Jermaine Jenas has claimed that Everton’s 1-0 over Tottenham on Sunday was proof that the Toffees are heading in the right direction under Carlo Ancelotti, while his former side could be set for another frustrating season under Jose Mourinho.
While the Lilywhites gave a decent account of themselves in the first half, they were unable to get into the game after the away side took the lead in the 55th minute.
Jenas insisted that Spurs were devoid of ideas and did not look capable of executing Mourinho’s game plan.
He wrote in his BBC Sport column: “As good as Everton were – and they were very good, especially James Rodriguez – Spurs were extremely poor.
“If they keep playing like that, I don’t know what kind of season it is going to be – but it is not going to be an enjoyable one.
“Tottenham just looked like a lot of very frustrated players with no direction, which is odd. Whatever you think of the way Jose Mourinho’s teams play, they are usually well drilled in every detail.
“This time, their players did not look fit – the difference in sharpness to Everton was huge – but, more worryingly, they did not look like they had even worked together before, or knew what their roles were on or off the ball.
“Most of the time when I watch Spurs under Mourinho, I think: ‘OK, there are going to be moments in the game where things are not going well, but we are going to have a spell where we come back into this.’
“But that spell never came. I don’t know why, but the Spurs players did not even seem to be that upset about it either.
“I am sure Jose had a plan but, for whatever reason, his players were not able to execute it.
“There was no cohesion and no idea about what to do to get back into the game from 1-0 down. They looked lost, low on confidence and miles off anything that was even close to good.”
The former Spurs midfielder also insisted that the game on Sunday was evidence that the Toffees’ had done much better transfer business than the North Londoners and suggested that Mourinho’s men are missing a player like James Rodriguez in the middle of the park.
He claimed that while Everton look primed for an assault on the top four places, Tottenham are some way off from challenging.
Jenas added: “I know what Spurs fans will do – they are going to be screaming for signings – but it is not the numbers they have brought through the door since reaching the Champions League final in June 2019 that is a problem, it is the calibre of those players.
“I actually think Matt Doherty is a great signing and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who also made his debut on Sunday, is going to work out in the long run too.
“But when you compare them to Everton’s new signings, Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, then you can see which direction the Toffees are going in, and it is completely the opposite one to Spurs.
“I know it was only the first game of the season, but the situation does already seem that stark.
“It felt like I was watching a club in Everton who have set out their stall to make a real challenge for the top four. It is going to be an exciting few months for them.
“And then you have got a club like Spurs who have built a stadium and a training ground to be in the top four, but the team – whether it is how they respond to their manager or down to the individuals – just don’t seem good enough at the moment to be anywhere near it.
“Rodriguez looked an absolute world-beater for Everton on Sunday – and he is almost exactly what Spurs haven’t got at the moment.
“They have got plenty of players with pace and energy in that area behind the striker but they haven’t had anyone with real guile since Christian Eriksen left at the start of the year.
“There isn’t anyone in this Tottenham team who you can give the ball and they can just soak it up and say: ‘Let me settle this down.’ That is exactly what Rodriguez did time and time again when he found Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Many of Jenas’ points are valid as our lack of urgency in the second half was incomprehensible at times. However, having said that, the players are still some way off their peak fitness, with some not having had any pre-season at all. In fact, I thought our first-half performance was decent and that the game could have been completely different had we scored first.
As far as Everton’s signings are concerned, I would not take any of them at Spurs. Allan was not good enough to get into the Napoli side while Ancelotti only went for Doucoure since he could not get Hojbjerg. Rodriguez certainly showed his class on the ball on Sunday but he does not fit the mould of a Mourinho type of playmaker. I have been pleased with our transfer business so far and it is clear that we are not yet done in the market.
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