Single word yields best result

Football News: Liverpool v Everton - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Everton - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: investmentu.com

Liverpool v Everton

 

Where do I even begin with this one? The game seems to have boiled down to just 3 main talking points, judging by the rection on the sites: the team selection, the mistake by Mane and the penalty. I am not sure how those 3 have become the sole focus, as there was a full 90 minute game that boiled down to a lot more than those 3 factors. Yes they had a big part of it, but it was really the rest of the match that decided things. LFC had more than enough to win by a margin but failed to make the most of their possession, that was the problem.

Everton, on the other hand, got exactly what they wanted. They aimed for a draw and left with one. It was as good as a win for Sam Allardyce, as a win would not have left that same delight amongst the Everton fans as snatching a draw from the grasp of a Liverpool victory did. Mostly because they went into it expecting a defeat and a win would have felt like a fluke, while the draw felt like a well earned point following a game plan that worked. Which, in essence, was exactly what it was.

So the 3 main talking points then, starting with team selection. It was a surprising choice but it had more than enough to win. I fail to see why it has become such a big talking point, there was only really Solanke and Oxlade-Chamberlain that were not regulars and they both need game time. That selection was more than good enough to win, as it almost proved by coming away with all 3 points and dominating the match totally. So I really do not understand why it is still a talking point.

Onto the Mane moment, yes it was a mistake, a big mistake, but that was all, he made the wrong choice in the heat of the moment. Yes it was greedy to take on the shot rather than make a pass, but that is why he scores so many goals, because he takes on shots. Again it is not a worthy talking point, that was not the issue that cost the points, the team was good enough and should have added more goals.

The final big talking point was the penalty, which is giving the media their chance to jump on the back of an easy target in Lovren, as usual. They do love their witch hunts in the media. However it is not a cut and dry issue, there are hundreds of times in a game, including the goal scored by Salah, when a player did exactly the same thing but no foul was called. It is a penalty because the ref decided it was, but I think he made the wrong decision, not just because he never gave a foul a thousand other times in the game when it happened but because it was not a push, just contact that happens in a contact sport.

I actually did experience what can go wrong when you do not use your hands to protect yourself in the fashion Lovren did. It was just a kickabout match, nothing serious, and I was ushering a forward out towards the byline, I spread my hands wide to make myself big, expecting him to try and turn past me. He did so, but he turned too tight, launched himself as fast as he could and ran straight into me, our heads smashing together. He was taken off to hospital with concussion and I had a couple of chipped teeth and a huge shiner.

The next day I was sat in a cafe and the guys on the next table asked about the shiner and I told them what happened. They turned out to be professors or lecturers, of various sporting studies, and so were professionally interested in what had happened and why. They told me that my mistake was not to put my hands in front of me resting on the guy's back for a number of reasons, most of which I forgot, but the main two I remember were that it creates a buffer zone to give you time to react and so get your head out of the way and improves your chances of understanding the movement the other player will make by feeling it, as well as seeing it.

So I am not bothered by the penalty from that viewpoint, but I do think he made a terrible error of judgement in not clearing the ball before it went over his head. That was a bad mistake, he should never have been caught out like that, it was a lapse in concentration that is, sadly, all too common with Lovren. The penalty should never have been a penalty because the ball should never have reached Calvert-Lewin to give him a chance to shamelessly throw himself to the ground at the slightest brush.

 

Klopp - it was an odd selection, but it had enough about it to win and should have done so. Difficult to criticise him, though so many are happy to do so, when the fault according to those same people was down to two players that would have played anyway if the strongest team was put out.

 

Mignolet - he had so little to do other than deal with a backpass, it is difficult to give any judgement on his performance at all. He did punch a corner clear but that was about all he had to do other than face the penalty and catch a pass back from Sigurdsson. Personally I never blame a keeper for conceding a penalty, so I am certainly not going to start now.

 

Gomez - best player on the pitch in a Liverpool shirt. He is getting better and better. Long may it continue.

 

Lovren - made a bad mistake not dealing with the pass to Calvert-Lewin, which is a shame as he was actually having a good, if easy, game up until that point.

 

Klavan - solid, assured and played some good passes. That is what I wrote after the last game and it applies once again!

 

Robertson - for some reason him not playing has turned him into a cross between Roberto Carlos and Ashley Cole in the minds of a lot of Liverpool fans, but I just do not see it. He is positionally poor, weak defensively and, while he gets forward well, he does not link up well on the attack, makes the wrong runs a lot of the time and his crosses are aimless. I think Moreno was badly missed, even if his crosses are not often much better, his link up play and runs are much better and the defensive side of the game was irrelevant against the Toffees.

 

Henderson - for some reason I have seen him getting stick from the usual boo boys on his back, but I thought he had a good game. Not just was he always looking to play off the front foot but he was in the ear of everyone who was not doing enough. The moment the attackers were not giving him options with movement, he would play it off and give them a mouthful. I am not sure what more the lad has to do before he stops being the target for abuse. People seem to think he should be Steven Gerrard but no one is that!

 

Milner - there was no need for a midfielder to sit and protect the back four, so it could have been a good choice to put his energy and willingness to run in the team. Could have been. As usual with Milner in central midfield, he ran a lot but achieved very little. Could have done with a bit more guile to unlock the Everton defence.

 

Mane - personally I felt he had a poor game, which was a big part of the problem, as he is one of the biggest goal threats for Liverpool but he was well marshalled by Kenny.

 

Solanke - unfortunately for the lad he did not have the best of nights. It was only his second start but he should have done better against the truly awful Williams. Early days and I am sure he will have learnt a lot.

 

Salah - wonderful goal but he was not at his best due to being given no space at all to operate in.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain - a decent performance but he needs to do more if he is to hold down a place in the side. Decent is not good enough for Liverpool.

 

Subs:

Firmino - replaced Salah in the 67th minute and showed a few flashes of his ability but was never able to really threaten the goal.

Coutinho - came on in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 78th minute but offered little impact.

Ings - got a short cameo appearance after replacing Solanke in the 82nd minute but never really got into the game at all.

Written by Tris Burke December 11 2017 20:06:33