Spyin' Kop: Everton, Them and Us

Posted by Rushian on December 10, 2004, 07:25:37 PM

In the run up to the 200th Merseyside Derby we take a trip across a virtual Stanley Park to visit our good friends at Toffeeweb to gauge their views on their team and the issues affecting both clubs at present ...

RAWK: How is the season shaping up for the Blues?

Ger: Better than anybody could have hoped for. David Moyes has performed a minor, make that a major miracle. Long may it continue
JP: Do you really need an answer? (great by the way)
Garrincha: Ludicrously well on the pitch. Business as usual (shite) off it.
The Squire of Beckenham: Much, much better than we could ever have imagined... reaching the dizzy heights of third, averaging two points a game, being safe by Christmas, having the best young manager in the Premiership and a dynamic, passionate, caring chairman who's going to bring in endless amounts of investment... what could possibly go wrong?
BillyBullens: Beyond our wildest dreams
Trev: I really feared we'd struggle, so I'm feeling on a high that no drug could match.
Paul Gregory: It has gone very well so far. I don't think anybody, not even the players or David Moyes thought we'd be going into the December derby match with the opportunity to be three points behind the Premiership leaders.
Outperforming all expectations.
valenciablue: We are third in the league so shaping up nicely I'd say.
AJE: Beyond expectations, but fully deserved
Mike H: Excellent, Still gotta pinch myself when looking at the table
WolvesBlue 2: Much better than expected, a new dawn (again)?

RAWK: What were your expectations for the season? Have they changed from day one?

Ger: A real relegation battle, i would have glady taken 4th from bottom before the first game and certainly after it. Whatever expectations we have for the season will be decided by who we buy in January
JP: A very real threat of relegation. Yes I think they've now changed as we're 2 wins and a draw from safety
Garrincha: No real expectations. Virtually the same team that had a very good season 2 years ago had the worst in my memory last year. The problem is that the pre-Moyes players can't stand him and he has as yet been unable to buy his own team.
The Squire of Beckenham: I thought we'd end the season in 19th place. Now I think we can finish third or fourth. Especially when Mr. Kenwright does us proud and hands Mr. Moyes that enormous tranche of transfer funds he's talked about for so long.
BillyBullens: I believe the premier league isn't the quality league that Sky want us to believe. There are 3 teams that can win it, the rest just jostle for the better placings. Obviously the more money spent, the better position....unless you can unearth a David Moyes.
Trev: Today - I'm increasingly feeling that this "bubble" isn't going to burst.
Paul Gregory: I expected a season of struggle. We sold our only star player and also a good player in Tomasz Radzinski and replaced them with two players contracted to clubs in the division below. I was optimistic that with a couple of signings in January we would be able to end the season just under half way in the league. As I write today I would be disappointed if we didn't finish in the top six such is the start we have made. Moyes has turned us into a well organised unit and hopefully he will be able to integrate some quality players into the set up during the January transfer window.
Bostonian: A struggle - 15th
valenciablue: 13th - relegation zone. Yes my expectations have now changed funnily enough.
AJE: Expected midtable, feared a relegation battle. After the Arsenal game I thought the same. We then went unbeaten for a few (drawing at Old Trafford) and thought we could do the same as two years ago. We looked solid, and able to score deciding goals.
Mike H: Yet another relegation battle: To some extent,I,ll still only relax after the next 9 points are achieved
WolvesBlue 2: Looking for a top 6 finish

