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It's Not What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It...

By Declan Brown :  31/03/2008 :  Comments (18) :
The dust settles and the anger / frustration / humiliation whatever you?re feeling is still running deep. Just been reading Tony Marsh?s and many other?s thoughts on the Derby. Some of it really resonates on me. Most of the guys respond by having a pop at Tony, but sometimes I think people miss the point of the frustration about how, ie, the manner in which we capitulated.

Me personally, I can forgive getting beat in the Derby if the lads get tore in and genuinely hassle Liverpool for 90 mins and let them know they were in a game. Yesterday we didn?t. But Phil Neville in midfield? Whether it?s left, right or centre, not good enough. Getting beat like that, I just can?t take from an Everton team no matter how good or bad they are.

I?ve been following the Blues since 1986, so I?ve witnessed the long heart breaking fall of this great club. Let me take you back in time to previous Derby?s:

1. Kendall Mk2, The Beardsley Derby, it?s 1-0 to Liverpool at Goodison yet we fought back and won 2-1 thanks to Beardsley.

2. 1994-95, Big Joe Royle?s first game in charge, we?re bottom of the league looking awful, Big Dunc soars for the first goal, Rideout wins it, only for Limpar missing a late chance to bury them 3-0 at Goodison. What a night. Later that season a spirited display at Anfield finished 0-0 and Big Nev made one save all match, and cue Big Joe?s fantastic ?dummies fell out of the pram last night? quote.

3. The following season was the Kanchelskis double at the Kop End and who can forget Ian Rush crying on tv because Liverpool weren?t direct enough. My birthday that day. I cried with joy. Later that season a 1-1 at Goodison with Fowler scoring equalising in the last 5 mins after we nearly had it won again.

4. Year after that we had another derby where we remained unbeaten at Anfield under Big Joe, who later resigned, towards the end of the season a relegation haunted Everton, led by Dave Watson were 1-0 down (Claus Thomson og) and again we fought back with another Ferguson special that officially ended Liverpool?s title charge.

5. Kendall MK3 season, we survived on goal difference, we beat Liverpool 2-0 at home (Cadamarteri) and then drew 1-1 at Anfield after Madar set up Big Dunc to put us 1-0 up, if only Madar had buried that open net... Did they make it easy for Liverpool despite being so bad that we just about survived on just goal difference? There was a lot of heart in those performances.

6. Walter Smith picked up a 0-0 in his first Derby at Goodison that bored the pants off everybody, in a season it took us about 8 games to score our first home goal of the season (Duncan Ferguson versus Man Utd in a 4-1 defeat). But again we held on and fought for a draw.

We went on an unbeaten run of about 8 or 9 straight Derby?s without a defeat and I can say that although this current Everton team is better players wise, but when it comes to the Derby under Moyes why are they always lacking the bite, hunger and determination shown in the examples above when the players we have now are better players?

Now ask yourselves this, would a Kendall / Royle team, as dogmatic as they were and lacking in pure class, would they have succumbed like we did yesterday? I don?t think so, because they didn?t. Moyes is a great manager, but as previously stated on other threads, he bottles it against the Sky 4, shows them far too much respect for my liking. What you lack in ability and class you make up for in effort in these games. We're reknowned for being a tough to beat, hard working team. In the Derby you let them know they've been in game, you make them work hard for their victory if they get it.

As for players being tired, and unable to string a few passes together, what are they doing in training at this time of year? Surely if they are tired, surely Moyes should be doing what Sir Alex does (and Howard Kendall did during his successful first spell) at this time of year and that?s light fitness work and a lot of ball work to keep them ticking over, that way tiredness isn?t a problem and it keeps the player?s touch and ball skills ticking over?

Just a few thoughts?

Reader Comments

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Ciaran Duff
1   Posted 01/04/2008 at 06:56:20

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Yeah, I miss those old derby games. We really gave it our all against the RS in those days. The problem was that we were absolutely SHITE for the rest of the season.
So, which would you prefer - 5th and a poor record in derbies or 5th from bottom?
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 01/04/2008 at 08:30:52

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Rafa was asked if it felt extra good to take 3 points from the old enemy. He said no, that’s just for the fans.
Is it the same for players now?
Mark Murphy
3   Posted 01/04/2008 at 09:22:21

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I?d take 8th -12th and beating them home and away!
Sorry, but if we cant get top spot in the Prem then the next best for me is top spot in the City.

