Crisis

 

Five league games without a win. The humanity. 

It's okay though, we have 37 games left and a possible 111 points to accumulate. Hanging on with the skin of our teeth. If you think our predicament is bad, consider Leicester City, defeated on the opening day and out of the title race at the first hurdle. Guessing Arsenal also got relegated today and Liverpool won the league?

I jest.

Well, I do.

Some are no doubt already sharpening their knives, dropping ickle hits of negativity, in preparation, so they're suitably primed in the months ahead to shout 'I told you so'. On the flip side, for the record, I'm not dancing a naked jig whilst juggling replicas of the Premier League trophy in celebration of what I witnessed from Mauricio Pochettino's Lilywhites. How could I? It's only the first game of the season.

It would be a monumental waste of time to deconstruct the 90 or so minutes in a 5,000 word article. It was a routine game of two halves (how's that for punditry?) so all I'm sharing today is some light-reading on the match, just so you have something to mull over until the next one.

It wasn't an inspiring first forty-five. Before Ross Barkley scored from a set-piece, it had the stench of the ominous. He's gonna score, I thought to myself. That ball will find its way through, I muttered. And it did, followed by the commentator on ESPN Brazil losing his sh*t in true samba style. Welcome back, I whispered to myself. The torment has returned with mocking glee.

Hugo limped off (hamstring) replaced by Vorm, not before leaping to protect his goal, touching the ball over from a Phil Jagielka effort. Vorm was also in on the action just before half-time with a fine block to save our blushes. Kane was alone and isolated upfront, with little service and no time to craft anything for himself thanks to a solid central three-man back-line. He looked like he was having England flashbacks, bless him. It was all testament to Everton's organisation and suffocating of space. Spurs lacked the sharpness and control whilst the home side bossed with impressive tempo.

The second forty-five was a vast improvement for us and would have been perfect if it wasn't for the annoying Maarten Stekelenburg, twice denying us brilliantly. First with a point blank stop from new boy Vincent Janseen (who was party responsible for waking us up) and then from the immaculate in-form Lamela, tipping his deflected effort agonisingly over the bar towards the end. 

Before the goalkeeping heroics, Janssen's injection meant that we finally stretched the Toffeemen which eventually (well, practically a handful of minutes later) led to Kyle 'has no end product' Walker sending in a beautiful cross for the Argentine Erik to head in for the deserved equaliser. Is there room to start both Kane and Vinny? At least we finally have a tangible difference maker upfront, options that change how we play, forcing the opposition to adapt if they wish to survive (on this occasion, it worked to our advantage). Poch had to be decisive during the break. He was and much like Everton could have settled the game in the first half, we really should have won it in the second.

Our other new boy, Victor Wanyama, was big and bruising in the middle. 'Dele', Dier (subbed) and Christian Eriksen were hardly memorable but there you go. It was one of those opening day stuttering starts. Critical post-match blogs and scratching chins staring at the league table, is only really relevant after ten games or so. That's when teams start to hit a stride that will indicate just how far they will go.

All the talk about 'dropping points' is ludicrous mainly because, everybody drops points. The team that drop the least finish top. Have I blown your mind yet? I'm spreading the Einstein logic there for the ones doubting bread and butter mathematics. Suggesting Goodison away should be a given (if we fancy ourselves as title contenders) is a strong outlook to have, but one game in, can a score-draw really be considered a disappointment? It's not just about the result even though the result is the only thing that seems to matter (even if it sort of does). Suck the life out of it, why don't you. 

Other footnotes: Jan starting after his Euro injury scare. Eriksen cryptically having a dig at the broadsheet that suggested he's holding out for a 100k and some pay increase before he signs a new contract. He tweeted with emoticons. He wouldn't use emoticons if he was fibbing.

A good start to the season is imperative because we all want a continuation of the last one (minus the final four games). We have a settled foundation to continue building on. No overhauling. No transitional kneejerking. We became a capable team last term so our expectations are far more refined this time round, in the stands and on the training field. A home win next weekend, a convincing one at that, will be enough of a springboard to settle the ever present nerves. Let's panic if we still haven't won after five games.

So to conclude, on the opening weekend we got an acceptable point away from home whilst Leicester got a taste of what life will be like without their element of surprise. Elsewhere, at the Emirates, two bang average sides leaked goals in a comedy sh*tfest. Boo.

Rejoice people, including all you miserable self-loathing bastards;

FOOTBALL IS BACK. Tottenham is back.

Happy days.