Football managers are in the results business and Tottenham's Jacques Santini is showing signs that he could be an astute captain of industry after all. Pundits have not been impressed by the French coach's negative tactics, nor impressed with Tottenham's style of play, but this hard-fought win sent them back to London temporarily placed fourth in the Premiership table, just one spot behind Everton, who could have gone second had Noé Pamarot's first goal not stolen the game for the visitors.
Tottenham have scored five times and that's fewer than rock bottom Crystal Palace, but not many are suggesting Santini's club will be involved in another relegation scrap this season.
And even fewer would suggest that the captain of Tottenham, Jamie Redknapp, is a hard man, but his loose second-half challenge put Everton's best player, Tim Cahill, out of this game, into hospital and out of Australia's World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands. It also marked Redknapp's fifth booking of the season. He was quick to apologise for his actions, but conceded: "Tim reacted angrily when he went off. I suppose I would have done the same if I had thought someone had tried to hurt me.
"I didn't mean to do that; it wasn't even a tackle. That is not my game, I would never do that to him. As I tried to let the ball run across me, I just tried to step over it to allow it to run to me. But he came in a bit quicker than I anticipated and I caught him. Their manager thinks I should have been sent off, and okay that's his opinion. But I would never try to do that to anyone. I have never done it."
Either way, Cahill was kicked out of the match in the 62nd minute as they chased at least a deserved equaliser to Pamarot's 53rd minute header. Cahill reported to Everton's Bellefield training ground for further treatment on his damaged knee yesterday and will have a scan today. The Everton physiotherapist, Mick Rathbone, confirmed the club had arranged for some MRI scans for first thing Monday morning.
The referee, Graham Poll, also let off Jermain Defoe with a yellow card for his two-footed challenge on David Weir. Previously, there had been a half-time tunnel scuffle involving Weir, Tony Hibbert and Thimothee Atouba.
Although it was not a pretty game, the Everton manager, David Moyes, stressed the positives: "We're still third and won't lose our feelgood factor. We could have been better but that happens in football. The players have done so well up until now so I am not going to start complaining."
Goal: Pamarot 53 (0-1).
Everton (4-4-2): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone (McFadden, 77); Osman, Carsley (Ferguson, 58), Cahill (Watson, 62), Gravesen; Kilbane, Bent. Substitutes not used: Wright (gk), Yobo.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Robinson; Pamarot, King, Naybet, Edman (Gardner, 69); Davies, Redknapp, Mendes, Atouba; Keane, Defoe (Ziegler, 80). Substitutes not used: Keller (gk), Brown, Sousa.
Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).
Booked: Everton: Gravesen. Tottenham: Redknapp, Defoe.
Man of the match: King.
Attendance: 38,264.Reuse content