Five things learned from Everton's Tottenham defeat: Barry, Distin & Lukaku feature

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Considered

Five conclusions from Everton's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.

Questions need to be asked about Tim Howard

Goalkeeper Howard was the United States' hero at the World Cup, but his recent form for Everton has been poor at best.

At nearly 36, Howard is coming towards the end of his career, and with rumours of a move back to the US with David Beckham's Miami franchise, maybe it's time for manager Roberto Martinez to consider parting ways with the long-serving shot stopper and bring in someone younger.

A new centre back is needed

Whilst the Howard situation is fairly fluid, something that Martinez needs to address is the depth at centre back after Sylvain Distin's awful display against Tottenham.

The Frenchman turns 37 in December, and whilst it's clear that John Stones will take over in defence when he returns from injury, the depth of Distin and Antolin Alcaraz has left Everton woefully exposed. Martinez needs to consider bringing in another backup centre back in January.

Samuel Eto'o and Ross Barkley can't play together

Martinez chose an interesting tactic - Romelu Lukaku up front on his own as usual, but with Samuel Eto'o and Ross Barkley interchanging between playing as a No. 10 and playing on the right.

Well, in short, it didn't work. Neither player could really affect the game from the wing, and it seems that Martinez has to make a choice over which player to start. Shoehorning both into the side doesn't give the team balance, and really he should have gone with Aiden McGeady out wide instead of Eto'o.

Lukaku needs more service

Off the back of that point, it was frightening to see how isolated Lukaku was at times, foraging on his own in attack against Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgian had an early shot saved by Hugo Lloris, but was pretty ineffectual from there on in. The service just wasn't there from Everton, and if they are to make the most of their £28m record signing, then they need to put him in a position to succeed rather than leaving him on his own.

Everton need James McCarthy back

One of the big problems for Everton was the poor displays from Gareth Barry and Muhamed Besic in defensive midfield.

Barry was slow and ponderous throughout, which led to his error for Soldado's winner, whilst Besic didn't impose himself on the game and was almost punished for a ridiculous headed back pass to Howard. Besic was playing in place of the injured James McCarthy, but couldn't replicate McCarthy's energy in the middle of the park - and Everton need him back as soon as possible as he nurses a hamstring injury.

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