so far is pretend you’re Manchester United, because we’re scared of them, or resign and manage Spurs.
So, it’s going to be a tense affair as it seems it so often is. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Jagielka is playing so we’ll have to score our own goals tonight but with Crouch being a little bit crap and Pav being, well, a little bit crap too who will lead the line with Rafa? Personally I think it’ll be Crouch. Or maybe Pav. I don’t know. In all fairness to both of them it doesn’t really matter. They’re not the guys that make our team tick and they’re rarely the reason we get any points.
We need Modric to control the game and not Arteta. We need Palacios to win the duels and not that big hairy bloke who looks like a cross between sideshow bob from the Simpsons and an ice cream. We need Bale to make Neville look like his older brother. We need Lennon to make Baines defend more than he attacks and if Pienaar really wants to come to Spurs, we need him to do everything possible to make sure Everton lose.
I like my stats but I always look at them with a sense of, “it’s about time they beat us then”. Make up your own mind with these:
- Everton haven’t beaten us at Goodison since 2004
- David Moyes has only lost 3 league game to Harry Redknapp
- Everton have lost 99 league games at Goodison
- Spurs haven’t won in Merseyside in their last 6 visits
- Redknapp has only won once in 27 visits to Merseyside
- Spurs have managed back-to-back away victories only twice under Redknapp
If I could be greedy and have one last Christmas present I’d appreciate a 3-0 at half time lead so I can relax while we add another couple in the second half. Oh and it’d be nice if the game on the red side of north London ended in the draw. Go on, I’ve been a really good boy.
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