Everton FC 2 Tottenham 2 - Greg O'Keeffe's verdict

07 December 2009 12:00
COLEMAN COULD BE MUSTARD

GOODISON PARK has witnessed more than its fair share of seismic debuts from youngsters in royal blue.

From the era of a fearless 16-year-old Joe Royle to a rampaging Wayne Rooney, the Old Lady has had a habit of smiling kindly on potential prodigies.

Now Seamus Coleman, not long 21-years-old, has added his name to folklore with a home debut which suggested he is a young man on the brink of an illustrious career.

That the Donegal-born defender has recovered from a career-threatening foot injury in the summer and an away debut to forget against Benfica, adds an extra fateful flourish to his story.

Then to play such a memorable part in a morale-boosting draw for the Blues, from the less eye-catching role of right-back, hints that once again Everton have plucked a star.

Yet it was almost a case of what might have been for David Moyes.

His team produced a spirited performance in a thoroughly absorbing first half, but were still 2-0 down within 15 minutes of the second. They were self-inflicted wounds too.

Indeed, Evertonians could have been forgiven for thinking that all the talk of a turning point being found in Athens was about to be made redundant.

The Blues had welcomed Joseph Yobo back into the heart of defence alongside Tony Hibbert, with Lucas Neill coming back into the side at right-back.

Moyes also asked Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini to fire the midfield by continuing their fine form.

The pair were soon at the heart of some excellent play, linking up with Tim Cahill on the edge of the Spurs' box with swift one-touch passing.

Then another delightful touch from Pienaar sent Rodwell racing through, but his shot under pressure from Ekotto was straight at Gomes.

Spurs for their part are not sitting pretty in the top four for no reason. A surging run from the tricky Aaron Lennon, saw him play through an offside Peter Crouch who nevertheless blasted his shot over the Gwladys Street bar.

Then Lennon showed more skill to nip the ball masterfully past Leighton Baines, and fire in a low cross with just too much pace on it to reach a lurking Defoe.

A deft through ball from Bilyaletdinov played in Jo who will know he should have done better by latching on to it, and at least testing the hap-hazard Gomes. Instead the Brazilian failed to anticipate the pass properly and never really looked like capitalising.

Then fate played its hand. Similar to Distin in mid-week, Yobo's hamstring lasted just 16 minutes before he was forced off in discomfort to be replaced by Coleman who slotted in at right-back.

Source: Liverpool_Echo