Significant talking points following the match against Everton, certainly people want to share their thoughts on the match. Use this thread to do it.
I will start by saying that we looked extremely tired at the end of the game. Everton had an energy that we simply could not keep up with down the stretch. After they scored the go ahead goal our back line just looked exhausted. Additionally, van der Vaart specifically looked exhausted. Harry has repeatedly noted how he has to sub Rafa because he simply cannot go a full ninety. That was evident in this match. As things went on you could really notice a drop in vdV’s pace, both on and off the ball. He wasn’t nearly as active and didn’t pose as big of a threat. Like I said, we just looked tired and out of sync on the whole. Maybe this can be attributed to all of the fixtures in the last week and a half. Certainly the FA Cup match will get some of the lads a much needed rest (Bale most importantly).
Second, and most importantly, our midfield let us down in this match and was the reason we lost. I think we saw what can happen when we don’t have a player like Palacios or Huddlestone on the pitch for a majority of the game. We were overrun by Arteta and Fellaini who consistently won headers, made interceptions, and used strength to push the likes of Bale, Lennon, and Modric off the ball. Shades of the old Jermaine Jenas littered the pitch. To put it simply, he was dire. He consistently gave the ball away at the worst times. Also, though not his fault, he could have done more to hold off Coleman and prevent the second goal; he did a great job to get there, but showed a lack of awareness to miss out on reacting to the rebound. His passing, though, was the worst I have seen in awhile. It was most frustrating at the end when we were trying to find an equalizer, it would come to JJ, and he would either get tackled immediately or pass it to and Everton player. Modric also lacked consistency throughout the game, particularly in the second half. He disappeared when we needed him most; when we need to score another goal. In fairness, he did brilliantly well to give Rafa a chance to score on two separate occasions, but in the end he went missing at inopportune times.
I would also like to say that I thought Crouch played absolutely brilliantly. He won just about EVERYTHING in the air. Not only that, but the balls he won were played immediately to feet, whether his own or those of another player. He also showed what he can do with the ball at his feet with the nifty run and shot that Howard was forced to save above the bar. The best thing about Crouch is that he makes players around him better. He creates chances for other guys and allows our midfielders to get forward with his holdup play. We saw yet another example of this on our goal. He obviously is more valuable to the squad than Pav in that he is present for a full 90 minutes and rarely goes missing at any point during a match. He takes a lot of criticism, a lot of it warranted, but today I thought he was top notch.
It was a poor performance on the whole, particularly from our midfield. Gomes, too, was poor. It was tough watching Bale go off with that injury, but we have fought through injuries already and will continue to do so throughout the season. All things considered, the holiday season was an extremely prosperous one for Spurs and we go into the transfer market with high ambitions. A few moves and we might be in a better position to further our league standing. Let’s beat Charlton in the FA Cup and focus on United, a match from which we now desperately need points.