Michael Keane says Everton “put down a marker” for the season with their accomplished victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Defender Keane, beginning his fourth campaign with the Club, was integral to Everton’s clean sheet effort in the capital.
Besides fellow centre-back Yerry Mina and protected by new midfielder Allan – a “defender’s dream, in Keane’s view – the England player snuffed out the threat of international colleague Harry Kane.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header 10 minutes after half-time banked Everton’s first success at Spurs for close to 12 years and ensured a flying start to the new Premier League season.
Keane’s delight over the result was matched by his enthusiasm for the measured nature of Everton’s display, with Allan and fellow debutants James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure influential.
“It was a huge performance, first and foremost,” Keane told evertontv.
“We fully deserved the three points.
“Since I’ve been at the Club, we’ve not gone to a top-six team (those primarily occupying the top-six positions in the past decade) and got a win. We were desperate to do it.
“The first game of the season we wanted to put down a marker and I think we’ve done that.
“We felt really confident, the new players coming in increases belief.
“The new lads were outstanding, they settled in straight away.
“We controlled the game and kept the ball well.
"When Spurs had the ball we were disciplined, we won it back well.
“They had one chance in the first half but apart from that they didn’t have anything.
“We defended really well and that gave us a good base to build on.”
The efficient Keane maintained his sound form from the back end of last season.
Fresh from signing a new five-year deal with the Club, he completed eight headed clearances – three more than any other Premier League player over the weekend – as Everton shackled Tottenham’s quartet of international attackers.
Brazil international Allan lent a significant hand to the task of subduing Kane – who Keane has viewed at close quarters on England duty this month – Dele Alli, Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura.
Everton’s acquisition from Napoli was positioned in front of his side’s backline, winning four tackles and recovering possession eight times in a forceful contribution which pointed to a player made for the cut and thrust of Premier League football.
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“He is a defender’s dream,” confirmed Keane, who joined Everton from Burnley in summer 2017.
“He is always there on the striker’s toes, winning the ball back.
“He does a lot of running, puts in a lot of tackles.
“It is great to have him there.
“He was class, as were all the other lads, including those who came on.
“You could see the quality of the new players from day one [in training].
“James has that brilliance about him.
"Allan and Doucoure are different kinds of players but both were unbelievable for us against Tottenham.
“We put in a real shift.
“It was a brilliant start but that is all it is, we need to carry it on.”
On Everton’s success in shuttling the deadly Kane to the margins, Keane added: “Everyone knows how lethal Harry is.
“I saw it all last week in training, his finishing is a joke.
“It was important we stopped the ball getting into him and we did that well.
“The ball he had was limited, especially in dangerous areas, so credit to the lads for that.”