FA Cup quarter-final draw – Leicester to face Chelsea, Man Utd draw Brighton

Tottenham outclass uninspired Everton as Harry Kane reaches new milestone

While Cenk Tosun offered flashes of promise on his Everton debut, in the end he was powerless to stop himself from becoming the latest striker to be left in the shade by Harry Kane. Tosun’s muscular cameo was an isolated bright spot for Sam Allardyce, who was shocked by his team’s miserable capitulation in the second half, but a resigned chuckle was the best Everton’s manager could muster after being asked about Kane’s poaching masterclass. “He’s very good,” Allardyce said.

That was an understatement. Kane ended 2017 with the numbers to show he is the most potent attacker in Europe and he shattered another statistic in this thumping victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, scoring twice to break Teddy Sheringham’s record of 97 Premier League goals for Tottenham.

Kane has a long way to go to surpass Jimmy Greaves as the club’s all-time leading scorer with 266 goals but worryingly for opposition defences, he has no intention of slowing down after becoming the first player in the top division to reach 20 goals this season. “It’s something I’m very proud of but it’s on to the next one,” he said. “We’ve got to keep going.”

That killer mentality explains why the 24-year-old has succeeded in transforming himself into one of the world’s elite players and Pochettino was effusive in his praise when he was asked if Kane can break Andy Cole and Alan Shearer’s joint record of 34 goals in a single Premier League season. “It is a lot of numbers,” Tottenham’s manager said. “He can do everything. He has the potential to achieve what he wants. He is always thinking and trying to improve.”

Kane was not without assistance in a romp that moved Tottenham closer to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in the fight to qualify for the Champions League. Son Heung-min also sparkled, creating Kane’s first with an electric burst two minutes after half-time, and the South Korean’s opener in the first half was also a significant moment, allowing him to emulate Jermain Defoe by becoming the second Tottenham player to score in five consecutive home games in the Premier League.

The indignities for Everton piled high. Allardyce accepted some culpability for his part in this chastening defeat, admitting he picked too many offensive players, but he was more troubled by his team’s collapse after a sprightly offering in the first half.

“The gulf was massive,” Allardyce said. “It was a shock. I saw some of the good sides last week against Liverpool and I saw some of the worst sides today. It was worrying how our performance became so bad in such a short space of time. I didn’t expect to see it and I have to address it as quickly as possible.”

Everton could not be accused of a lack of ambition during the early stages. Failing to react after selling Romelu Lukaku last summer has been a major factor in their muddled campaign but the arrival of Tosun from Besiktas has infused them with fresh hope. The £25m forward was prolific for his former club and Everton could take encouragement from his speed and movement, which troubled Davinson Sánchez at times. “With better service hopefully he’ll do what he did for Besiktas,” Allardyce said.

Tosun created an early chance for Wayne Rooney after holding the ball up well and his near-post flick from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner almost led to Everton taking a shock lead. However, Rooney was just offside as he headed past Hugo Lloris from close range and that scare stung Tottenham into action.

Everton were too open down their left side, with Sigurdsson struggling to track Serge Aurier’s raids, and Christian Eriksen took note of that weakness, finding the buccaneering right-back with a superb, raking pass. Aurier’s delivery can be patchy but here he drove a low centre into the middle, enabling Son to take advantage of poor marking by tapping past Jordan Pickford.

“We have talked about Son’s performances for four months,” Pochettino said. “He is more mature than last season.” In the 47th minute Son demonstrated his dribbling ability by twirling away from Jonjoe Kenny, rendering the inexperienced right-back an irrelevance as the move unfolded. Mason Holgate was unable to stop him from fizzing the ball into the middle, where Kane was waiting.

Allardyce felt that Kane was offside but Everton were brutally exposed. Out of the FA Cup and winless in the league since 18 December, their season is drifting aimlessly towards an unsatisfactory conclusion, and Kane had already scored his second – guiding home Eric Dier’s low centre – by the time Tosun made way for Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 62nd minute.

Rooney’s late booking for an ugly chop on Jan Vertonghen encapsulated Everton’s frustration and Tottenham finished with a stunning fourth goal, Dele Alli’s lovely backheel teeing up Eriksen for an emphatic shot past Pickford. “Maybe I’ll go back to being a bit more boring,” Allardyce said. Tottenham have no such worries.