Matt Kassell
4   Posted 01/04/2008 at 09:35:48

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So that’s 6 games over 22 seasons that you’ve mentioned. Or on average one great derby game every 3-4 years. I recall a 3-0 victory quite recently which was quite pleasing. Can that be added to the list or is the current team exempt? I agree with Ciaran - I’d rather be competing for Europe than battling relegation and wouldn’t swap that for one victory in a season.
Jason Lam
5   Posted 01/04/2008 at 09:40:25

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Nice post. I would say the captain should have something to do with it too. If can can’t lead (regardless of ability) then let someone else wear the armband.
Gary Creaney
6   Posted 01/04/2008 at 11:50:06

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You mentioned spirited nil nils at Anfield. Last season springs to mind coupled with a 3-0 at Goodison. Last season you could have argued that Moyes was heading in the right direction with regards to Derby matches.
We use to be a yo-yo team, high league finish one year crap the next. Well perhaps thats what the derby was this season and last season.

Murf, what good is finishing 8-12th if it means derby success. Thats not gonna help us progress in Europe or with establishing ourselves as a top 4/5 team.
Declan Brown
7   Posted 01/04/2008 at 12:02:52

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Guys the point I?m making is that when it comes to the Derby, those games I?ve mentioned above, we didn?t give them an easy ride.

The 0-0?s mentioned above involved us going for it too, not sitting back playing on the counter attack hoping to score with the one good rare we chance we might get while praying our keeper has a really good game to keep us in it.

Regardless of where we are in the League, come the Derby, our players should be up for it and giving us good as we get.

Liverpool tried to rough us up a bit on Sunday. A Joe Royle / Howard Kendall team would not be bullied off the ball in anyway like we got bullied at times on Sunday.

Gerrard wouldn?t dream of stamping on any of the Dogs Of War teams because he would have been quickly put back in his place if he did. Since Stubbs left we don?t have any players that are capable of mixing it up in the Derby.
Art Greeth
8   Posted 01/04/2008 at 12:36:39

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First, to briefly reply to Declan’s posts. Like all Blues, I’m sure, no victory is sweeter and no defeat is more bitter than those against the dark side. So like everybody else, Sunday hurts.

The main point of your original post - that Moyes’ Everton can’t mix it with the ’poo - has been clearly rebutted by more recent examples of Moyes’ successes against the ’poo than you offer.

That said, I am going to be a REAL contrarian to the general opinion following Sunday’s game.

The first half was painful to watch and it was miraculous that we got to half time just one down. However, in the second half, we maintained possession for long periods and the ’poo were limited to rare counter attacks, comfortably dealt with by our defence.

Now as Moyes himself has mentioned, we were fine up to the 18 yard box, but thereafter we lacked penetration. And here is where I’m going to go completely against the mainstream of the majority desire to go head-to-head with the ’poo in a traditional slug fest.

Now I look for positives in all things - and I saw some in the second half. Midway through the half, I was ENCOURAGED by the very fact that we WEREN’T trying to mix it with the ’poo, but that we were trying to craft something playing football. Not solely through snapping at heels and physical intimidation, but through simple ball retention and looking for an opening. Manu Fernandes was pivotal in this when he came on - his best game since he returned.

This, I would suggest, is one of the benefits gained from a prolonged run in Europe. In essence, the team did not panic. They did not resort to hoofball. They had the belief in their talents to open up the ’poo with their passing. It ultimately failed on the day. We still lack that little extra bit of guile and magic in our current squad to spring a defence on occassions such as these.

But I saw enough to encourage me to believe that this team IS evolving and wil continue to do so with further additions. We all want to win trophies and compete at the very top (unless you are like murf in this thread...). Blood and thunder football alone against the better teams won’t achieve that... the football we tried to play in the second half will.
Peter Roberts
9   Posted 01/04/2008 at 13:02:49

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Declan, not for want of criticism, but what is the point of this article exactly?

Sunday was a bad day at the office, granted - but half our players weren?t fit and the exertions of a long season are clearly taking its toll. It?s hard to be up for a derby and attack with one fit striker available.

