Tottenham v Everton: 5 Thoughts

Shaun Botterill

Another toothless attack resulted in a disappointing loss to drop Everton down to 6th place.

1. Unfit Substitutes are really hurting Everton

We all know that large parts of the Everton squad have been injured. But when we finally do have a couple of more players at our disposal, it didn't really matter because their lack of fitness was glaring and they didn't make any impact. Deulofeu, Barkley, and McGeady all seemed to be a step behind the rest of the players and were not able to provide goals or even many chances between them. It's hard to really fault Martinez because the only other player he could have used in attack is Lacina Traore, who is also not totally fit. The good news is that players can only get healthier and our performances can only get better.

2. Lack of strikers hurt, but lack of service to strikers hurts more

Everyone is complaining about Lukaku being injured and the lack of depth in the forward position. I think Mirallas and Naismith are clinical enough to provide goals as long as they are fed in dangerous positions. Our midfielders and wingers are just not doing enough in the final third. Don't get me wrong, they did quite a good job of keeping possession but they just can't get that final pass. It's the problem Everton have had for the greater part of the decade.

3. Mirallas needs to learn to pass!

It's great that Kevin Mirallas wants to shoot. True strikers and offensive players want to shoot every half chance they get but sometimes you need to pass. There was a great opportunity on a fast break when Mirallas did his usual bit of dizzying dribbling but ended up with a tame shot with defenders in front of him. He had multiple opportunities to pass to Naismith who would have only the goalkeeper to beat. It's good to have players that want to shoot especially when the other players keep passing, but you can't let golden opportunities like that slip away.

4. You can't turn your engines off even for a second in the Premier League

We saw what happens when players (Jags and Coleman) take even one play off. Players in the Premier League are just too good and will make you pay for any small mistake. An otherwise stellar defensive performance was ruined by one play.

5. James McCarthy may be Everton's most important player for the future

Barry has underwhelmed me the last couple of weeks and to be honest, I think he is replaceable. If Darron Gibson wasn't made of glass, I would be totally happy with a McCarthy pairing with him. McCarthy is a menace in the midfield disrupting everything and launching cross field passes. He may not be the most spectacular offensive threat, but he plays his position flawlessly. His only weakness are his rash tackles but that is something that will be fixed with maturity. If we can just get an upgrade for the offensive midfielder position, we would have one of the strongest midfields in the Premier League.

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