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Everton: James Tarkowski proves his worth once again

Everton were left to rue a handful of gilt-edged chances in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, with the Toffees having slipped to a second successive Premier League defeat after a previous six-game unbeaten run.

That clash in north London had seen both Demarai Gray and Amadou Onana inexplicably fire over inside the first half, before the visitors were made to pay for their wastefulness as England skipper Harry Kane converted from the penalty spot following a somewhat contentious spot-kick decision.

The Spurs talisman had softly gone down under contact from compatriot Jordan Pickford – with pundit Chris Sutton dubbing the striker the “King of the divers” as a result – albeit with the former Sunderland ‘keeper having done himself no favours after failing to adequately deal with the initial effort on goal.

Antonio Conte’s side went on to clinch the points late on through midfield maestro Pierre-Emile Hojberg, ensuring a frustrating journey home to Merseyside for manager Frank Lampard and his side.

For all that disappointment, however, the away side’s overall performance had come in stark contrast to their most recent trip to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, with Lampard’s men having shipped five in what was arguably the nadir of last season.

One notable difference from the horror show of last term was the new faces in the backline, with the presence of summer arrivals Conor Coady and James Tarkowski ensuring a far more solid display this time around, with the defensive unit having been dubbed “Championship level” following that 5-0 embarrassment by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.

The former Liverpool stalwart had dubbed the Goodison Park outfit “weak” after being simply bullied by Conte’s relentless outfit, although it was a wholly different story on Saturday, with the performance of Tarkowski, in particular, proving just what an inspired signing the former Burnley man truly was.

The free transfer arrival from Turf Moor had been a far from glamourous addition in the recent window, although has gone on to swiftly become an “immense” presence for his new club, alongside the aforementioned Coady, according to writer Peter Guy.

The 29-year-old has started all ten top-flight games so far this term – conceding just 11 goals in that time – having provided far greater solidity in the heart of the backline, notably completing seven clearances, five blocks and three tackles yesterday.

An old-school defender who is willing to put his body on the line for the cause, the £100k-per-week ace also won 83% of his duels on the day, including four of his five ground duels, with his match rating of 7.7, as per SofaScore, by far the highest of any of his teammates on the day.

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Everton's Richarlison celebrates scoring their first goal

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Such a performance was lauded by Liverpool Echo’s Chris Beesley, who awarded the two-cap colossus an 8/10 rating and stated: “Relished the physical battle against Kane and got in several timely blocks on his fellow England international in a game that the teak tough centre-back had to be at his best.”

That display was a far cry from the ‘weak’ showing of Michael Keane and co back in March, with Tarkowski having once again proven just what a stunning impact he has made to a previously floundering side.

Article title: Everton: James Tarkowski proves his worth once again

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