If you honestly think that there was no effort or attempt to get back in the game you must have been watching a different Everton this season. I?m sure Moyes read them the riot act at half time because we looked a lot better in the second half. It was just unfortunate that Liverpool were more up for the game than we were.
Ed Fitzgerald
10   Posted 01/04/2008 at 13:16:28

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Despite the last three games we have been poor overall however we have made really good progress as a team and as a club. I actually think Moyes has made some progress in his thinking too, in general he has attempted to play more passing football then simply pressing and trying to negate our opponents. He does not trot excuses out like some managers we could mention nearby in the face of defeat. An honest assessment of our performance was that it was not good enough on sunday. We looked knackered and we were missing key players.
The key issue now is whether BK can get significant inward investment, the reality (and I suspect Moyes knows this too) is that BK must step aside and relinquish control of the club to get the money we need to compete at the next level. The Kirkby deal of the century looks increasingly unpopular and unlikely, was it ever popular? If BK is a big a blue as he claims to be he needs to be honest (?) and let someone take control. I think investment will follow we have had a good season but if we want to do better we need money, and BK aint got it. I believe Moyes when he says that he wants to stay for 10-15 years and build a legacy, if Kenwright has the same ambition for us, then he would move aside and let investment from wherever let us comptete with the RS, and the rest and let Moyes shut those smug Kopites up for a good few years. If we cant get money in quick, we will I suspect lose a manager, and be quickly overaken by those with resources that outstrip ours.
Andy Crooks
11   Posted 01/04/2008 at 16:37:09

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It seems obvious to everyone bar DM that 4-5-1 works against better sides only when Tim Cahill is on top form. We’ve had a good season,so far but Dm seems to lack the belief that we’re good enough to beat decent sides. Hence Neville and Carsley in midfield and lets hope something turns up.Since Fiorrentina we look a tired side with confidence ebbing with every game. So, lets freshen things up. Start with Baines, Gosling and Fernandez in every side; if AVDM is fit have him on the bench and lets see if he can play. 4-4-2 with Aj and the yak up front and lets guarantee 5th spot at least.
Jonathan Fletcher
12   Posted 01/04/2008 at 17:13:28

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I thought this for a while now but we are really missing a die hard Evertonian tough man.

Gerrard was throwing massive tackles in. Where was the response and passion back? Where was big dunc? At least he would have throttled someone!

We have a few genuine Everton boys but none seem to have the drive of the admittidely limited players of yesteryear.
David Kiely
13   Posted 01/04/2008 at 17:36:45

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Totally agree Declan. They had a CL QF upcoming, we should have been rattling right into them from the off. They?d have backed off fearing they?d pay a heavy price.

Look at the highlights from the 3-0 win last season... we were right in their faces and they shit bricks. It?s all well and good Moyesie attempting to move us away from one style to another (which I support) but Derbies are visceral affairs...if you can?t stand the heat............

Brian Waring
14   Posted 01/04/2008 at 19:39:51

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I think the reason why we looked a little better 2nd half, was because the shite took their foot of the gas. Even then, we couldn’t muster anything of quality up.
Alvin Lock
15   Posted 02/04/2008 at 02:06:32

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One of the worst merseyside derby ever. No passion from the players. Enough of excuses, time to pick up 3 points against Derby. Miss the passion of Duncan Ferguon...!!!
Derek Thomas
16   Posted 03/04/2008 at 05:52:32

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Short version:

if you can’t get ’ up’ for the Derby you don’t deserve 4th place, or many of the other places either.
Josh Bernard
17   Posted 03/04/2008 at 15:33:55

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I think the reason why Moyes doesn?t do too well in the derbies is because he doesn't realy understand what it is like.

Moyes should watch some clips of the derbies we have won in the past and should see that we where putting tackles in left right and center.

TBH I think we do miss Ferguson, he was a talisman to the team and made us win, he gave us determination.

I also think it?s because most of our team aren?t scousers. I think players like Baines, Hibbert, Jagielka and Stubbs as someone mentioned before know the importance of The Mersyside Derby.

We must pick ourselves up from the defeat and get 5th.
Jay Worsley
18   Posted 05/04/2008 at 00:27:33

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The problem with this side now is we lack a real big game player. Dunc for all his faults was that. Ask him to get up for Coventry or Derby or Norwich and you knew the answer.

If he was fit on the day of a Man U or Liverpool you knew we had a chance. At times he seemed almost capable of taking them himself. Ironically it?s similar to what LFC have with Gerrard now. He is the raeson for their derby success. Look through the highlights. He gets a grip of the game, they win. Look at the Carsley Derby. The only time he was mentioned was when he sent that free kick into the Park End and fell over. The 3-0 was a the same again.

As much as the local lads may inject a bit of pride, what we really need is that Keane/ Gerrard/ Viera like central midfielder who will stomp around the middle of the park and anything else that gets in his way. As to where you find him, your guess is as good as mine. Let?s just hope it?s not as good as Moyes?

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