Substitutions when used right in the game of football, can produce a world of difference in a very short time. When the manager decides to send on a player from the bench in a crucial stage of the game, it exemplifies trust in the player’s ability to change the game in their favour.
Jose Mourinho would have wanted something similar from Harry Winks in Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but it was not to be as the Englishman’s cameo was ineffective – and ended in a losing cause as Spurs crashed out of the Cup.
The scoreboard at Goodison Park read 4-4 at full time when the referee blew for additional extra time to separate the two Premier League heavyweights.
Davinson Sanchez sent the North London outfit ahead, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin dragged Everton level. Richarlison made it 2-1 for the Merseyside club, who went further ahead with a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty kick.
Erik Lamela scored for Spurs right before half time, to send his team right back into the game. It was the centre-back Sanchez who scored his second of the night to equalize for Spurs before Richarlison sent Everton into the lead once again. Harry Kane scored to equalize for Spurs and make it 4-4, as the teams needed thirty minutes of added extra time to separate them.
Mourinho sent Winks on for the Englishman to provide his presence in central midfield for the rest of the game, but the Portuguese might have gone on to regret his decision later as Winks put on a largely disastrous performance in his thirty minute-long cameo.
Winks came on for Tanguy Ndombele in a straight swap in midfield, but he was easily dealt with by Everton – his woeful statistics from the game consists of 23 total touches, 10 accurate passes and one accurate cross. Numbers do not quite do the disaster class justice – Winks’ first touch was all over the place, and he was out-muscled by the opposition throughout the time that he was on the pitch.
The Spurs academy graduate did not win a single duel in his extra time cameo, losing all four times he attempted to take an opponent on. Most of his passes found its way to the opposition, and he also picked up a yellow card to cap the night off.
A compilation of Winks’ much-criticized performance has been doing the rounds on social media platforms, with the video maker terming it as the ‘worst thirty-minute cameo of all time.’
Might be the worst 30 min cameo of all time pic.twitter.com/zpZlUetjZg— E❄️ (@thfcesv2) February 11, 2021
Everton eventually went ahead in the 97th minute, when fellow substitute Bernard was assisted by Sigurdsson as he netted the decisive strike for the Toffees. Carlo Ancelotti’s side won the game 5-4 to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition, while Mourinho was left to rue upon what could have been if it was his substitution that made the difference instead of his counterpart’s.