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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Everton v Spurs, 15.01.2000

· Last season's game - Everton 0 Spurs 1, 29.08.98
· This season's home game - Spurs 3 Everton 2, 14.08.99
· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Everton

Prem           Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            8   5   3   0    15-8    18
Away            7   4   2   1     7-3    14
Total (Prem)   15   9   5   1    22-11   32
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)   15   9   5   1    22-11   32
Total (Div 1) 108  35  33  40   167-155 110
Total (Div 2)   2   1   0   1     3-4     2
Grand Total   125  45  38  42   192-170 144

This weeks's match is the return game for that played on August 14th 1999, which was our second home game of the season. We had lost our opening game, 0-1, away to West Ham United, but had won our first home game of the season, 3-1, against a very poor Newcastle United side.

Everton twice led us before we eventually won 3-2. Both of the Everton goals were penalties. The first in the 24th minute was awarded because the referee decided Walker had upended Francis Jeffers. Unsworth scored from the spot. Sherwood headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute from a corner by Darren Anderton. Unsworth then scored from the penalty spot again in the 76th minute after Walker was again adjudged to have brought down Jeffers. Leonhardsen equalised with nine minutes remaining and Iversen headed a cross from Stephen Carr with five minutes to go.

Last season, we travelled to Goodison Park, having lost our first two games, 3-1 at Wimbledon and 3-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. We won at Everton, 1-0, thanks to Les Ferdinand heading a fifth minute goal, following a cross from a corner taken by David Ginola. Shortly after that match, the Board took the decision to dispense with the services of Christian Gross as Head Coach and to appoint David Pleat as the caretaker manager pending an appointment of a successor.

The return game was played on 28th December 1999. Chris Armstrong grabbed a hat-trick with Ferdinand scoring the other goal. Bakayoko scored Everton's goal. Armstrong's second goal was heatedly disputed by Everton as they claimed Armstrong had handled the ball before scoring.

In recent seasons, Everton have been too close to the relegation zone for comfort. For much of the last five years, there have been boardroom disputes. These appear to have been settled with the recent sale of the club by their former chairman, Peter Johnson, to Bill Kenwright. The club are said to be £22M in debt, a situation as bad as ours was back in 1991.

It must be galling for Everton that they have struggled at a time when Liverpool have had plenty of their own problems. Yet the situation at the moment is that neither Everton nor Liverpool are in a position to qualify for European football in season 2000-01 whereas Tranmere Rovers, for so long the cinderella of Merseyside football, are still in both senior domestic cup competitions.

It is hard to believe that Everton were once renowned for attractive football. In the time I have been supporting Tottenham, Everton have built three very attractive championship sides. The first, in season 1962-63, was a very good side, managed by Harry Catterick. They pipped Spurs to the championship, despite Spurs being the last side to score more than 100 goals in the top division with 111 goals. The second side was built around the midfield trio of Ball, Harvey and Kendall. All three later became football managers but only Kendall managed to win trophies, although Harvey was Kendall's assistant. The side that Kendall built was perhaps the most attractive of the three sides. Those of us who can recall Peter Reid and Andy Gray as the stars of that side, coupled with a much slimmer Neville Southall in goal won't forget the game in season 1985 when Everton killed off our challenge for the title with a 2-1 win at Tottenham.

I have twice visited Everton in support of Tottenham. The first occasion was as long ago as October 1962 when we lost 1-0 at Goodison Park. If memory serves me correctly, it was Alex Scott who scored Everton's goal that day. The journey home was a nightmare as we left Lime Street at 5.30pm. Because Euston was closed for rebuilding at weekends prior to electrification, we had to travel through the Midlands via Leicester and Nottingham before we could start the home run to London. I remember we were hurtling past Kentish Town when the train shuddered to a halt at about 11.00pm. Someone stuck their head out of the window and said the diesel engine had caught fire. We had to wait for another engine to come out of the sidings before we completed the last couple of miles to King's Cross. The tube was still running but by the time we got back to Liverpool Street, the last train had gone. I had to get a taxi home and didn't get home to Enfield until about 2.00am.

And how will we get on tomorrow? It's a difficult one to call because both teams have similar problems. Everton have probably the oldest defence in the Premier League with both Watson and Gough well past their mid-30s. They have sold a number of strikers and have only Jeffers and Kevin Campbell as recognised strikers. Hutchison has been forced to play up front when Jeffers and Campbell have been absent through injury or suspension. I feel that if we can play as well as we appear to have done against Chelsea, particularly in the first half of the game at Stamford Bridge, we are capable of winning up there. Our record against Everton has been quite good over the last few years with only the Semi-Final tie against them in April 1995 being the one bad blemish. I think we are capable of nicking a goal to avoid defeat up there but whether it will lead to a win or a draw will depend on whether we can maintain our concentration for the whole of the match and not let our guard drop for the final minutes of the match.

Cheers, Brian

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