34 min Kane was really unhappy with Son for not passing to him.
33 min: Good save from Pickford! Digne wins another corner for Everton, who continue their admittedly sterile domination of the game. Digne’s excellent corner is headed away brilliant by Dier and Spurs break menacingly. Son ignores Kane’s run through on goal and instead slides an angled pass to Alli, who spanks a rising shot that is tipped over by Pickford. That was a smart reaction save.
32 min “It seems like a midfield maestro match up here,” says Jeremy Dresner. “Alli is passing waywardly and looks frustrated James passing beautifully seems instantly comfortable. That seems about the only difference in a slow burner so far.”
31 min Richarlison’s shot hits Alderweireld and spins behind for a corner.
26 min Coleman makes two excellent defensive headers in the space of five seconds, first from Doherty’s cross and then from Son’s shot. Everton break and James drags a tame shot through to Lloris with his right foot.
25 min After Winks wins the ball in a dangerous area, Kane releases Alli on the right side of the box. But his low cross is a bit wishy-washy and Everton clear.
24 min: Chance for Spurs! Son’s wicked inswinging cross from the left just evades the sliding Kane and zips bounces a couple of yards wide of the far post.
22 min “Hi Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “Watching Spurs, one could be forgiven for thinking that Mourinho actually doesn’t like being in possession of the ball. It’s almost like he sees it as a potential problem.”
I’d be really interested to see the possession stats by season of each of his teams. He has definitely become more of a disciple of counter-attacking.
20 min The tempo of this game has been a bit ponderous. It’s a very warm day, which might be a factor.
19 min Son, who has been Spurs’ most dangerous attacker, wins a corner off Coleman. He takes it himself and Allan clears.
16 min: What a chance for Richarlison! Everton should be ahead. Davies played a very loose pass across the face of his own defence towards Alderweireld. Richarlison got there first and scooted away from Alderweireld before going round Lloris. But his touch was a bit heavy, which made the angle too tight, and he screwed his shot wide of the near post.
13 min Everton continue to completely dominate possession. It’s still all in front of Spurs, who have settled into Jose’s beloved low block.
10 min James is seeing plenty of the ball and looks in the mood. It’s been a confident start from Everton.
8 min Everton are having plenty of possession, with Spurs happy to sit deep and play on the break. James sprays a lovely crossfield pass out to Digne, whose cross is headed away.
6 min Kane lobs a pass over the defence towards Son, who is well tracked by Coleman. Kane is such an underrated passer.
5 min At the other end, Richarlison tries a shot on the turn but misses his kick and falls over.
3 min Kane flicks a lovely pass out to Son on the left. He cuts infield, uses the overlapping Davies by not using him and drives a low shot from 20 yards that is comfortably saved by Pickford.
1 min It looks like Everton are playing a 4-1-4-1 with James on the right wing and Richarlison the left. Allan is slightly deeper than the other central midfielders.
It’s a lovely sunny afternoon in north London, and the players have their business faces on.
“This Everton lineup is a far cry from the team that beat Sheffield United 1-0 back in July, am I right?” says Matt Burtz. “ Cautious optimism is always the name of the game prior to every season, but I think it’s actually justified now. If nothing else, Allan can fill the Idrissa Gueye role that was sorely unfilled last campaign. Of course, if they lose 3-0 today, please pretend I never wrote this.”
“Very much a side note to the new signings and high profile managers in this clash, but is this the first meeting between Son and Gomes since the unfortunate injury?” says Duncan Edwards. “Even as top pros and decent blokes I wonder what both are thinking.”
They played against each other in July as well. I doubt something like that ever leaves you, mind.
“This is what is great about the Premier League,” says Mary Waltz. “The new signings have lifted this Everton’s fan traditional pessimism. For at least one game I can ignore my teams multi-year pattern of soul-crushing mid-table mediocrity. James will regain his Colombian World Cup form. All is well in the world, at least for the next half hour.”
“Evening Rob, exciting game today with 1-0 written all over it,” says Yash Gupta. “As a Spurs fan I notice the media has downplayed Mourinho and Spurs this season. Where do you see Spurs finishing?”
So much depends on Harry Kane. If he stays fit and gets back to his 2016-18 best they could finish third; if not, somewhere between fourth and seventh I guess.
In defence of Jose
“I really don’t understand the blatant racism placed on Jose Mourinho by Guardian newsmen,” writes Pedro Maia. “Had this been directed to any other person with such amazing results it would be more than enough reason for public outcry but with Mou it seems that being extremely competent at his job allows for you to abuse the man.
“I hope this can be avoided by having honesty brought up into the discussion when talking about Mou. He’s both a wonderful human being and an amazing strategist. Pelting him is just deriding the accuracy that’s the watermark of most the Guardian sections.”
I like Mourinho a lot, and would sincerely love him to win the Premier or Champions League with Spurs and then tell the world what time it is. I agree that he isn’t judged fairly or rationally and that he’s an exceptional strategist/analyst. But in the last few years he hasn’t got close to either of those big prizes and has fallen out with a helluva lot of people at various clubs. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the likeliest scenario is that it will happen again at Spurs. A lot of great managers – and Mourinho was clearly that – lose their way in the second half of their careers.
“‘The big summer signings for both sides all start’, eh?” sniffs Matt Dony. “No sign of Joe Hart in that Spurs line-up…”
The big summer signings on both sides all start. We’re not certain what formation Everton will play, though I reckon it’ll be a midfield diamond.
Spurs (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Winks; Moura, Alli, Son; Kane.
Substitutes: Hart, Sanchez, Aurier, Lamela, Sissoko, Ndombele, Bergwijn.
Everton (possible 4-D-2) Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Allan; Doucoure, Andre Gomes; James; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Substitutes: Virginia, Kenny, Sigurdsson, Davies, Walcott, Bernard, Kean.
Referee Martin Atkinson.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of a meeting between the Premier League’s eternal optimists. Despite perpetual disappointment, Spurs and Everton always come back for more with a hopeful demeanour and an open chequebook. This time the optimism stems from the fact it’s their first full season under two of the most successful managers of the modern era, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. Everton, too, have made some intriguing signings, particularly the darling of the 2014 World Cup, James Rodriguez.
It’s a huge season for both clubs. This might be Mourinho’s last chance to show he is still compatible with the modern footballer. And if Everton’s refurbished squad can’t improve on last season’s 12th position, they really are in trouble.
Kick off 4.30pm.