Defoe has to start…

…how did that work out for you?

On the basis of two goals against a 3rd division side and a late consolation when the game was well and truly over the screams were ringing out by the fanboys for Defoe to start against Everton.

Again we saw why the player always ends up as third or fourth choice striker. And in the process his inclusion, alomng with the absence of Lennon, meant ‘Arry went all out to completely bugger up Spurs’ formation and make the outcome pretty predictable from the moment the team sheet dropped.

With two strikers and two holding players in a 4-4-2 it meant that our best players were playing out of position. What got us in the top three would keep us in the top. But no ‘Arry would prefer to have Modric on the left and Bale on the right and nothing in the middle. You can’t play two holders if one of them is Parker, who offers nothing going forward and slows everything up. Now if it had been Sandro and Livermore, the latter who of course bossed Everton in the reverse fixture not that long ago, it may have been different. But with those two there either Modric had to be central or van der Vaart had to play to give that link between the central pair and the striker. Who shouldn’t have been Defoe.

‘Arry nearly got it right as things ended up after his substitutions, though Sandro would have still been on instead of Defoe in the ideal situation – shudder to think what the first half would have been like without Sandro, at times it seemed him against Everton own his own – but by then it was headless chickens stuff and nobody had a clue. Much like the game against the goon scum.

This clueless stuff though according to ‘Arry was Spurs ba’erin’ ‘em.

Well no. This was Everton basically doing bugger all be cause they’d got their lead – 22 minutes into the first half when Kaboul sold himself and Osman easily found Jelavic all on his lonesome, Ledley was missing and that player who is supposed to shield the back four was no where to be seen – unsurprisingly not standing right next to the goal scorer. Far too easy.

So Everton drop back and defend it and unlike Spurs in such a position it’s something they are good at. It’s as boring as hell but the natives seem happy when it works. What with the talk of Moyes taking over from ‘Arry would they be at The Lane? I think not. All those complaints about Jose and the pragmatic manner in which his teams can play, it still brings titles, where Moyes brings league survival with even less flair.

I think the natives would be quite restless pretty quickly.

So Bale he plays where he wants, he plays where he wants, its Gareth Bale, he plays where he wants. How’s that working out for you? Crosses with the outside of the left finding blue shirted players every time. Triffic. The few moments he’s actually been seen on the left recently have produced dangerous crosses. The roaming around centre and right has produced bugger all. It’s an OK move to mix things up during a game, start on the left, play the majority of the game there but every so often have a change, that’s when it’s actually worked. Not the other way round. Did ‘Arry tell him to stay on the right because Everton doubled up and negated him previously? Play our way don’t let them dictate. That’s why the fans were chanting Gareth Bale, he plays on the left in this game. We can all see it, why can’t ‘Arry?

And with it is the extra debilitating effect of Modric, our most creative central presence being stuck on the left. Which hasn’t worked since the little Croat came to the club. Added to the fact it wastes Modric’s talent it also leads to less forward output from Benny. He doesn’t get as forward as with Bale there because he knows he’s kinda on his own defence wise so there’s more caution. Remember the good old days of Walker and Benny being more like wingers than fullbacks, a kind of 2-4-1-3 formation.

So yes chances were there in the second half, a number of attempts, but not many on target, Howard didn’t have to do that much in their goal. It was a battering has ‘Arry ranted about. He does seem to be returning to whinging grump we saw at the end of last season. And you wonder about the England job because he can’t handle any sort of criticism or what he perceives as criticism. Too thin skinned for the top job.

It’s been six games since he was found not guilty and Fabio quit creating this situation and after that initial ‘Arry effect kicked in against Newcastle it’s been three, bad, consecutive defeats in the league – first time they’ve lost three league games in a row under ‘Arry – and two piss poor performances against a 3rd division side. In fact it’s been going on before that, the Newcastle game can in a way been seen as a blip on a bad run. In the eight league games since last facing Everton they’ve taken 8 points.

At the moment it feels like Spurs are looking like the Woolwich Wanderers did last season after their loss in the League Cup final, when they just imploded. A couple of weeks ago the gap could have been 13 points and rising, tonight it could be one point…

Everton 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur

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