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The low down on Everton

Posted on 3 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

The visit of Everton on Tuesday marks the return of former favourite Paul Gascoigne to White Hart Lane. When it appeared that Middlesbrough were pulling out all the stops to find a new home for Gazza during the close-season it was expected that the former England international would be playing out his career on the fields of either the USA or Australia.

Always expect the unexpected where Gazza is concerned, and few observers anticipated Everton throwing him a lifeline. So the popular former Spur, who spent three years at the club from 1988-91 before departing for Lazio, will be hoping to start the game at the venue which witnessed perhaps the peak of his form.

The wind of change swept through Goodison Park during the summer, a revolving door effect, with players departing and arriving with alarming regularity - and not all with the good wishes of their former employers.

Nicky Barmby set the cat among the Mersey pigeons by revealing his wish to play for Liverpool. The Spurs product forced his way back into the England reckoning on the back of his Everton performances and his departure was part of a midfield break up. Don Hutchison also sought pastures new and is now at Sunderland and John Collins took up the challenge of helping Fulham achieve Premiership status.

Manager Walter Smith moved swiftly to plug the gaps in his squad, bringing in Gascoigne, Nicklas Alexandersson from Sheffield Wednesday, Alessandro Pistone from Newcastle, Steve Watson from Aston Villa, Alex Nyarko from Lens, Thomas Gravesen from Hamburg and former favourite Duncan Ferguson returned from Newcastle.

A reshaped squad was not enough to overcome the challenge of a trip to Leeds on the opening day of the season, where the Blues suffered a 2-0 reverse. Charlton were beaten 3-0 at Goodison before Everton let slip a two-goal lead at home to Derby last time out.

Smith has got injury worries to contend with: ex-Spur Richard Gough (knee), Duncan Ferguson (calf), Alessandro Pistone (hamstring), Mark Pembridge (calf) and Abel Xavier (knee) will all be sidelined at White Hart Lane. Richard Dunne is suspended.

Our home record against Everton stands at 31 wins, 19 draws and 13 defeats. Overall, we have won 45 out of 126 games with 39 finishing in draws.

Story by Richard Hubbard.