There’s nothing like a win to lift morale and the Fulham result has certainly done that, although the 6th Round Cup draw has brought a reality check to our optimism. However, a visit to one of the few grounds where Spurs have a decent record is a good opportunity to build on the positives and give us our first Premiership win of 2007.
The Fulham result showed what Spurs can achieve with the right approach and all the players showing commitment and effort – just what we have been asking for over the past few weeks. A similar approach will be essential against Everton who have moved above Spurs and have 39 points in 8th place in the league. They started the season well and won at White Hart Lane, although their victory was more to do with the ineptitude of the Spurs’ performance that day. Spurs have a point to prove on Wednesday night to prevent Everton completing the ‘double’ over us for the first time since 1985-86 when Spurs lost at home in August and at Goodison Park in February, a worrying statistic.
After their good start, Everton’s form dipped but just as Spurs’ form since December has declined, Everton’s has been on the rise. Since losing to Chelsea in mid-December, they have lost only once in the League and won at Reading and Wigan and drew in the Liverpool derby. Their last home game saw them avenge the Cup defeat inflicted by Blackburn in the 3rd Round. Their recent goals have come mainly from Johnson, who’s always on the lookout for a penalty, and Arteta who has been supporting well from mid-field and with Cahill returning from injury Everton are a hard-working team who give little away.
A number of clubs rather disparagingly refer to White Hart Lane as ‘3 points Lane’ but Spurs could refer to the Everton home ground as ‘Goodwin Park’ as they have won their on their last two visits and have only lost on three occasions in the last sixteen League games played there. Spurs have an impressive recent League record over Everton:
HOME: P 17 W 10 D 6 L 1
AWAY: P 16 W 6 D 7 L 3
And the overall League record (H & A) against Everton reads:
P 139 W 52 D 43 L 44 For 218 Ag 188
Spurs will again need to be prepared to give as much as they did against Fulham and the starting line-up could well be along similar lines to Sunday when the team had a more balanced look. Defoe and Jenas are available after suspension but the old adage goes, ‘don’t change a winning team.’
A win would be good to build on Sunday’s performance and to provide some upward movement in the Premiership table where recent results have seen Spurs slide to 11th with a group of five clubs only three or less points behind them.