Cenk Tosun is a Blue at last but will he start?
Updated Everton get back to the bread and butter of the Premier League this weekend with their season essentially over bar the goal of a top-seven finish and the relative intrigue of whether Sam Allardyce can evolve beyond his limited reputation.
The fact that the first game after the elimination from the FA Cup at the first time of asking will be at Wembley is a mildly bitter twist of fate just as the distance at which the Blues continue to lag behind their one-time peers, Tottenham, won't be lost on the travelling Evertonians.
While the cup offered one last shot at success in what has been a pretty miserable season, the fact that another date under the arch is off the table really will sharpen the focus on the manager, particularly now that he has landed his top priority for January — a striker to ease the burden on Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Cenk Tosun wasn't signed in time to face Liverpool last Friday but with a week to settle into his new surroundings, get familiar with his team-mates and hone his fitness again, he could be in contention for a starting berth rather than a place on the bench as would have been likely at Anfield.
Whether the addition of a more rounded and experienced striker proves to be the tonic to transform a side that has, frankly, been pretty abysmal going forward since the 3-1 win over Swansea almost a month ago remains to be seen.
Much will depend on the formation and personnel deployed behind him and whether Allardyce opts for the overtly defensive posture he adopted at Bournemouth when he played three defensive midfielders and a lone striker.
Wayne Rooney came off the bench that day in place of James McCarthy but couldn't inspire Everton to victory and his removal from the fray against Liverpool last week following a worryingly ineffective and indisciplined performance doesn't bode well for his chances of leading a newly dynamic Blues side now that Tosun will be leading the line.
Instead, the incisiveness came from Gylfi Sigurdsson who scored the equaliser that threatened to force a replace and the badly-needed creativity came from Ademola Lookman. The young winger, criminally overlooked at West Brom and Bournemouth — they were two games that were begging for him to come on in the final quarter of an hour to inject some direct running and inventiveness — made a strong case for his inclusion in the squad at Wembley but the strength of the opposition might make Allardyce think twice about starting him.
That honour will likely go to Yannick Bolasie again while the number of more defensively-minded central midfielders that end up in the line-up could depend on the fitness of Idrissa Gueye. The Senegalese international was risked at Bournemouth, aggravated a hamstring injury, has missed the last two matches and is therefore probably still doubtful.
Leighton Baines remains sidelined with a calf problem while, on the other side of defence, Seamus Coleman's rehabilitation continues with, perhaps, the end of the month as a target for his return. Michael Keane is also ruled out as he continues to have problems with a gashed foot.
Cuco Martina and Jonjoe Kenny will continue to deputise, leaving Allardyce just needing to perm two from Phil Jagielka, Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams, assuming he doesn't go for five at the back instead.
Spurs, who begin the weekend in fifth place, were held at Wembley by West Ham in their last League outing but had, prior to that, looked like they had finally got to grips with their temporary home with strong consecutive wins over Southampton, Brighton and Stoke City in the League and Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League.
They have shown themselves to be susceptible to teams that go at them on their home turf, something Everton haven't really done at any point this season under three different managers but Blues will be looking to see if Allardyce can maintain his side's defensive solidity against a very strong attacking team while starting to add some adventure going forward in his own team.
Kick-off: 5:30pm, Saturday 13 January, 2018
Referee: Craig Pawson
Last Time: Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina, Schneiderlin, McCarthy, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Tosun
Reader Comments (99)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 12/01/2018 at 07:32:09
2 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:31:03
I'll take 1-1 with anyone scoring. Little steps...
3 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:33:24
Hope I'm wrong but, if they score an early goal, this may not be pleasant viewing.
4 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:33:25
Probably more likelihood of me running a sub 20 min Parkrun tomorrow morning than Big Sam picking any sort of line up designed to cross the half-way line, but I suppose I could hide in the woods and miss out the first half-mile.
Kane scoring must be the banker basis of any accumulator tomorrow!! Ever the optimist!
5 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:34:26
6 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:47:05
7 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:52:36
8 Posted 12/01/2018 at 09:15:22
"Everton face Tottenham at Wembley tomorrow and Sam Allardyce is speaking about Seamus Coleman's fitness.
"I think if I asked him now would he join the squad to face Spurs, he'd say 'Yes, I'm fit enough' but we have indicators to monitor if when he comes back his body is ready to face the challenges."
The boss adds that Micheal Keane is out with a bad gash on his foot.
