Tottenham Hotspurs FC v Everton FC
With this vital game likely to be missing some of the Everton and Spurs stars in Sandro, Defoe, Walker, Lloris, Fellaini, Pienaar and Hibbert, we wanted to compare line ups (On paper and in my head) to see where each teams strengths lay. These line ups may change as always and although Everton don’t really have a massive squad and it’s only likely Neville that will come in, Tottenham could call upon players such as Holtby, Caulker and Huddlestone to strengthen their lineup.
Brad Friedel V Tim Howard
Brad Friedel, in my opinion, has been one of the best keepers ever in the Premier League. Since he was discarded by our noisy neighbours Friedel has gone from strength to strength and is still one of the best Back-up keepers in the Premier League. Playing in the Premier League at the age of 41 is an accomplishment in itself and although age is obviously catching up with Brad, he still looks very capable.
Like Friedel, Tim Howard has also been a very good Premier League goalkeeper but is always prone to a mistake. On the flipside, for the mistakes he makes he will often pull out a wonder save and I am still fully confident in Howard.
Friedel 7.5 – Howard 7.5
Kyle Naughton V Seamus Coleman
Kyle Naughton, to Evertonians, is the one that never kind of happened. He was about to sign for Everton when Hawwy Wedknapp did some wheeling and dealing to secure the 2 Kyles (Walker & Naughton) from Sheffield United. Naughton has taken some settling, but after a decent loan spell with Norwich last season he looks to have forced his way into the team at right or left back.
Seamus Coleman is enjoying a fine season following a couple of years of injuries. He really is the Everton player that goes under the radar of most teams. He has definitely been one of the most important players to Everton this season, providing great balance and attacking threat that we have always shown down the other flank.
Naughton 7 – Coleman 8
Michael Dawson V Phil Jagielka
Dawson and Jagielka are very hard to split at club level and internationally. They are both good old fashioned defenders. Dawson has proved his mettle to AVB this year having nearly been sold to QPR and he has forced his way back into England reckoning with some solid displays.
Likewise Jags has played well without having the clean sheet record to prove it. Strong in the tackle and dependable, Jagielka has never quite reached the form before his serious injury, but is still a fearless defender. He does hold the record this season for the most amount of longballs that don’t find a team mate!!!!!
Dawson 8 – Jagielka 8
Jan Vertonghen V Sylvain Distin
Vertonghen has been one of the best buys this season and it is no wonder that David Moyes tracked him for so long, without being able to raise the funds or tempt the player. A left sided centre back, vertonghen has shown strengths in attacking aswell as defending, scoring 5 goals in his debut Premier League season. Distin on the other-hand has proved again what a good signing he has been by David Moyes. Distin still has pace to burn in the Prem, despite being 35 and is solid.
Vertonghen 8.5 – Distin 8
Benoit Assou-Ekotto V Leighton Baines
BAE is one of footballs honest men. He plays for the money, not for the love of a club. Spurs fans appreciate that honesty and he went from being the scapegoat to a bit of a cult figure. Without the mighty afro of Fellaini on show on Sunday, BAE can bring another of footballs favourite haircuts to the party aswell as solid left-back displays.
Leighton Baines on the other-side is just brilliant. Leading Europe on key passes in the final third, Baines has proved for England and Everton why he is rated as the Premier Leagues best left-back. He seems to have an engine that never conks out, he is as important to Everton as Bale is to Spurs.
BAE 7.5 – Baines 9
Aaron Lennon V Kevin Mirallas
Lennon, like Seamus Coleman is one of the most underrated players for Spurs. Although his goals and assists can be improved on, Lennon is just an attacking powerhouse in a midgets body. He is the player that Spurs say they can’t replace (more so than Bale in a lot of cases). Signed for a bargain from Leeds, Lennon has proved himself an excellent signing.
Mirallas was what Everton were missing, Pace, Skill and Goals. He is just awesome and it’s a shame that injuries have affected him this season. He has everything and will only get better.
Lennon 8.5 – Mirallas 8.5
Scott Parker V Darron Gibson
When Sandro was ruled out for the season, Scott Parker had big shoes to fill, having only just come back from injury himself. He struggled when he first came in the team, but in recent weeks Parker has proved himself key to the Spurs midfield. He doesn’t offer key passes or that many goals, but he does offer solid midfield play and is able to get amongst the opposition.
