Spyin' Kop: The Merseyside Derby

Posted by Rushian on March 20, 2005, 02:15:22 PM

Ahead of the crunch match with Everton at Anfield we've once again popped over to see our friends at Toffeeweb and ask their views on the Merseyside Derby.

How is the season shaping up for Everton?
Col: stupidly well
Mike H: Very nicely, thank you.....
jamie: Much better than expected. Looking at our team, it's a miracle how well we've done. Either that or the rest of the Premier League really is shite.
The Squire of Beckenham: Pretty well, thanks. Did you know that apparently 4th place gets you Champions League football next season? Unless someone bribes the FA to let them in instead?
Steve K: Nail biting, I was expecting mid table mediocrity safe from relegation and now this, Champions League still in our sights, I just want it to be over!
Daveyg: On-field - unbelievably well. Off-field - same old appalling mismanagement, bickering and lies to the fans from a desperate, desperate man.
Lancs Blue: I was expecting the worst but have to say that in 35 years of watching the blues I honestly cannot think of a team that has played with more heart. We know our limitations but play to our strengths.

Eight months into the season, who do you think has been your most important player(s)?

Col: Carsley, Martyn, Stubbs, Bent
Mike H: Martyn, Gravesen (before he left), Carsley, Cahill
jamie: Marcus Bent
The Squire of Beckenham: Marcus Bent, without a shadow of doubt. Without him we might only be clinging on to 4th by our fingertips.
Steve K: Bent - best value purchase in the Prem, and strangely Ferguson for his late on (and only his late on) impact.
Daveyg: The whole team has been important - that has been the reason for our success, but Martyn, Bent and Cahill deserve honourable mentions.
Lancs Blue: Marcus Bent - for £400k if there has ever been a better value for money signing I would like to know.

And your worst player(s)?

Col: They have all done really well, but Naysmith isn't really up to it and Kilbane has been a little disappointing given how good he was last season. McFadden isnt quite there either.
Mike H: Kilbane
jamie: I still haven't forgiven Ferguson for his Charlton dismissal, but otherwise, they've all done pretty well. Kilbane has been a slight disappointment compared to last year.
The Squire of Beckenham: Oooh, Jesus... without wanting to single anyone out... I dunno. I'm not convinced about Beg Tets, like. Still, we were 4th when we bought him.
Steve K: None really, though I dont think Hibbert has been as impressive as he was before his injury last season.
Daveyg: McFadden and Wright just aren't consistent enough for the Premiership.
Lancs Blue: Richard Wright. Once a keeper has lost his bottle it VERY rarely comes back.

Does the derby atmosphere differ much at Anfield compared to Goodison?

Col: not been to one at Anfield.
Mike H: Not really
jamie: Years since I've been to Anfield
The Squire of Beckenham: Yes, at Goodison you are less likely to have Scandinavians dropping pastry goods on your head. Still, I suppose you must expect that kind of thing when you're in 4th.
Daveyg: Have never set foot in Anfield and probably (hopefully!) never will. Atmosphere at Goodison is always fantastic though.
Lancs Blue: I still think that the game means more to us as a higher % of our support is local and has to go to work on Monday.

Have you spent that FSF investment money yet?

Col: what money? We've spent most of the Rooney cash but the FSF is just bullshit spouted out to keep Kenwright in his position.
Mike H: Ask Bill Kenwright
jamie: What money?
The Squire of Beckenham: Ten times over. Just look of the quality and depth of that squad? Still, we're 4th so you can't complain.
Daveyg: It doesn't exist (a bit like the money that your lot have got "ringfenced" to build your new stadium!) and was the invention of a chairman who is absolutely desperate to hold on to whatever power he can for as long as possible and by whatever means possible.
Lancs Blue: What FSF money? It's all lies, lies I tell you.

Is it true Anthony Gerrard is off to Chelsea in the summer? Any other decent young players that have started to emerge and filled Bill Kenwright's eyes with dollar signs?

Col: Haha - we have quite a few promising kids aged 14/15/16. Griesk Gund is a name to watch out for
Mike H: None spring to mind
jamie: Someone said on here months ago that there's a couple of kids (Pepper, Gund) who are as good as Rooney was at their age. Hard to believe.
The Squire of Beckenham: No, that's his more illustrious cousin. He wouldn't be off if you were in 4th. As for Luvvie's Wet Dream, that's Leon Osman.
Daveyg: I think you have all resigned yourself to the fact that Steven Gerrard will go this summer. I was actually quite pleased when he decided to stay last year, as we were going through a similar thing with Rooney at the time and it gave me hope for the game in general, however, given your form this year and how far ahead of the other Liverpool players he is, I doubt anyone could blame him for being ambitious and wanting to win things.
Lancs Blue: If he continues his progress this year (after a really poor 03/04) then Hibbert will be pushing for an England place.

Do you have a particular memory (good or bad) of any previous meeting between us?

Col: The 4-4 and the subsequent replay stick out. The cup finals have been blocked out of memory.
Mike H: Kevin Ratcliffe's 40 yard daisy cutter slipping under Bruce Grobbelaar
jamie: Standing on the Kop in 1986 when Lineker scored our second, dancing around and foolishly thinking we'd won the League.
The Squire of Beckenham: Yeah, Lee Carsley curling the ball past a stranded Kirkland at Goodison. Were we 4th then, or 3rd?
Steve K: The 0-0s in the late 70s. Grim football, good when they were over and the 2-3 defeat when we came back from 3-0 at half time.
Daveyg: Good - Duncan Ferguson turning on the edge of the box and scoring past David James. Bad - Gary McAllister cheating by moving the ball forward 10 yards. Graham Poll cheating by telling a bare-faced lie about the final whistle that wasn't a final whistle.
Lancs Blue: Good - Sharpe with that goal at Anfield. Bad - FA Cup semi 1977, Clive Thomas at Maine Road. I still think that we were robbed that day by a corrupt official.

