Everton – Tottenham Hotspur: Faulty Systems Turn To Their Sparks For Answers (2-2)
Both teams showed why they are no longer within the top four, while revealing factors that got them there in the first place. Everton created better chances, ignited by the repetitious behaviour of James Rodríguez, but Harry Kane remains Tottenham Hotspur’s “Get Out of Jail” free card.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
In the glittering circumstances in which Carlo Ancelotti and José Mourinho have met, Friday night's matchup between Everton and Tottenham will not rank highly. Though this was a match to decide on who chases for Europe, Ancelotti and Mourinho will perhaps not look as fondly on the sunset of their careers, if it is to produce more games like this.
Everton’s injury list may be the biggest in the league, but their lack of tactical framework has proven to have more of an effect. Without possession, they settle on being defensive and deep, but poor transitional work and constant faults with the everchanging buildup shape has seen them lose their grip on the European spots.
Spurs had also joined Everton in the spring-time slump, falling to seventh position and just a point ahead of their opponents. While Everton suffer from mixing their drinks, Spurs suffer from buying one which they don’t like and persisting that it will eventually taste nice. Mourinho doesn’t suit this highly technical team, built to press high rather than remaining passive in their half.
Jordan Pickford, who was one of three changes from the team that drew to Brighton, returned between the posts for the hosts. Allan also returned from injury, to replace the center-back Yerry Mina, while Alex Iwobi came in . . .