RAWK: Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

Ger: Lee Carsley. The fact that we didn't win any of the games that he was suspended for speaks volumes. Thomas Gravesen and Marcus Bent are very important to the way that we play too
JP: Carlsey, Bent, Gravesen
Garrincha:  Marcus Bent this season. Takes so much pressure off the rest of the team.
The Squire of Beckenham: On the pitch; Lee Carsley, Thomas Gravesen and Marcus Bent. They make the 4-1-4-1 system work. Off the pitch; our passionate, dynamic, hard-working chairman, Mr. Kenwright.
BillyBullens: The loss of Carsley saw us lose at Chelsea and I never thought I would say that! But Everton do play as a highly potent unit. I think the loss of Bent would hit us the most.
Trev: Gravesen. Bent has been pivotal to our success this season too. And Carsley. Oh, and Cahill has done great too. And I suppose you can't forget Nigel Martyn. And Dunc's done alright the last couple of games too.
Paul Gregory: At the moment it has to be Thomas Gravesen. I have been a critic of him over the past couple of seasons as he is the type of player who can infuriate you with his inconsistency but so far he has been excellent in his new role. A lot of this is down to the new formation we are playing with another key player - Lee Carsley taking away some of Gravesen's defensive duties. Gravesen has grabbed five goals so far this season.
Bostonian: Marcus Bent.
valenciablue: I would say all the team have played to a higher level than i ever expected they would this season. Its hard to single one player out, but i'd say Lee Carsley.
AJE: Tommy Graveson is pretty instrumental. The Lee Carsley role is very important, and he's doing it well. Also Marcus Bent is doing superb up front on nhis own. If we were without either of those three, the 4-5-1 system wouldn't work. Tim Cahill has been outstanding,and all of the defense are exceeding expectations.
Mike H: Gravesen/Carsley: Although the Stubbs/Weir pairing has been remarkable compared to last season
WolvesBlue 2: Graversen

RAWK: Your worst player(s)?

Ger: No way you say that about any of the players that have played this season
JP: Kevin Campbell
Garrincha: McFadden is getting real grief but I think he will be a great player eventually
The Squire of Beckenham: Absolutely none. Although perhaps our passionate, dynamic chairman Mr. Kenwright could "ringfence" some of the first-tranche money into a fund for a towel and anti-perspirant for Steve Watson. I'm sure there'll be plenty left.
BillyBullens: As yet nobody can claim that title.
Trev: At this moment, no one is playing badly enough to be lumbered with that title.
Paul Gregory: To be honest I don't think we have any really bad players in the side at the moment. Hibbert and Pistone have been excellent after slightly shaky starts, while Stubbs and Weir have been reborn having been written off by many supporters in the summer. It's a team of no stars yet no bad players either. Everybody is pulling together and giving their all at the moment, it would be wrong to single anybody out.
Bostonian: Each has a strength and is playing their part this season but Stubbs lack of pace hinders us. He is not having a bad season mind..
valenciablue: Hmm - James McFadden has not quite made the breakthrough yet. I hope he keeps working hard because he has undoubted talent. Give him time and im sure we will see him coming through.
AJE: Hard to say. Kevin Campbell probably has the least to offer.
Mike H: Although defensively hes been sound, Pistone still puts the fear of God in me at times
WolvesBlue 2: No superstars, but no dogs either.

RAWK: Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

Ger: Hopefully Steven Gerrard's cousin Anthony but there isn't anybody who will be involved on Saturday
JP: Who cares, we'll only flog 'em.
Garrincha: Sorry we can't say or they will be gone. But there are 3 or 4 young lads with a chance.
The Squire of Beckenham: Anthony Gerrard. Better than his brother. Mr. Kenwright said so.
BillyBullens: Never see the kids or reserves, when they're good enough, they see me
Trev: Think you know about Osman (a comtemporary of Owen's, so he's not *that* young). And John Paul Kissock is the coming messiah (but not for another four years).
Paul Gregory: Not really. Leon Osman at 23 is probably the latest addition to our first team line up from the youth set up and despite being a little lightweight and playing out of position on the right of midfield he has proved to be a potential match winner so far.
Bostonian: Bent might surprise those up don't realise he is very
valenciablue: Yes, several.
AJE: Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are both young players and will get even better. Chadwick should get more of a chance too.
Mike H: Havent got a clue
WolvesBlue 2: Kevin Campbell (forward), banging them in for the reserves, out of contract at the end of the season, could be a good Jnauary buy. Otherwise, do your own scouting ;-)

RAWK: The friendly derby - when was the last time this tired cliche applied? Was it ever true?

