COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 24th May 2015
VENUE Goodison Park






Arriving at Goodison Park on the last day of the season, there is a little left to play for other than a place higher in the table, thus increasing the prize money, which will go straight into a new signing's back pocket as part of their salary.  The only other interesting thing that might come out of the match is whether Mauricio Pochettino has a heart and gives Brad Friedel a run-out late in the match to mark his retirement from the game.  His signing for Tottenham has proved that he is a fine professional and he has never caused a problem for the club, who he will go on to serve as an ambassador in the USA.

Spurs are missing a whole defence, with players injured, suspended or missing out of action.  Walker, Davies, Chiriches and Kaboul, with Vorm's illness meaning that the man who could have been behind them may also be out.  Everton have similar issues and therefore, they may field some of their youngsters, with them not being able to move up in the table, but they might want to avoid being overtaken by West Ham and Crystal Palace. 

Pochettino has given the same eleven a good run in the starting line-up and I suspect there will be few changes other than those enforced on him, but the bench might contain some players it could be worth giving a run-out to, such as Yedlin and Pritchard.

Everton will cause problems with Romelu Lukaku being a physical presence up front, but there may be issues about the service to him.  With Tottenham being linked with Everton players such as Kevin Mirallis and James McCarthy, it will be interesting to see how those players perform.  It looks as though Mirallis is going to stay at the club, while McCarthy seems a target that Spurs may have gone cold on, most probably because of the potential asking price Everton would put on his head.  Both are good players, but Mirallis seems to blow hot and cold, while McCarthy is an energetic midfielder, but he is not always involved enough to influence a game.

Youngster Brendan Galloway has been use din defence and Luke Garbutt might join him there, with Jagielka and Coleman adding some experience.  Distin is probably likely to make an appearance from the bench if he has shaken off his illness.   Howard will take the gloves and he has had a shaky year after an outstanding World Cup for the US.

Coleman could play an advanced role in midfield, allowing John Stones to play in the back four, alongside Ross Barkley, McCarthy or Gareth Barry and Mirallis.  Aiden McGeady is also available, but might not start, with Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu still at Goodison, although he has rarely been seen in action.

Martinez might play two up front, with Lukaku leading the line and Osman supporting him from behind.  Gary Naismith and Aroune Kone are also available, but they might be introduced as the game goes on. 

It is a game with little pressure and it should be one where Spurs can carry on their fine away form, but I think that Everton will want to show their fans there is some hope for next season and a draw will be the outcome, with Brad Friedel setting a new record for the oldest player to play in the Premier League.

PREDICTION Everton    1         Tottenham Hotspur    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Vlad Chiriches is still suspended, while Kyle Walker (foot) and Ben Davies (shoulder) are out injured.  Emmanuel Adebayor has been given compassionate leave to return to Togo to sort out his family issues, while Michel Vorm has been ill all week, leaving a possibility for Brad Friedel to start on the bench and maybe make an appearance in what would be his last professional match.
Sylvain Distin has to prove his fitness to play in his last game for Everton after suffering an illness, while Leighton Baines (ankle), Antolin Alcaraz and Steven Pienaar (both muscle problems), Brian Oviedo and Darron Gibson (both broken metatarsal) and Tony Hibbert (knee) are all ruled out. 

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Everton  0 (0)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)
Premier League
Sunday 24th May 2015                                                                                                                 Kick off 15:00
Goodison Park
Kane 23m 42s
Jagielka (foul on Mason)  81


Stambouli (foul on ??)  80
Mason (foul on McCarthy)  83



Crowd :   39,365 Weather :  Sunny, warm
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. D. England; Mr. S. Bennett
Fourth Official :  Andy Woolmer -
Everton kicked off and played towards the Walton Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90+ 4 minutes.
Everton : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
24  Tim HOWARD

