Everton – Talking to the Opposition: Tottenham Hotspur

    Questions were asked at Tottenham forum ‘Glory Glory’, here:

    How do you think you’ve fared this season. Has it played out how you were expecting?

    DubaiSpur: Our season’s panned out better than most of us expected. To be in the top four with seven games to go was perhaps conceivable, but to do it while advancing to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, a notoriously demanding competition, is an indicator of AVB’s bettering of pre-season expectations this season.

    Park Lane James: At this stage I think this season has over-exceeded expectations. With Villas-Boas as our new manager, I always thought that perhaps this season would be the one to get him used to the squad, with the next being the true acid test; I expected us to get 5th and we have performed better than that. With the amount of changes that were made in the summer, I have been surprised at how well the team has integrated, and managed to perform in big games.

    thejazzman: Its played out better than I thought it would. I backed AVB in the summer, but wasnt quite sure how we’d fare without Modric, and without someone to score goals. To still be in with a shout of 3rd, having not played the kind of football I think that we’re capable of, is definitely something to get excited about.

    There are always certain players in teams that get the majority of the media praise and I would say this has easily been Gareth Bale and deservedly so, just how do you rank his ability?

    mudshark: He’s beginning to show just how good he can be. He might be counted amongst the very best one day, although he’s not quite there yet, and still has his off-days, as we saw in the Fulham game. We rely too heavily on him at the moment, though, and when Bale doesn’t deliver, Spurs usually don’t deliver.

    Libero: World Class. He is one of a few players in this league who are worth an admission fee on his own.

    Hootnow: Superb player. He’s on an unbelievable run of form at the moment, every time he gets on the ball, he looks dangerous and I think something else he brings is the fear he instills in other players. Still nowhere near the top 2 (he has to do what he’s doing now over multiple consecutive seasons as they have done) but he’s probably been the best player in the league in 2013. 

    Are there any players that haven’t been getting the praise they deserve from the media and even your own fan base this season? 

    Raziel: Lloris, Dembele and Lennon are critical to our system and Vertonghen looks a special CB. Out of those, Lennon is probably the overlooked/underestimated.

    Spursalot: Dembele seems to get a bit of flack. I myself think he’s had a brilliant season. He’s been one of our best players. His ability to glide past players is good and he contributes a lot to our defensive effort.

    billyiddo: As usual Aaron Lennon get’s severely over looked – he doesn’t score/assist as much as you’d perhaps expect a ‘top’ player in his position to but his overall game/work rate really is top draw and we miss him more than any other player (even Bale) when he is not available (see our recent 3 match losing streak) 

    aaron-lennon_2463333bAaron Lennon was mentioned a number of times as someone that is underrated.

    Are you confident of maintaining your top 4 position by the end of the season?

    Rebrenx: Not really, it could go any way at the moment, and we’ve got a tough run in on paper. Of the teams challenging for 4th, Arsenal look to have the most comfortable set of games, and it’s hard to predict how Chelsea will do. Would be lovely to pip Chelsea after how last season panned out though!

    Craig_J: No, I’m very worried about it. The next three games will be very tricky and if we don’t get at least 5 points I’ll be very concerned.

    King of Norway: Not at all. We are Tottenham, and things rarely end well. We also have tough games coming up which doesn’t help.

    Spursalot: I am confident of maintaining our top four position. I don’t think Chelsea are capable of staying with us given the collapse that they have undergone in the league this season. However there are one or two key games. Us against you and us against Chelsea, if we can come away from those two with six points i’d say we’ve done it. 4 and i’d be happy. Any less and we’d be relying on you or Arsenal to make mistakes.

    How do you think the game will play out? Are you expecting Everton to come and sit deep or to come and attack? Are you expecting your Spurs team to go all out? Do you think the European game on Thursday will affect you?

    Old Bill: Everton need the 3pts more than we do, so should come at us. But I think at home we’re favourites and we’ll be too strong for you and should get the 3 points. If it was at Goodison Park I’d say that you guys were favourites!

    camspur: I wouldn’t expect Everton to do anything different than look for a point at WHL and try to sneak a win on the counter. The game on Thursday shouldn’t affect us as it’ll be two different XIs we put out.

    Bonsailboy: I expect Everton to come at us from the off, due to our having played in Europe. The Thursday game will affect us, the question is how much. I can see us being a little sluggish at the start but improving as the game goes on. First goal is vital.

    What do you make of your manager André Villas-Boas?

    Park Lane James: I love him. He is still a little naive in certain situations but I feel that he is moving in the right direction for where I want this club to go, and his desire to play attacking football will win a lot of hearts at WHL.

    Rebrenx: I really like him, I hope he gets the chance to bring in a few choice additions this summer, and we secure 4th, so he has a better opportunity to build on the team. He seems to have learned from his time at Chelsea, though granted he wasn’t to blame for the bizarre dressing room politics there. The team seem to know what they’re doing, and what the game plan is, whereas we didn’t always last season.

    Nutter-Naylor: Liking his style & I like his man management, he doesn’t appear to hold grudges like Redknapp.

    Andre-VillasBoas_A_2340681bAVB is highly respected among the Tottenham support.

    Moving on to Everton

    How do you think we have fared this season?

    DubaiSpur: The first few months were amazing, but that tail-off around January-ish seriously hurt your chances of CL football. Mirallas was absent then, I believe, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.Now he’s returned, you’ve gotten back into the groove, and I expect a strong finish from you guys.

    Hootnow: Again, excellent. To be where you are, on the budget that you have, is impressive.

    Bonsailboy: Surprising well – good come back especially after the cup exit.