Ger: When was the last derby? I'm not a local so not really in a position to say
JP: Hmm..dunno.
Garrincha: I remember the Andy King derby. It didnt seem that friendly from where I was when he scored. However the league cup final in 84 was a laugh.
The Squire of Beckenham: Course it's true... why, after every derby in memory, win or lose, we'd all walk down County Road, Blue and Red, arm in arm and sing "YNWA" and "Royal Blue Jersey" together. Mr. Kenwright and Mr. Moores share a joke and a scotch, while Mr. Kenwright pours out tales of backstage merriment and Mr. Moores celebrates his favourite "Spot The Ball" near misses.
BillyBullens: Sorry if it hurts kopite, but the friendly derbies only ever existed when you were doing well. Now your success is well gone, you have become bitter.
Trev: I've been to two - at Anfield. With mates of mine who were all Liverpool fans. So it's certainly true as far as I'm concerned.
Paul Gregory: My first derby was in 1988, and being only young at the time I don't know if I could comment, I just remember an exciting atmosphere and a lot of reds about. I think Wayne Clarke got the winner. Lately I've seen all sorts of trouble after derby games, I think it's definitely a media myth that it is still friendly anyway - maybe to the older generation but there is real hatred among some of the younger supporters.
Bostonian: As my best mate is a red, and i'll be calling him
whatever..it's always been a decent enough game.
valenciablue: I've only been to a handful, but I have always enjoyed the build up and the event. The Milk Cup final was the friendly final I think.
AJE: It is true. I've watched the derby with Liverpool fans. To me, that makes it friendly. On the pitch it's different though.
Mike H: Personally, I dont buy any 'Merseypride' nonsense, Whilst I'll drink with red mates before & after the game, during the 90 minutes its intense hatred
WolvesBlue 2: Wouldn't say that they've been "friendly", just not unfriendly.

RAWK: Your favourite derby memory?

Ger: I was at the derby when McManaman and Grobelaar fought so that will always be special. The derby in 93 when Beardsley scored the winner is another that will always be remembered. The Kanchelseas and Cadamateri derbies were very enjoyable and of course any Duncan Ferguson goal
JP: Last night's dream where we beat you 8-0
Garrincha: The Andy King derby. The first time I went without my dad and we won so that was "my game".
The Squire of Beckenham: Not being hit by any pastrygoods in the Anfield Road end last year. And Mr. Kenwright's tears of joy at the same game, possibly for the same reasons.
BillyBullens: Lineker and Ratcliffe Feb 22nd 1986
Trev: Winning 1-0 at Anfield. Goal scored via a one-two between Jeffers and Campbell. First time I'd seen Everton score "in the flesh".
Paul Gregory: Andrei Kanchelseas scoring twice at Anfield. It was the first time I saw an Everton team win there and it was an amazing feeling, I'd waited all my childhood to finally be able to walk into school with my head held high the day after the derby.
Bostonian: Kanchelseas double at Anfield - I was the only blue in the lower Kemlyn it seemed.
valenciablue: Sharp's goal and the joyous pitch invasion that ensued.
AJE: Cottee's second equaliser in the 4-4, or perhaps Cadamarteri's goal in the 2-0 win at Goodison. Actually, it'll be the 2-0 win in Joe Royle's first game, where Ferguson scroed the first on his debut:
Mike H: Any Blue win (obviously).....Use to enjoy 'taking'the Kop in the eighties
WolvesBlue 2: 1984 charity shield, EFC won the league that day.

RAWK: Groundshare and investment issues dog the two clubs. Are we the Coronation Street and Eastenders of football clubs? Is there any light at the end of the Tragi-Farce Tunnel?

