Forget about Richarlison, Sadio Mane was the only player in the Liverpool vs Everton match ‘who did anything truly bad’…
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I’m an Everton fan, tough as it is right now. Its looking pretty grim for us although if we do go down I won’t feel aggrieved, this is the result of years of absolute mismanagement over the last few years and we’ll deserve everything we get.
That said, I’m surprised by exactly how much sanctimonious crap I’ve read from Liverpool fans since the game yesterday although I appreciate they’re going to be really enjoying this and a lot of the more reasonable ones are just going to be on the wind up like we would if it was the other way round. I can’t say that’s how I want my team to play ongoing, but we’re at a stage now where needs must. Let’s be honest, Liverpool are a far better football team than Everton at the moment. I think every other team in the league has been better than Everton for the last 6 months. Yes, even Norwich. I’ve seen comments of ‘Norwich, Burnley and Newcastle all came and played better football’. Maybe they did, but they lost (I assume, I haven’t actually checked) so wouldn’t you try something different? You sound very much like Arsene Wenger right now, moaning that everyone wouldn’t just let Arsenal play triangles around them.
There’s been a lot of comments about diving, something that Liverpool would never do (ahem, Suarez, Gerrard, Salah – it’s almost like every team has their share). I’m not going to defend Richarlison, he’s been doing it ever since he joined the club and I’m constantly wishing he’d cut it out. Gordon also goes down very easily now which has crept in the last few months. That said, my personal view was his booking wasn’t a pen but also not a huge dive either.
I read the comments section under 16 conclusions and there was someone getting pretty aggressively angry with the writer for having the temerity to suggest Everton looked more threatening for the first hour. The thing is though, we did. Obviously we all have our own biases but honestly, until they scored, Liverpool had barely created a chance. They had all the ball of course but did nothing with it. Everton had the best chance of the first half through Doucoure (just because he failed to kick it at the goal doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good chance) and in the first 15 mins of the second half Gordon was terrifying their left flank, TAA had to hack him down once, he got through and dragged his shot once and then of course there’s the penalty shout. It’s a pen in my eyes (and surprisingly even Carragher agreed which tells you something). And if it was a pen then I think Matip would’ve had to walk as well.
The other thing that surprised me was Liverpool fans moaning about the ref. Yes, there was time wasting but in the first half alone, TAA should’ve been booked for that early push on Gordon (the guy doing the Guardian liveblog reckons it could’ve been a red but I think that’s a bit much), Jota swing an elbow at Coleman and then Mane could easily have been sent off for getting all handsy with some faces. If TAA had got that early booking then I’d have been interested to see how he’d have done the rest of the game as Gordon had him on toast. RIcharlison could’ve gone at the end of course but aside from that, it was very much your usual red derby ref.
Anyway, onwards and possibly downwards for us. If we can play with that kind of desire for the rest of the games etc etc, problem is, we’ve already shown that we probably won’t but here’s hoping. If we go down I think we could easily do a Sunderland.
Last thing, the comments section in general is a pretty repulsive place. There’s some massive trolls in there on all sides but please, can the rest of us try and be civil.
I would love to know if the 4 or 5 mails this morning about hoping we go down are from Liverpool fans. I’m guessing yes and I would like to apologise on behalf of EFC for not coming to Anfield and playing expansive attacking football. It was terribly rude of us to try and disrupt your normal patterns of play what were we thinking!
Regarding yesterday’s game, I have no problem with ceding possession and putting 10 men behind the ball. I’m also not that bothered about the timewasting and the general winding up of the Liverpool players and fans (especially given the response in the mails). If it had worked in the end it would have been great. I do have a problem with faking injuries and diving and I wish that there would have been less than that yesterday, it’s a fine line between winding up and causing a nuisance and just plain cheating. Not that Everton have done any different to countless other clubs in that regard, I put it on the same level as the cynical and tactical fouling that is practised by some of the best clubs in the world. You would think by some of the reactions from the Liverpool fans that Everton were taking the act of gamesmanship to unseen heights and employing the worst tactics football has ever seen. In fact there was only 1 player in the first half who did anything truly bad and that was Mane, who probably should have been sent off. (Richarlison probably should have been sent off in the second half tbf).
