Everton (a) Pre/Post-Match Discussion

Everton (a) Pre/Post-Match Discussion
November 28, 2009 Paul Tomkins

Usual format: subscribers can discuss the game, before, during and after, using the comments boxes below.

Massive match for both teams, although only one manager seems to be under pressure. Both clubs have had a lot of injury problems this season, which no doubt accounts for each being below par. Personally, I think it’d be crazy for either Everton or Liverpool to dispense with managers that have taken their respective clubs to higher points than since the halcyon days of the ’80s.

Liverpool need to get winning league games again soon, and this is hardly the ideal fixture – although if victory does arrive, it should provide the massive shot in the arm that’s necessary to find some confidence.

It’s four without defeat, and a first victory and clean sheet since the 2-0 win over United. It looks like a corner is slowly being turned, but defeat in a game like this is hardly going to have everybody keeping things in perspective.

Derby games are notoriously difficult to call, and once this is out of the way, the fixture list starts to look a little more forgiving, especially after the Arsenal match. If the injury list continues to clear up too, we might finally see the “real” Liverpool heading towards the festive break.

A fit – and fully fit, at that (i.e. not simply out on the pitch at 50%) – Gerrard, Torres and Aquilani, with added cut and thrust from Benayoun, can spark the imaginations, and something approaching a settled back four is probably the most important factor for, sooner rather than later, getting some kind of winning run going.

The components are there for a great Liverpool side, but we need them to fit together, in full working order. The improvement in Mascherano is evidence of how many of the key players were not in the right frame of mind, or body, earlier in the campaign, but now are getting back to their old selves.

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