Ger: Hopefully for Everton at least but with with Kenwright in charge you never know what he is going to do next
JP: Who cares - we're third ffs!
Garrincha: I would never, ever share a ground with your lot. The thought makes my flesh crawl. Regarding finances, you have a bigger brand (to use one of the horrible phrases that are killing our game) so you will have more access to money unless/until DM drags the team kicking and screaming towards some trophies.
The Squire of Beckenham: Investment issues at Everton? No way. Our dynamic chairman Mr. Blue Billy Kenwright is about to deliver trillions in investment into the true blue coffers, any day now. He said so and I believe him. And as for a groundshare... he laughs and says "what else would you like to talk about?" He's great. I like to think of us more as the Eldorado of football clubs, actually... glamourous and flashy. Like our passionate, visionary chairman, Mr. Kenwright.
BillyBullens: No dead in the water
Trev: Can't see groundshare ever happening. And I'm happy to say I don't think you guys will ever move to Stanley Park either.
Paul Gregory: The way things stand at the moment, I don't think it's going to happen. I don't think the majority of supporters want it and in any case I don't think Everton can raise the finance.
Bostonian: Peter Robinson was right - we should groundshare.
valenciablue: I'm against groundshare at all costs, but what other alternatives are there at this moment in time?
Mike H: Its typical 'Scouse' mentality to look behind on nostalga ... a shared stadium is the ONLY way forward
WolvesBlue 2: Can either club not afford to do it? To compete financially against Man Utd or Arsenal I cannot see any other way. Sad, but true.

RAWK: What sort of line-up will you put out against us?

Ger: 10 of the 11 that started last week and either Dunc or Leon Osman
JP: Same as we have done all season (the usual 4-5-1)
Garrincha: Hopefully a lot of men in blue shirts who would rather die than experience more of the same embarrassment experienced in the last few years.
The Squire of Beckenham: Martyn; Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Hibbert; Carsley, Kilbane, Gravesen, Cahill, Osman; Bent. (SUBS: Wright, Yobo, Ferguson, Watson, McFadden) Formation - 4-1-4-1. With Blue Billy Kenwright orchestrating the chants from the comfort of the director's box. It's his arthritis you know, plays him up in this weather.
BillyBullens: David Moyes' tried and trusted 4-5-1 with Osman back in for Duncan. But I'm sure the big fella will feature at some point.
Trev: The same lineup we've had for the past five games.
Paul Gregory: I'd expect us to go back to 4-5-1 and try and control the midfield, while trying to get players into the box on the counter attack. We started with Duncan Ferguson up front on Saturday but it wasn't our best first half performance of the season, I'd expect him to be brought off the bench in the second half.
Bostonian: 4-5-1
valenciablue: I think Dunc may go back onto the bench with Osman back in. 4-5-1.
AJE: 4-5-1. Duncan did superb but the key to the Derby will be in midfield. We can't let Gerrard and Alonso get in control. We need bodies in there, and use Duncan as threat off the bench
Mike H: 4-5-1 (Bent up front)......With Ferguson coming on 'in angry mode'
WolvesBlue 2: 4-5-1

RAWK: Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Ger: Steven Gerrard is the only one. Besides him and maybe baros, there is very little between the two sides
JP: Gerrard by a country mile.
Garrincha: Alonso is a great player. Along with Gerrard the real danger. Otherwise you are crapper than us.
The Squire of Beckenham: Steven Gerrard and Xavi Alonso. Am I meant to say Neil "Better Than Rooney" Mellor? OK then, Neil "Better Than Rooney" Mellor, too.
BillyBullens: Steven Gerrard.
Trev: Darren Potter.
Paul Gregory: Stevie Gerrard, without doubt one of the best players I've ever seen in a red shirt. A complete midfielder. He was a couple of years above me in school and you could see he was going to be special even back then.
Bostonian: Milan Baros
valenciablue: Gerrard & Kewell
AJE: Gerrard without a doubt. Without him i'd be 100 times as confident
Mike H: Daft as it sounds....Hypia at set pieces
WolvesBlue 2: Baros

RAWK: And your feelings on the new 'Spanish flavour' Liverpool. Rafa Benitez himself and our new recruits? Simply a change in nationality from the last lot or more fundamental?

