Spyin' Kop: Everton v. Liverpool (1-10-11)

Posted by zimmie'5555 on September 30, 2011, 01:59:49 AM

Saturday 1 October 2011

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Kick Off: 12:45pm


The last time Kenny Dalglish took charge of Liverpool for a Merseyside derby at Goodison was in February 1991, when the two sides shared eight goals in a F.A. Cup Fifth Round Replay. Within 48 hours of the final whistle being blown, Dalglish was no longer the Liverpool manager and the club's fortunes, on the pitch, were about to change dramatically. Everton's slide had already begun. Colin Harvey had failed to live up to the high standards set by his predecessor, Howard Kendall and there were signs of mis-management at all levels of the club that were becoming increasingly evident. The two clubs had fought each other for most of the major honours for the best part of a decade, during a golden era for Merseyside football. The derbies were always hotly contested, as you would expect of the two best sides in the country, who happened to be neighbours. In many ways, Dalglish's departure signaled not only the end of an era for Liverpool, but also for the golden age of the derby itself.

Since then, both clubs have declined from the lofty heights they enjoyed in the eighties, and so too has the derby, both in terms of it's relevance in where the top prizes will be heading at the end of each season, and also with regards to the relationship between the two sets of fans. However, despite the fact that some fans of both side of Stanley Park like to downplay the importance of these fixtures, the effects of losing are still as gut-wrenching as they have ever been.

The season has been a strange one for Everton so far. They lost their opening game at home to newly promoted Queens Park Rangers, amidst the backdrop of supporter unrest and disgruntlement at being unable to add to their already depleted squad. Despite the pessimism, they won four of their next five games in league and cup before crashing to Manchester City at Eastlands last weekend. Little separates the two sides in the table, Everton lying three points behind, having played a game less, and the match will be an important barometer for both sides' ambitions this season. Everton have won only three of the last fifteen derbies, although they were victorious in the corresponding fixture last season, having beaten Roy Hodgson's Liverpool 2-0 last October, thanks to goals from Arteta and Cahill.

For this week's Spyin' Kop, I visited the Everton forum, Grand Old Team and asked for their opinions . . .

So, the first Merseyside derby of the season, probably the biggest fixture that Goodison Park will host this year. Yet, the game hasn't sold out right now, with just a couple of days to go until kick-off. Why is that?

peteblue: "2nd tier games are always the same, it'll be packed when the top 4 arrive."

Tubey: "It isn't the biggest game for me. That would be hosting the defending champions of the Premier League at Goodison. Of course it's one of the most important games, but we don't pin our entire season on it. As for the game not being sold out, economic turmoil, restricted views and Bill Kenwright being a right tosser are all valid reasons."

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "It'l sell out on the day, most of our fans will get paid this week and buy tickets then, plus we haven't got half of Norway filling it up."

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: "Cheeky git! The biggest fixture's going to be the title decider between us and United, obviously.

Anyway, I'd hazard a guess that it's following the recent trend. The fans are losing interest and patience. That and I, like a lot of blues, expect another Everton derby no-show. I'd not want to pay to see Everton lie down and let themselves be bummed by Liverpool."

Steam Engine: "I know a lot of Evertonians who want to go but don't fit into the criteria for tickets."

What are your best and worst memories of previous derby encounters, especially at Goodison?

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "My best Goodison memory was the Dan Gosling FA Cup derby. That win really gave us the belief to go on and get to the final. Worst was McCallister moving the ball forward 10 yards."

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: "The Reina/AJ thing had me laughing for months. The Clattenburg derby had me fuming for years."

Tubey: "Gary McAllister making Paul Gerrard look like the clown he was was the worst. Best would be Cadamarteri skinning Kvarme and Ruddock and slamming it home - shame he was useless once he shaved his dreadlocks off."

Teppic: "Worst are actually the injustices rather than actual skill from Liverpool. The clattenburg derby still makes my blood boil. Watching his mistakes on YouTube makes youmwonder how he made it as a top level referee. Speaking of so called top referees Graham Poll blowing for full time as Don Hutchinson arse shot was about to go was quite uncool. Best memories include Phil Nevilles hand ball for the comedy and Duncs goal in 94."

Phenom: "Andy Johnson 3-0, Pepe Reina flapping like bird caught in a hurricane, won some nice wonga as well. I dont talk about the worst, I get hurt."

Every derby fixture over the last few seasons has been accompanied by questions being asked about the state of the nature of the rivalry between the two clubs nowadays. So in keeping with this new tradition, do you think that the atmosphere has become more partisan in recent years, and if so, to what extent and what are the reasons for it?

