Obstructed View – Reflections on the Spurs (H) Game

I’ve started so I’ll finish.

Ross Crombie

PS If you were expecting a long dissection of yesterday’s thrashing, you’ve come to the wrong blog. I genuinely thought we’d win yesterday, our much touted abysmal record against the so called Top 6, and of late, against Spurs in particular, has to come to an end eventually, and why not when we’ve had a small rest whilst Spurs may be emotionally fatigued after Carabao exploits.

And after we scored first, I thought I was going to be right.

Theo v spurs

And then when we scored our second. You know, the one disallowed but the one which every pundit and former refs thought was not a foul. Calvert-Lewin’s goal stands, Everton 2-0 up, who knows what would have happened, a game-changing moment. Instead, we get Everton, a goal disallowed, and then a comic caper as Zouma and Pickford collide to open up our goal, and Son duly obliged. Sometimes we bring on our own bad luck.

As a Historian, I’ve studied quite a few defensive lines in the past: the Hindenburg Line, the Gustav Line, and the old favourite, the Siegfried Line. Yesterday, Everton deployed the Lurpak Line, and of course, being us, we made it the spreadable Lurpak line, despite the cold conditions. But even with a defensive display more reminiscent of the Italians in WW2, it still needed Spurs to put their hot knife through the butter, and they were pretty impressive in doing it. Once again, we can grumble about misfortunes, the famous turning points, should have been 2-0, Pickford shouldn’t have been outside his area, let alone barging in to the brick outhouse that is Zouma, the ball off the post could have bounced anywhere but to Kane’s feet, Pickford’s excellent save from Son could have dropped to a clearing defender rather than the onrushing Alli. But they all happened as they did, and in truth, Spurs played us off the park. If they were capable of playing like this all season, they’d be title contenders, but surely 6 points off top spot with a vastly inferior goal difference means it can’t happen……but who said City were untouchable? At the end of March, Spurs visit Merseyside again, and 3 weeks later, they go to City. If they haven’t cocked it up by drawing at home to teams like Huddersfield and Brighton, then they definitely could be on to something.

I’m not here to eulogise Spurs, but when you’re beaten by a far better team on the day, you have to hold your hand up. For Everton, the crumbs of comfort were few and far between, perhaps DCL having his best game up top for us, a few sparks from Sigurdsson and his excellent goal, and Digne once more showing everyone why he’s a French international, and all the more remarkable that he’s playing in this team. That’s unfair, we’ve given him his chance through consistent selection, and we aren’t as poor as many are saying. But we need to bounce back fast. Three wins on the bounce now would look so much better, and we’re certainly capable of it, but we’re also capable of gifting goals, as we have the last three fixtures on the run, and that needs to stop. They’re all down to inexplicable cock-ups, not habit-forming, a combination of over confidence and the rub of the green, and both of those can change, but we need to make it change.

Ross Crombie

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