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Everton 1 - 1 Tottenham: A totally disillusioned Tottenham fan's take on the game.

By Matthew CurtisPublished about a year ago 5 min read
(AP Photo/Jon Super)(Jon Super / Associated Press)

What a devastating year 2023 has been for Tottenham Hotspur. So far, we have been humiliated at home in the North London derby, lost Richarlison, Bissouma, Bentancur, Davies, Sessegnon and Royal each to long-term injury, been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition, parted ways with Italian manager Antonio Conte (who at this time one year ago was our messiah) and have also had to suspend Director of Football Fabio Paratici for the delivery of world-wide ban for crimes committed at Juventus. It is only April 3rd.

We, on this night, have reached the point in the tragedy where the drama unfolding on the pages is getting hard to digest. As readers, we're overrun with information, plot and disaster and we're starting to raise our eyebrows as we attempt to take it all in. All of that and a last minute equaliser for Everton? Come on now? Its borderline hysterical.

Yet, we are fourth in the table. Some will say; "the table doesn't lie", but this one does. Or, a better way of saying it might be, that it engages in some misinformation. Taking a look at the matches played statistic reveals the real truth. Tottenham are in the top 4, for now. Newcastle and Manchester United each have two games spare to dethrone us into fifth. They need just 1 point from 6 to do it. On Wednesday we become once again a Europa League team.

The truth is, fifth, for this group, this club, this deeply dysfunctional project, is something of a success. Conte said it weeks ago; finishing in the top 4 is like a trophy for us. He said it, not just because this is what the decision-makers, the men behind the curtains, wish to achieve, but also because the team is so far behind that of its peers that simply finishing among them is Tottenham Hotspur punching well above its weight. He was right. And he was promptly removed for acknowledging it.

Following Tottenham is rather a lot like paying to ride on a roller-coaster. A long, boring, expensive and predictable roller-coaster. One designed poorly, with far too many lows and not enough highs. The adrenaline no longer pumps, the customers have little to scream for and many of us are just waiting to climb off in May. At this particular junction in the track, we have played Everton at Goodison Park. How did it play out? A lot like a miniature version of the ride in full - tedious, long-winded and utterly formulaic in its heartbreak.

First off, Everton should have taken all three points. Tottenham's defence seemed, for much of the second half, more interested in partaking in self-imposed scenario challenges to defend, rather than passing the ball to actual team-mates. The number of shoddy, languid, slack passes sent out from the back into vacant space cannot be counted on one hand. Lloris, Romero and Dier were all guilty on more than one occasion. Every single one was picked up by an Everton shirt. A better team would have taken advantage. A better team will have done by match-day 38.

Our midfield two functioned somewhat in pressing first-half possession, but disappeared in the second 45. Son seemed perpetually trapped offside and chose to run into congested spaces whenever Spurs roamed forwards. Kulusevski tried and tried, but could not play his way into anything that would resemble form. Kane worked at the same rate, but found himself chopped down whenever on the ball. Dyche's tactic to deal with Kane was something that garnered praise from the commentary team - whenever he gets the ball, before he gets the chance to spin, activate the bombs strapped to your ankles and charge.

This strategy was eventually their undoing, when Doucoure chose violence on the hour-mark, but not even 18th-placed Everton could we put to the sword a man down. Kane's penalty soon after was textbook and rifled into the side-netting, having already sent Pickford sprawling in the other direction. But ultimately, it did not matter. Or perhaps, it came too soon. Tottenham vanished from the contest after their breakthrough moment. Some teams build on a lead, stride out into the limelight. Some teams don't. Sometimes, scoring a goal is the very worst thing Tottenham can do.

The final half an hour would have had you questioning which team had the numerical advantage. It was so painstakingly obvious Everton would equalise that I only became freed from my frustrations when they finally scored. Somehow, the substitute players managed the mean feat of being worse than the starting eleven, who'd had a near 80 minute head-start winding us all up. Sanchez came on to negative effect. Lucas Moura's cameo left me speechless. It is hard to believe he is the same man who played in Amsterdam.

There have been worse results. There have been worse performances. We have also occupied worse positions in the league standings. But Tottenham Hotspur might not have been in worse condition than how we sit right now. We have had 4 years since Pochettino's dismissal and in that time have had nearly as many 'permanent' managers. The football has been dour and has failed to yield the silverware we believed we were compromising for. The team needs another rebuild, on-top of the one it should have had in 2018. The fans are in a place now whereby every slight mistake from the club, the players, exacerbates the next. The patience has run out, yet ironically, we're going to need it in spades to get through the next appointment. Now we have another manager hunt (Chelsea rivaling us by the way), one that has aligned quite nicely with the World Clown Association's annual convention. Coincidence?

This whole project may be heading back where it started in the aftermath of Villas-Boas' sacking. The more reputable managers don't like the look of us. Our best players are either aging or want out. We don't know who we want to be, or how we want to play. The only thing we do know is that Daniel Levy will continue on, scrubbing the white-board clear and writing over the grooves of his previous, failed ventures.

Anyone needing a reason to carry on watching, I say this to you; do not take Kane's penalty for granted. It was a brilliant technique. These final 9 games of the season may very well serve as the talisman's farewell tour for Tottenham. We may never see penalties like these again, so enjoy them. Revel in his strike, his every touch in a white shirt. It may not continue for very much longer.

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About the Creator

Matthew Curtis

Queen Margaret University graduate (Theatre and Film studies).

Currently trying to write a book.

Lilywhite, Pokemon master, time-lord, vampire with a soul, Virgo.

Likes space and dinosaurs. And Binturongs. I'm very cool.

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    Matthew CurtisWritten by Matthew Curtis

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