Tottenham Must Make Sure Everton Don’t Make April Fools Of Them!


Everton used to be Tottenham’s favourite opposition – our record against them for a number of seasons shows why. Now, however, Everton have won the last two matches including snatching victory in December at Goodison with two goals in added time. Tottenham can’t afford to let it happen again!

Everton v Tottenham [Photo: Alan Hill]Never an easy game, you know Everton will push you all the way.

As usual I was looking for a personal slant that I might have on the Everton game coming up this weekend when I came across a programme from 16 years ago to the week. It’s from an away game at Goodison Park which surprised me initially because I’ve never been to the city of Liverpool, let alone Goodison. So, who would have treated me to a programme? My wife got it straight away. It must have been my boss at the time, a certain Mrs T. She was a bright young civil service senior manager, in her 30s. She also really knew her stuff where football was concerned and was a dyed in the wool Everton supporter. Never above a bit of banter and I could always expect a bit of stick if Spurs did not come out on top in our clashes when I worked for her. For this match Dave Watson was the caretaker player manager. The previous four league games had all been drawn. Everton had spent much of the season at the wrong end of the table. Spurs were mid-table after an injury-hit season. Gary Mabbutt had broken a leg on the very first day of the season. Darren Anderton was in and out with his hernia and knee troubles. Just as now, our striking options were limited with both Teddy Sheringham and Chris Armstrong out for lengthy periods with ankle injuries. We had Ian Walker in goal Colin Calderwood and Gary Mabbutt centre backs and Alan Nielson our League Cup winning goal scorer.

Everton had Neville Southall in goal and the side also included Nick Barmby who had spent five good years at Tottenham. Duncan Ferguson was ploughing his traditional centre forward role up front.

[Photo: Alan Hill]We lost the game to a single goal from the talented but now tragically deceased Gary Speed. My boss wasn’t the type to gloat. She didn’t have to. The smile on her face at the next management meeting said it all. That programme from 1997 also had a feature that reminds us that they triumphed 1-2 at White Hart Lane back on 3rd April 1985 on their way to the League title under Howard Kendall. We had thrashed them 4-1 at Goodison Park on the first game of the season after they had paraded the FA Cup and Charity Shield around the ground. By the end of the season, though, Everton with the rock solid Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven at the back, Peter Reid in midfield and Andy Gray up front had dominated the League.


The appointment just over 10 years ago of David Moyes as Everton manager was clearly one of the best decisions their board ever made and brings us up to date. I can’t think of anybody else who could have achieved such consistent results over the years with such limited resources and in the face of so much uncertainty over the ownership of the club. Their rivalry with Liverpool for me often mirrors ours with Arsenal. Often when they achieve something, Liverpool have found a way of topping it, typically when they won the European Cup after Everton had finished above them in the league. Nevertheless the side is full of character and refuses to let go in the fight for fourth place this season. After our tough game against Basel on Thursday and all the injuries we have sustained beating them is going to be really difficult challenge. Our remaining fit players are going to have to match that famous Everton commitment.