The penalty that was not given could end up costing us. It was a penalty (and you know it was), but also you’ve seen them not given in the past. You would have thought VAR would have looked at that, but all the Liverpool fans who were outraged at the VAR penalty decision against Man City can now sleep a little bit more soundly that its evened itself out, at the expense of Everton of course.
There’s always a lot of emotions when there’s a derby as old and steeped in history as the Merseyside derby. As an Everton fan, yesterday was hard to watch, simply because it seemed to be the culmination of years and years of financial mismanagement. Terrible decisions over the management of the club, over player recruitment, over the direction and ethos of the club. It’s like Manchester United but with a quarter of the resources. I have been mentally preparing to be relegated for the last couple of weeks and It’s getting to the point where I can’t see any other outcome.
In the end if we go down, it will because we couldn’t beat Burnley when it mattered, or our utterly terrible away form. Not because we lost 2-0 to one of the best football teams in the world.
The ghost of Jose past
I have been reading various reports that have been basically admiring Everton’s dreadful shithousery yesterday. Obviously, their inept manager is between a rock and a hard place, and had the appalling anti-football, anti-sport, anti-entertainment, anti-decency tactics worked, then it would be difficult for even the most ardent of Liverpool fans to not accept that the ends justified the means. But, of course, it didn’t. And there’s the rub.
Yesterday was the darkest of days for Everton. They spent the week planning all the Jose-oriented spoiling tactics, instead of preparing to win the game, a game that they had to win. And then they get beaten, and every football fan who enjoys watching football for the spectacle is now praying that Everton go down. Richarlison was embarrassing and is the worst of gobshites. He makes El Hadj Diouff look saintlike. And Pickford retained the ball twice in two minutes for twelve seconds and fifteen seconds – when was the last time a keeper was pulled up for breaching the six seconds rule?
Lampard got them practising every trick in the book, gambling – wildly – that a team as good as Liverpool wouldn’t score across 90 minutes. How many times would they have to play that game for Everton to actually get a point, let alone win? Shit tactics from a shit manager who shouldn’t be anywhere near the club. He doesn’t even care – his post match interviews are just a bunch of meaningless, vapid clichés.
People can – and indeed I am sure there will be letters-a-plenty about that (non) penalty incident. I realise that Carragher is a little torn here, but stonewall (what does stonewall even mean?) it was not. Debatable it is, but Gordon went down like a sack of spuds any time he got any contact (Jose playbook again), so from the referee’s perspective watching him go down and down again, the seeds of doubt have been sown by a player who was caught cheating. And if you don’t think he was caught cheating, why was he holding his leg?
And obviously, Allison, you magnificent bastard. That’s the funniest thing I have seen on a football pitch in years. It was perfect.
Mat (No Ryan, I blocked you because you can’t help but troll. You disagree with literally everyone, because that’s why you’re here, and obviously, that’s why you’re blocked.)
After the Mersey derby plenty of commentators, pundits, and fans were quick to say Everton can take comfort in all the fight and determination they showed and how they can be proud of it.
No. They can’t and shouldn’t.
Where was that fight when they were destroyed 4-0 against palace? Where was it when Spuds strolled 5 goals in their net? Southampton, Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley?
All teams where that “fight” would have been far more useful than a derby game against a team so far ahead of them that their results don’t matter to each other.
If you can only summon that “fight” for a derby game while allowing all the teams you’re competing against to roll you over you deserve to be relegated. In the past when Liverpool would get spanked off a bottom table team one week and then get a result against a rival the next I just felt pissed off that the same effort wasn’t there for both games. Clearly capable, the problem was unwillingness or complacency both are bad.
I haven’t watched Everton much but if that’s the way they played all season I’m not surprised you’re at the relegation mark. It’s become a staple of mersey derbies that they will be dirty games, nobody is innocent of this in the past. Liverpool were just as bad.
But the constant diving (Gordon) time wasting (Pickford) was a disgrace to football. Richarlison feigned injury so often that the one time he genuinely went down with an injury we refused to kick the ball out, boy who cried wolf. It’s exactly why we need a rule which forces players who feign injury off the field for 10 minutes of treatment. If you’re really injured it will help, if you’re not it will stop players feigning it. Every Everton player was doing it even when they were clear dives. For contrast mane went down easily in the first half and just hopped up again, no rolling around, no holding his head and no screaming like his leg was broken.
