What started out as a horror show after Ross Barkley’s 5th minute free kick somehow ended up in the back of the net, turned into an even greater nightmare when captain, Hugo Lloris, was subbed off just minutes later due to an apparent hamstring injury.
The first half couldn’t have gone any worse for Spurs as little to no offense was generated and possession belonged strictly to Everton.
Tottenham were lucky to be going into the changing room only 1-0 down. Then came Vincent Janssen.
Janssen immediately added another dimension to our attack and all of the sudden, passes were connecting and it was Everton who was defending for their lives.
Then in the 59th minute a beautiful Kyle Walker cross was met with an Erik Lamela header that bounced passed Stekelenburg to tie the game at one.
The pressure continued as Janssen had a tremendous chance to score on his debut, but the ball was caught just under his feet from inside the six yard box, allowing the Everton keeper to make a huge save on our new signing.
He then followed it up with another world class save as a deflected Lamela cross almost gave Spurs the lead.
In the end, a 1-1 draw seems fair enough as both teams were far from perfect, however a lot of Spurs fans could argue this was two points dropped and not one point earned.
Lloris- 5: Putting the blame fully on Hugo for Barkley’s goal would be harsh, a curled ball like that is difficult to deal with as he must stand his ground in the middle of the net to anticipate a header.
However, nobody touched it and it turned into the perfect free kick, unfortunate. Let’s hope his hamstring injury is not serious.
Walker- 8: My man of the match.
Constantly threating up the right flank and beating Baines for pace. Delivered a beautiful assist to Lamela’s goal and almost snuck a goal in near post late in the match.
Vertonghen- 7: Far from perfect but was solid enough. Looked like he lacked a bit of match fitness, but with Wimmer out with an injury, he’ll need to regain form quickly.
Hopefully we’ll soon see a return to the ball control and passing we all know.
Alderweireld- 8: Solid as ever. Picked up where he left off last year, unfortunate to not earn a clean sheet for his keeper and team.
Rose- 7: Never threatened as much as Walker, but still had great moments.
He just cut inside when he was on the ball far too often, almost unwilling to exploit his pace down that left hand side. Could’ve done much better, but that’s saying something given how well he performed anyways.
Dier- 8: I was surprised to see Eric subbed off for Janssen as it appeared Wanyama was having the worst play of the two defensive midfielders.
Dier made many crucial tackles and won three defensive corners in a row, very crucial to the side despite being subbed off.
Wanyama- 6: It may have only been one game, but it appears the Wanyama-Dier partnership cannot flourish. They are too similar and play the same style.
This forced Wanyama to be the more advanced midfielder like Dembele and far too often Victor was caught out of position and fouled all too often. His clumsy challenge led to the Everton goal.
However, when Dier was subbed off Wanyama was allowed to play where he fits in. A tale of two halves for the debut man.
Eriksen- 3: An unacceptable performance, knocked off the ball too often and showed no heart and no effort.
Almost redeemed himself with a free kick goal we haven’t seen in some time now.
Dele- 2: Even worse than Eriksen. Misplaced pass after misplaced pass from our 20 year old.
Far too often he held onto the ball for about 5 seconds longer than needed, and blew a crucial chance with a poor back pass that would’ve set up Janssen for the game winner.
He looked like he wanted to create that moment of magic, but just didn’t know how. Needs to rely on his team mates more.
Lamela- 8: The workhorse of the high press. Lamela found himself constantly in perfect positions and it eventually paid off with a brilliant header.
Almost had a second with his deflected cross and had another chance to almost recreate his goal, but couldn’t find the power. A crucial player to a side that lacked attacking prowess, Lamela provided.
Kane- 4: If you would’ve told me Harry Kane was on the pitch today, I might not have believed you.
As I sit her typing this one hour after the match ended, I cannot think of one positive or negative impact Kane had on the game. Completely invisible.
Vorm- 7: As Hugo’s replacement, Vorm did exceptional, stopping a lot of easy shots and having one incredible save to prevent Everton from scoring 2. Well done to the backup.
Janssen- 7: A great debut that should’ve resulted in the game winning goal. Vincent Janssen has shown Spurs fans something we have not seen in a very long time… Two capable strikers.
His effort fits Poch’s press brilliantly and Janssen’s substitute appearance completely turned the game around for Spurs. It’ll be interesting to see how Poch uses him going forward.
Overall, there’s a lot to take away from the opening match, but there is no need to overreact. Last season Spurs had a horrendous first few games and Kane only scored 1 in his first 9, so we’ve been here before.
A few questions for Pochettino to now answer concerning whether or not he will make any changes before next week’s match against Crystal Palace.
Written by Anthony Koval