if there was any daylight*.
In the murky Scouse New Year a Spurs side that is looking increasingly tired left Goodison with a point that almost felt like a defeat, certainly yet more points dropped.
Where 2015 started and ended in a most unlikely way for Spurs, 2016 started so very Spursy.
Just over a year ago it was a 5-3 thrashing of the then league leaders Chelsea and just a few days ago it was a last gasp winner after being millimetres away from going behind. In the first game of the New Year Spurs ran rings around a flat back 10 home side in Everton, who only ventured over the halfway line once it seemed in the opening forty-five minutes.
Of course that once led to the opening goal coming from an ex-Spurs player. How very Spursy.
All Spurs, woodwork hit twice, don’t know how Harry Kane’s attempt went the way it did without going in, inside of the post and curling to go out for a goal kick, any other team and that would go in. Ben Davies battered the bar. Walker actually getting decent crosses in, either being blocked in last gasp challenges or going straight through the box without a touch.
Then the one time they get into Spurs’ half a lump up to Lukaku who nods down and Lennon puts in the opener. Davies caught ball watching loses his man, while even worse Vertonghen who flinches out of the way of blocking the strike. God I hate that, especially in a defender. That’s your job, you don’t flounce out of blocking a goal bound ball you big tart.
Inexcusable, unlike the selling of Lennon. Which this goal duly brought about much discussion of. It’s all he did all afternoon, hadn’t been seen before the goal and well it hasn’t exactly moved him far up the goal scoring rankings in the Premier League, it was his 29th in 301 games. Hell when Spurs were selling him the main arguments that were being used to keep him were his tracking back.
He scores once every 10 games and gets an assist once in about every 5 and a half. His overall starts even worse, a goal every 12.5 games and assists much the same. Really worth keeping, just because he scored against us? And he really struggled not to celebrate scoring that one.
It took to just before the break before Spurs registered on the score sheet. Dele Alli had been down a couple of times, it didn’t look promising that he’d stay on at one point, what with Dembele missing it would have been a big hole in the middle of the park for Spurs. Then Alderweireld launched another raking long ball, right on target – don’t you just miss those aimless Dawson hoofs? – to match another great run into the box by Alli, who controlled it brilliantly and volleyed in the equaliser.
Dembele was the big miss, his strength in holding onto possession as he glides away from pressure just wasn’t there. The more Tom Carroll starts games the more you see him as a last 20 minutes substitute. Yes he can play some nice balls, and did so, but he’s too lightweight and disappears for too often and easily. Just doesn’t have it in him to dominate and control a game, yet. And that’s a very hopeful yet.
It could have been worse though, when people started shouting for Bentaleb to replace him. As it was the substitutions were a bit head scratchy. Yes bring on Son but for Carroll, drop Alli back, not for Eriksen, who while not at his best was more involved than of late.
The second half was more even as Spurs tired and this is a major factor in the second half of the season. Alli gives his all and looks spent when he’s subbed. Kane looks leggy in second halves. There’s no real substitute for either of them, to go with Dembele.
Feel Wimmer could stand in for Dier as the holding midfielder but the rest of the starting XI is almost set in stone.
Like Watford in the last game it was a bit hairy towards the end. Lloris was little involved even with Everton coming on in the second half but again still managed to save the day from a shot by Besic. But no going up the park and getting the winner this time around.
Hopefully yet another draw will get some action in the transfer window, difficult I know – both in getting Levy to pull his finger out and buying someone of quality – but something needs done and the sooner the better. Though no Saha or Nelson…
*…and I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when.