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5 Telling Stats from Everton’s Tepid 1-0 Defeat to Spurs

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Lethargic. And the numbers prove it.

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

I can deal with losing. I can deal with mistakes. I can deal with being outplayed. As an Everton fan, I’ve grown accustomed to such things.

But to show no fight, no bravery and no ambition. That, I can never accept.

Everton have thrown up some woeful performances over the years, but this was one of the most tepid performances I can remember.

Tottenham Hotspur weren’t good. But Everton were spineless. It was one of the worst games of football you’ll ever see.

But what did the numbers show us?

0.91 Expected Goals

Second lowest xG of any Premier League game this season

If you think I may be being a bit hyperbolic in terms of my reaction to the game, no doubt disgruntled by a disappointing loss… you may be right.

But the numbers are also on my side.

This game had a total expected goals (xG) rating of 0.91 (Spurs 0.5 v 0.41 Blues). The second lowest of ANY Premier League game this season.

If you want some good material to help you fall asleep tonight and don’t want to induce any nightmares from watching this one back, Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth on a cold Tuesday in December had an xG of 0.81.

Seriously, one of the worst games of football you’ll see.

Lethargic

6 touches in Spurs area

No doubt the biggest gripe Evertonians will have with this performance was just how lethargic and conservative we were.

Everton controlled possession in the second half (49.7%) but barely made it into the Spurs half before giving the ball away with half-hearted long balls.

This wasn’t just a problem with the players in possession, Everton’s movement – as has long been the case – was truly woeful off the ball. Players are slow to find positions in which they can take the ball – especially when it comes to dropping between opposition lines to receive the ball and move players out of position.

Gomes and Sigurdsson

3 passes into final third combined

Aside from Anthony Gordon – and perhaps Richarlison – any Everton player could easily be criticised here for the extremely low quality and lack of ambition on the ball. However, the two that definitely stood out for the wrong reasons were the midfield duo of Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

In the case of Andre Gomes, he was the absolute shadow of his early Everton performances, playing the ball backwards far too often or simply executing forward passes woefully. Indeed, Andre Gomes played just three passes forward into Spurs’ final third over the course of the game.

Everton Heatmap v Spurs | Source: Everton FC

Sigurdsson, meanwhile, put in another ghostlike performance. His position on the left side of midfield certainly didn’t help matters and it’s clear that this isn’t a role he can perform now after three seasons at the club – and there should be no need for him to do so with Bernard, Anthony Gordon and Alex Iwobi in the squad.

Sigurdsson Pass Map v Spurs | Source: Everton FC

Anthony Gordon

Everton’s hope

The 19-year-old showed once again that he not only capable of playing for Everton, but is already one of the Blues best players.

He was one of the only players to look to move the ball forward, drive at players and look to get a shot off. And the numbers back it up, showing his as one of Everton’s top two players in multiple areas – including defensively.

Shots (2 = 2nd)

Key Passes (2 = 1st)

Tackles and Interceptions (3 = 2nd)

Pass Accuracy (90.9% = 2nd)

It’s also worth noting that the teenage winger made more defensive contributions in one half (one tackle and two interceptions) than Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes combined in the full game (two)

Away to “Big 6”

Are no wins in 6 years due to an inferiority complex?

Spurs should by no means be feared right now. But Everton didn’t test them whatsoever.

Even with no crowd in London, the Blues were completely risk averse here. Hoping a freak moment of luck might help them nick a point rather than really taking the game to a mentally frail Tottenham side.

The last time Everton beat any of the “Sky 6” away was in Roberto Martinez’s debut season when Bryan Oviedo added to David Moyes’ Old Trafford woes.