Jose’s Chelsea were masters of dirty play and gamesmanship but they had talent too. All everton had was gamesmanship. And I’ll be glad to see that gone from the premiership for at least one team.
If everton get relegated, they get relegated. I won’t feel sorry for them and I won’t miss them playing that way.
Pass the sick bucket…
Is there a fan base with a more inflated level of self entitlement than Liverpool FC. This morning’s letters were stomach churning. How in god’s name were they expecting a relegation threatened side to do anything but get men behind the ball, fight for every tackle, slow the game down and try and make it count on fast break or dead ball situations is beyond me.
Everton can be proud of their display for a large part of the game and had VAR done it’s job Liverpool would have been looking at how to come back from a goal down. Because despite what Red Derek from LFC Dublin will have you believe two things were clear. Gordon won the battle to get across his man (it’s what Salah does regularly and waits for or initiates contact to win a pen). As Matip gives him a shove he stands on his foot. PGMOL confirmed today it should have been a penalty. For the referee and VAR to fail to call this was galling for the toffees. There was similar in the first half with TAA.
I suppose my point is Liverpool have an excellent side, but ffs show some humility. Personally that is where City leave you standing. My hope for the season is City win the league, Liverpool then go on to lose the CL and FA cups.
Proper tidy finish to the season. ABU has been replaced by ABL.
I find it appalling and disgusting that Liverpool fans are angry at the shithousery thrown at them from Everton. If my memory serves me right, just the past week, a Liverpool fan wrote in, saying something along the lines that if they miss out on the league, it should be blamed on the referee and VAR’s decision not to award Everton a penalty, for a handball by Rodri, in the game vs City at the Goodison. Rubbish. Please watch that match to see the same shithousery City had to deal with; they didn’t moan about it. They nicked a goal. Giving Everton a penalty that day would have been validating negative gamesmanship. It is wrong when it is done to some other team. I hate it when the agenda is pushed and popularized, just because it involves Liverpool.
PS. I hope they lose out on the league title. Liverpool 😏
Isaac from Nigeria
Lotta hand wringing from my fellow Liverpool fans over Everton, and I respectfully think they’re wrong. Everton shithoused incredibly well – they weren’t playing dangerously or trying to break anyone’s legs, they just did everything they could to break up the game. It was cynical and it made for a shit game to watch, but it was the right thing to do. Setting the league’s worst away team up against the league’s best home team to play 4-4-2 Queensbury rules would have been malpractice.
Instead, they Atletico’d, and Atletico’d very well. They had some excellent counter attacks, they didn’t give away fouls in silly areas, their defenders were deep enough to be able to attack the ball rather than constantly being turned. They absolutely got under Liverpool’s skin and on another day it would have worked.
I have little sympathy for the penalty claims though. Yes, you’ve seen them given, but you’ve mostly seen them not, and in a game where Richarlison and Gordon had already repeatedly play acted I don’t think a ref is ever going to give a softy.
Dan, Plastic LFC
If Richarlison spent as much effort on diving, cheating and time-wasting he’d be a world beater, instead of being an above average, streaky player (in my opinion).
Anthony Gordon seems to dive/go down easily/initiate contact every game I see him in. Has he been trained in the dark arts alongside kicking a football? Are all young players being trained and developed in this manner? It’s not just him, other English players dive, it’s just sad when the player in question is otherwise exciting to watch and has decent potential.
Tom, leeds fan in wallsend
Getting to the business end of the European season now, I was wondering about various permutations and how they affect European qualification etc. I did a bit of reading and there’s a fair number of possibilities, including the unprecedented scenario of England having 9 teams competing in Europe next year. Here’s how it could play out:
At the moment, the top 7 in England will be in Europe. That’s top 4 in the Champions League, 5th in the Europa league, 6th place getting the FA cup Europa League place (as the final is between 2 CL teams) and the Europa Conference League spot from the League Cup going to the team in 7th.
However, Leicester and West Ham could also make their way into Europe through their respective European competitions. So what happens if West Ham and Leicester finish 8th and 9th, and win their European competitions? Does that affect teams in 6th or 7th? No, it doesn’t. A team can’t be denied a place in Europe due to another team’s success in Europe (there is one scenario where 4th would give a team a Europa League spot instead of CL, but that can’t happen this year).
