Beware The Red Mist

By Terry McAllister :  12/10/2010 :  Comments (30) :
While the rest of the country wastes their time with the trivial goings-on of another England match, those of us on Merseyside are as ever less than glued to our television screens for Three Lions updates. It is no small exaggeration though to suggest that many of us have been fervently waiting for updates on Sky Sports over the last week or so for a very different reason.

You?d have to live on the moon to not know by now that our nearest and dearest neighbours are currently in full-scale turmoil. Executive civil war, dates at the high court and back biting by players and managers grips the City?s second team so tightly that their faces are turning purple. There?s a genuine red army revolution taking place across Stanley Park that almost makes one grateful that we have Blue Bill Kenwright at our helm.

Almost.

With all banter and laughing at cringe-inducing video montages aside, Evertonians have not let it escape them that Liverpool are next to visit Goodison Park for what will sooner or later (if it hasn?t already) been described as a six pointer. Every derby has spice and flavour but none before have tasted like this one does in the build-up. Both clubs have laboured to come out of the traps so far this season... and both, it can be said, need to win their next game ? no matter who they play. It?s just unfortunate that they play each other.

As unpopular as this point will be, it has to be said that, when all is said and done, Liverpool need the win more than Everton do. Roy Hodgson and his merry men need more than 3 points to drag themselves out of the relegation zone; they need a symbolic statement to give to all the eyes watching them at the minute.

You don?t need me to remind you how the romantics at Anfield will coin it. They?ll dress it as the sign of the end of one failed regime and the beginning of a new age of Liverpool glory and domination. You know in your heart that they?ll paint the need for victory like some Roman war march or song from an epic saga, mention the five times and Bill Shankly somewhere and another job is well done by the boys on the Kop. The loud noise of their ?RS? masses will drown out any among them who talk of tempered optimism and realism.

If you strip away the fleshy layers of fantasy they insulate themselves with, you will undoubtedly find ? to use a tired cliché ? a wounded animal. Say what you like about Liverpool, it is no lie to suggest that they are more than capable of producing tidal waves of effort and determination when they need to ? and it is because of this that David Moyes should be wary.

On paper, Everton are better than Liverpool, of that there is no doubt, regardless of what any delusional supporter will tell you. A stronger squad prepares itself this week at Finch Farm than at Melwood. It is also beyond question, though, that Everton do not boast a player anything like Steven Gerrard. As loathsome as the would-be England captain is, he is still the kind of player that, when the bit is between his teeth, cannot only force an opposition team into ducking for cover but he inspires the lesser lights around him to go supernova. When Gerrard performs, Liverpool do. And the opposition usually wilt.

As has been Liverpool?s weakness for a decade however, if you blunt their main weapon, they have no means to attack; they are a simple if deadly beast. Everton have won derby matches in the past simply by nullifying the Liverpool talisman and it is imperative that they do so again if they look to earn another victory on the back of their win at Birmingham. The Blues have it well within their powers to stop Steven Gerrard in his tracks but only if David Moyes knows which of his tools work best for him.

Bizarrely, Phil Jagielka?s injury could actually be a blessing in disguise ? for this game at least ? as it will force the manager?s hand with his team selection, ridding him of a headache that has been costing him in games so far. Johnny Heitinga would have likely came in to midfield this Sunday to try and combat the threat posed by Gerrard had Jagielka returned from England duty unscathed... but now there is no other choice for the Scot than to play the fan favourite in the centre of defence. His natural position, a role supporter sections are crying out for him to occupy anyway.

Sylvain Distin has historically performed better with the Dutchman alongside him and could do with any advantages he can get after the season he?s endured thus far. The niggling issue of distribution from defence is remedied also by playing the World Cup Finalist at the back as he has a greater distribution than any other defender on the books.

The biggest plus this injury will bring though is the knock-on effect it will have on the Everton engine room. Marouane Fellaini is a colossus at the heart of the midfield and integral to the team?s play when he is deployed there. The need for Johnny Heitinga to play at the back will mean the big Belgian has little chance of being shoehorned up front for this game and that spells trouble for Liverpool?s number eight.