    Who do you think will be the biggest threat to your Spurs side in the upcoming game?

    Spursalot: The biggest threat.. Mirallas. He’s a very good midfielder. Got an immense engine which will no doubt come into the game if you do end up playing on the counter.

    Bonsailboy: Baines

    camspur:  Mirallas and Baines, Mirallas has been very good for you this season and a threat against any team. Baines is IMHO the best LB in the league.

    mudshark: Baines and Mirallas are the obvious two.

    Old Bill: Baines against Walker. I am already scared!

    chicken_badge:  Our own fans, we just havent done well enough at home this year and part of the problem is the pressure our own fans put on the side. So if I were a betting man, 0-0 at half-time and 0-1 Everton at full time would be good value.

    King of Norway: The two players I would normally fear the most are suspended luckily. Mirallas looks like a good player though. He is always lively and could cause our defence some problems with his pace and direct running. Baines is always a threat down the left flank with his runs and crosses. And Jelavic seems to like playing against us as well.

    Kev and LeightonThe majority of replies named Baines and Mirallas as the biggest threats.

    What is your opinion of David Moyes and what do you make of the job he has done for Everton?

    billyiddo: From the outside looking in it seems he is a master at getting a fairly average bunch of players to consistently pull together and punch above their weight – for example we saw Pienaar come here and quite frankly he looked mediocre but for you he looks a world beater. It seems there is a very clear ethos of the team above the individual, which is admirable. He has kept you in around the top 10 on a shoe string budget for such a long time now that he deserves praise he gets. Not sure he’ll do better elsewhere – I think he’s found his niche with you, not sure he’d be a success elsewhere.

    mudshark: Can come across rather as the stereotypical dour Scot, but dignified and still likeable with it (unlike some) and clearly a very good manager with a strong streak of pragmatism and emphasis on the team ethic. Plainly a no-nonsense personality, who is prepared to stand on the football his sides play and the results they produce. I think he’s done a grand job. I could see him as a decent each-way bet in the running for the OT gig, TBH.

    DubaiSpur: He hasn’t had too much support from Kenwright over the years, and when looked at it that way I think he’s done quite well. However, I also think that at least one trophy in the ten-odd years he’s been at the club wouldn’t be to much to ask considering Everton’s stature, and in this respect he’s let the club down somewhat, especially when you consider the finals/semi-finals you guys have reached over the years.

    Raziel: Great job, super consistent job of keeping you in or around Europe spots. Black mark is whenever it seems to really count, that next step (i.e. win a cup or CL), you seem to bottle it, that and your record against Liverpool is awful.

    Where do you think us Toffees will finish come the end of the season?

    Spursalot: I think you’ll finish fifth. I think you’ll end up above Chelsea, but below us and Arsenal. Though there are obvious key games in that scenario. I’d feel happy if you finish above Liverpool. The superiority complex they seem to have is highly entertaining, and they seem to whine like children when things don’t go their way.

    Bonsailboy: 6th.

    billyiddo: 6th though i’ll be praying that you finish above both Arsenal and Chelsea.

    camspur: 6th, can’t see you picking up enough points to go above Arsenal or Chelsea but it’ll still be enough to finish above the red ones.

    mudshark: I’ll say 6th.

    Libero: 6th

    Rebrenx: Dream scenario would be you 4th with us in 3rd, though I think probably 6th. Hopefully above Liverpool.

    Craig_J: I think you’ll finish sixth but it’s gonna be very tight.

    Old Bill: 6th or 7th but I’d like to see you finish 4th with Spurs 3rd!

    chicken_badge: Fourth is the most likely spot for us. For you, I hope and expect you will beat Liverpool again, which will be deserved and very pleasing…. heaps the pressure on them there. If you get anything out of the games against us and Arsenal, well you will be in with a very good shout of a CL spot – if you lose both, then it is 5th at a stretch.

    DubaiSpur: Sixth. Ahead of Liverpool. Watch out for them next season though, I think they’ll be a threat if they hold on to Suarez.

    Nutter-Naylor: 6th. A proper club with proper fans & personally i hope you get another season in Europe.

    King of Norway: I think you will finish where you are now. In 6th place.

    Park Lane James: 6th, but hopefully 4th with Spurs finishing 3rd or 2nd!

    Hootnow: 6th.

    Raziel: 6th, above Liverpool.

    Finally, predictions for the game?

    Spursalot: Predictions.. mm.. I’m rubbish at these usually. I’ll go with 2-1 to spurs. We don’t keep many clean sheets, and we don’t score that many at home. It’ll be a nervy affair though.

    Bonsailboy: 2-1 to Spurs

    billyiddo: 2-1 home win

    camspur: 2-1 to Spurs, we’ll go 2 up and then hang on in a last ten minute onslaught.

    mudshark: 1-1.

    Libero: 1-0 Spurs.

    Rebrenx: 2-1 Spurs.

    Craig_J: 1-1 draw.

    Old Bill: 3-1 to Spurs.

    DubaiSpur: 2-1 Spurs, Bale and Sigurdsson for us versus a peach from Mirallas/Jelavic for you guys.

    Nutter-Naylor: I’m am rubbish at predictions but i will say 2-1 to the Mighty Spurs.

    King of Norway: Spurs to win by the odd goal.

    Park Lane James: A tough one – I think it will be 2 – 1 Spurs, a reversal of the result at GP.

    Hootnow: I’m appalling at predictions so I’ll go for a hopeful 2-1 to us.

    Raziel: 2-1 Spurs

    everton2-1Most replies say Tottenham fans are expecting a reverse result of the earlier 2-1 home win at Goodison. 

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