Tottenham Vs Everton: The Lost Battle of the Midfield

Sep 14, 2020 | Sushilspurs11

"Against good teams like Everton if you let them play from the back they are comfortable with very good technical players. If you don't press them you give them ammunition"

Jose Mourinho- Manager, Tottenham Hotspur

Sluggish Tottenham side fall sort to Calvert Lewin´s thumping header.

Tottenham Hotspur:0

Spurs:52% Everton:48%
Spurs:9 Everton:15
Spurs5 Everton:4
Spurs:5 Everton:3
Spurs:15 Everton7

It was not the way Tottenham Hotspur were looking to start their 20/21 season.
The only goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured the victory for Everton over Tottenham in their opening fixture of the season.

It was the first opening matchday defeat for Tottenham in last twelve years and first time ever in Jose Mourinho´s managerial career.

Mourinho has some point regarding that freekick which led to the goal but he was not shy to accept that his team´s performance was far below the average.

Spurs Midfield Duo
Harry winks and Hojbjerg this midfield duo will provide only defensive strength but not the creative one.

Winks has been always the defensive player and offers nothing when it comes to breaking the stubborn oppositions.

Hojbjerg played his part but was unable to change the game on his own. He is new to the team and needs some time to understand his new teammates around him.

These two players need someome who can play in advanced role by their side so that they can sit deep and operate freely.

Mourinho needs to find the perfect midfield partnership quickly as fixtures schedule ahead are ridiculous.

Midfield Battle
The game between Tottenham and Everton was decided by battle of the midfield. The three new boys for Everton; Doucouré, Allan and James outplayed the clueless Tottenham midfield to take away all three points on the opening matchday of the season.

Tottenham midfield was nowhere near to match the rhythm created by the organized Everton midfield.

Dele and Lucas were lost in the middle as the reasult Kane was unable to touch the ball in Everton´s box during the entire first half.

Second half was not different comparing to first. Harry Kane he is the finest finisher but he needs to be served, you can’t exect him to dribble past the opposition players from halfway and score on his own.

Tottenham missed their one and only playmaker Giovani Lo Celso who was unable to make his place in the team due to injury problems. Tottenham have Tanguy Ndombele but can’t trust him so easily, may be the club need someone to cover the absence of playmaker and the transfer window is still open.

Lazy Tottenham
After the game Jose Mourinho slammed Tottenham players for being lazy and his words make sense in every way.
Throughout the whole game it looked like Tottenham players were not interested to press when Everton were playing freely at their own half. Tottenham midfielders and defenders were caught out of pace every time when Everton were moving forward.

After the game Mourinho told: “We were lazy in our pressing. That is a consequence of bad fitness, bad pre-season. Some players didn’t even have a pre-season. Some players had a wrong state of mind. I don’t want to speak about it — I’m not sure about it.
“It was too easy for them to play from back to front.
These words are not only Mourinho´s words these are the words of every single person who watched Tottenham playing against Everton.

Mourinho believes that it was the reasult of bad preseason and will improve in coming days.

Counter Attack
Though in overall it was a bad game but there is something positive that Spurs can take from the game and that is counter attack.
When it comes to counter attack Tottenham has been always dangerous against their opposition.

To apply the counter attacks the team should be able to sit deep and soak all the pressure form the opposition, they should be able to break the opposition play and move ball quickly.
Tottenham have that quality in their players as they have Hojbjerg, Son and Lucas.

When the team lacks creativity in that type of situation Tottenham can get benefit from the counter attack. Against Everton also they created some good chances in counter but Pickford denied them.

New Signings
The two new signings made their debut for Tottenham and they put on some impressive display for their new team.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg impressed in the middle with his performance but was unable to make instant impact as he missed the creative body by his side.

Hojbjerg stats
Most passes completed (68/74)
Most attacking third pass completed (16/19)
Most fouls committed (4)
Second most ball recoveries (9)
Second most tackles won (4/6)

Matt Doherty also had good game in his debut, he was close to open the scoring but was denied by Pickford.
Defensively he had few to do and we will see in coming days but offensively he showed what he is capable of.

Though the Tottenham´s new boys were not that bad in their debuts but the new boys from Everton stole the show.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: 

” I was expecting much more individually and collectively. It wasn’t a very good performance, not a consistent performance, not a performance that leaves me with a very good feeling that all of my players gave everything.

“I go home with the feeling that some of the boys could do more.”

What´s Next?
Tottenham travel to Bulgaria to face Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the second qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday.
On Sunday they will travel to Southampton for their Premier League game.