The first that the majority of Everton supporters saw of Marouane was in his last game for his previous club, Standard Liege, a game many would argue was the catalyst for the player?s arrival at Goodison Park. During that game ? though his team ultimately lost the match ? Fellaini shackled Gerrard, keeping him quiet for the majority of the match... and that is the job he is to be tasked with this weekend if Everton are to have any hope of victory.

Of course Everton have the means to hurt Liverpool, even with one or two injuries they still have more than enough to ensure victory. The derby would be a dream game for either Jermaine Beckford or Yakubu to score their long overdue goal this season. Tim Cahill too is finally back amongst the goals and always likes to net one against our tribal enemies.

What Everton don?t have with their first victory under their belt this season is the whip of desperation that is lashing at Liverpool?s back.. Everton could really do with a win this Sunday but Liverpool cannot entertain anything other than victory; not even a draw will do for them. It is this need for The Reds to come and attack which Everton must make work to their advantage. This is the weakest incarnation of Liverpool there has been for 20 years, a weak and desperate Liverpool who will know nothing short of charging headlong to try and defeat their opponents.

Everton must play with cleverness about them that the manager needs to instil; they must choose their moments carefully and strike with precision. There are on-field frailties to this team that mirror their off-field woes. David Moyes has to prove his worth as a tactician and find the sore joints in Roy Hodgson?s team.

No matter what happens to Liverpool and their ownership saga, the ingredients are there already for an enthralling match that will have both sets of supporters gnashing at each other and neutrals sat wide-eyed. There will never be a better chance for Everton to give their supporters a gift by handing them more salt to rub into Liverpudlian wounds. The objective is clear: surf the red tide and beware the red mist. Everton can and must pile more misery on Liverpool FC.

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer


Gerry Quinn
1   Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:16:07

Report abuse

I don't suppose this "Uncle Peter Lim" would be interested in buying us... being a vindictive bastard (against the RS!) and not a businessman, I'd settle for Mr Lim if he wanted to get his own back on them and make us his "toy" target.... go on Bill, approach him now while he is still livid!

Quote: "Poor old Liverpool just can?t seem to get it right. Just as it looks like a new knight in shining armour may save the club with a new bid, it turns out he hasn?t always been pro-Liverpool. In fact, it is widely accepted that Lim made a large percentage of his money through promoting the brand of rivals Manchester United in Asia, and owns a series of Manchester United themed bars".

Life and Lim!? Maybe he would like to sell Chang Beer?

Chris Hannon
2   Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:17:55

Report abuse

Does anyone else agree that if we want to get at Liverpool and hurt them, Glenn Johnson is the way home? He is sloppy positionally and in possession, defensively terrible and probably one of their biggest threats going forward. So Baines and hopefully Pienaar can pin him back put him under lots of pressure. If they do, they will get joy because he is a poor defender!

Why the waiter paid £18 million I will never know! He's only in the England team because there isn't a decent English right back at the Sky four, City and Spurs! COYB

Andy Crooks
3   Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:18:18

Report abuse

Liverpool are there for the taking this weekend. A friend was at the Blackpool game and lamented their woeful lack of pace at the back.

In my view, it is time to be bold. For this game, I'd have Beckford and the Yak up front. A midfield of Coleman, Fellaini (holding) Arteta and Pienaar. With a back four of Hibbert Heitinga, Distin and Baines. Tim Cahill as an impact sub.

Attack and press them from the start and Beckford will show what he can do. This is the time to go for it.

Ciaran Duff
4   Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:31:52

Report abuse

Good article, Terry. I agree that Jagielka's injury could indeed be beneficial for the reasons stated above and you are right that we are a better team but need to be very wary.

We just need to look back at the derby at Anfield last year where IMHO Everton were mugged. We were the better team then too but LP came out right from the start to turn the game into a foul fest and unfortunately we fell for it. We cannot afford to do that again. We need to have the mental & physical strength to match them but the patience to beat them.
COYB

Peter Bourke
5   Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:39:33

Report abuse

Good article Terry... you have made me even more motivated for Sunday. It is time to give it to the RS but whenever I feel like we should win we seem to find new ways to lose. I too think the injury to Jags is a blessing in disguise as there is no better defender at our club than Johnny H.
Sharokh McKitterick
6   Posted 13/10/2010 at 04:01:16

Report abuse

Looks like Kuyt and Agger are doubts for the game.

http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6442323,00.html

I envisage a game of few clear cut chances. I hope Osman is nowhere near the final shot/backpass.

Whichever team can take one of those will be the winner.

1-0 Everton.
Jay Harris
7   Posted 13/10/2010 at 04:15:40

Report abuse

Both sides are poor defensively but we seemed to have tightened up a touch recently. Can't agree about Jags especially seeing as Heitinga seems to have joined the World Cup hangover brigade.

On the other hand, I think they have more potency in front of goal, especially if Torres is playing.

I think the game will be won or lost in MF and its time for Mikky to stand up. I hope Pienaar is fit and would like Tiny to show his nouse and aggression in this one.

Glad to see Howard Webb's in charge but that may also be a bad sign for Johnny.
Howard Don
8   Posted 13/10/2010 at 07:45:21

Report abuse

Good scene-setting analysis, Terry, and yes Gerrard is vital to them but don't forget he was sent off early doors a few years ago and they still beat us, at Goodison, with 10 men. All cliches have a grain of truth in them and you're right to highlight the wounded animal factor. We just have to play with our heads this time.
Paul Gladwell
9   Posted 13/10/2010 at 08:24:50

Report abuse

They will come to kick seven kinds of shite out of us and hope we shit ourselves like last year at Anfield.
On a plus side one of the worst for that was crocked himself last night.
Kevin Tully
10   Posted 13/10/2010 at 10:55:11

Report abuse

We will probably start with the team that beat Brum, except Heitinga replacing Jags. Pienaar definitely out. They have Dirk Kuyt & Agger missing, with Ladyboy 50-50 to start. King Louis should make the bench for us.

I cannot think about anything else at the minute. Booked Monday off work and hoping to still be on the lash, ripping the piss out of every RS I come across. Depending on the Wolves - West Ham result, we could leave them second from bottom if we win. Same applies if they win. Biggest derby game for years.
David Hallwood
11   Posted 13/10/2010 at 11:58:29

Report abuse

What disapointed me about the cringeworthy YouTube video, of RS Z-list celebrities, that none of our Z-list came up with a spoof response, along the lines of "Oh Hicks & Gillette aren't we happy that those two met" etc etc. Agent Johnson indeed!
Richard Reeves
12   Posted 13/10/2010 at 12:13:15

Report abuse

On paper, we have the better team and I believe this is a perfect opportunity to take the game to them and beat them convincingly (imagine how much more damage it could do to their moral if they were battered) but Moyes doesn't do expectation and the result is inevitable (if you know what I mean).
Dave Lynch
13   Posted 13/10/2010 at 12:49:18

Report abuse

Beware the curse. It has started already as the bastards have just won the court case...
Dan Moorhead
14   Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:00:18

Report abuse

Can?t see Jagielka?s injury being blessing in disguise. He usually handles Torres very well while Heitinga is extremely slow and often forgets to track his man. The distribution out of the back should be a bit better though.
David Booth
15   Posted 13/10/2010 at 12:52:56

Report abuse

Terry: great summation of the Sunday situation. The players have got to believe to succeed. Liverpool, as they proved twice last season, still have a steel and determination that we don't. Much as we might find it easy to outplay them, we have got to have that will-to-win too.

This really is time for the players to stand up and be counted. To believe. To be arrogant. To be ruthless. Time in particular for Fellaini, Arteta and hopefully Coleman to dictate the game ? not Gerrard and Carragher. And time for David Moyes to be brave. We need 11 Tim Cahills this weekend, not 11 Leon Osmans.

COYB.
Victor Chang
16   Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:18:45

Report abuse

Will people please stop calling Kopites, Liverpudlians. Liverpudlians are people from Liverpool. How can I say I'm a proud Liverpudlian when people are gonna wrongly think I'm a Gobshite?
Roberto Birquet
17   Posted 13/10/2010 at 11:38:40

Report abuse

Andy Crooks ? be bold? "For this game, I'd have Beckford and the Yak up front."
----
I don't see why Beckford is bolder or a better option than Cahill.
Yak with Cahill behind for me. If Pienaar is injured and we want width, it would be bold to blood Gueye this weekend. Highly bold.
Thomas Christensen
18   Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:21:44

Report abuse

Terry, we are equal on points with Liverpool, why do they need the win more than we do??

You even refered to Liverpool as "the City?s second team".

I'm confused, because I want us to beat Liverpool 4 - 0 so we can go rub it in with you friends and family, supporters of the RS.

Paul Gladwell
19   Posted 13/10/2010 at 14:13:52

Report abuse

Drop Cahill!!!!!

The man does it time and time again against the big boys and yet we still get shouts like this. What does he have to do for some people?

Jimmy Hacking
20   Posted 13/10/2010 at 15:04:16

Report abuse

I believe this is a far more important game than most people realise. If we win, and win in style, then the only way is up; this could be the start of a beautiful period of being the city's better club. after a few seasons of mid-table obscurity, many of their supporters will soon drift away...

COYB
Dave Lynch
21   Posted 13/10/2010 at 15:24:57

Report abuse

Paul @19.
You are so right. I am no Cahill worshiper, but at this moment in time he is our only realistic hope of scoring.

Jimmy@ 20.
You know that is never going to happen, the scummy bastards will be sold by the weekend. New manager in place by Xmass and a fucking cargo ship full of money thrown at them. Meanwhile, we will still be lamenting how lucky we are to have Bill and not to have sold our arses to the highest bidder.

Oh happy days...... NOT!

David Thomas
22   Posted 13/10/2010 at 16:57:05

Report abuse

Paul,

Could not agree more. Of the 5 league goals we have scored this season Cahill has scored 3 of them and played a pivotal role in the other two. He has also equalled Dixie's record for scoring goals at Anfield. Furthermore, he has scored at the big grounds for us ie Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Emirates and Anfield.

We would be going into this game a significantly depleted team if Cahill is not in the starting 11.
Mike Oates
23   Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:26:22

Report abuse

Unfortunately I have this feeling that today's court judgement in favour of Liverpool vs the USA pair will be the first of many good tidings for them over the next few days. They will be bought, they will told they can have £XX million for players, they can have £XX million for their new ground, Torres will return on Sunday and hey presto we will be on the end of another stuffing from Liverpool.
David Booth
24   Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:31:34

Report abuse

Interesting to read fellow Evertonians' comments in this thread.

Despite knowing we have a better team, we also know that they still hold a persistent psychological advantage over us.

It's their lifeline in games like this ? as paradoxically, our lack of it is so often our downfall.

We have got to WANT to beat them on Sunday: to be first to the ball, get a foot in that tackle and grab an extra yard on that defender.

It is so within our grasp ? but do our players realise it and if so, have they the will to win it?
David Thomas
25   Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:36:29

Report abuse

Mike,

Lets hope the players are a bit more positive than you.
Charles King
26   Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:42:39

Report abuse

Bollox about the neighbours' future plans, we're better than them NOW.

No excuses, no hiding in the shadows get out there and steam roller them 6-0.

Tim Howard: wear a "New York Yankees" cap when you run on.
Alex Doyle
27   Posted 14/10/2010 at 11:38:31

Report abuse

Love it Charles King, couldn't agree more.

Let's annilihate the fuckers.
Ray Hughes
28   Posted 14/10/2010 at 18:07:04

Report abuse

The players have to believe, if they believe they will win. An early goal and it could be a day to really remember.
Andy Crooks
29   Posted 14/10/2010 at 19:00:50

Report abuse

Roberto, Beckford has pace, something which Tim Cahill hasn't. In fact he has the only real pace in the squad. If you can come up with an option where both play (not Beckford alone up front) then I'd love to hear it.

Liverpool are ready for a thumping; the usual Moyes safety first shite will not do. Beckford must play. I have a strong feeling that this will be his derby if our coach isn't content with 0-0. Of course he will be.

Stuart Bellamy
30   Posted 15/10/2010 at 13:25:40

Report abuse

Sorry, had to share this, a mate (baggie fan) came up with this today (although of course things may have changed considerably by Sunday):

To the tune of heads, shoulders, knees and toes.....

There's a circus in town, in town.
George Gillett's a fucking clown, fucking clown
Tom Hicks is a scheming dosey twat,
and the Red's are going down, going down

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.



© ToffeeWeb

About these ads

Recent News

Recent Articles

Talking Points, Messages & The Game

Everton in the Community

About these ads