Ger: I think almost anybody would have been an improvment on Houllier. Xavi Alonso looks like a quality player. I think benitez is going to need a few years to turn you lot around though
JP: I think you've gone backwards, but have admittedly been unlucky with injuries (whereas we've been *very* fortunate).
Garrincha: Benitez seems to be a lot more sane than Clouseau. I think if he is given the same time and money as him he will do a great job. The players he has got in already seem better than the francophone clowns the last manager spunked your wedge on.
The Squire of Beckenham: I love tapas. Para mi, Pollo con Ajo, Albondigas Toledanas y Patatas Bravas por favor. Muchisimas gracias.
BillyBullens: Haven't saw too much of Liverpool.
Trev: I don't have the irresistable urge to vomit when I hear Benitez like I did when I heard Houllier interviewed. He seems a nice guy. Good luck to him. Thankfully, we don't need to look enviously at you in terms of league standings just now, so I don't really care.
Paul Gregory: Benitez seems to be sticking with what and who he knows. Will this be beneficial long term? We will have to see. Wenger brought in a lot of French players (many unknown in this country beforehand like Anelka and Vieira) and they went on to do really well. Benitez has an excellent track record so it is hard to judge after jsut half a season.
Bostonian: Benitez comes across well, he inherited a club with
problems - Not sure Alonso has enough pace or is thinking
at the Premier league level, gets caught a bit though a
good passer. Should have bought Viduka.
valenciablue: I saw a lot of him here and there is no doubt you have a dedicated and clever coach. I think he will do well given time.
AJE: more fundamental - high potential to do well, but not sure it's suited to a derby!
Mike H: Benitez comes across as a decent chap (spit).....Not sure your Spanish contingent would relish a 'battle' on cold winters nights
WolvesBlue 2: Too early to tell, but you are over reliant on Gerrard.

RAWK: Where do you expect Everton and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

Ger: both in the top 8, I'd have to wait until after January to say anymore than that
JP: 5th and 6th respectively
Garrincha: Us Anywhere from 3-10th. You the same. Our season will depend on whether we can strengthen the squad in January, yours will depend on whether Alonso and Gerrard stay fit.
The Squire of Beckenham: Everton 3rd, Liverpool 4th. Blue Billy will be our hero. We'll have a statue of him on the corner of Goodison Road and Gwladys Street.
BillyBullens: Both between somewhere between 10th and 4th
Trev: Everton: 4th. Liverpool: 6th.
Paul Gregory: I'd expect both sides to be in the top six this season. Liverpool have to be more consistent if they want a Champions League spot. I'd expect Newcastle to step up a gear after Christmas.
Bostonian: Us - 5th, You - 6th.
valenciablue: EFC 6th LFC 5th
AJE: Liverpool 5th Everton 6th
Mike H: Everton 6th/Liverpool 5th
WolvesBlue 2: Everton 4th Liverpool 6th

RAWK: And a quick score prediction?

Ger: As well as things are going I never think that we will win a derby so I will say 1-1
JP: 1-1
Garrincha: 3-3
The Squire of Beckenham: With dynamic, passionate, caring Blue Billy Kenwright walking out onto the pitch before the start of the game, clutching a huge cheque from the Fortress Sports Fund and waving it at the fans saying "I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!!", there can only be one winner... and that's football.
BillyBullens: Everton 0 Liverpool 0
Trev: The day that has long been promised will finally arrive and we give you guys a proper tonking ... 3-0 to us.
Paul Gregory: Who knows? It's the most unusual situation going into a derby for years. I'll go 1-1 because our derby record has been poor in the last few years.
Bostonian: 2-1 Everton. (Bent, Ferguson and Baros)
valenciablue: 0-0
AJE: 0-0
Mike H: 0-0 (I'll take a draw beforehand in any Derby)
WolvesBlue 2: Everton 2 Liverpool 1

Thanks once again to all those at Toffeeweb for their answers this week.

© Rushian 2004

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