By Will Butcher
Phil Neville believes Ronald Koeman’s tactics were to blame for Everton’s 3-2 loss to Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
The Toffees lost their first Premier League game in 10 outings, as a Dele Alli strike and two goals from Harry Kane saw off efforts from Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia.
Speaking on Match of the Day’s Facebook Live channel, Neville believes Koeman’s tactics left Lukaku isolated but also claimed that the 23-year-old striker would be “impossible” to replace.
“I was disappointed with Everton today,” Neville said. “With the confidence that they’ve got, you thought they would’ve gone for it. Koeman went too defensive and isolated Lukaku.
“Lukaku would get £40 or £50million if they decided to sell him, but I think it would be impossible to replace him. It would be a major dent in their side if he did leave.”
Everton’s number 10 gave his side hope with his 19th goal of the season in the 81st minute, after England international Kane had put Tottenham 2-0 up.
Receiving a through ball from Kevin Mirallas, Lukaku rolled defender Eric Dier before calmly slotting past Hugo Lloris with a well-taken effort.
However, the former Chelsea and West Brom striker’s goal was not enough to salvage anything from the match for Koeman’s side.
Alli restored his side’s two-goal cushion, and although Valencia managed to find the net in the dying moments of the match at White Hart Lane, Spurs held on to secure three points.
Everton are now five points behind the top six with Man United also possessing a game in hand over the Toffees, after losing just their seventh league game of the season in north London.
In other Everton news, Stan Collymore has delivered this verdict on the Merseyside outfit’s tactics.