Anyway, if West Ham/or Leicester win in Europe but finish outside the top 7 it’s extra places for England. So in theory, England could have 5 teams in the Champions League, 3 in the Europa league and one in the Conference League.
What about if West Ham or Leictester finish in the top 7 though? (unlikely for Leicster but in theory, possible) Do the places pass down the league? No, they don’t. Those respective places are just lost. E.g. If West Ham finish 6th and win the Europa League, England would only have one Europa League representative. If they finished 7th, England wouldn’t have a team in the Conference League (oh the shame).
There is one final European result that could have huge implications on the domestic season in England. I hadn’t noticed this until now, but West ham play Man City 3 days before the Europa League final. If West Ham make the final, they’ll almost certainly rest their entire starting XI for that match, giving City an easy 3 points. If they don’t make the final, they may well need 3 points to qualify for Europe next season. It’s the difference between Man City having their toughest match of their remaining fixtures and a walkover and it could have a huge bearing on the title race. I’d love to see a team like West Ham win the Europa league but as a Liverpool fan it’s unarguably better for them not to make the final.
Mike, LFC, London
Our win at the weekend was a weird reversal of how things used to be against United.
Under Wenger, often we would be the team that could boast the likes of Fabregas spraying balls into the attackers to score a solitary beautiful goal while United would take the points due to the likes of agricultural players like John O’Shea kicking our players up and down.
But on Saturday, while United played the better football, it was Arsenal who put away their chances and managed to get the rub off the green with the VAR decisions.
United could rightly feel hard done by but if they want to really reverse their fortunes and get Fernandes firing again, then they have to move Ronaldo on or hope he retires. Can you really see any of those United attackers having the confidence to shoot when they’ve got CR7 barking at them to give him the ball?
The current difference between Arsenal and United on Saturday was no better demonstrated by the respective teams’ star players – Saka tells you everything you need to know about where Arsenal want to go as a club while Ronaldo tells you everything you need to know about what United were – not where they are going.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
What was the difference?
Can anyone answer a genuine question – what was the difference between the penalty awarded to Chelsea (red card for Dawson) and the penalty awarded to Arsenal (yellow card for Telles)? Surely both instances if given as penalties were denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity? The red card for Dawson seemed very harsh to me – was it because the referee had already given a yellow, and VAR then intervened to recommend upgrading it to red? If VAR awards the penalty for the Saka/Telles incident should a red card not be automatically recommended also?
Dave Horgan, AVFC, Dublin
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland…
In Northern Ireland, the title race between Linfield (80 points) and Cliftonville (79 points) is going to the final day. Linfield on paper have the easier game – away to Coleraine (usually the league’s most resilient team but whose form has declined rapidly). Cliftonville are away to Glentoran, but the Glens are Linfield’s arch-rivals, so that’ll provide plenty of fuel for conspiracy theorists in the coming days. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of team Glentoran put out. Both deciding games are in Belfast, so there’ll be no need for any Moira Roundabout or Nutts Corner shenanigans with the Gibson Cup. I don’t feel that this current Linfield team is good enough to win four successive titles (they remind me of a late period Fergie Man Utd team), but if they beat Coleraine that’ll be the outcome. If Cliftonville pull it off while still operating a part-time model, questions will have to be asked of the full-time teams.
As for the Cup Final, Crusaders still don’t know who their opponents are going to be. Ballymena United face Newry in the second semi-final, which is taking place just eleven days before the final. This is because Glentoran fielded an ineligible player in beating Newry 1-0 in the quarter-finals. They were bang to rights. However, the club embarked on a vanity appeal (which was rejected) and then arbitration, with the verdict only coming in last Friday. It has been a very embarrassing episode for the Glens, and their manager Mick McDermott – as least it would be if McDermott felt any shame. There was a lot of goodwill towards the Glens (mainly from the media, it should be said), as their new investment helped push them towards re-establishing themselves as a major force, but this sorry episode combined with McDermott’s arrogance has ended all that. There has been plenty of glee from Irish League fans as the Glens faded out of the title race (no wins since “the split”) and then were thrown out of the cup. When the Crues battered the Glens 4-0 a few weeks ago, the Crues fans told the Glens exactly where they could put their arbitration.
PS: How embarrassing was Carragher (sorry, “Carra”) on co-commentary for the Merseyside derby? He sounded like one of those morons from FanZone.