That's likely to be some of the best news of the year, well the first bit is!
9 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:06:30
Admittedly, Schneiderlin has been a tad better these last few games; despite us losing, but I still am nervous with him in the side; wish we could move him on and get a proper general in midfield.
I hope if Cenk starts; he will have a decent debut, and preferably a scoring one; I hope also to see Lookman involved at some stage; he changed the dynamic at Anfield when he came on, albeit too late.
10 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:13:59
Kenny Holgate Keane Martina
McCarthy Davies Sigurdsson
Lennon Calvert-Lewin Bolasie
Subs: Robles, Jagielka, Garbutt, Schneiderlin, Lookman, Rooney, Tosun.
I think this game would be too quick for Rooney & Schneiderlin, we'll need young Tom's energy and Lennon will be well up for this.
Looking stronger though considering no Williams, Sandro, Klaassen, Besic, or the injured lads are in my choice 18!
I would also like to see Garbutt on the bench if we can, and maybe a few minutes to sure up the left hand side ahead of a possible start v West Brom next week though highly unlikely!
How can a player who performed well for us and was wanted elsewhere drop to such a low?
11 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:26:13
12 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:28:36
Our lack of attacking intent, against anyone, is killing it for me. I do not expect us to attack anymore, only to sit deep and defend and hope we get lucky. It's depressing viewing...
The only exception to this now is wanting to see if Tosun is any good; however, I expect him to be completely isolated in this game...
13 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:51:16
14 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:52:54
I don't see any way we will get a result at Spurs tomorrow that's not being negative just realistic. Everton don't win these type of fixtures and certainly not when we are playing as poorly as we are at present .
We also haven't beat Tottenham home or away since December 2012 so it's yet another serial bogey team.
15 Posted 12/01/2018 at 10:56:51
16 Posted 12/01/2018 at 11:10:22
However given the chance I personally would play Lookman, Vlasic or Calvert-Lewin out wide in place of Rooney and let Sigurdsson play central.
I'm surprised to hear we are in for Walcott; seems to me there are a couple of other positions need sorting first.
17 Posted 12/01/2018 at 11:14:05
Tosun adds to Bolasie, Niasse and Lookman in particular.
Positive thinking everybody! Let's get on with it!
18 Posted 12/01/2018 at 11:19:55
19 Posted 12/01/2018 at 11:34:25
We need Sigurdsson in his best position against the top teams so I'd stick him central and have McCarthy and Davies sat behind. Tosun surely has to start.
20 Posted 12/01/2018 at 11:50:49
22 Posted 12/01/2018 at 12:37:27
Hopefully the club would check that they aren't holding a Monks Ball while he's there, otherwise the screaming might keep him awake.
23 Posted 12/01/2018 at 12:41:07
24 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:03:37
25 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:06:46
26 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:25:11
He's fortunate enough to have come to play for a great club such as Everton, it would be most enlightening to see if he can show, right from the off, what he intends to do to reimburse the faith shown by management.
27 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:34:46
I would have Bolasie with Siggy just behind Tosun.
Holgate needs to start and if we can leave Kenny out all the better. He has been a liability in a few away games: Southampton, Leicester and Bournemouth.
28 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:38:25
29 Posted 12/01/2018 at 13:38:45
If Tosun is up for it, let's throw him in.
The season is over in January (in terms of positive things to play for, again); let's start building some understanding between players for next season.
30 Posted 12/01/2018 at 14:19:31
We've got to start Tosun if he's fit to give everyone a lift. I think Calvert-Lewin would support him well and has the pace and height to help a counter-attack in combination with Kenny who he knows well.
Kenny Holgate Jagielka Martina
McCarthy Gueye Sigurdsson
Calvert-Lewin Tosun Bolasie
31 Posted 12/01/2018 at 14:24:17
I like one recent article suggesting Palace would consider swapping Van Aarnholt for Niasse. This would make a lot of sense.
As for Saturday's team. I have confidence in Allardyce's choice. I presume he has now seen the team enough both in games and in practice. I just hope we get as much luck as West Ham did in Spurs last home game.
33 Posted 12/01/2018 at 14:36:33
Joking aside, sometimes the weirdest results can happen when you least expect it. With Bolasie finding his feet again and the addition of Tosun, Everton may just be a better team offensively.
The kiss of death is always when you hope for an upset but it goes right out the window when they concede early on. The defence is a real problem and when you have someone like Harry Kane up against you it's difficult to keep him under wraps for 90 minutes.
