“For an opening fixture of the Premier League season this was some statement: a declaration from Everton that they believe they can – finally – be a ‘Top Six’ side again and a pitiful capitulation from Tottenham Hotspur who looked like a team bereft of ideas and, worryingly, belief,” said Jason Burt in his report for The Telegraph.
“It was the least that Everton deserved as they spurned chances – not least through the otherwise relentless Richarlison – created by their dominance, with Mourinho having the gall to complain about the free-kick being taken in the wrong position as he called out referee Martin Atkinson. ‘But I didn’t like my team,’ he said. No one did, Jose, no one did.
“And so it was the first time, in what was the 19th such match, that Mourinho has lost an opening day game in the league and these suddenly again feel like concerning times for him and Spurs, and with Harry Kane looking tired, frustrated and isolated and his team lacking in purpose. The forward only touched the ball twice in the Everton penalty area while those behind him simply lacked creativity and drive and Son Heung-min faded after a bright opening.
“In truth, the visitors simply appeared to want it more and were better-organised and more positive which is an indictment of Spurs and Mourinho who unsurprisingly accused his players of ‘lazy pressure’ in trying to win the ball back. In that ‘All or Nothing’ documentary by Amazon Prime when Mourinho told the Spurs players to play like ‘c—-‘ this is surely not what he meant? On this evidence if there is one team to be in the ‘Top Six’ then it is emphatically not going to be Spurs.”
“What a shame there were no TV cameras in the Tottenham dressing room this time,” John Cross told The Mirror. “You suspect Jose Mourinho might just have been angrier and more entertaining than anything we have seen in Amazon’s fly-on-the-wall documentary All Or Nothing.
“They got nothing and deserved nothing. But it already raises serious question marks about what lays ahead this season for Tottenham, Mourinho and, in particular, Harry Kane.
“Tottenham were outclassed, outwitted and outfought by an Everton team who were buoyed by their three big summer signings and they look far more likely to kick on this season.
“That was in stark contrast to Tottenham who looked flat, leggy and short of ideas. Their midfield new boy Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was outmanoeuvred by Allan and Doucouré and made him look decidedly average.
“But perhaps most worrying for Spurs was Kane who has rescued them so many times down the years but looked way off in terms of both match fitness and confidence. Incredibly, Kane touched the ball just twice in the Everton penalty box, Mourinho chopped and changed his line-up and formation through the game but none of his four partners – Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn or Heung-Min Son – could get him going.
“Mourinho was brought in to win trophies, pure and simple and he can only be thankful that the Spurs fans were not at White Hart Lane in these desperate times. It might have turned ugly.
“They were already not sure on Mourinho, this sort of performance will only increase the doubts especially as it was the first time in 19 seasons that the Spurs boss has lost the opening game of any season. Mourinho revels in being the self-proclaimed Special One, the manager who is a born winner who sets the tone from day one. This, unfortunately, does not bode well.
“Mourinho tried to switch things but could not find a solution. It ended up looking like Everton are going places while Tottenham are in danger of going backwards.”
“After all the reviews, glowing and sceptical, here was the clearest indication that Tottenham Hotspur are still where they were last season. Confused, stagnant and, in this opening match of the 2020/21 season, beaten,” Vithushan Ehantharajah reported in the Independent. “As comprehensively as you can be beaten 1-0 by an Everton side who were everything they have strived to be. Engaging, gusty yet calculating in midfield and smarter with every choice they seemed to make.
“If you have not watched Spurs’ All Or Nothing documentary yet, don’t rush. But if you are interested in giving it a whirl and were watching this match, you should know that some of its main football themes were on show.
“For within episodes more sanitised than the balls on cones alongside the pitch were frustrations from Jose Mourinho on a lack of continuity and bodies to fashioning an attack to match Spurs’ lofty ambitions. And if you hadn’t guessed it. Even with three more episodes to go, he never finds a remedy. And still hasn’t.
“Spurs were neither dominant in possession nor devastating on the counter. Their midfield three, in the absence of Giovanni Lo Celso, were too shy to carry the ball and forwards too uncertain during the moments that were stacked in their favour.
“Nevertheless, there was no real cause for alarm, which is all the more damning for Spurs, who were unable to produce a single chance for Harry Kane. That, perhaps, should ring the most alarm bells. The system is not broken – there simply isn’t one.”
“Talk around Tottenham lately has revolved around the success of their Amazon documentary but here was a day when four giant screens told the real story,” said Dominic King in the Mail Online.
“In the absence of match-going supporters, Tottenham had pictures beamed into their sparkling stadium of fans virtually watching the action. Chins in their hands or arms folded tightly, their glum looks told you everything you needed to know.
“It would be stretching things to call this a horror show but if this is to be an indication of what is in store for Tottenham, it’s not going to make for enjoyable viewing. Jose Mourinho looked enraged at the final whistle, as he stormed back to the dressing rooms, but he could hardly complain.
“Really, he should have been relieved. Everton, with better finishing, would have stripped Tottenham bare and this 1-0 triumph did not reflect their authority or how they dominated this contest.
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“Everton had freshness and enthusiasm, everything Tottenham lacked, and relished the job.
“Mourinho blamed Tottenham wilting on their lack of physicality but another view would be to say they kept being outwitted by the visitors, who were beating these particular opponents for the first time since December 2012.
“Here was the type of display Everton could watch again and again. Tottenham’s worry, by contrast, is the prospect of a run of miserable repeats.”