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Fans Comment
Steve Gerrard

Where will the points come from?
30 December 2005

It's usually better to be calm before saying (or writing) anything; which is what I decided to do after last night's debacle.

Though it hurts to say it, I was nearly right with my 0-3 prediction.  How could I have possibly foreseen our scoring a (very good) goal?  That apart, Wednesday night re-affirmed the problems for which I cannot see a solution, if Moyes continues unchecked; especially as we are now reliably (?) informed by another contributor that Kenwright has re-stated his commitment to Moyes as manager.

In the past, the one thing you could rely on in a derby game was an Everton team which was motivated to perform.   Tackles flying in from all sides at least meant the opposition didn't have time to settle on the ball.  Liverpool couldn't believe their luck last night; stroking the ball around to a tempo they dictated and for which we had no answer.  This is basic stuff... if you can't match the skill levels of the opposition, then at least make it difficult for them to play. We did neither.

Our goal was a good one, but came because Liverpool were two up and relaxed; they all knew what our 'goals for' tally looks like, so why sweat?  But it gave us a foothold in the game.  This was destroyed in the first 75 seconds of the second half when we had virtually the whole team in the Liverpool half.  Whose back covering?  Step forward (yet again) Davie Weir.  Having actually managed to get back between Cisse and the goal, all he had to do was stand up; Cisse would have gone to the bye-line and we would probably have got away with it.  But no... he telegraphs a half-hearted tackle and the rest is history.

All of the above says two things:

  1. With the need to pick up where we left off from the first half and knowing the Liverpool players would have had a bollocking at half time why the hell did we have so many players committed forward so early in the half (didn't anyone remember Villa Park)?  Moyes's tactics have yet again to be called into question.

  2. Having dropped Weir for making schoolboy errors, why re-instate him so quickly?  Presumably Krldrup was still injured, but I would have preferred a gamble on Ferrari (who must be thanking whatever God he prays to, that he is only on loan).
Then we get to Plan B, or (again) a lack of one.  We are 3-1 down with 43 minutes to play.  Change it?  No chance. Why the effing hell not?!  Moyes waits and waits and waits.  What does he think is going to happen?  Finally McFadden comes on when it's too late.  Way too late.

I'm not saying that (for example) moving Arteta into the middle, putting McFadden wide and bringing on Osman instead of Cahill (who had his moments but faded from sight in the second half) would have got us a point, but it could have given us a different dimension and given Liverpool something to think about. Instead, when he needed to change things, Moyes looked like a proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights.

Moyes is poor.  In fact, he's worse than poor, he's desperate; how else to explain his bewildering analysis of the game later on TV (and which left me shaking my head in disbelief)?

My view is that it is between Everton, Birmingham and Portsmouth as to which of us fills the final relegation place.  We need at least 20 more points (if not more) to have a fighting chance of avoiding the drop.  Given the lack of tactical nouse currently being shown by Moyes, together with his misplaced loyalty to Weir and the clear lack of confidence being shown by the players, I for one cannot see where those points will come from.  Can you?

Steve Gerrard


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