34 Posted 12/01/2018 at 15:22:57
Keane is injured which for me is not a problem as he has been our worst CB this season and, although Jags performed heroically in the derby I like the Williams Holgate combination more so a back 4 of Kenny Holgate Williams Martina.
Defensive mids are questionable. if Gana is fit he is a sure starter for me and although I prefer McCarthy to Schneiderlin he is too similar to Gana in his positioning so may not be the best fit.
Lennon has complemented Kenny well this season and Sigurdsson has just started to hit form. We need Bolasie's pace and trickery and up front Tosun is a must.
I would like to see us keep it tight for the first half and frustrate the crowd then open up and get the winner second half.
I just hope the ref isn't conned by Alli falling when someone goes near him.
Easy on paper isn't it.
35 Posted 12/01/2018 at 15:25:48
I rate him and think, with right players to play with, he will be a decent player!
36 Posted 12/01/2018 at 15:43:00
37 Posted 12/01/2018 at 15:56:10
Leave Kenny out for whom? He is one of the only plus points of the season.
38 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:03:43
Leaving Rooney on the bench will help the team, he might play better for the last 30 minutes. Watching him trying to play 90 mins lately has been sad for me, a really great player once, now struggling badly.
39 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:06:48
40 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:09:04
We will have to defend like lions to keep them out though, but we've done that a few times this season. So a positive result is possible.
Spurs 1, Everton 2 sounds good.
41 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:12:55
42 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:28:09
The little I saw of Tosun he's slower than Calvert-Lewin. How on earth he is going to score if we don't change our style of football I really don't know. We need a box to box midfield and a playmaker sitting in front of our defenders. Let's get Pirlo out of retirement.
43 Posted 12/01/2018 at 16:32:42
44 Posted 12/01/2018 at 17:34:16
I hope and hope Tosun gets stuck in and ruffles up Spurs. No daft mistakes and giving Kane and Alli goals on a plate.
I'd start with Lookman or Vlasic and use Rooney as a sub but I sense Rooney will start and Vlasic or Lookman will be subs, either coming on again for Bolasie... 3-1 to us with a surprise performance!
Being optimistic but we have turned these over before so we'll be overdue tomorrow.
46 Posted 12/01/2018 at 18:27:14
Maybe like when Moyes bought Krøldrup and (allegedly) discovered he couldn't head a ball?
47 Posted 12/01/2018 at 18:27:37
He needs help on how to defend, but so do all the guys who are actually playing defence.
I feel the same way about Lookman. We have to be patient with all these younger players. They are probably far more nervous than we are. On second thoughts, I am not so sure.
Just watching the Blues this year is like standing on the edge of a cliff for 90 minutes. And many times I feel I have fallen off.
48 Posted 12/01/2018 at 18:34:35
49 Posted 12/01/2018 at 18:36:51
If Allardyce is going to make a success of things – as I very much hope he will – then he has to maintain a bright and upbeat front.
Mind you, Moshiri's less than ringing endorsement of Sam at the AGM was not designed to boost the managerial mood.
50 Posted 12/01/2018 at 18:47:50
You have to say adding Lookman to this with Bolasie on a massive pitch feels like good a idea.
This could be enhanced by Tosun who is reputed to be physically adept and link play well. To keep up with them Sigurdsson seems to be the right choice, leaving Rooney splintered.
A very simple midfield of Gueye and McCarthy might work, but I fear the lack of a decent ball player flounders my plan. Schneiderlin too slow, Rooney like Barry as season or two again would get destroyed.
If Allardyce goes back to his self styled shithousery then he deserves the pelters he'll get.
51 Posted 12/01/2018 at 19:26:01
52 Posted 12/01/2018 at 19:55:37
We should also expose the younger players to a system that suits both the club and their own development. It's a shame that we have a dinosaur as manager who inspires little faith in being able to deliver this.
Notwithstanding this, we must set up to be both difficult to beat and to cause problems to the opposition. To achieve this, I'd set up like most teams do nowadays; back four, two energetic shields, four attackers including two quick wides and a No 10 behind the striker. With the personnel we have, I'd go for:
Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina
Lookman, Sigurdsson, Bolasie
With Calvert-Lewin, Vlasic, Baningime etc available to come off the bench when starting 11 tire.