23  Seamus COLEMAN
26  John STONES
  6  Phil JAGIELKA (c)
  Brendan GALLOWAY  (15  Sylvain DISTIN 84)

18  Gareth BARRY
16  James McCARTHY

11  Kevin MIRALLIS  (14  Steven NAISMITH 73)
  Ross BARKLEY  (15  Mohamed BESIC 46)
21  Leon OSMAN

  Romelu LUKAKU

Unused subs: 
  1  Joel ROBLES
  Aiden McGEADY
  9  Arouna KONE
  Christian ATSU


    1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

15  Eric DIER
21  Federico FAZIO
42  Nabil BENTALEB

38  Ryan MASON      
19  Mousa DEMBELE  (25  Benjamin STAMBOULI  53    )

11  Erik LAMELA
23  Christian ERIKSEN
Nacer CHADLI  (  9  Roberto SOLDADO  93)

18  Harry KANE    (17  Andros TOWNSEND  85)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
44  Harry WINKS
47  Josh ONOMAH

Manager :  Roberto Martinez Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Chang Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Sunny conditions at Goodison Park reflected those on the opening day of the season at Upton Park, with the outcome the same - a 1-0 win - but without having to wait until the last minute for a goal, as Harry Kane signed off by equalling the club's record goal haul in a Premier League season.

A strange looking line-up selected by Pochettino, saw three defenders with six midfielders and Harry Kane outfield, but Bentaleb was the one who filled in at left-back.  Everton played one making his home debut, but the others were regulars, so both sides were strong, with the game kicking off in bright sunshine.

Tottenham looked comfortable on the ball, with possession around the Everton box leading to a shot from Lamela from 25 yards out that flew too high and a neat passing move that saw Eriksen put  Mason into the box, but he was blocked off on the penalty spot by Jagielka.  Fairly according to the referee.  While Spurs looked to probe for chances with their passing on the floor around the Everton penalty box, the home team went to play longer with crosses into Lukaku.

With sixteen minutes gone, Galloway tried to play the ball too cleverly 35 yards out from his own goal and had the ball robbed from him by Eriksen, setting Lamela away on the right of centre.  His low shot from just inside the box saw Howard throw a hand out to save on the edge of his six yard box and then get up again to grab it before it went over the line at his right hand post.  As Everton looked to get in the game, Barkley released Mirallis on the left side of the box and as he tried to slide the ball across Lloris, the Spurs captain dived on it to make a good save.  Chadli and Kane had shots, either blocked or wide, while Dier tried to play a ball down the right hand channel for Kane inside the six yard box, but it was just too long for him.

Mirallis was on the spot when a ball in the air from a Galloway header was taken down just inside the Spurs box and then it was smashed goal-wards  with his left foot that flew over the angle of crossbar and post.  However, when Spurs went forward again, their movement caused Everton problems and when it was played right to Dier, the young full-back's first time cross was waist high into the six yard box.  It was met by a diving header from Harry Kane, who had got between the two central defenders to power it past the keeper and give Tottenham the lead in the 24th minute.  While Spurs had been playing well, it needed a good finish to their football and Kane supplied it.

It was six minutes later that Barkley played a pass inside his own half straight to Harry Kane and John Stones blocked his shot, as player swarmed around the forward, who had a lot of work to do to make much of it.  Galloway broke through a tackle  a couple of minutes before the break and slipped Mirallis inside the left of the box.  Lloris came out and pushed the winger wide, but the keeper had to turn back and was grateful to see the ball sail over the bar as the Belgian wide-man tried to curl it into the net, although there were two men back on the line.  At the other end, Eriksen played in Lamela, but Stones was strong enough to ease him off the ball 12 yards out.  Lloris was called on to push away a right wing cross from Coleman to avert any danger and then the half-time whistle brought some boos from the home support..

Barkley had been profligate with his passing in dangerous areas for his own side and was replaced at the break by Serb midfielder Mo Besic, who fired an early warning shot across Lloris' goal and then Lukaku headed a looping ball on to Osman, who tried to head it in from the edge of the box.  Galloway broke forward into the box, got a lucky bounce and Hugo had to dive at his feet to stop him going any further.  The good start  by the home team saw Poch bring on Stambouli seven minutes into the second half in place of Dembele in a move to firm up the midfield and the Belgian also seemed to have a calf injury. 

