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Sunday, February 04, 2007


3-0 on Aggregate - not bad for a "small club".

"You could see one team that wanted to win and one who didn’t want to lose. It is not easy when they play narrow and deep .It makes it difficult to create chances and you just have to keep going. When you play against small clubs, they always try to do the same thing."
- As said by Rafa Benitez after yesterdays 205th Merseyside derby.

[I'm going to try and keep this brief. Far too much of this blog is me going off on one about anti-Everton press comments.]

If Rafa had played two wingers rather than Pennant and centre forward Dirk Kuyt on the flanks – perhaps his team may have had more width about them? One team can play narrow but if the opposition ask no questions from the channels then whose fault is that? It takes two to play narrow and that's what happened.

It wasn't like Liverpool were playing in an flowing Arsenal-esque fashion either, their tactics seemed to be shoot from 30+ yards out, give it to Pennant to lose to (the outstanding) Lescott or lump it long to Crouch where it will be eaten up by Yobo and Stubbs. Hardly the 'total football' one would expect from hearing Benitez's post match comments.

As for the small club comment - I think he will regret that for the rest of his time in the city. Need I point out that Everton had won their first title before Liverpool's inception and that the reds still play in Everton's old ground today. This is without mentioning the huge chasm between the two clubs spending budgets over the last decade.

It wasn't the best of matches but far from being a formality win for the home side (who are 29 unbeaten at home having won 24 of those), Everton had the two best chances of the match in Hibbert's early shot and a glorious second half chance for Andy Johnson. Liverpool were frankly lacklustre and never likely to get past a resilient backline had wee played a further 90 minutes.

Anyway, I trust that Benitez is going to have Liverpool go on an all out offensive in Barcelona then? Or will he revert to the desperately dour tactics that he regularly employs on Liverpool's European travels?

3-0 on aggregate to the small timers.

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y'see - I think both you and Moyes effectively concede Benitez's point when you talk of "the huge chasm between the two clubs spending budgets over the last decade" - Liverpool *are* a bigger club than us: bigger pots of money, bigger trophy cabinet, bigger ambition, bigger gate receipts, bigger prize money, just... well... bigger.

That's not to say Everton are on a par with, say, Watford, or Fulham, but Liverpool are ahead of us and have clearly been so for most of the last 20-odd years. So what? I still love Everton and will continue to do so long after Benitez has run off back to Spain... and, yes, 3-0 on aggregate isn't bad for a "small" team, but Liverpool will qualify for the Champions League and Everton will probably not even qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Everton played the way they needed to. Johnson is not quite match fit - you could see he didn't have the pace. We did have one of the best chances, and Liverpool were reduced to long shots most of the game, but that 2nd half was attack against defence. We defended very well, but were clearly looking to sneak a win if possible and try not to concede. Moyes is a little too cautious at times for my liking, but then he doesn't have the players or the resources to do much more - i.e. we are a "small" club by some measures. We have a great history, loyal and large fan base, but in the Premiership, we are scraping the top eight and most teams outside the top four are smallish, so let's not get too riled, eh?

With you on Pennant though - a RS mate went to the game yesterday, his report back: "Pennant is even more sh*t in real life"

It's ace isn't : G14 arrogance personified.


I would like to speak with you about publishing some articles on Everton.


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