What sort of line-up will Moyes put out against us?

Col: The usual, we only have about 17 players so it isn't hard to predict the match day squad. Beattie and Duncan on the bench to both come on late to finish you off
Mike H: His usual 4-5-1
jamie: Same as he always does. 451 with Bent up front. Beattie on the bench.
The Squire of Beckenham: The usual; Martyn, Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Hibbert, Carsley, Kilbane, Arteta, Osman, Cahill, Bent. More or less the same line up that guided us to 4th.
Steve K: The usual. It's a typical away game for us, what will Rafa do though?
Daveyg: Our squad is paper-thin so it's not hard to predict, but I hope he sticks with 4-1-4-1 with Bent up front, rather than Beattie in a 4-4-2.
Lancs Blue: A cheap but hard working 4-5-1. No JB starting.

We normally ask if you have a favourite/best chant(s). Do you have any chants or does being an Evetonian entail offering no more than a gutteral roar at the match?

Col: none that match the Anfield boo.
Mike H: Cheerio,Cheerio, Cheerio waving to the Kremlyn Rd at Half Time
jamie: My favourite is usually, For fucks sake lads, pass the fucking ball.
The Squire of Beckenham: "Champion's League? See you next year!" Or "We're 4th, and we know we are..."
Steve K: We only have one song.
Daveyg: We have plenty of chants (usually involving your lot) but hopefully it will be your lot booing at the end rather than ours at 6pm on Sunday.
Lancs Blue: If I wanted to sing I'd try Fame Academy. Sorry guys but I'd rather watch the football.

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

Col: 4th and 5th
Mike H: Everton 4th  .... you lot 8th (and an Intertoto cup application)
: Everton 4th, Liverpool 5th
The Squire of Beckenham: Everton - 4th. I'd worry about Bolton, Boro and Charlton if I were you.
Steve K: Reds could go as low as 7th/8th if the pack keep on coming ...
Daveyg: "Expect" is a bit of a strong word. I would hope that we can maintain the 4th position that our season so far deserves. I honestly don't care where Liverpool finish.
Lancs Blue: 4th and 7th respectively.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Col: Gerrard is the obvious one, but Smicer and Garcia can be anonymous for ages then knock one in from 25 yards.
Mike H: Riise
jamie: Gerrard
The Squire of Beckenham: Anthony Gerrard's cousin. He might hurt someone and interrupt our push for 4th.
Steve K: The ghost of Ian Rush
Daveyg: Gerrard is the only class player that you have, and even he looked jaded on Wednesday. He'll want to play well on Sunday though to impress Mourinho.
Lancs Blue: Normally SG but I don't think that his heart is currently in it, besides which if he really wants a Champions League spot he could be eyeing a move back to us anyway. Riise always seems to do well against us.

One of your directors, Paul Gregg, is still trying to resurrect the groundshare idea. Is this merely a last desperate attempt an exit strategy for him or do you see a groundshare becoming a reality?

Col: Like it or not, it will happen. If you dont finish 4th you'll have to reconsider your options due to finances
Mike H: Groundshare is THE only option
jamie: Looks likelier by the day
The Squire of Beckenham: Nah, we haven't got a pot to piss in. Finishing 4th should help though.
Steve K: I think it'll happen, it's the only way both clubs will get free money, which we both need. It's Gregg's strategy, but at least he has one.
Daveyg: Financially, I think it makes sense for both clubs, however I would love for us both to be able to each afford our own stadium. Unfortunately, I don't think that is likely - definitely not for us, and probably not for you either.
Lancs Blue: Problem at the moment is that you can't afford to finish a stadium and we can't afford to start one. I really don't want to share but I watched Inter on Tuesday and seeing that stadium gets you thinking.

Should the winners of the Champions League have the right to defend their trophy if they fail to qualify through the League?

Col: yes
Mike H: Why ask that? Ain't no concern to you.
jamie: Of course not, it should be a reward for the whole season
The Squire of Beckenham: Well, as it doesn't even happen in the World Cup anymore, then no. Never mind, perhaps the winners could finish 4th in their league instead to qualify.
Steve K: I dont know. Thats a question for the people who run Serie A.
Daveyg: I think they SHOULD have, but at the moment it isn't an automatic right, so it shouldn't happen this year (nor do I think it will be necessary to decide this year). Situations like this should be clarified in advance of the season and NOT left to be decided AFTER all the games have been played.
Lancs Blue: No. The whole competition should be binned and revert back to the proper European Cup with only one team per country. The current competition is destroying domestic football with its obscene qualification money. Being honest neither Everton nor Liverpool should be striving to finish 4th.

Care to predict the score Sunday?

Col: no
Mike H: LFC 0 EFC 1
jamie: 0-0
The Squire of Beckenham: 0-0. Us in 4th.
Steve K: 0-0
Daveyg: I think it will be a 1-1 draw, but given the performances of both teams in their last game, I think a dull 0-0 would be more likely. I don't think we will lose.
Lancs Blue: 1-0 to the blues.

© RAWK 2005

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