Darron Gibson has been an excellent signing from Manchester United, he has a great combination of passes, he can tackle and he can shoot (although he seems to have stopped doing this). For £500k Gibbo has been a Moyes master stroke
Parker 7.5 – Gibson 8
Moussa Dembele V Johnny Heitinga
Dembele was showing signs at Fulham that he could dominate the Premier League and although his form hasn’t been as good at Spurs in his first season he is still a very good player. He is strong, has good control and has a decent strike. He can also hold position and defend when needed.
Heitinga on the other hand hasn’t had a very good season and looks out of sorts. Last season’s club player of the year, Heitinga is actually a very good player, but he looks unsettled and out of form. The last few matches have shown signs of a recovery, so maybe not all is lost. Whether Jonny plays as a cb or cm is still to be seen, although he isn’t a CM!!!!!!
Dembele 8 – Heitinga 7
Gareth Bale V Leon Osman
Gareth Bale is in the media more than Jordan at the minute. The lad goes from strength to strength. Literally. He has been superb this season and needs Champions League football. Although he is not quite up to his level yet, he looks to have been following the Ronaldo plan of improving a different part of his game every couple of weeks. Bale is in his best scoring season for Tottenham this year and missed the match earlier in the season against Everton. He could be the difference in this match, especially if given a free role.
Osman has finally been recognised by England this year having previously been overlooked. Confident on the ball and technically very good, what Ossie lacks in explosivity and pace, he makes up in desire and ball control. He often goes unnoticed in games despite putting in good work.
Bale 9.5 – Osman 7.5
Gylfi Sigurdsson V Victor Anichebe
Sigurdsson turned down Liverpool, so he will get a good reception by the Everton Faithful! Ha. Gylfi proved what a decent player he was with Reading before a move to Germany and a very successful loan move to Swansea FC. Brought back to provide goals to the Spurs midfield, Sigurdsson is fairly similar to Dembele in the fact that he probably hasn’t fully settled yet and his best is yet to come. That said, he is a threat and will need to be watched.
Anichebe, like BAE was the fans scapegoat. A perceived lack of effort and desire and constant whinging was an annoyance of the Goodison crowd, but in the last 18 months Anichebe has completely changed as a player and is now making up for lost time. A beast of a man, Anichebe has the strength and hunger that could turn him into a real Premier League force. Often derided for a lack of goals, in the last season and a half, Anichebe has started scoring much more frequent and has forced himself to number 1 in the pecking order or strikers.
Sigursson 7.5 – Anichebe 8
Emmanuel Adebayor V Nikica Jelavic
Adebayor came to Spurs on a goal trail and he looked like he was going to carry on the scoring exploits he had displayed throughout his career. Although, he was not always the most enthusiastic of players, Adebayor nearly always scored. This season, he has been frustrated by lack of form and injuries and he has also frustrated the White Hart Lane faithful with a lack of effort. He has gone in polar direction to Anichebe. He is still a threat though.
Jelavic, like Adebayor, came to Everton on a red hot streak, scoring with virtually every first touch at the end of last season. Evertonians believed they had the 20 goal a season striker they have dreamt about. This season has seen Jelavic’s scoring boots go missing. He often looks to be trying to hard and frustration has crept in. Jelavic again is still a threat, but he looks a shadow of the player that came in last season.
Adebayor 7 – Jelavic 7
Spurs 87 – Everton 87
Spurs and Everton on paper look fairly similar, so this tie could come down to the Managers. AVB has had a good season having taken over from a Spurs side that finished 4th. He has the money to be able to transform the Spurs side and help them compete every season. Having worked under Jose Mourinho, he has picked up a tactical nous that may help them against a dogged Everton team.
David Moyes has generally led Everton to finish each season strongly, this season the blue boys have been very inconsistent though and with a lack of squad depth, it may be a bridge too far to replace Fellaini and Pienaar. This match will go a long way to determine whether Everton are still in the hunt for a Champions league place, but it is still in Everton hands. Coping with Gareth Bale could prove to be key in defeating Spurs and Moyes may opt to pick Phil Neville who did a very good job on Bale a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, Bale is twice the player now and Neville has been going the other way, so it’s to be seen.
Please feel free to discuss this at www.theevertonforum.com or below.