Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Tottenham's defense deserve plenty of plaudits for their collective against Everton. Less likely to receive any will be the North London club's attack.
It was not a bad performance. In the first half especially, a goal looked an inevitability at times.
Aaron Lennon picked out Roberto Soldado for a header he glanced wide. Sandro and Andros Townsend tested Tim Howard, while Vertonghen caused Everton a number of problems as he surged forward down the left.
Spurs collectively worked hard to close down the home side's back four and did well in stopping Roberto Martinez's side from passing their way out as designed.
As has often been the case this season, the pressure was not converted into the clear-cut chances it deserved, and the tide of the game turned. Right now, the exact solution to change this is not forthcoming.
Lewis Holtby's eagerness in attacking midfield is welcome. But with the threat of a killer pass only menacing opposition defenses occasionally, it is not enough to necessarily warrant him continuing in the role regularly. Christian Eriksen is capable of being so deadly, but since his first few games, he has rarely been in position to set up the lethal blows.
Lennon does not yet look back to peak condition, but he worked himself enough openings around Coleman to cross that a return to the right wing deserves investigation. Switching Townsend to the left might open aspects of his game that have been a little too hidden behind his preference for cutting inside and shooting.
At the heart of all of this is a lack of service for Soldado—to a certain extent at least.
Besides the aforementioned header, the striker did have a couple of other shooting opportunities he failed to get on target. You have to make the most of them at the highest level, but the fact remains that the penalty-box chances where he excels have been a rarity.
All Villas-Boas can do is keep on trying things. Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Emmanuel Adebayor would certainly argue their case for more (or in the latter's case, any) involvement.
The quality is there that it should all click at some stage. In the meantime, Spurs' struggle to score remains their most glaring weakness.