53 Posted 12/01/2018 at 21:11:29
Returned home on same train as the players. It was a corridor train in those days. We went for a walk along the corridor and there in the compartments were the Everton players having a game of cards. We were invited in to meet our heroes.
54 Posted 12/01/2018 at 21:23:27
Football should always be about what players or the team do out on the pitch, and although this is one of the most difficult games on our entire fixture list, I'm looking forward to seeing how we do, and also think we are massively overpriced at 9/1.
55 Posted 12/01/2018 at 21:25:33
As for Allardyce's tactics, the fact is we have a moderate team with very little creativity at the moment, selling Lukaku and replacing him with Tosun sums the club up.
We are 14/1 to win tomorrow, while I don't fancy we will win 14/1 does seem like a very big price! Stranger things have happened.
56 Posted 12/01/2018 at 21:41:22
57 Posted 12/01/2018 at 21:54:47
58 Posted 12/01/2018 at 22:45:12
59 Posted 12/01/2018 at 22:45:43
60 Posted 12/01/2018 at 22:57:54
61 Posted 12/01/2018 at 23:23:34
So 2 by Tosun, and then he'll be baffled by the elder players asking him to pipe it down and go for just a one-goal defeat...
Nah! We can do this, and they don't expect us to try, I'd think!
62 Posted 12/01/2018 at 23:48:30
63 Posted 12/01/2018 at 23:50:18
64 Posted 13/01/2018 at 00:33:27
65 Posted 13/01/2018 at 01:04:45
66 Posted 13/01/2018 at 01:14:06
67 Posted 13/01/2018 at 03:48:34
Whomever plays at CB has to be on him like flies on shit.
68 Posted 13/01/2018 at 03:58:06
Give Tosun the support he needs, hell bang them in. If we can do that, I think we can graft out a win. COYB. 3- 1.
69 Posted 13/01/2018 at 06:06:22
Subs - Robles Williams Martina McCarthy Lennon Calvert-Lewin Niasse
This is the only lineup that could take anything out of the game. Should be playing Garbutt over Martina. Prediction is 2-1 Tottenham Hope I'm wrong. COYB
70 Posted 13/01/2018 at 06:18:00
He needs game time, lots of it, and what better place to make his debut than Wembley? He'll be well fired up to show his abilities on a stage like that.
71 Posted 13/01/2018 at 06:37:43
Kenny Holgate Williams Martina
Bolasie Rooney(c) Sigurdsson
Robles, Jagielka, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Davies, Lookman, Tosun
Tosun & Lookman off the bench. Hoping that Coleman gets on the bench too.
As much as I'd like Tosun to start, giving him 30 minutes against a slightly more tired opposition seems the best option, and then starting the next game.
72 Posted 13/01/2018 at 07:40:20
73 Posted 13/01/2018 at 08:07:33
0-0 would be a very good result, don't knock it.
Real Madrid lost 3-1 there.
74 Posted 13/01/2018 at 08:33:12
Kenny Holgate Jagielka Martina
Lookman Tosun Bolasie
75 Posted 13/01/2018 at 09:56:51
76 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:06:34
77 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:13:34
Agreed. Holgate is probably the best central defender in the Premier League for his age. Why some managers play him at full-back is beyond me. I've rated him since I first saw him a couple of seasons back.
Immense talent... let's hope he doesn't get the same treatment as Stones got. Plenty of people slagged him off. Now Pep reckons he has the best centre-half in the game.
78 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:19:13
I like the idea of Lookman, Tosun and Bolasie up front with Sigurdsson as No 10 with two defensive midfielders behind. Maybe we'll play this formation once we have Walcott in, instead of Lookman.
79 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:33:44
80 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:44:14
Pity the fans in this country didn't make a stand against Friday and Monday and Saturday night games. Without full stadiums, Sky have got nothing to sell. I wish the fans would realize the power that we have about time we exercised that power. Sky are only interested in the armchair viewers and not the proper match-going fans.
81 Posted 13/01/2018 at 10:54:51
Everton do have problems at the back where Holgate hasn't really established himself as a tough cookie.
With the aging Jags. and Williams it becomes an even bigger problem.
Keane is another young player who's form is questionable and the less said about Martina the better.
Despite the fact they have nothing to play for except pride I cannot see Everton starting this match any differently than they usuually do.
If they sit back then it could be a disaster with Erickson pulling the strings and the front two interchanging causing havoc.