José Mourinho turns on Paul Scholes after Paul Pogba shines at Everton

José Mourinho vented his anger on Paul Scholes in the wake of Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Everton, accusing the club’s former midfielder of being jealous of Paul Pogba’s wealth and of failing as a pundit.

United produced a dominant second-half display at Goodison Park to record their first victory in five matches thanks to superb goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. The visitors were inspired by Pogba, who was heavily criticised by Scholes following Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Southampton, and Mourinho took the opportunity to return fire. He claimed several former United players turned pundits were driven in their criticism by an unfulfilled desire to have a job back at Old Trafford. And he reserved his fiercest condemnation for Scholes.

“Maybe I will be lucky this time and the kings of rock and roll who said I was under-performing last match will now say I’m performing,” the United manager said.

Turning specifically to Scholes’ criticism of Pogba, Mourinho added: “I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is criticise. I don’t think he comments, I think he criticises, which is a different thing. Not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player. That does not mean we all have to be phenomenal.

“Paul [Pogba] tries to do his best all the time. Sometimes he plays very well, sometimes he plays well, sometimes he doesn’t play so well. It’s not Paul’s fault that he has made much more money than Paul Scholes. It’s not Paul Scholes’ fault either, it’s just the way football is. I think Scholes will be in history as a phenomenal player, not as a pundit. I prefer to look at him as a phenomenal player that gave so much to the club that I am proud to represent.

“If Paul one day decides to be a manager, I wish that he can be 25% as successful as myself. 50% of that is 12.5 silverware, 25% is around 6. If he’s 25%, he’ll be quite happy. In my mind Paul Scholes is a phenomenal player, one of the best I’ve ever seen playing in midfield. He gave so much to my club that I can only thank him for that. The prestige of this club is based on people like him.”

Mourinho also suggested that several former United players have an agenda against his team as they long for a return to the club, something he is not prepared to accommodate. “I think they would love to be here,” he said of the many former United players in the media. “They would love to be at the club and that’s a problem I cannot resolve.”

Mark Hughes storms out of press conference after Stoke lose to Newcastle

Mark Hughes maintained he is the “best person” for the job at Stoke City despite renewed calls from supporters for him to be sacked in the wake of a fifth defeat in seven matches. The Stoke manager brought himself under added pressure by fielding a weakened team for the 5-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday and that gamble failed to pay off as his side lost 1-0 at home against Newcastle.

Although Hughes insisted he had no regrets about his team selection at Chelsea and claimed he “would still make the same decision given the same circumstances again”, the Welshman lost his cool when pressed on that subject after Newcastle’s win and stormed out of his post-match press conference.

Hughes, who brought six players back into the Stoke side for Newcastle’s visit, said: “Everyone’s saying that I gambled but I used the players that I had. What was I going to do, risk players that had a big part to play today? Plenty of teams have made changes today, everyone else is doing it too.

“People have mentioned that I played two young full-backs [at Stamford Bridge] – that’s all we had, that’s the reality. The plan was clearly if we could have stayed in the game a bit longer at Chelsea, maybe until half-time, then if we were in striking distance, get some more senior players and ‘let’s have a go’. As it was, the game was over after 30 minutes, so I made the decision to protect them for this game. If I had won today it would have been great management. As it happens, it’s gone against me. I’m brave enough to take it on the chin.”

As well as chants of “Hughes out” towards the end of the Newcastle game some Stoke supporters held up banners calling for the manager to be sacked. “It’s to be expected,” said Hughes. “I think for the last two or three weeks the agenda in the media and on lots of platforms, on social media, that’s what was going to happen. The noise only goes away if you win.”

Stoke are only two points and two places above the relegation zone, yet Hughes was bullish about his own position. “Who else is going to do it?” he replied, when asked about his future. “In terms of the knowledge of the group and the progress in my time here I’m the best person to do it.”

