It was not the result Tottenham Hotspur was looking for, however, the 0-0 draw at Everton felt very different from their last few Premier League matches as Spurs try to get back on track.
Tottenham Hotspur again failed to register a shot on goal. The last time that happened – a week ago in a 0-3 loss to Manchester United – it led to the manager being sacked. However, despite not managing a shot on target, Tottenham Hotspur looked and felt like a different team than the one who had lost two straight in the league. You cannot say the team looked like an Antonio Conte side but Spurs are moving in the right direction.
Tottenham cannot find the final pass
Overall Spurs looked like a different side to the team that capitulated at home to Manchester United a week earlier. Whereas Tottenham has looked like a team unsure what to do with the ball for most of the season, the ideas with the ball were clear against Everton.
Tottenham worked to play their way out of the back for most of the day – usually well – and then get the ball forward into the attackers. While the hold-up play from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son was not great, it was enough to create some chances, if the team could find the final pass or final touch.
Unfortunately for Spurs, the team could not find that key pass in the final third to create a clear-cut chance. There was certainly more service than we have seen in the last month, but finding that connection on the backend just never happened. As Spurs continue to struggle to unlock teams in the final third, everyone is reminded just how important Christian Eriksen was to this squad.
Eriksen is not coming back, but presumably, the players on the pitch can improve, and sooner or later, some of the passes that are not connecting will.
Spurs are more assured defensively
Manchester United split Tottenham apart last weekend and even midweek Vitesse scored twice. Thus getting their first shutout in the league since August – the 29th in a 1-0 win over Watford – is a big deal. It had been even longer for a road clean sheet.
Spurs were not perfect defensively and did require VAR to avoid a potentially devastating penalty kick but they certainly limited Everton’s chances. The Toffee’s two shots on target were never going to beat Lloris and outside a couple of close calls with Spurs keeper coming off his line, Everton was never going to score.
It was not the outcome anyone wanted, as Tottenham really could have used all three points, however, the draw on a tough away trip after a Thursday night match with a new coach will have to do.