Many fans of both sides have come out shouting why they deserved to win, but in all fairness neither side deserved the win over the other.
For most of the game Everton attacked, but failed to convert their chances and Tottenham soaked up the pressure well. It was a game in which typically both teams cancelled each other out. It is the same result that I am used to against Everton and historically Tottenham have always done well against them, but always manage to make a humungous mistake to allow Everton to take the points. 5 years now without a win at Goodison.
So why would this year be any different?
For years Everton have been a bogey team for me, games where we have controlled it completely to lose at the final whistle has always been a bitter pill to swallow, but its football.
I must highlight though that once again there is a huge issue in defence and he wears the number 13 shirt. Pretty much on every attack Gallas managed to make a mistake. In the opening quarter he was found lacking pace and awareness, only for Lloris and his team mates to help him out. I think he once managed to get to a ball before the defender and knock the ball over the goal, but he shouldn't have allowed his man to escape him in the first place to create the space and ask for the pass. He is a HUGE hindrance to the club. His experience now counts for nothing as his pace and awareness have gone. Not having pace is one thing, but as a defender awareness is absolute key and this is why Gallas must be allowed to leave the club. I thank him for his service in the past, but now week in week out I am embarrassed that we are fielding this “has been”. We have the capabilities in the squad to cover his space, Vertonghen and Caulker in the middle and Naughton on the left, its simple. Go with the future, if you're not happy with it then buy in January! It’s very straight forward. The second clear opportunity that Gallas was lucky to get back to, he was playing the attackers on for some ridiculous reason and that led to Vertonghen struggling to catch up with his man (and of course almost led to a goal). As the game went on Gallas become more and prone to attack. Nowhere near his man and allowing shot after shot, once again thank you to his team mates (Caulker) another shot on target was deflected wide! Other than a shot straight at Howard and a slim chance that Defoe wasted the first half was all Everton and Gallas did his best to allow them to score!
In to the second half and a minute in and Gallas is again not aware of any of his men and leaves Osman for Sandro who has to foul, or allow Osman to shoot (which led to a booking for Sandro). So not only is Gallas messing up with his positioning and awareness he is dragging players in to get booked (on his own team!). In the resulting freekick the slow paced Gallas was out so slow again he allowed Naismith the opportunity to shoot on the rebound (luckily for us Naismith had just come on and wasn't quite ready). There was only one attack that I can't remember Gallas being involved in when Baines and Pienaar attacked the left side and Walker was so far in the box and left Lennon to deal with 2 players. Osman was then allowed to shoot and blaze over the bar (fortunate again). Osman continued to shoot at goal and throughout Gallas left his man allowing them to pounce onto the rebounds, but lucky they didn't quite fall to the attackers (Lloris was brilliant in pushing all deflections right out of the attacker’s way).
Notably it was just before this that Huddlestone was brought on for Lennon, a very unpopular decision in that we needed Lennon's pace to keep pressing forward and would need him to get onto Huddlestone's long passes, but bizarrely that was AVB's decision. On the 76th minute it looked like AVB's decision was a stroke of the master class as Huddlestone set up Dempsey to then turn, run and hit a shot past the stranded Howard (due to a slight deflection). I was shocked as I thought it would be a draw watching it play out in front of me. But no, all of a sudden it looked as if my prediction of a 1-0 win was to come true! Yes it was not deserved, however we took our chances and Everton did not (at the time). At this stage it is worth mentioning that Dempsey was playing well and winning free kicks in great positions so I am happy with his play, however he doesn't have the pace to be a winger. Hopefully Dempsey will now grow and continue to get back to his ways at Fulham.
Sigurdsson went close and in fact hit the bar with a great shot on the edge of the box. Sadly this is where the tables turned. Caulker this time not having the awareness of his surroundings cleared a ball that Lloris clearly screamed for, the ball was then put up for Pienaar to head into goal, but guess what sports fans Gallas was nowhere to be seen and was not even picking up a man! Then onto the final goal..... all Gallas AGAIN. The ball is crossed in and Gallas is in front of his man and has no idea what he is doing, so much so that Jelavic then comes out from behind him and knocks the ball into the back of the net.
Yes this is a witch hunt for Gallas and yes it may seem unfair, but you look back over the games as I have and tell me that Gallas has not been at fault for a lot of them. When I say at fault it is a complete lack of awareness on the pitch that is pure stupidity, our Achilles heel.
So although from the above it may seem that we should have lost the game, but Everton were not clinical enough. The defence managed to mop up a lot of Gallas's mistakes and then pounce on an effort to take the lead. It was then a complete lapse again in the dying moments of the game that have let us down.
AVB had made a great substiution in bringing on Huddlestone as it was he that set up the goal, then brought on Sigurdsson who then came close to doubling the lead, but it was the players who let us down again. Lloris could have done better with Pienaar's header, but Lloris was outstanding throughout and I will not blame him for a complete lack of marking in the box.
After the game Twitter was rife with insults and jibes at AVB. The fact that Lennon was taken off and replaced with Huddlestone, or that Falque came on for Defoe. None of these substitutions were an issue and looking back they were in fact the right choice. The wrong choice was that of the beginning of the game, choosing Gallas to be in the squad! I think that AVB handled himself well and got what he could from the players, he cannot control their work rate or awareness on the pitch and if you cannot trust your players to do this, well they should not be on the pitch.
There were many things wrong with the game ranging from the lack of creativity and the lack of presence from the strikers, but it all points to the same thing. The issue has been apparent since the closing of the summer transfer window. Modric and VDV were not replaced. Others may disagree and state Dembele, Sigurdsson and Dempsey were brought in, but if Levy was happy with that then why did he try to buy Moutinho? He knew he had not got the right midfielder to take us forward and he must hold his hands up for it. January may bring a different song, but for now we must concentrate on the remaining games of this year. Each one I feel we can win. Swansea is next up and according to reports Bale, Parker and BAE will all be back. It could not have come at a better time for me. Parker will sure up the midfield and defence as will BAE and Bale will give Swansea immense issues.
Swansea will not be looking forward to this fixture now as many of the Spurs players will not be happy with yesterday's result and nor should they! They will be out for blood and we have reinforcements this time!
All fans strive for perfection from the side, but being realistic is the key part of being a fan. Moaning is fine, but you must remember that we cannot win every game (no one in the history of football has done this), so don't expect it from your team. We will get tired and have an off day, it’s how you come back from them that counts! That’s why I am backing us to win against the Swans!
Come on you Spurs and come on AVB (DROP GALLAS)!!!
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