Spurs will have come away from their 1-1 draw with Everton disappointed not to have claimed all three points. However, there were plenty of positives for both sides to take from the game.
1. Mauricio Pochettino willing to persevere with Tom Carroll
The academy product has enjoyed a mixed record since Pochettino handed him a chance to break into the first team towards the end of 2015. Despite goals against Monaco and Norwich, Carroll looked out of his depth in December’s 2-1 loss against Newcastle and was once again hit and miss against Everton.
The 23-year-old looked promising, but hit a number of misplaced passes and struggled defensively. Nonetheless, starting Carroll was a sign that Pochettino has faith in the young midfielder and he could well feature again in the double-header against Leicester City.
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2. Everton could benefit from a more direct style of play
The Toffees have the worst home defensive record this season, due in part to trying to play out from the back too much, as is characteristic of Roberto Martinezes sides. However, Everton’s goal came against the run of play, as initially they tried to match Spurs in terms of skill.
They went ahead, however, with a more aggressive approach, Leighton Baines pushing Spurs higher up the pitch and providing a direct ball to Romelu Lukaku who provided the assist for former Tottenham man Aaron Lennon.
3. So could Spurs
At times, when 1-0 down, Tottenham’s football was too complex, trying to string too many passes together. Dele Alli’s fifth league goal of the season came as the result of a long pass from Toby Alderweireld in his own half.
This season, Spurs have not always been able to finish teams off and need to become more adaptable if they are to break teams down.
4. Spurs must learn to capitalise on their chances.
Having fallen behind despite dominating, Spurs once again risked losing key points because they were unable to capitalise on their chances.
Admittedly, they were unfortunate to go behind at all, hitting the woodwork twice as Harry Kane and Carroll were denied on nine and 29 minutes respectively. Too often, Spurs find themselves on top in the first half only to concede vital goals.
5. A preview of Euro 2016?
Plenty of English talent was on display at Goodison Park. Alli was once again man of the match, while John Stones also impressed for Everton. On the other hand, Ross Barkley struggled throughout and will have work to do if he is to make Roy Hodgson’s squad for the summer.
Ultimately, both sides can be happy with a draw, even if Everton were perhaps fortunate not to lose at the hands of some of the best football Spurs have played this season.
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