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Football News: Liverpool v Everton - A Quick Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Everton - A Quick Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Everton


That game was such a poor game. Everton were simply nowhere near good enough and offered nothing even with all eleven players, and Liverpool were very sloppy and did not put them to the sword as they should have. Things got even worse after the sending off as Liverpool were simply not using the width due to the tactics. This was the time to tell Alexander-Arnold and Tsimikas to hold the width and get at Everton. Against ten men you really need to make the most of that space down the flanks and use it to get deliveries into the box from dangerous areas. Instead they offered little other than hopeful shots around the edge of the box. The player you most want in the penalty area is Salah, and he was forced to hold out wide far too much due to no one else being there for long periods.

I do think Klopp got it wrong with the starting line-up, though the team was good enough to beat Everton, it made no sense to start with Jota again. Nunez is a much better player who offers pace in behind and Everton left space for him to use. Once Everton went down to ten, that space was gone and it was no longer a game totally suited to him. He is on form and playing well, I can only think Klopp was worried he would do something silly and get sent off. Also, I still do not understand the thinking behind sticking with Mac Allister in the deeper role, his confidence is suffering and he is only going to make more errors if this continues. It was the perfect time to put Endo in and push Mac Allister forward to use him where is best.

To be perfectly honest though, I am not sure it would have mattered what team was put out as Everton gave the limpest, weakest performance I can ever remember in a Merseyside Derby match. It feels like that is all being deflected away by the ridiculous 'controversy' over a non-decision. I suppose I will have to waste my time talking about the decisions that have created such a mountain out of a molehill. Young was rightly sent off, I really do not know why it is even a discussion. He was stupid and rash and paid the price. No one to blame there but Young for not staying on his feet when he already had a yellow. The decisions that could be considered questionable were the one to not give Konate a second yellow, but I think again the Everton player cost any chance of a yellow by going down looking to get him sent off under the slightest touch. If he stays on his feet, instead of diving to the floor like John McGinn after his own teammate had flicked him, then there is a very good chance Konate grabs him and hauls him down. Then it is a definite yellow and there is no argument. Instead it was turned into a questionable decision over whether it was even actually a foul. It then is just a judgement call for the referee. When Tarkowski does a similar thing, the referee did not book him either, so clearly his judgement is those kind of challenges are not worthy of a booking.

On the opposite side, Everton should feel very fortunate not to give away a second penalty, as Diaz was clearly caught by the defender. It could very easily have been adjudged to be a penalty. It was certainly as much of a penalty as Konate's was a booking. The one thing that Everton do have every right to feel aggrieved about is Tsimikas somehow avoiding a booking. He should have been booked and got away with it. Once he is booked, he is then walking the same tightrope that Young fell off. The way I see it, there is no argument to be had over Young going off and Liverpool's penalty. Tsimikas should definitely have been booked and then is at risk of a second for persistent fouling, if nothing else. Konate not getting booked and Diaz not getting a penalty are decisions that can go either way and you just have to be glad when they go in your favour, and when they don't you just have to get on with it.

From a Liverpool perspective, I think more of an issue was just how bad they played. This was a really poor performance in a game that was bordering on being boring. Which probably explains why so much coverage is being given to such a non-story as there was nothing else to talk about from the entire 90 minutes plus that was played. It was as humdrum and lacklustre a derby as I can remember seeing. There was no fire and little passion in the match. Normally a boring 2-0 win you will take all day long, but the derby should never be boring, it should never lack passion or fire. Even the controversy is lame and just feels like Everton supporters deflecting away from just how utterly dreadful and uninspired their team was. It was not so much that they barely laid a glove on Liverpool, so to speak, it is that they barely even tried to throw anything. They just threw an early jab and then covered up on the ropes and meekly surrendered the win.


I really do not understand what happened to Everton. If you wanted to point out a performance that was as unlike anything Dyche wants from his team, you would immediately point to this game. I am not referring to the tactics, I just mean the manner of the defeat. One thing he has always done when facing Klopp teams is send his team out to get in the faces of the Liverpool players, to be physical and play with passion and desire. There was none of that from Everton. That is not to say they were not trying, clearly they were trying, throwing themselves in to make blocks defensively and working hard. It is just that they played like a team that were only interested in keeping the score down and hoping that they might just snatch a 0-0 if they can hold on.

THe half-time substitution, were he brought on Keane for Harrison and Patterson for McNeil, was symptomatic of the passiveness of Dyche's strategy for the game. It would have made more sense to bring in a midfielder instead of Keane, as he is an accident waiting to happen and it was no surprise he gave away the penalty. Bringing him on gave the initiative away, as well as being a terrible choice of player. Putting someone in the midfield would have at least given them a chance to get at Liverpool on the break. Instead they meekly rolled over and took the beating. Though, in truth it was not much of a beating as Liverpool were so poor as well.


Quick notes on the players:


Alisson - I doubt he will ever have an easier time of it in a Derby, though he did fumble one catch which can probably be attributed to having to be woken from his doze just before to deal with it.

Alexander-Arnold - moving inside constantly is not helping him to get into the game any more than he did out wide and he is not in such dangerous areas. When he does get out wide, the team looks so much better balanced and he is better areas usually to deliver the ball when he receives it.

Konate - could have picked up a soft second yellow, he was lucky the Everton player decided to throw himself to the ground before he even got a chance to do anything, as he is prone to grabbing. It is something he needs to work on, to resist the temptation to grab the forward, especially when you are so far up the field with plenty of cover behind you, so there is little danger.

van Dijk - really beginning to look like the old van Dijk once more. Though he was not exactly put under much pressure in this match at all.

Tsimikas - he had a really poor game and struggled badly. He should have been booked and was very lucky to get away with a rash challenge. Tsimikas has not been the same since he got hooked after his first run of games while Robertson was injured, it seems to have affected his confidence badly. He was playing well then and has never been able to replicate that form since.

Mac Allister - there is the odd flash, a good forward ball here and there when he is not under pressure, but overall he is really struggling in that position and it really needs to be reconsidered before it destroys his confidence.

Gravenberch - shows some nice touches and is very good going forward. Never really got going overall though, it was just a nice bit here and there.

Szoboszlai - probably his worst performance so far. He was constantly looking to hit shots all the time, even if a shot was not on. His shooting, and his passing for that matter, was not at its usual level.

Diaz - Liverpool's best player until he bizarrely got moved to full-back, when he was just starting too far back to really hurt the Toffees. He tormented Young until the Everton full-back got sent off trying, and failing, to stop him. Then he continued to cause problems for Everton until he was replaced.

Salah - his touch was awful for some reason, he looked completely out of sorts, constantly just kicking it against his opponent. But he still finished the match with two goals. Even on a bad day he comes good.

Jota - I am just going to skip over this as it feels like I just end up saying the same things about his performances when he starts.

Nunez - replaced Tsimikas in the 62nd minute. Brought so much to the game, as well as a nice assist. His pace, desire and workrate lifted Liverpool massively.

Elliott - came on for Gravenberch in the 62nd minute. Like Nunez, his desire and workrate made a huge difference and he was not prone to the sloppiness that had plagued the team throughout the match.

Matip - brought on for Konate, who was on a booking, in the 62nd minute. Never really troubled as the game was pretty much played in the Everton half.

Gomez - came on to play left-back in the place of Diaz in the 81st minute. With no winger to trouble him, it was a nice, easy run-out.

Written by Tris Burke October 24 2023 08:02:32


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