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Preview Spurs v Everton, 19.01.02

Everton's last six league games:-



Everton	   1 0	Derby
Sunderland 1 0	Everton
Everton	   0 2	Man Utd
Everton    0 3	Charlton
M'borough  1 0	Everton
Everton	   1 0	Sunderland

Pos        P   W  D  L  F-A   GD Pts  
 8 Spurs   22  9  4  9 33 29  4  31
13 Everton 22  7  5 10 24 29 -5  26

Since winning at The Valley on Day One of the season, the Toffees have failed to win an away league match, and only scored 5 more goals in 9 more games. They have won just two of their last six games, and they were 1-0 wins against opposition in even worse form than Walter Smith's men. Those two goals were the only ones they have managed. I fancy Spurs to win 3-0 myself, but Gazza will be there, and he is in good form, and bound, as usual, to get a rousing reception from the home fans.

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game:-



Full Record of Spurs -v- Everton

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home           9   6   3   0   18 - 10  21
Away          10   4   5   1   10 -  6  17
==========================================
Total(Prem)   19  10   8   1   28 - 16  38
==========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   54  25  16  13  107 - 67  72
Away(Div 1)   54  10  17  27   60 - 88  38
==========================================
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
==========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    1   1   0   0    1 -  0   2
Away(Div 2)    1   0   0   1    2 -  4   0
==========================================
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
==========================================
Total(Prem)   19  10   8   1   28 - 16  38
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
==========================================
Grand Total  129  46  41  42  198 -175 150
==========================================

The days of 'The Golden Vision' of Alex Young, the swashbuckling midfield of Harvey, Ball and Kendall, of striker Andy Gray swooping on to crosses from Peter Reid or Kevin Sheedy and of half a hundred other Everton stars have long since disappeared. These days, Everton live from hand to mouth, battling with crippling debts and the sound of a resurgent Liverpool echoing across the width of Stanley Park whilst Everton worry about the impending prospect of another winter's struggles against relegation. Their cause has not been helped by a very long injury list nor have they been helped by complaints from Thomas Gravesen that Everton lack the ambition to make the jump from being an average side to a good one.

And yet ... and yet it is difficult to conclude that we have been here before. Back in October 1958, both Spurs and Everton were well into the throes of an anxious season of battling against relegation. Indeed, on the morning of October 11th, 1958, Spurs were managerless as long serving Jimmy Anderson had resigned due to ill-health, severing a 50-year connection to the club. Few of the thousands who trekked to White Hart Lane that day were aware that Bill Nicholson had been appointed as his successor. He had been a popular player, albeit taciturn, speaking with a broad Yorkshire accent that had been modified by twenty odd years of living in the South. Some were aware that it had been his tactical genius that had prevented Brazil beating England in the 1958 World Cup, the only country Brazil failed to beat that year.

The team that went out that day had been assembled by Jimmy Anderson. In goal was John Hollowbread, a steady but unspectacular reserve, playing only because of long-term injuries to first choice Ted Ditchburn and Ron Reynolds. (Both had, however, played their last matches for Spurs.) In front of him was Peter Baker and Mel Hopkins, the pairing had been brought together after Ramsey's departure to Ipswich. Blanchflower, Ryden and Iley were the half-back trio. The Irishman was no longer captain having fallen out with manager Anderson two seasons before but in the heat of battle he could no longer restrain himself. Ryden was a Scot who was clearly out of his depth whilst Iley was far too attack-minded, leaving huge chunks of space for Ryden to cover if he and Blanchflower were both upfield. The forwards were Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Stokes and Robb. Medwin was a Welshman from Swansea, who lacked the devil to be a really good player. Harmer was a Cockney sprite who was enjoying an Indian summer under manager Anderson as neither Rowe nor Nicholson felt able to use his skills. Smith was a burly player, always eager to batter the opposing goalkeeper. Stokes was an erratic striker, scoring 40 goals in 65 appearances. When he was brilliant, he was good, when he was poor, he was dire. Robb was a former schoolmaster who had turned professional after the retirement of Les Medley.

Spurs went ahead after only two minutes. A shot from Smith was blocked on the line but Stokes scored from the rebound. Jimmy Harris equalised in the 10th minute from a Hickson cross. Soon after, a Harmer cross enabled Smith to restore Spurs lead. Around the half-hour, Spurs scored three goals in a spell of four minutes. Harmer sent Robb away down the left wing and Robb cut through a poor Everton defence to add to Spurs lead. Smith then added another goal from a careful Blanchflower centre. Stokes then scored Spurs' fifth when Dunlop only half-stopped a Robb header. Just before half-time, Medwin scored the sixth with a shot in-off the post.

Immediately after half-time, Harris headed a Fielding corner into the Spurs goal. But a powerful Smith header re-asserted Spurs' dominance. With ten minutes to go, Harmer added the eighth goal when Everton's Bobby Collins lost possession of the ball which ran towards Harmer. From 20 yards out, Harmer half-volleyed the ball into the roof of Everton's goal. But straight from the kick-off Everton tore upfield and Harris completed his hat-trick. But Bobby Smith soon added a fourth goal to his personal tally when he headed home a centre from Stokes. Collins then scored from 25 yards out to record Everton's fourth goal of the afternoon. Then, Ryden, who spent the last fifteen minutes limping in those non-substitute days, scored from a melee in the Everton goal after a free-kick had been awarded to Tottenham.

It was only after the game had ended that the team found out Nicholson was now the boss instead of the coach. Typically, Nicholson downplayed the result, saying that Tottenham would not win 10-4 every week.

But from that early match, both teams developed a side that was to win a League championship title for them within a few years. First, Tottenham did the double and then retained the FA Cup. Then, Everton won the League with 'The Golden Vision' of Alex Young ........

So, whatever tomorrow's result, football goes in cycles. Both teams will be back at the top in the long run but both have some way to go before they can write fresh history into their club record books. They have only to look back to this match to see how quickly things can change ....

Spurs, on recent form, should win this match. However, we will have to be vigilant throughout the match. Other than the long term injuries, and the absent Keller, Spurs will have a stronger squad than Everton. I take Spurs to win 2-1 but the goals may be some time in coming ......

Cheers, Brian

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