Date: 10th February 2014 at 9:32am
Written by:

Deja vu anyone?. A mediocre performance with us nicking the spoils. Please remember, all my articles are wrote straight after the game. No Post match interviews from Sherwood watched, and no involvement with VS until article submitted, so apologies if things have been covered already.

First things first, I have read numerous posts on the pre match article relating to Sherwood not implementing any system. I think this has somewhat been lost in translation, I’m pretty confident that Sherwood was trying to put across the fact that the players should have enough nous to be pro/re-active to scenarios in games without his instruction at times. That does not equate to there being no tactics/system, just the fact that he believes the players should have a bit of sense about the game going on around them. As for the game and tactics….Here goes!.

Wow! That took some doing, a worse performance than last week. I did not hear his exact words, but in summary, pre match Sherwood talked about us not pressing at all costs but if a player smells something then we’ll go in with two or three. Here lies the problem, you go in two or three to make the player make the mistake not to pounce on his mistake. This is exactly what Everton were doing to us in the first half, in our faces hurrying us into mistakes, poor choices and poor passing. It works, and in games like this it’s a requirement. We were getting closed down by numbers all over the pitch. Everton had more desire, it showed clearly.

Leads me nicely on to one of my major bugbears…Desire, or should that read lack of. Am I missing the point or is this something that should not need coaching all too often, if ever? For the chance to gain another league position and stay on the tails of top 4 I thought I would have seen so much more. How wrong I was. I’m not going over it again now, i feel I’ve made my thoughts known many times along with others. Simply put, no desire, how do you expect to win?

So, the game itself. We set up 4-2-3-1/4-3-3, take your pick. I actually thought this was the way to go, and was intrigued to see how it would pan out. Bentaleb again selected, with Dembele given a more attacking role. From the off, Everton were forcing the issue and in the first 8 minutes required a fine save from Lloris down to his Left to deny a fiercly struck Osman effort. Fine save Lloris, well done. Everton continued to press, and yet again our WBs were all too often out of position still loitering high up the pitch. Rose, well, I think he’s caught Walkeritus. The amount of times he got forward and left Verts to cover his vacated space was farcical. Many times he went forward, but when attack broke down he stood about and was still further forward than Eriksen, why? A couple of times he did get back, but now into a CB role. Yeah, coz our Danny’s dead tall isn’t he. I understand the fact that maybe a CM will be tracking back to cover the WBs foray forward, but all too often Paulinho and Bentaleb were bypassed with ease. You have to bust a gut Danny to get back. If you are too knackered to sprint back, save some energy and choose your attacking runs forward wisely.

Walker, got up and down as usual. Often giving the opposition a headstart and with Baines forever overlapping he did alright all things considered, just about enough defensively, and did get across to cover the backline a couple of times very well. Crossing however was not his bag. Two minutes after 2nd half re-start, 2 Walker crosses, 2 balls hit straight into first man. Terrible. Plus side was his quickness of thought to fire the ball to Ade for the goal. Clever little beggar Kyle, no first man to beat. I like it.

Daws and Verts had a steady game, in fact, Verts did well. Often covering Rose and reading danger before it materialised. For all Evertons dominance, they kept the threats to the edge of the box and marshalled the Centre well considering Midfield was all too often easily breached.

Right, alot of you like to discuss him, so here we go….Bentaleb Watch….Considering many were substandard, I thought he had a mixed bag. He made some good interceptions, but as stated, was also got past far too easily and at times looked a little naive in his decision making. For me however, he did more things right than Paulinho, whom I thought had a shocker. I’m still of the view that Sandro/Capoue sitting as a holding Midfielder would allow Paulinho to play his more natural game. He didn’t look comfortable with the defensive element of his role at all in this game. Dembele, well done, you put yourself about, beat a few, tracked back, got stuck in and showed the aforementioned spirit I’m wanting to see. Yes a couple of runs into no-mans-land, but on the whole a good effort.

Uh Oh !…Aaron Lennon. Where has your pace gone?. Has Sherwood really told you to come inside more?. How many times was the by-line chalk met this week?. No more than once if I recall. Why?. You have pace to burn, your pace is your threat, and harsh it may be, but if you are not to use it, I don’t really see what we are gaining from the inclusion. Am I being harsh, or like me (and others) do you feel we’ve kind of lost our Azza threat?. Yes he’s not for scoring loads of goals, but he was our lightning quick outball, our winger to drive the LB deep into his own half. Where’s this gone?. He doesn’t even seem all that keen anymore in pulling Walker out the mire through his tracking back. C’mon ‘Azza Blud’…Back to tearing all the LBs a new one please.

Eriksen, I thought he did o.k, made himself available, tried a few through balls, but in fairness there was not much movement yet again. Think the movement disappeared with Lennon’s pace. Would like to see Eriksen fill out a bit this summer (it appears I have the very diet to suit). He get’s pushed off the ball a little too easily at times, but he did show some of the desire I talk of. Ade, yes my man. Yet again you come up with the goods. Not your best performance, but again a spirited effort compared to some. Maybe not your best performance, but a MOTM match winning one. Great strength, great finish. Thank’s big fella.

Come on, keep up!…It’s Sherwood time. Well, as already stated, I’m even more convinced that an out and out DM is the way forward. Not a jack of all trades, master of none. I want the masters in the masters positions.( told you I was greedy). Formation was considered, not sure if all the player selections were. Substitutions… Lennon had to go ahead of Eriksen IMO, but Capoue for Paulinho was a good call. Mixed bag really then for the Manager/Coach. Still think there is something very lacking in the desire stakes, and he needs to crack the whip on this one. Really happy for the 3 points, and knew it was going to be tough, Everton only losing 3 before the game. Alot of the flaws still appear evident as they were back in the day when we/some were hiding behind the ‘gelling’ process (myself included).

I think we should be expecting more from the team now, not the finished article maybe, but desire and the look of a cohesive unit surely?. Well, we march on to the next battle still in the race for forth, and still grinding out some victories that beggars belief. Sign of a good team they say, debate that one all you like. As for throw- ins, At home we’re in White, Away, you’ll usually find it’s blue. No need for thanks!

Finally, having played his last home game in a Spurs shirt may I take this opportunity to wish Jermain Defoe every success for his new adventures in Canada. Thank you very much for your efforts, and enjoy the twilight of your career.


All the best…Cider Spurs.