Trebilcock66: "Things have always been partisan. The difference today is the open hostility between both sets of fans. It's wrong to generalise, though. For the locals, families are still mixed blue/red, like my family. Friends and nieghbours all have different leanings and get on mostly fine. So my theory is that the ill-feeling is mostly shown by people from outside the North West. Like Norway."

peteblue: "There is less of an edge now than in the 60's. It was great during the 80's when Merseyside ruled. Fat Rafa did more than most to sour the relationship, well him and the fact that you then started suffering from the great delusion. Man U is the biggest game now."

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "There's hatred, this 'friendly derby' thing is a myth. It's healthy in my view to have that. I've said on this forum many a time, i've got loadsa red mates who are sound, all wished me a good day when we went to Wembley in 09. There's things both sets of fans do wrong that make it a bit naughty, but i honestly think we've gotta keep this hatred controlled because we've got a bigger enemy in Manchester. Besides, Hillsborough & Rhys Jones shows us that even with the hatred, that we are just all sound, passionate football fans."

Tubey: "I think the fall of grace of Liverpool over the last few years has seen the derby become more of a focal point for the Kopites. They haven't been able to compete with the success of Man Utd and with the emergence of Chelsea and Man City with massive money the likelihood of a league win is as remote as ever. The game means more to both sides these days, although Evertonians are more focussed on the club surviving than winning trophies in modern times."

ToffeeDan: "Football is designed to be about partisanship - and hating your rival is part of that. The problem comes when people forget to be civil about it all. If I look at it from the Everton perspective it's about getting a (all too rare win over the Reds) also of course there are always ignorant people (on both sides) who show their true colours in the face of the enemy - I think it's ok to royally **** off the (hated) rival but only in the confines of your own. How bad can it be for arrogant so-and-sos to march past The Spellow after the Clattenberg robbery when feelings really were running high but I guess one can't expect magnamity from football fans of any side. At the end of the day no one likes a smart-arse whoever they represent."

The last few months in particular have seen an increasing amount of unrest amongst Evertonians with regards to the way the club is being run. What are the main issues that the fans have at the moment, and is the concern for these issues felt as deeply throughout the whole fanbase?

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: It feels like we're being punished for overspending, without ever spending even modestly. It's bizarre and for me it's annoying mostly because we don't get to take part in one of the most exciting parts of being a football fan -- the transfer window, and chiefly, signing new players. We just want the window to end as soon as it opens."

In addition Moyes' tactics and general grumpy, gloomy off the pitch nature of late has been doing my nut in. Live on the edge Davie. Play a striker."

Blue 1: "That the club's going nowhere fast with the current board in charge. Fans concern varies. The Blue Union et al aren't a majority but I think anyone who takes more than a passing interest in the club is a bit concerned."

Steam Engine: "Apathy of the people who run the club from admin level to boardroom level."

ToffeeDan: "No it doesn't run throughout the base. Some people however need to wind their necks in and wake up and work out that this is a recession. Everton may well be moderately run, on a financial basis, but I've seen far worse basket cases."

Pblueman: "There definately is unrest in the blue half, GOT forums see a lot of true blues airing their frustrations at the lack of finances mostly. i think most fans appreciate that the manager and the chairman want the club to do well but without some investment we are sliding backwards and undoing the hard work that has gone on before. Also when you see other teams being bought around us a lot of fans just don't understand why we don't have our own Russian/Asian Billionaire?"

Despite the protests and the apparent state of ill health at the club right now, the team itself has made a (relatively) decent start to the season. What do you make of Everton's start to the season so far, and how do you think you will do for the rest of the season?

Tubey: "A false dawn, although I hope I'm wrong. We've had winnable fixtures, but the run of games we began with Man City are nightmares. As such, I expect we'll slide the wrong way for a bit, before easier games come about again. That said, we'll finish in the top half this year, maybe top eight."

Reidy's Bottle Of Grecian: "Have we played well yet? which some would say is a good thing, to be 8th and have not performed."

Blue 1: "We'll do OK. Don't think we'll do any worse than last season."

trebilcock66: "Still could do better. We'll be top half."

Pblueman: "Agreed it has been a better start than some seasons recently, but on the flip side in previous seasons w have started with some injuries to major players. As it stands we are relatively injury free so we should be 'up there'. What worries me is the squad size if we do get some major player injuries! fingers crossed."

How do you think will David Moyes set up his team to face Liverpool on Saturday?

Pblueman: "Negatively, saddens me really but Moyes recently has tried more to 'not concede', rather than score. "

trebilcock66: "Conservatively."

peteblue: "Badly."

Phenom: "4-6-0"

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: "With too many midfielders."

Although the season may be early, who have been your best performers so far?