When Everton did put some passes together, they found room wide, but their crossing failed to pick out a blue head, mostly going too high for them.  Just after the hour, Tottenham passed the ball around without much pressure on them and Kane had a shot blocked and then Eriksen got the ball in the second phase and fired in a shot shot was deflected over the bar.  Fazio won it, but was going away from goal to make the header and put it wide. 

The game got a bit messy, with Everton not able to get much going forward and a late challenge by Jagielka on Mason started a spell with some niggly tackles and a few yellow cards.  Substitute Naismith had been at the heart of a lot of it, but when a cross finally did find a blue shirt, he acrobatically volleyed at goal, but it was too high and the linesman was flagging for offside.

The Toffees brought on Distin for his final appearance in the blue shirt and Spurs brought on Soldado, but that was probably just to waste a bit of time.  When the three added minutes had been played, the whistle blew on a season that had seen Spurs finish fifth.  Thanks to Manchester City beating Southampton and Liverpool going down 6-1 at Stoke, it makes it look like it wasn't such a bad season after all !!

While the home team looked to exploit Bentlaeb's unfamiliarity with the left back position, he had an outstanding match, as did Dier and Vertonghen, who didn't have much to contend with, while Fazio did well too.  The midfield enjoyed the space and time to pass the ball, but perhaps Poch needs to look at how they can hurt teams more next season.  The skill and ability is there, it just needs to be harnessed.  Kane did well up front, with player son the opposition side detailed to marking him tightly, but he held the ball up well and got into a great position to head home Dier's excellent cross.  It didn't take too much to beat Everton, but once more Spurs didn't make the most of the opposition, but still came out with the three points.

There was slight regret that Brad Friedel had to drop out after picking up a shin injury, as he deserved a great send off and also that there was not scope to get Onomah and Winks onto the pitch, but the win was important; both in terms of the money for finishing fifth, but more importantly, the fact that Spurs go straight into the group stages and do not have to go through the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

For those Spurs fans who were not happy with Pochettino, he has improved on last season's sixth place (and didn't have only half a season to hold onto it) and got Tottenham through to a Cup Final.  Next season he might be starting with a squad that is substantially one that he has put together and I am looking forward to it. 

Only three months to go !!

Don Brown



Everton were a prototype club for the new Premier League way back in the 1930s.  They were set up to sell merchandise, such as snuff tins, breast pocket handkerchiefs and replica knickers (the old name for shorts) in club colours.  They even bought out a franchise on Everton toffees, thus giving them a few sticky moments in the Great Depression.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 4 West Bromwich Albion 1 Sunday
Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1 Sunday
Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1 Sunday
Crystal Palace 1 Swansea City 0 Sunday
Hull City 0 Manchester United 0 Sunday
Leicester City 5 QPR 1 Sunday
Manchester City 2 Southampton 0 Sunday
Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 0 Sunday
Stoke City 6 Liverpool 1 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 38 26 9 3 73 32 87 +41
2 Manchester City 38 24 7 7 83 38 79 +45
3 Arsenal 38 22 9 7 71 36 75 +35
4 Manchester United 38 20 10 8 62 37 70 +25
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 38 19 7 12 58 53 64 +5
6 Liverpool 38 18 8 12 52 48 62 +4
7 Southampton 38 18 6 14 54 33 60 +22
8 Swansea City 38 16 8 14 46 49 56 -3
9 Stoke City 38 15 9 14 48 45 51 +3
10 Crystal Palace 38 13 9 16 47 51 48 -4
11 Everton 38 12 11 15 48 50 47 -2
12 West Ham United 38 12 11 15 44 47 47 -3
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 11 11 16 38 51 44 -13
14 Leicester City 38 11 8 19 46 55 41 -9
15 Newcastle United 38 10 9 19 40 63 39 -23
16 Sunderland 38 7 17 14 31 53 38 -22
17 Aston Villa 38 10 8 20 31 57 38 -26
18 Hull City 38 8 11 19 33 51 35 -18
19 Burnley 38 7 12 19 28 53 33 -25
20 QPR 38 8 6 24 42 73 30 -31


Position before match :  6th
Position after match :  5th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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