Tosun may only start on the bench as Sam goes with the team that showed some promise against the RS.
Everton have to get Spurs out of their comfort zone by getting in some serious early attacks.
82 Posted 13/01/2018 at 12:05:42
84 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:17:42
85 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:20:44
We need a box to box midfielder, this was Klassen's position for Ajax and was good at it, yet we have never played him in this position.
We have problems with goal scoring, Sandro was bought as a player with some pace who can cut in from wide areas or sit behind main striker and score goals, we have never played him in these positions properly.
It is also obvious that Sigurdssonplays far better when Rooney is not on the pitch and connects better with the rest of the team.
We have a left back who really struggles going forward and so the attacks down this side are too slow or break down, this has to be addressed.
Overall though my thoughts are play people where they are supposed to play and get the best out of them, this is one of the reasons we are where we are. These players also need time on the pitch, so if its not in the first team get them in the Under-23s and understanding a pattern of play.
86 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:46:04
Welcome to total football, only joking.
87 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:48:22
88 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:54:01
Midweek football has always been played even in the amateur leagues!
Anyway back to what really matters. Hopefully Tosun will be a revelation and will bag at least a brace today and bring us an unexpected win!
I will still be happy as long as Tosun shows us he has the quality to hold the ball up, win headers and the ability to have a decent shot on goal!! It's a big ask for him to produce on his debut at Wembley against a decent Spurs team bit fingers crossed he's the guy we've been waiting for!!
Up the Toffees!
89 Posted 13/01/2018 at 13:58:28
Shallow bastards... it take 2 poor games to justify that!
90 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:08:41
They definitely won't expect that kind of ambition.
91 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:12:56
92 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:14:39
93 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:16:36
Holgate is the future; no a disaster waiting to happen.
Play Williams; no, Williams is finished.
Vlasic brings nothing; no, Vlasic causes mayhem.
Calvert-Lewin is second rate; Calvert-Lewin is a great young player. Kenny is no player, let's bring back a long term injured Coleman, Kenny is a big plus this season.
And so it goes on. Opinions is all it is as everyone sees different things during the game.
At the end of the day, the manager will pick a team to get something from this game and if we can indeed sneak a point, I'd be made up.
After the game, we can spend the next few days slagging Allardyce for everything including crap exchange rates and the weather.
94 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:35:41
95 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:57:55
Klaassen, I agree he hasn't been played as a box-to-box player and maybe needs another go. I don't think he will get that chance.
Sandro has been played enough to see he doesn't have the same time and space here to adapt his game.
Rooney and Sigurdsson can play on the same pitch. Although Siggy is better in the middle (all his goals come from the middle) and Rooney also better deeper and centre (as he is the only player we have that can play a pass over the top).
When Sam Allardyce came in, we played 4-3-3 then changed it to 4-5-1 and then 4-2-3-1. I've noticed we have played with more attacking players in recent games but we have to play on the front foot.
What we are in desperate need of is to pick up a LB (either a left back or a Leighton Baines) unless either Garbutt comes back into the squad or Galloway returns. I hope we show some ambition in this game and off the pitch by signing Walcott.
96 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:58:39
97 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:16:21
What a thought... that if you attack them, they have to defend instead of just throwing wave after wave of attack at your goal. I hope we at least try to attack today, otherwise what is the point?
98 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:26:03
99 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:26:32
Rooney should play at least 45 minutes in every game if possible he is our leading scorer in a side that struggles to score goals . We should judge him on what he is to us now not what he was 5 years ago he is still a great player just a different player.
Always a tough game for us away to Spurs. I would take another dire 0-0 and hold my nose for another week. Coming out of today without a loss would be a win almost . We'll be ready to carry the game to them next year. Maybe.
100 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:30:37
He will set up safety first as we did at Anfield in the league and try to nick something. It's desperately dull isn't it. Oh well. Up the toffees.
Let's be honest, there's nothing we can do about it but get behind him.
101 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:47:38
There was a piece in the Red Echo where he quite clearly recognizes and states the need to entertain as well as gain points. Worth reading.
102 Posted 13/01/2018 at 16:22:18
What a good team Leicester are, equal to Chelsea. If they get nothing from this game, it will be a travesty
Scores so far just show how anyone can beat anyone in this league. We still need a few more points
103 Posted 13/01/2018 at 16:26:25
Of course now the ref has completely screwed them and the viewers by sending a man off. What a travesty.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.