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Football News: Everton v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

Everton v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
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Everton v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective


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A comprehensive win against local rivals is always a good thing to see, though this one was tinged with the regret of seeing an old Liverpool hero so badly hurt. Even the disappointment of conceding a goal to such a poor side was nothing compared to how hard it was to see Benitez at the end and knowing that the result will have contributed to his eventual downfall there. I felt so bad for Benitez that it almost affected my enjoyment of the result. Almost.

This Liverpool team is beginning to look ominously good. There will not be a single side going through to the next Champions League stage that will relish drawing Liverpool right now. The key now for them is to maintain their form for the rest of the season and there is no doubt they will be there or thereabouts when trophies are handed out.




They got their tactics all wrong, for all his preparation and all the research he does, Benitez had failed to spot the weaknesses in the Liverpool side. Instead of setting up to attack with pace from the centre using balls over the top of Matip, they put Rondon up against him. Their pace was coming from deep and needed him to get hold of the ball and play them in as a second run, which plays into Liverpool's hands. It did not help Everton's cause that they struggled to get any of the ball to give it to Rondon anyway.

As they did not have much of the ball, their lack of mobility is a huge problem. If you are a ball-dominant side, you do not have to have lots of pace, you can move the ball quickly to move the opposition about. However, if you lose the ball, without mobility you have to play the Hodgson way, defend deep and leave no space or be overrun. That only works so long as you are not losing. Once you go behind you have to come out to a degree if you are to have any chance of a result.

Everytime Everton came out, players were caught out of position as they lack the mobility to get back and it opened up gaps that Liverpool could exploit. Even if you add Calvert-Lewin to this current side, the Toffees look in real trouble and there is a genuine danger they could get dragged into a relegation battle. There is little creativity to give a striker a chance and they are lacking in quality in the defensive third. Godfrey looks their one bright light at the back right now, as Digne seems to have lost form and Coleman is clearly a fading force.

I cannot see what Benitez can do to get this team out of the mire to be honest. I have seen people calling for youth players, but their under-23s that I have seen look a thousand miles off being ready for top flight adult football. Only Gordon looked capable and he has already stepped into the team on a regular basis. With FFP restricting what they can do, I fear for Everton this season. Their recruitment before this season has been abysmal, with far too much money thrown down the drain on players who were clearly not right. That needs to change.

If Brands is not the man signing these players, then he should be sacked for being too weak and allowing Moshiri to override him in his own domain. If Brands is the man signing dross like James Rodriguez, then he should be sacked for being useless at his job. I really do not see any way in which he can be considered a success.

However, I have to say that the biggest problem at Everton right now is the fans. Walking out on 19minutes, always on the verge of turning on the team the moment things are not going right, it is not helping their situation on the pitch. I understand why Evertonians are frustrated right now, I have to hear about it at great length from those family members who are blue noses, but they cannot expect the players to give their all when they are being abused by their own 'supporters'. All this talk of a walkout on 27min, it is just making things worse. If you are not supporting the team on the pitch, then you are not blameless if results go against your team.

The only thing Everton fans are doing at the moment is helping their opponents. Every team knows they only have to get at Everton early and the fans will turn. If they are going to start walking out as well, they may as well prepare themselves for next season in the Championship, as that will be the only place they will be heading.




Klopp - I am not sure Klopp will have had an easier time at a derby match in his whole career. He never even needed to do anything different for this game, just send out his team to play his way. Klopp's team look light years ahead of Everton on the evidence of this season.


Alisson - he will have been disappointed to have conceded but the amount of those situations he rescues I am sure Alisson can be forgiven for this one getting through. It was not the busiest game he has ever had and difficult to really give his performance any kind of rating because of that.


Alexander-Arnold - unusually Liverpool scored 4 and there was no assist for him and he gave up the chance to score from a free kick to van Dijk (which hopefully will never happen again). Despite that, he was excellent and linked up well with Henderson and Salah to destroy Everton down the right flank over and over again.


Matip - this was a game that suits him, as Matip was mostly up against Rondon. It was a physical battle in front of him, rather than a nippy forward looking to get in behind him. As such he dealt with the threat well and had a decent game. Everton did not get enough of the ball to test him properly. However Matip should have scored, he had what can only be called a sitter of a header and his own reaction to his miss told you he knew that. I know he is not in the team to score goals, but still, you have to take chances that presentable when they come to you.


van Dijk - van Dijk looks back to the form that should have won him the Ballon d'Or a couple of seasons ago. He had looked a little ropey for a few games, but now he looks right back on his game and there is no one better when he is at it.


Robertson - two assists, though he was not quite at his best. It is clear that he is approaching his top form again, the delivery is returning to the level we grew to expect of him. Whether that is due to being able to rest and rotate with Tsimikas or because of the competition, or even a bit of both, is difficult to say, but it is clearly a big help.


Fabinho - his return to form has been essential to Liverpool playing so well of late. When Fabinho plays like this, there are few even close to his level. His contribution is immense to allowing Liverpool to dominate the ball.


Henderson - had an exceptional game, even putting aside the lovely finish for his goal. Arguably man of the match, he was right on top of his game and dominated the midfield. He showed exactly why he is captain.


Thiago - he has become a big part of the Liverpool midfield, Thiago is not always spectacular, he takes risks, but he enables Liverpool to control the game. His passing and vision are exceptional and make a huge difference to the team, though he does need a Henderson-type alongside him to provide energy.


Mane - not at his best, particularly in the first half, but he kept on going and stopped Everton from being able to get to grips with Robertson's attacking forays by pressing them back on his flank. Even though he was struggling, he was still keeping two players occupied most of the time.


Salah - what do you say about Salah now? He makes the extraordinary look ordinary. Salah is just a special player on top of his game and Everton could not come up with a way to deal with him at all. There is no shame in that as the only solution to stopping him seems to be putting 3 men on him at all times, which then leaves the rest of the pitch open for his teammates.


Jota - his game was not at its best, nothing like as good as he was last time out. However, once again he was a danger and popped up with a goal. You cannot ask for much more from a forward when he still scores when not playing well.


Milner - replaced Thiago in the 75th minute. Came on to see the game out and did his job in the way Milner always does.


Oxlade-Chamberlain - was brought on in the 83rd minute to take Henderson's place. With the game effectively over, he worked hard but was not able to really make a mark on the game.


Minamino replaced Jota in the 88th minute. Came on too late to truly get going before it was over.

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Written by Tris Burke December 04 2021 11:12:00


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