Arsenal’s link with young homeless gets results on and off the pitch

It’s apparent, very quickly, that I have made a calamitous footwear error. Standing on the edges of an artificial-turf indoor football pitch at Arsenal’s stadium complex in north London, I vainly attempt to kick a ball at the assembled huddle of Centrepoint residents, all wearing sensible kit and studded boots, while I’ve plumped for knee-high suede boots. The ball veers away wildly and one of the 24 young people jogs to retrieve it.

The group are here, a few days before Christmas, for their final session of a scheme that melds employability and confidence training with sport and exercise. Once a week, for two months, the young women and men come to Arsenal in the kit provided, spending half the session in a small room, discussing interview techniques, tactics for searching for work, application skills, and building confidence. Craig, one of three trainers working with the group, says: “You can look at a benchpress and say I’m going to lift 200kg, but you’ve got to start somewhere.” Confidence is particularly important: many Centrepoint residents have been through traumatic periods, often repeatedly, and treated with disdain and even violence. Even if their personal circumstances weren’t already confidence destroying, the stigma around homelessness is endemic and can become self-defeating.

Mixing jobs talk with football helps with this: as well the health benefits, even the most shy members of the group open up and shout suggestions in the complex team games on the pitch. Without teamwork and talking together their action plans to win can never be realised: being confident enough to talk to strangers is difficult for lots of young homeless people – and a job interview is precisely that, with particularly high stakes.

Talisha became homeless after a breakdown in the relationship with her mother. After six months of sleeping on friends’ sofas, she found Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity and a beneficiary of the 2017 Guardian and Observer charity appeal. After completing the Arsenal training course earlier in the year, she represented England at the Homeless World Cup in Oslo. “Last year I was sheepish, but it brought me out of my shell. Now I talk to anyone,” she says, taking a break from training. “I learn new things off them, they learn new things off me.” All participants point out one of the main things is how much people share about their experiences, and how this bolsters their confidence when speaking to new people. Craig explains that for those who go on to compete in the international competitions, there’s often a lot of press attention, which can be overwhelming – they use the opportunity to do workshops on resilience, to help them consider what they can learn from such situations, and how they can use new skills to overcome problems in later life.

While the course may only be eight weeks, the work between Centrepoint and Arsenal continues. All of those attending are looking for work, and Arsenal’s links with the local economy are huge: if people want to work in retailing, catering, event planning or anything around the stadium, the trainers know where to point them. But they’re realistic: when someone inevitably suggests they’d like to coach a Premier League team, the coaches point out there are very few coaching jobs in the country at all, and those that do exist are both unbelievably competitive, and take years of work to attain. Several want to look for jobs in security, and the football club and Centrepoint have the contacts and resources to ensure they can get the accredited badge for such work.

But, as Craig tells the group, “if you try something and don’t like it, we won’t force you to continue down that route. That’s not going to help you.” One of the women tells me she secured a few paid trial shifts in a shop, then realised she was completely unsuited to retailing. She is now looking into youth work as a possible career path, something she hadn’t considered before coming to Arsenal and observing how the trainers helped people, but also clearly enjoyed their jobs deeply.

Aidan became homeless at 20, fleeing a forced marriage. She came to Centrepoint after sofa-surfing for five months. “All the workshops have a theme: teamwork, responsibility, communication. But meeting new people is a big thing, becoming more confident. I want to go into film now,” she tells me. She is currently at college completing an animation and film-making course.

Savannah says: “My big fear at the beginning was that there were loads of boys. But I just got on with it, and worked to overcome my shyness. I usually avoid big groups, but it’s made me more confident.”

Charlie was reluctant to join the scheme at first: “The first fear for me was that I was told it was mandatory to wear an Arsenal top.” As an ardent Spurs fan, he’s overcome that barrier by wearing the rival team’s socks for the training session. “We work on team-work, communication skills, and I was pretty confident before but it definitely does improve your confidence, and it’s different. I’m talking about coaching and other work with youth groups now. I know the ins and outs of gangs, so I can use that knowledge for good.” Charlie clearly admires the coaches working with Centrepoint and Arsenal and wants to return the favour: throughout the team games, he encourages and chats to a woman who doesn’t seem keen to participate, but is fully involved by the end, with his gentle prodding.

