Cenk Tosun shows promise but wretched Everton suffer at Tottenham
Recent Tottenham dominance in this fixture continued on Saturday as the latest hapless Everton performance in a season littered with them saw the visitors outclassed from first whistle to last. A 4-0 hammering barely reflected the gulf between the two teams.
This four-goal defeat was as bad as anything served up under Ronald Koeman or David Unsworth as the away side went through the motions for 90 minutes. Everton began the match like a team expecting a defeat and left at full time having done nothing to try and affect that outcome.
Manager Sam Allardyce sent out a team that was neither compact nor adventurous, offering as little in defence as they did in attack. Those in royal blue retreated behind the ball but did not track runners or get close enough to the home side in possession. At the other end, a second successive league game without a shot on target aptly defined the non-existent attacking output.
Six games without a win and four successive defeats has stomped all over the honeymoon period and Allardyce must quickly rectify this slump before Everton start tumbling down the league table again.
Despite playing just over an hour and spending much of that time in total isolation from his teammates, new signing Cenk Tosun held the ball up well and emerged as a positive amid this miserable team performance. Belligerent in the lone striker role, not afraid to hassle the home defence, the former Besiktas striker also showed some neat touches, creating a chance for Wayne Rooney.
Tottenham's 10 attempts on target in the 90 minutes is double the amount Everton have managed in their last six games combined. It is difficult to recall an Everton team so bereft of ideas and quality in possession or even the ability to perfect something as straightforward as a five-yard pass.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- An afternoon of baffling decisions and tactics summed up by the ignorance of Ademola Lookman. From the best Everton player at Anfield in the last match to an unused substitute in this one.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jordan Pickford, 6 -- A painfully familiar script as the Everton goalkeeper conceded four goals -- none his fault -- and still appeared one of the better players on the day.
DF Jonjoe Kenny, 4 -- Torrid afternoon for the young right-back but hopefully a useful learning experience as his development at this level continues. Beaten easily and often by the excellent Son Heung-Min.
DF Mason Holgate, 6 -- The best of a poor defensive unit and showed a level of composure absent in many of his teammates, although the 21-year-old was guilty of ball-watching for the Tottenham third.
Phil Jagielka, 4 -- Impressive at Anfield but hopeless here, underlining the lack of consistency at the heart of recent defensive issues. Woeful positioning contributed to at least two of the four goals conceded.
DF Cuco Martina, 4 -- This is becoming ridiculous: two weeks into the transfer window and still no sign of a left-back to remedy a situation that needed addressing in the summer. Hapless defending for the first two goals effectively ended the match.
MF James McCarthy, 5 -- You cannot fault his effort and determination, but the issue is whether the Ireland midfielder offers enough outside of those basics. Needs to be far braver in seeking out and using the ball effectively.
MF Idrissa Gueye, 6 -- Just back from injury and asked to do far too much without meaningful support. Tried to get Everton moving forward in the first half but forced to spend the second half in damage limitation mode.
MF Yannick Bolasie, 4 -- His ability to frustrate outweighed everything else as unnecessary and fruitless skill wasted several promising situations. That is something Everton cannot afford in tough away games such as this.
MF Wayne Rooney, 5 -- Faultless effort but lacked the pace to trouble the home defence and ran out of steam before his now obligatory booking late on.
MF Gylfi Sigurdsson, 4 -- Granted Serge Aurier the freedom of Wembley down the Tottenham right and paid the price with the opening goal. Ineffective thereafter thanks to another performance wasted out wide.
FW Cenk Tosun, 7 -- A lively and bustling presence in attack on his debut. The recent signing probably left the field wondering whether he made the right decision in agreeing to join this chaos.
MF Aaron Lennon, 5 -- Took Bolasie's place early in the second half and proved to be just as ineffective.
FW Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 5 -- Easily kept in check by a Tottenham defence that was in cruise control by time the young striker entered the action.
MF Morgan Schneiderlin, N/R -- Bizarre choice for the final substitution and added nothing in midfield.
Luke is ESPN FC's Everton blogger. Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeofarrell.