From My Seat: Liverpool (H)

Well that’s this seasons home Derby out of the way with bragging rights shared from a game that was frustrating and lacking in craft and guile.

Ken Buckley 04/10/2015 48comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 1 Liverpool

Derby day upon us once again and with L4 bathed in bright light we made our way to the Room of Nonsense as the first part of a journey that we hoped, as we usually do, would at last see a Blue win. Its something like ten games have passed against our cousins without being able to celebrate a win. The teams came through and the talking point was that with Stones and Coleman out we had three derby debutants and all in the back four. Would they have the experience to handle such a game?

The room was quite quiet today as it often is on derby days as the tension that is in these games starts to kick in. The fear of losing is a powerful joy breaker. The walk up is much the same, not a song or chant to be heard just the buzz of fans contemplating possible outcomes with their mates and, depending on result, the arrangements for the rest of the day. Into the ground and the club had done their best to generate an atmosphere with re-runs of past victories on the big screen along with some extremely loud sound effects. Grand Old Team was given extra airings and one way or another the time went and Z-Cars signalled the entry of the gladiators. There was a tumultuous reception and it transpired it was them to kick off.

We had a decent start to the game as both teams pushed on but invariably gave the ball away so an end-to-end start with neither team wanting to concede anything. Both teams had shots either wide, saved or blocked but not a lot of conviction in anything. Browning did give a free kick away which resulted in a cross from Skrtel that Jags beat Sturridge to and gave away a corner; a timely intervention that.

The half moving on saw Liverpool gaining the upper hand as far as attacks went and forcing quite a few corners whilst raising anxiety levels of many Blues present in the sell-out crowd. We attacked when we could but the joined-up stuff was stifled as players seemed afraid of expanding their repertoire. But at the same time I noted that Lukaku was more and more using his strength and stature to get amongst their defenders and unsettle them as well as winning a good few headers our problem was we didnt have anyone taking a chance on winning second ball.

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The crowd at last let off some steam as our Ref Martin Atkinson seemed to be letting Liverpool fouls go and blowing up for many of our tackles. Whether there is anything in it or not I dont know but it did seem like a bit of bias toward the Reds, but there again it seems this way every derby game. Where our young lads at the back were performing very well under the expert tutelage of Jags our young Spaniard was not having one of his better games with very little coming off for him and murmurings being heard from the faithful. With Lukaku dominating the Liverpool centre backs in aerial duals the attempted crosses were just what was needed but although we got him in down the right a good few times Deulofeu could just not find his touch and his efforts were rendered useless.

Liverpool did seem on top as the half wore on until Barkley was fouled, he took the free kick himself and sent an arcing beauty across the box which the livewire Naismith got in a powerful header that had bums off seats until the keeper managed to throw up an arm and tip it over. Oh the groans but it did look a great save.

Within minutes their keeper was at it again as McCarthy got a great contact on the ball and sent a screamer toward the net but groans again as the keeper diving to his right diverted the ball wide. We may have been on the back foot a bit but those two strikes perked everyone up and the crowd responded with some songs and chants. Barkley and Can had a bit of a set to and both got booked. Sturridge came forward and looked a danger until Mori showed him who was boss. Then Can had some sort of overhead kick that was high and dangerous leaving Barry on the deck but the Ref was consistent and bottled the second yellow that Can deserved.

Coming up to half time and Deulofeu made another blunder gifting the ball to his marker who put Milner clear up the left channel. Mori was off like a robber's dog to intercept this dangerous move at the expense of a corner. The kick came in toward our back post and looked no more than regulation but both Howard and Barkley one way or another left Ings, who had done little this half, to tap home. The phrase Here we go again was on many a tongue. 3 minutes to the break, what a downer. But wait, the Ref adds four more just as Deulofeu gets his first cross in past his immediate marker and we at last get some luck. It happened that fast my best description is that a Liverpool defender whacked clear but the ball hit Skrtel cannoned onto Sakho and into the path of Lukaku who made little fuss of hitting home. Cue celebrations and a very loud rendition of Rom's Song

H/T 1-1

We kept them waiting for us to emerge after the break I hoped it was because Roberto had devised a cunning plan for the second period. Nothing seemed to have changed and the half trundled on in derby fashion so with little happening on the pitch I had a look around at how individual players were doing and Galloway was looking a class act at left back, look out Bainsy. Mori was looking more assured and at home as the game was progressing, could have a Gud Un here and Browning was looking less nervous than previously.

The game trundled on and on the hour mark the out of sorts Deulofeu was replaced by Lennon. The crowd gave Gerry a good loud send-off though. Lennon was soon in the game speeding about in his own familiar style and getting a few crosses in. We were still trying to get Lukaku more into the game as he was on fire today and much appreciated by the faithful who roared him on as he gave Skrtel and the odious Sakho a torrid time. Lucas got a yellow for a foul from the rear on Barkley. We then had a touch of joined-up stuff that saw Mori stride forward and shoot but his effort was blocked but fell for Lukaku but his reaction was rather hurried and instead of going for the corner of the goal he hit it straight at the keeper and that was that chance gone.

Everton seemed on top now with Liverpool restricted to the odd shot the best of which saw Howard save from Coutinho. Lucas then stopped McCarthy in his tracks by clipping his heels from behind, a definite yellow card that Atkinson refused to give. Can you blame Evertonians for more than querying why this seems to happen more against them than any other team. Rogers then took him off as surly the Ref could not let him off again.

With ten to go Kone replaced Naismith who, along with McCarthy, had been the legs of the team. Could him and Rom craft a winner, we wondered? Well, no was to be the answer but in those last minutes we seemed to take one set of chains off and have a right go at last but it was always a nearly situation as Lennon, Kone and Lukaku strived to create something but always failing at the last. Jags and Mori saw off a couple of Liverpool attacks. Galloway and now Browning were in winger mode. We gained a free kick out wide left and while waiting for the kick a flare up between Rom and Sakho saw both receive yellow. Whilst the Ref spoke to both players the Rom Song was belted out very loudly in a fierce show of support. The kick was taken and came to nought. Just before the whistle it was Bums half off seats as Lennon got down the flank fired in a low one to the feet of Lukaku but in keeping with the fact little went right for us today the ball seemed to ricochet off both his lower legs and the chance was gone and the final whistle saw us all file away muttering about another typical Derby.

MotM: Lukaku

Well thats this seasons home Derby out of the way with bragging rights shared from a game that was frustrating and lacking in craft and guile. Although hardly mentioned in this report I thought Barry had an outstanding game in terms of being a calming influence as well as showing the experience to spot danger and cut it out also his constant talking and directing other less experienced players.

Walking out of the ground Goodison Road and Spellow lane were chocca it was a quiet orderly walk back for the inquest just odd snatches of conversation were heard along the lines of Another derby without a win Same old same old Another biased Ref, but the sun was shining and it was quite warm so we held the inquest outside but we are still no nearer to finding out why in derby games neither team seems to play their normal game also why do the Refs always favour them. So after watching many-many of these games I can safely say that this was a truly Typical derby

International break now and then Man U at home. I wonder how many will go on International duty and how many will be fit and raring to go on their return--- all of them I hope. See you then.

PS Rogers sacked. Bit of a shame that.

UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (48)

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Dick Fearon
1 Posted 04/10/2015 at 23:20:26
For the period he was on, Naismith had more shots on target than the rest of em’, he also made more passes and won more tackles and clearances in dead ball situations. His "get stuck in" attitude was what was needed in a derby match.

I am not suggesting he was brilliant but he certainly refused to be intimidated.

Ian Jones
2 Posted 04/10/2015 at 23:29:19
Good report as usual. I have been critical of Romelu Lukaku but today he looked in combative mood and I was impressed. Took his goal well.
Ciaran Duff
3 Posted 04/10/2015 at 00:05:54
I thought Galloway and Browning coped well especially given their youth. Also Funes Mori seems to have settled in very quickly. We were a bit lacking creatively especially with Deulofeu having an off day. Personally I would prefer to start Kone and bring on Deulofeu later on as defenders tire.
Peter Barry
4 Posted 05/10/2015 at 02:56:02
Wonder if Brenda is on the Sunderland short list? That's about his level. But he can’t operate without spending millions though.

Regarding this latest derby, for me it was ’same old same old’ on paper we had a far better team than the RS but we showed them too much respect and played most of the match far too tentatively more scared of losing than desiring to win and of course we were up against 12 men as is usual. We never hear about an Everton biased Ref in any of these games because of course there never is one.

David Ellis
5 Posted 05/10/2015 at 03:02:36
What struck me is that, while for many years Liverpool have had superior playing personnel to Everton, this is certainly no longer the case. The teams are evenly matched and it showed in an absorbing contest which Everton eventually shaded with a much stronger second half performance and with Liverpool hanging on at the end.

Lukaku was the player we paid all that money for. Even his first touch was decent throughout. The young centre-backs both playing full back were defensively pretty solid with Gallagher also eventually showing he can be dangerous going forward. Funes Mori looked entirely comfortable... and a huge improvement on Alcaraz and Distin of last season. Jagielka made a massive contribution... but despite that between them the defence let in an almost comedic goal.

Naismith got stuck in as usual, but as usual the quality is sometimes just not quite there. Deulofeu often picked the wrong option, cutting inside into three players whereas if we went outside for the byline he probably only had to beat one or two (which he is capable of – it's the third man that kept picking the ball of his toes).

Barkley is massively improved on last season and very willing to take responsibility and almost carved a beautiful winning goal that just did not curl back in enough with their keeper stranded.

McCarthy and Barry did their engine room job. Howard made a couple of good tackles in the box (really, yes with his feet)... but less impressive with his arms... I really think he could of... you know, just caught the ball before Ings headed in the first goal.

Overall we just did not quite flow well enough to pose enough of a threat. The real question for our season is can we win enough games at home, especially against the weaker teams. I think we will do better than last season, if only because of the form of Barkley and Lukaku, but there’s still something missing from the attacking mix – maybe Coleman on the right flank. Maybe a bit more accuracy required from McCarthy/Naismith in the final third? Maybe Mirallas?

Matt Traynor
6 Posted 05/10/2015 at 04:34:26
Well, watched the first half in my office with the volume really low. Couldn't believe Howard being nailed to the goal line for that corner. I'm not one of those who lambasts him, but I do think we could do much better, if we didn't have other priorities elsewhere. Maybe that's what keeps him in position.

Atkinson should never referee another Everton game, let alone a Derby. Ferguson used to regularly have referees "banned" from Man U games, I'd like to see RM getting a bit more vocal about this favouritism. After the Clattenburg debacle, Moyes was censured by the FA and charged, yet the charges were quietly dropped, and neither party ever spoke about it again...

Oh, and whilst most are reporting the decision to sack The Teeth was taken before the match, some quarters are now saying Rodgers was told before he was going - might explain the strange decision to wear a black tie...

Ciaran Duff
7 Posted 05/10/2015 at 05:36:56
Matt (#6) - I thought Barkley was more at fault. His job was to mark the player on the keeper (Ings) which he didn't do properly. Almost the exact same thing happened for the WBA second goal.
Matt Traynor
8 Posted 05/10/2015 at 05:56:18
Ciaran (#7), I realise Barkley was deficient, but it’s a recurring problem with Howard - he’s got more fear of crosses than Dracula. A commanding ’keeper would’ve gone through the pair of them to catch, or at least punch clear. Ings is not a 6’-4" striker either!
Derek Turner
9 Posted 05/10/2015 at 08:55:16
I thought Lukaku was immense. Really up for it and unlucky we did not win. As for their goal, at least Barkley tried to head it, Howard, all of half a meter away seemed not to anticipate the possibility he would miss and his flap at it was poor, surely he could have gone for the ball instead of waiting for it.

The commentators over here in SA (Townsend and others) were their usual pro shite selves, nothing said about us, only about how the reds were "shading" it, how the ref was "probably right" in "showing caution" over the cards.

As for Brenda, what a pity, I dread the idea of Klopp, or Ancelotti at the shite. Let's hope the general team malaise continues though. They don't half look crap these days, long may it continue. Let's hope Sturridge starts going on about a bigger club!

Gerard Carey
10 Posted 05/10/2015 at 09:03:29
Thanks for great report Ken, I thought we showed them too much respect. As usual we were playing against twelve.

Howard should have come for that corner and if needs be, taken both Barkley and Ings as he collected it. Happens too often with him.

Lukaku is turning in to the player we hoped he would. Its funny really, but the positions that most fans wanted to see sorted last season and during the summer window are still the ones holding us back. Namely, goalkeeper, creative midfielder and second striker. Then what do us fans know, eh Ken!!!!!

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 05/10/2015 at 09:14:00
We let Liverpool off the hook, far too cautious, never really pressed them enough, once Naismith went off we lost that little bit of niggle and Lukaku, who had a great game, was left completely on his own. Howard another poor game, he gave a corner away by using his feet when it was easier to dive on the ball, but he will stay in goal until he gets injured.

Not brave enough Martinez, too scared of losing to have a real go, four home games and one victory, must do better than that.

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 05/10/2015 at 09:17:55
I think the Rodgers sacking puts this result into perspective. This was a poor Liverpool team trudging to the end of a fairly short and certainly failed regime. We won't be presented with many better opportunities to trounce them but we seemed more concerned with not losing and it was only in the last 5 mins that we really threw men forward to get the winner that we craved and probably deserved.

In no way was this 'sin miedo'.

A draw is no disaster but certainly a better result for them than for us and feels a wasted opportunity. The individual performances were very encouraging especially from Rom and the back 4. We will have Coleman and Stones back for Utd and Arsenal and those matches will be very good indicators of whether we have a genuine crack at top 4 this season or will be scrapping for mid-table mediocrity once more. If we can get 3 or 4 points from those 2 then I think we will have made a very good start to the season considering the dastardly fixture list.

Jim Hourigan
14 Posted 05/10/2015 at 09:54:11
A good balanced report which covered most aspects. The only thing I would add is about the atmosphere inside Goodison (myself included). Around us the phrase being used was "I hate these games" and this dread and fear I think transposes itself onto the players.

We have just come off a great fight back to score 3 away from home, had soundly beaten the champions and only lost one game so far, so why was the place not constantly rocking? Why were we all not singing?

Yes, there were bouts, particularly after the goal, but why didn’t we sing and chant the way we wanted to inside us? Dread, fear, call it what you will but I think the nervousness is felt by players and fans alike. Had we lifted the roof in the second half in encouragement, would a poor Liverpool side hold out?

I have no idea how to overcome this other than beat them soundly 2 or 3 games on the trot. Our recent record against Chelsea and Man Utd, who are arguably far better teams is so superior. I go to those games with respect for the opposition but confident that if we play to our potential we have every chance of getting a good result – so why not against the RS?

Brian Harrison
15 Posted 05/10/2015 at 09:59:20
Yet another drawn derby game, and with a bit more ambition I think we could have won it. At last I saw the Lukaku we all want to see fully committed from the off and out muscled both Skrtel and Sakho. Let's hope that this performance becomes the norm and he realizes what impact he can have when he puts himself about. I still think that RM is way to cautious at times and very often we only had Lukaku on his own with nobody within 15 yards of him to play off.

I thought Barry was immense stopping most attacks before they got started. Also well done to Galloway and Browning, and Funes Mori was excellent. Jags as usual was very solid and I agree with RM this season: England's best defender.

Unfortunately Deulofeu had one of those games were nothing came off, I have said before that he will frustrate and excite in equal measure, but yesterday was not his day. I think RM needs to let McCarthy get forward more often and become a goal threat.

Paul Cherrington
16 Posted 05/10/2015 at 10:55:29
I have always been a fan of Howard but I think it's clear from last season and this season so far that his time has come. There's too many cock ups and too many different people criticising him for it be ignored.
Alan Thompson
17 Posted 05/10/2015 at 11:02:26
I have to agree that Howard really should have had that slow floated cross into the six yard box before any other player instead of taking a step back. I also wonder about both central defenders being dragged past the back post on the same ball. The criticism of Deulofeu is a little uncalled for. Whenever he looked like getting the ball the slow delivery had the full back ,and sometimes one other, almost on him with no support to play the ball off to. No full back on the line behind him and I don't recall Barkley ever venturing to the right at anytime in the 1st half or anyone inside to offer a pass or take a defender away. Indeed, just before being subbed he had possession on the right surrounded by 4 defenders and no support for a pass to be found. His substitution then allowing these players to come more into the game.
At long last Lukaku seems to have realised just how big he is and how to use this to make it difficult for defenders.
On a final note, referees should be made to attend press conferences and may be then they would not be so obviously biased as Atkinson and he could explain a free kick against Browning when his opponent fell over his own feet but completely ignored their defenders wrestling our players with the ball nowhere near.
Mark Andersson
18 Posted 05/10/2015 at 12:19:36
Jim (#14), great post, agree with every word. Martinez was too cautious as he is slowly winning back some fans.

It says much about the fans that the majority are not happy with a draw. That in itself is progress. Lots of ifs and buts, however that’s football.

Our day is coming; the more worrying thing is the biased refs. The RedShite media bandwagon... it never fucking ends.

Simon Hermansen
19 Posted 05/10/2015 at 12:42:28
It's a great point, Jim Hourigan, and one that irks me. These things become a self-fullfilling after a while and the longer the winless run goes on the worse it will become.

Like you, I wish I had the answer but, it would help if RM or Jags (or anyone in the club with profile) came out before the game with comments that lift, rather than play down, expectation e.g. this is our time, I can sense it, they’re not playing well and our confidence is sky high, lets all sing our hearts out and lift the roof on Sunday and show them who the best team on Merseyside is etc etc.

If it goes tits up you have egg on your face for a few days but better than the over respectful comments that always seem to come out of the club before derbies (and most games to be honest).

If you want to be a winner, you’ve got to think like winners

John Raftery
20 Posted 05/10/2015 at 12:51:28
The description ’extremely loud sound effects’ is spot on. They are bloody deafening. Back in the sixties and seventies we used to make our own atmosphere pre-match without the cacophony we get nowadays. Half-time is even worse with some absolutely dire music blasting everyone’s ears. Little wonder that most people are just happy to get some peace and quiet while watching the game unfold.

After West Brom, the manager would have been slaughtered if he had not started with Deulofeu. I think yesterday though he would have been more effective coming on around the hour mark. Kone would have been better able to read the layoffs from Lukaku but there is an argument that Lennon would have kept hold of the ball on the right while testing Moreno with his pace.

Managers adopting a cautious approach in derby games is nothing new. Catterick did likewise in the late sixties hoping to grab a goal while keeping a clean sheet. Gifting them a goal yesterday cost us dearly in a game we really ought to have won. I think Martinez is still traumatised by that awful 4-0 at Anfield the season before last. It will take a derby win to change his approach.

Atkinson’s failure to show a second yellow card to Lucas was in marked contrast to his dismissal of Rodwell in 2011 when he could not reach for his pocket quick enough. He is now the worst official in the league which is saying something while Andre Marriner is still on the Premier League list.

Oliver Molloy
21 Posted 05/10/2015 at 12:53:57
Simon,

You can only do that if you can back it up, our problem is we don’t seem to be able to get this elephant of our backs.

When was the last time you seen an Everton player absolutely flatten one of theirs – remember Carragher on Pienaar – Pienaar didn’t want it know after that challenge.
We are missing that element in these games.

Declan Brown
22 Posted 05/10/2015 at 13:23:45
I thought we gave it a good go. Howard for their goal was shocking but, apart from that, I thought everyone put in a good shift. I felt flat and deflated at the end, like we’d let them off the hook once again.

I don’t know if there is a mental block for the players in these games; if there is, just get a sports psychologist in to talk with them. Whatever it is, I just wish the players would get over it, there’s no way our record in these Derby’s represents the fact that we are equal or at times have had a better team than them.

Atkinson... well, well, well, he was at it again. Glad everyone else picked up on his poor performance, bordering on being biased. Let’s go back a few years, before a Goodison derby, Atkinson was given it, Moyes said beforehand that he was not the man for the task and would ruin it as Moyes put it "they’ve picked the wrong man for it" (refereeing the derby). In that very derby, Atkinson sent Rodwell off for a good clean tackle on our old friend Suarez and we went on to lose the game. Just something for everyone to consider in the aftermath of yet another crap referee performance in the derby by Atkinson.

Nothing in the media about the lack of two sending-offs yesterday... If the players feel like they’re up against 12 men, why the hell doesn’t somebody come out and make an issue out of it? Saying nothing lets it pass without any comeback or discussion.

Yeah, it’s a pity Rodgers got sacked; I liked what he was doing there this season.

Declan Brown
23 Posted 05/10/2015 at 13:31:57
Oliver Molloy makes a great point too about getting stuck into them. Under Kendall, we got stuck in; under Joe Royle, who could forget the intimidating Dogs of War that tackled and upended everything in a red shirt? Even if a red-coloured crisp packet got onto the pitch, it was tackled too.

The intensity of tackling definitely died down in the Moyes era, when Moyes’s fear of them kicked in... that was something I never understood. We were always up for a scrap with Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and gave them a good battle... but in the derby, we were always too easily intimidated.

The image of Steve McManaman getting sent into the air by two tackles at the same time from Barry Horne and Joe Parkinson always gets my adrenalin going; we don’t have that any more.

But watching Ross calling out Can then Lukaku going nose to nose with Sakho was great to see, they didn’t back down even though it looked like handbags. We don’t have players like we used to who would targeted those players (Can and Sakho) and got them at the next opportunity to put them back in their box.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 05/10/2015 at 14:30:29
I actually liked the controlled way we played yesterday.

Yes, we could have gone more gung ho but what would you all have said if they hit us on the break and we lost the game?

As one of Martinez's biggest critics, I can honestly say I am liking the way we are controlling games right now and we will win more than we lose playing this way.

I am surprised very few posters have mentioned Skrtl wrestling Jagielka to the ground, an absolutely blatant penalty the Atkinson refused to acknowledge.

I don’t know what supporters have to do to get the FA to look into biased refereeing and manhandling from corners.

Peter Mills
25 Posted 05/10/2015 at 18:11:19
We have got the makings of a decent side but we are conceding far too many daft goals.
Steve Carse
26 Posted 05/10/2015 at 18:23:52
John (#20), of course in the '60s and '70s the ground would be almost full half-an-hour before kick-off and more than half-full for half-an-hour before that. Seating has put an end to that.
John Raftery
27 Posted 05/10/2015 at 19:56:01
Steve - most certainly that is true. In the Park End you will also see hundreds of people drinking and eating in the concourse well before the half-time whistle. It makes you wonder why they bother going to the game at all when they could do the same at home or in the pub. It is not just the big new stadia which suffer from a lack of atmosphere.
Alan Bodell
28 Posted 05/10/2015 at 20:16:05
Ken, you have your finger on the pulse of our club but what do you think about Lukaku saying that he is keen to work with Mourinho, Guardiola and Wenger in the future ’In that order’?

I’m quoting a report from Omnisport I just saw, cannot post the link but I am just not happy it's come out now that he is starting to get interested in his games for us.

Ken Buckley
29 Posted 05/10/2015 at 20:29:10
Alan @ 28

Dificult one that. What was the question asked of him?
Where are those managers likely to be in the future?

I tend to pay little attention to this type of stuff.

Alan Bodell
30 Posted 05/10/2015 at 20:37:14
There was no question Ken but it was just an interview published on Oct 2nd and I am just disappointed he would say this. He obviously did because I’ve just been looking at other websites regarding this and it is probably his agent stirring it up again.
Philip Yensen
32 Posted 05/10/2015 at 23:12:54
I think we did well considering who the referee was. He was spineless and gutless. Despite what the flare ups between Barkley - Can and Lukaku - Sakho were about, the Red Shite players pushed the Blue Boys, so red cards should have been shown.

Can's overhead kick was dangerous play: yellow card. Lucas's trip on McCarthy – regardless of the fact that his first card was not correct – was a yellow card offence. Lukaku was hacked at, tripped, man-handled by the pack of Liverpool defenders – no help there either.

We still played some negative and dangerous passing across our defensive line and Howard throwing stupid balls out putting us back in trouble. I blame him for their goal, the 6-yard box should be his. The little push on Barkley was missed too.

Atkinson is and was inept. Our players were asking for explanations he couldn’t or wouldn’t explain. Another observation was his little chat with Milner, pointing to 4 parts of the pitch where he fouled a player, then done nothing? I for one cannot understand our players, at the end of the game, shaking this man's hand. He is dishonest.

Philip Yensen
33 Posted 06/10/2015 at 08:49:51
There is not a player in the Premier League that would not love to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich or even for the top managers in the world. So ask any player the question and record it, get out in the football domain, hey presto, the player wants to leave.

Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona have all lost top players who succumbed to the attraction of other teams and managers. How many of us have fancied a mate's partner, car or coveted his/her assets, imagine getting caught thinking that out loud.

Every player in the Premier League is up for grabs, make no mistake; even Stones. Wait till the next window and Chelsea's league position...

Tony Sullivan
34 Posted 06/10/2015 at 11:10:53
Ken,

Thanks for another great match report in which you always seem to include the mood of the crowd. I would also like to thank you for referring to Liverpool as our ’cousins’ or ’them’, and not RS or similar.

Like you, I love putting one over on them, and you always do it with respect and no little wit. Many thanks for that

Brian Baker
35 Posted 06/10/2015 at 15:19:24
Barkley is getting better and better, holding onto the ball well and hardly mis-directing a pass. His effort on goal in the 2nd half would have been goal of the month if it had crept in.

Also, I lost count of the number of times he got chopped down.

Tony Page
36 Posted 06/10/2015 at 15:51:47
Tony 34, I can't believe you are glad Ken called the Red Shite 'cousins'... 99% of Everton fans call them far worse and that's all they deserve to be called: Shite!
Colin Glassar
37 Posted 06/10/2015 at 16:44:07
He is improving with every game, Brian, but unfortunately he’s still compared to Rooney but (after watching the documentary last night) at 16 Rooney was light years ahead of him.

We need to let Ross be Ross. He’s no Rooney, or Gazza, but he will still be an Everton great.

Kevin Gillen
39 Posted 06/10/2015 at 22:36:15
I watched the game from the main stand and twice on the telly. Martinez has to be praised for the smoke and mirrors over Coleman and Stones. I’m sure this took pressure off Tyias Browning and Funes Mori, both of whom acquitted themselves well.

I thought we gave them too much respect in the first half, we made Sakho, who can’t kick a ball, look like John Stones with all the time we gave him. We also didn’t get at Mignolet, who can’t kick it or Moreno, who at £12m is making Per Krøldrup look a good signing.

We were better in the second half but this has been a feature of our play all season, we need to believe in ourselves a bit more and be more assertive at the start of games. Sadly Deulofeu was poor but they were clearly concerned about him and his value to the team is as much in drawing play towards him as it is in his wicked crossing.

Two poor goals conceded really and Everton fans on here rightly attest to the blame being shared by Barkley and Howard. I was very vocal in my criticism of Howard last year after the nightmares of Crystal Palace and Leicester at home. He has been a good goalkeeper for Everton down the years and did improve at the end of last season and the start of this so he has to be given some credit overall but the two brilliant saves from their keeper sum up the difference to the result really.

Barkley is still a bit of a liability when they have the ball and does duck out of headers. He is a diamond though and still a young man really and I’m glad overall he’s ours. I thought Jagielka, Funes Mori, Barry, Galloway, McCarthy and Lukaku were all superb, especially Lukaku. I do feel we can go on and get top four if we have luck with injuries and a bit more self belief.

I was staggered they have sacked their manager although they have acted quickly and decisively. I think, for now, we are in a far better place than them and am staggered how much money they waste considering it will cost them a packet to get rid of the current bloke and probably another £100 million to satisfy the new manager’s ambitions in the transfer market.

Great report as ever Ken, keep them coming.

Harold Matthews
40 Posted 06/10/2015 at 01:05:52
Four draws already with more to come if Martinez was satisfied with his "no risk" tactical plan. Hardly top 4 stuff. These Derby games are ruled by fear and are costing us too many points.

On the plus side, the new lads performed well despite looking a bit lost when they ventured forward. Galloway has been a revelation and young Browning is improving as his confidence grows. With a bit more experience, he’ll be a serious player.

Funes Mori kept his eye on Galloway and provided support when needed. Finding a decent left-footed centre-back wasn’t easy. There were very few available. This lad shares an Argentina dressing room with Messi and Kun Aguero and played for the strongest club side in South America. Credentials which suggest he knows a bit about defending. Not quite the English way maybe, but I’m pleased to see him in a blue shirt.

Delighted Lukaku added to his goal tally. He worked really hard and is enjoying a good season. Fortunately, he is not yet up to the Bayern Munich / Real Madrid / Barcelona standard so I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere.

Barkley is playing out of his skin but I wish he would shift the ball quicker and get himself into the box. The 18-yd white line is like a mental barrier he is frightened to cross. It signals a pass, a shot or a sideways dribble. When the winger has the ball, Ross should be haring into the box like Usain Bolt. Unfortunately, on the ball he is terrific, but, off the ball. he is too often in dreamland.

Laurie Hartley
41 Posted 07/10/2015 at 02:31:48
Thanks for your report, Ken. As usual, I have found one of your gem one-liners: "I hoped it was because Roberto had devised a cunning plan for the second period."

No such luck eh? Perhaps he could have brought Gibson on.

Harold, I agree with you about Browning; Galloway is ahead of him in confidence at this stage but I reckon like you he is going to be a very, very good player. What a physique for a footballer.

Tony Sullivan
42 Posted 07/10/2015 at 07:26:27
Tony Page (36),

My father and two of my brothers are Liverpool fans and while I am always delighted when we beat them, I think we should at least try to keep sporting rivalry in context and treat the opposition with respect. Using contemptuous language in my view lacks respect and is demeaning.

Ken’s reports are always fair and evenly balanced without resorting to pejorative terms, and I appreciate that.

Ray Roche
43 Posted 07/10/2015 at 08:04:02
Tony, how much respect have LFC, fans, players and management, had for Everton over the years. "Everton are tragic", for instance sung from St George's steps. At a time when they should have been celebrating their own success, the opportunity to have a sly dig at us couldn’t be passed over, could it?

My brother is also a Red an we both know I’d be happy as a dog with two dicks... no, a whole variety of dicks to choose from, if we beat them, despite any sadness it brought him.

That’s the way it is.

Harold Matthews
44 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:19:30
Tony S. I'm an ordinary football fan with a simple everyday vocabulary. Radio 4 words like "perjorative" should be left on Radio 4.
Andy McNabb
45 Posted 07/10/2015 at 11:54:35
Good post Tony Sullivan. Agree completely. Ken, you are a class act and always use the right terminology!

I have 2 brothers who are Reds and whilst they are deluded when it comes to football, I would never refer to them in those terms. They are above all, family and both are actually very appreciative and respectful of what we have achieved on a relative shoestring, whilst being embarrassed at their squandering of riches.

Paul Cherrington
46 Posted 07/10/2015 at 12:15:35
I think it's a good point people make about Barkley being in a world of his own at times when not on the ball. If he could be a bit more aware, it would give him that bit extra to make him truly great
Tony Sullivan
47 Posted 07/10/2015 at 18:31:14
Sorry Harold, born and brought up in Everton, went to Our Lady’s Secondary Modern 1950 to 1960.

I think it is the first time I have ever used the word!! Perhaps I should save it until I write to the Guardian.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 07/10/2015 at 18:35:41
Harold (#44) Radio 4 wouldn’t spell it "perjorative".

Tony (#47) The Guardian, however, would appreciate the misspelling!

Tony Sullivan
49 Posted 07/10/2015 at 19:59:35
Brent,
The spelling is the scouse version, not sure the Guardian would get it.
Brent Stephens
50 Posted 07/10/2015 at 20:05:22
I know, Tony. BBC likewise!
Harold Matthews
51 Posted 08/10/2015 at 03:55:01
Cheers Brent. Didn't realise I'd stuck the extra "r" in.

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