On completion of the course, each member is individually applauded as they collect their certificate, and an A4-size portrait of themselves taken by the official Arsenal team photographer. The photos are transformative, atmospheric and really make the men and women look fantastic. Most people pretend not to be bowled over, but furtively gaze at them in awe when they think eyes are elsewhere.

But there’s one more perk: a tour of the stadium. Through the directors’ box, the changing rooms, the players’ entrance and the stands, they ask questions and take selfies and videos of themselves next to statues and team shirts. The laughter and enthusiasm is infectious: the scheme may have ended now, but they seem far happier, and have enjoyed being welcomed into places that would normally be closed to them.

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That Rhian Brewster issued a wake-up call is both worrying and inspiring | Daniel Taylor

It isn’t easy knowing whether the people occupying football’s ivory towers have actually noted what Rhian Brewster has had to say in the past few days. Unless I have missed it, the executives at Uefa and Fifa have not uttered a word in response and, frankly, that is no surprise whatsoever. Anyone calling Uefa since 22 December would get a cheery answerphone message saying its offices are closed and the lights are out until 4 January. Fifa, meanwhile, is on its own extended Christmas break. “Hope you are not in a hurry,” one of its press aides told me.

It can wait if the president of either organisation is willing to be interviewed about a system that feels so inadequate it has been left to a boy of 17 to try to jolt the relevant people into action. Even better, perhaps, if Aleksander Ceferin, Gianni Infantino or any of their colleagues want to contact Brewster the old-fashioned way and hear for themselves why someone of his age has felt compelled to speak out.

Somehow, though, I doubt it and it is difficult to have too much faith bearing in mind what we already know about these organisations and the impression sometimes that the only colour they really care about is that of a £50 banknote.

Brewster did not sound overly optimistic either when he chronicled, in uncensored form, the seven different incidents, including five in the past seven months and one in the Under-17 World Cup final, when he says he has been racially abused or heard a team‑mate suffering the same.

He would like to think the voice of a 17-year-old might be heard and, though he is absolutely not alone, with his club, family and Kick it Out all behind him, let’s hope the Football Association is not merely playing to the gallery and intends to stick by its promise to “push for appropriate responses from the relevant authorities”.

Brewster is still at an age when, for most of us, the biggest worry in life is mastering the three-point turn. It is not fair to expect him to take on the authorities single-handedly, nor was that ever his intention, and this is the ideal time, surely, for the FA to start making amends, if possible, for the pig’s ear it made of the Eni Aluko affair.

Anything else would be a missed opportunity because, as Jürgen Klopp points out, it should be a wake-up call for the entire sport if it has reached the point where one of Liverpool’s academy boys – a child of the 21st century, no less, born in the year that Steven Gerrard made his England debut – is willing to take the lead, before he has made his professional debut, and without any real experience of the industry’s politics.

It is not an exact science, admittedly, but certainly in the era of social media it is rare to see an interview with any footballer, even one of the category-A superstars, go viral so quickly.

Going forward, I get the impression Brewster wants to be thought of as a prolific scorer of goals rather than someone who decided that, no, he wasn’t going to stay quiet any longer. For the time being, however, it has clearly struck a nerve that someone his age has had the force of personality to take a stand and say enough’s enough – and, for that alone, he deserves all the praise that is coming his way.

Is it too much to hope that Uefa, in particular, might recognise there are some questions to answer here? Brewster has done his bit now and it is no good Uefa pointing out there are 10‑game bans in place for any player found guilty of racial abuse if it is also clear the same organisation has no apparent desire to gather in the necessary evidence.

Liverpool’s complaint against the Sevilla player who allegedly called Brewster a “nigger” in a Uefa Youth League tie in September is a case in point. Sevilla denied the allegation and that, for Uefa, was that – case closed.

There were no follow-up interviews with Brewster, his team-mates or anyone else from Liverpool and nobody, as far as the club understands, went back to the match officials to investigate further. The case has been quietly filed away and nobody should be too surprised, when that is the recurring theme of this story, that Brewster has concluded it was little more than a box-ticking exercise. Or that he feels so worn down by the system his initial reaction after the latest incident, involving a Spartak Moscow player and more alleged use of the N-word, was that there was no point even submitting a complaint. Liverpool did so anyway, and Uefa has not even given them a date for the hearing.