Reidy's Bottle Of Grecian: "Ross Barkley has been superb, and could well have a Billy Kenny derby performance."

teppic: "Arteta has scored a couple now....oh yeah. Right. Tim Howard is bang in form and Baines has been very good."

Blue 1: "Baines, Distin. Fellaini has had his moments, but still isn't fully fit. Osman, too, when played in the middle. Barkley looks a player, as does Drenthe. Hibbert has actually been in decent form, too."

Phenom: "I would say Distin, he has been superb this year and Ossie is performing well."

andrewkgsmith: "Distin and Baines probably. Vellios has looked ace imo too, in the cameo appearances he's made."

Conversely, who hasn't been pulling their weight?

Reidy's Bottle Of Grecian: "Jo has been almost invisible, it's like he's not even here."

Tubey: "Phil Neville. When even Moyes feels the need to drop him, you know he's been bad."

andrewkgsmith: "Jags ffs."

Pblueman: "For me Heitinga doesnt cut the mustard doesnt seem to want to be there."

trebilcock66: "Nobody really...Anichebe is the hate figure atm. I can see why."

Everton have become renowned for their frugality in the transfer market over the last couple of years, but you did bring in a few new names on loan before the end of the transfer window, such as Stracqualursi and Drenthe. What do you make of the new boys and what do you think the future holds for them?

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: "Drenthe makes my balls tingle. Stracq... we've not seen much of. Vellios has looked a hell of a lot better, although it's too early to judge either."

trebilcock66: "Drenthe is a talent but very raw - just like Pienaar was. He'll get better as I think he respects Moyes. Strac may struggle here, not sure."

teppic: "Drenthe looks boss. He might cause big problems for you on Saturday. I doubt the Stracq will play on sat, but he looks like a huge grock. He might be boss. Who knows, eh?"

Phenom: "Vellios has been outstanding when he has played, Drenthe is much needed pace, Straq we need to settle before we see the best of him.

How is Andy Carroll?"

andrewkgsmith: "It's too early to say. Drenthe looks lively, but a cocky bellend which may be his fall. Straq looks mediocre and a diver, but that's in the 33 seconds we've seen of him so I'm not saying anything about him really, might just not have been his game."

If you could send one player off to ply his trade over the other side of Stanley Park, who would it be?

ToffeeDan: "Victor - no question. Maybe Kenny isn't silly enough to want him tho!"

Reidy's Bottle Of Grecian: "Andy Carroll for a £35 million fee."

Blue 1: "Anichebe. But then he'd probably turn into the scouse Drogba, such is our luck."

mawders: "Anichebe"

peteblue: "Anichebe"

And if we were forced to send one player in the other direction, which Liverpool player would you like to see in your side?

ToffeeDan: "Moyes would probably want Kuyt! I guess it would have to be Suarez tho."

Phenom: "Suarez, we need a striker and it pains me to say he has been outstanding."

andrewkgsmith: "Kuyt is the type of player who would fit in really well at Everton I reckon. Hard working no nonsense type of guy."

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "You give Kuyt terrible stick, but he would do a good job for us. Speaking of stick, is Lucas Leiva the best defensive midfielder in the world now, yous hated him before?"

peteblue: "Suarez, and he is the only one."

How do you see the season panning out for both sides, where do you think both clubs will be at the end of the season?

ToffeeDan: "Given that no side outside of Manchester is setting the league alight it could be anywhere between 3rd and about 8th for either side. A couple of weeks ago Liverpool were going well but they've struggled of late. Everton most likely will be in their usual place (around 7th) which isn't so bad given the small squad."

Phenom: "Very close together I think, maybe 6th and 7th, us pipping you with a bit of luck."

Reidy's Bottle Of Grecian: "We will finish higher than expected and you will finish lower than you expect."

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "Yous simply have to finish 4th, otherwise i think the owners will put a bit of pressure on Dalglish. You'l get 4th or 5th. Us, ill be shocked if we get top 6, but i don't think we're bad enough to drop out the top 10. Anywhere between 7th-10th."

Tubey: "Liverpool 5th, Everton 8th."

And finally, what are your predictions for the match, what do you think the score will be?

Tubey: "1-1 draw, and I'd take that now."

Phenom: "Sneak it 2-1, honestly can see it being a draw though with that little sh*te you have upfront."

RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: "A draw despite us being the better team by a mile, but just not being clinical and/or the ref being a tit. Either that or a 2-0 surrender."

Cena_is_an_Evertonian: "Draw, or you'll have your annual luck against us and score a couple of defelctions/get a penalty that wasn't or we'l have someone sent off for looking at Stevie G laaa with a frown"

Blue 1: 1-1. Suarez red card."

Love to RAWK xx

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