Matches you win in midfield is a common football wisdom. A wisdom that Marcel Brands, technical director at Everton, has apparently knotted in his ears. He reached an almost completely new midfield this summer and saw Everton win on Sunday afternoon: 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton‘s new midfielders were visiting Tottenham, all three of them in the base. James Rodríguez, who came over from Real madrid and is the best-known of the three, played suspended on the right. Allan, picked up from Napoli, and Abdoulaye Doucouré, picked up from Watford, formed the centre.
With them within the lines, the strike in midfield was indeed won, as witnessed by Dele Alli and Harry Winks’ early retirement at Tottenham Hotspur. Everton had the better of the game and went off with the three points.
The only hit was ten minutes after half time. Everton‘s striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed a free kick from left back Lucas Digne hard against the ropes.
Tottenham coach José Mourinho reacted by bringing Steven Bergwijn inside the lines instead of Winks, but the Dutch national could not help his team to score a goal. For Mourinho, it’s the first time in his career that he and his team go down on the first day of play.