It certainly isn’t easy having a great deal of faith in Uefa when its punishments for racist chanting and banners are so notoriously frail and a club could be fined more for turning up a few seconds late for kick-off than, say, if there was a swastika in the crowd.

Equally, it is too simplistic sometimes to heap all the blame on Uefa when the culpability starts with the relevant clubs and national federations, many of whom frequently give the impression these are matters that rank somewhere near the bottom of their priorities.

When I sat opposite Brewster, encountering a polite, resilient boy who would much rather be making headlines in happier circumstances, he was accompanied by Alex Inglethorpe, Liverpool’s academy director, and the older man cut to the heart of the matter. “It doesn’t seem that when you play in France, Belgium, Switzerland and various other countries there’s a problem. It just seems that some countries are further behind in their thinking. There are certain countries where you always know ‘this could be a tricky one’.”

Russia, inevitably, is one and, though it would be wrong to grade the different incidents, it did feel particularly dismal to hear about the occasion, in 2012, when Brewster was part of Chelsea’s junior system and subjected to monkey chants in an under-13 tournament hosted by the country that will stage the World Cup next summer. He was 12 at the time and how does a boy of that age prepare for the excruciating moment when it suddenly becomes clear that loud, visceral ooh-oohing is intended for him?

Five years on, it might not come as a surprise that when Brewster heard the same again, directed at his team-mate Bobby Adekanye, he was back in Russia, playing for Liverpool against Spartak Moscow in the Uefa Youth League. There is a pattern here. Another incident, he says, involved a Ukraine player in the European Under‑17 Championship and another, aged 15, in a club tournament in the Czech Republic.

Yet it is incorrect to see this merely as a problem for eastern Europe. Two of the incidents Brewster cited involved Spanish players. There are plenty of other countries where it is still very much a recurring theme and it would be arrogant in the extreme to think English football is in any place to lecture when we have just had the Raheem Sterling case, with a Manchester United supporter starting a four-month prison sentence, and the FA executives who ended up in front of a parliamentary hearing because of the Aluko farce are all, ludicrously, still in their jobs.

Kick It Out received more reports of abuse in 2016-17 than any previous season in which data has been collected. The numbers are on the up and it is hardly surprising when, to quote Herman Ouseley, the organisation’s chairman, we live in a time when there are “wider elements of society driving hate”. It all feels, to put it bluntly, pretty bleak and no coincidence at all.

Yet, strangely, there was something rather uplifting about being in the presence of one of the rising young stars of English football, switching on a tape and hearing from a player who did not want to talk in evasive cliches and felt that, in his own small way, he might be able to make a difference.

In the past few days there have been all sorts of suggestions that Brewster should take a knee the next time he is required to stand behind one of Uefa’s banners or that, if an opponent racially abuses him again, he and his team‑mates would be entitled to walk off in protest. That is for them to decide whereas, for now, all that can be said for certain is that Brewster has shown what can be achieved with dignity, restraint and intelligence and I just hope, should he ever be targeted again, that all that pent-up anger and hurt is containable.

We had this conversation with Inglethorpe and, when Brewster talked about how close he came to seeking physical retribution after the latest occasion, involving the Spartak Moscow player, there was something very impressive about the way Liverpool’s academy director spoke to him from a position of having more life experience. “Two wrongs won’t make a right,” Inglethorpe told him. “It weakens your case. Emotions are high, testosterone is high, but keep calm.

“It’s really hard to trust in a process when you have no faith in it,” he added. “But you’ve got to keep your cool because your voice loses something otherwise and it diminishes your cause. I trust you.”

It was sound advice and it was clear Brewster has a strong network around him, going all the way to the top of the club bearing in mind the supportive calls he has received from Mike Gordon, the co-owner. Liverpool, very understandably, are proud of what their player has done. “It makes you search within yourself a bit,” Inglethorpe told me. “If I was 17 and faced with the same dilemma I would love to think I had the same kind of courage and fortitude. I’m not sure I would have done but I would love to think so because it’s incredibly brave and, more importantly, it’s the right thing. It seems to me like he’s trying to create some change. And to do that, at 17, it’s tough.”