Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are two of English football’s great institutions but are both desperate to end long trophy droughts. Everton have not lifted silverware since Paul Rideout’s goal saw them squeeze past Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup final, while Tottenham have not won the FA Cup since 1991. Spurs have won two League Cups since then, but the last of them was in 2008 and Jose Mourinho was hired to put a trophy on the table.
Years than end in one are usually good for Spurs, or at least they were before the turn of the century. They became the first English club to win the league and double in 1961, added a League Cup in 1971 and won FA Cups in 1981 (the year of that Ricky Villa goal) and ’91. The year 2001 was not so good when they were beaten in an Old Trafford FA Cup semi-final by rivals Arsenal. In 2021, they are in a Carabao Cup final and travel to Goodison Park for tonight’s FA Cup fifth-round tie.
Mourinho will be delighted that Harry Kane has returned to reunite with Heung-min Son, but Carlo Ancelotti will also feel his front pair of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin can do some damage. Everton beat Spurs on their home patch on the opening weekend of the season, on a day Dele Alli was hooked at half-time. The attacking midfielder could return to their squad today after a January move away failed to materialise. Spurs will be without Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon in the full-back positions, so Everton could get joy down the flanks.
“I know how Evertonians are desperate to win trophies,” said manager Carlo Ancelotti.
“I don’t know if it is the right time this season but what I can assure is we are doing everything to have a trophy here as soon as possible.”
Full team news on the way shortly.