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Go for the Jugular

By Lyndon Lloyd :  15/01/2011 :  Comments (36) :

It's derby time again, the Anfield derby to be precise, a game that, incredibly, we haven't won since 1999.

Of course, this match-up against the enemy from across Stanley Park has a different look to those of recent years. For a start, both sides will kick off the game sitting in the bottom half of the table ? Blue above Red, albeit on goal difference ? and I'm not sure how far you have to go back the last time that was the case.

It also marks Liverpool's first home game with Kenny Dalglish back at the helm after the unceremonious booting of Roy Hodgson, who barely had time to imprint his backside in the Anfield hotseat before being shunted on to his next managerial assignment with the Reds some way off their target of a return to Champions League football.

So you'd expect some extra charge behind the home fans as they welcome back their "hero", the one that walked out on them almost 20 years ago after one of the greatest derbies every played, the 4-4 FA Cup draw at Goodison in February 1991.

But they'll also be without their Talisman, Steven Gerrard, who serves the second match of a three-game suspension and with Dogleash having already lost twice in his second stint as their manager ? to Manchester United in the Cup and Blackpool in the league midweek ? there will be plenty of Liverpool anxiety on which to feed.

Much has been made of David Moyes's conservative approach when it comes to playing the "Sky Four" ? although how relevant that term still is now that Spurs and Manchester City have joined the league of media darlings and Liverpool have fallen out of the pantheon of English footballing greatness is open to question ? and though he rejects the idea that a lack of adventure lies behind his failure to win a match at Anfield in nine years as Everton manager, there have been occasions when the lone striker formation and a confusing lack of spirit have condemned his side to unnecessary derby defeat... or defeat has been avoided thanks to Tim Cahill, Moyes's own Talisman.

But with Cahill absent at the Asia Cup, Everton have come to life under a two-striker system, the one for which many supporters (myself included) have been clamouring for most of the season, seen off Tottenham with a rousing 2-1 win at Goodison and done what top flight times should do against lower-division opposition in thumping Scunthorpe United 5-1 in the FA Cup 3rd Round last weekend.

It took Louis Saha just a few minutes in both games to register his appreciation for the new-found freedom with sweetly-taken goals that offer hope that he now has the spark to reignite his goalscoring form. And somewhere around the quarter hour mark against Tottenham, Mikel Arteta suddenly came to life. It was as if he had been awakened from a slumber by the touch of some unseen magic ? a player who had looked lethargic, disinterested and directionless almost all season seemed to rediscover his joi de vivre and began to show some of the form that made him a fan favourite before his long-term layoff temporarily derailed his career.

Now there was movement where before there had been little, pace up front where before there had been none, and the goals started coming. Attack as the best form of defence, all that... all because Moyes finally did what many of his peers did a long time ago and that is adopt a dual-striker solution. Forced into it he may have been by Cahill's absence ? or maybe his plea for fans to keep the faith was indicative that supporter concerns were leaching through to the manager ? but Moyes's team has been exciting to watch over the last two matches.

Now we just have to hope that he doesn't revert to type this Sunday because, for me, we need to go out at there and just go for it because this is a Liverpool side that we can pin against the ropes with the right approach. Play Saha and Jermaine Beckford together from the start, let Seamus Coleman loose on their left flank and Steven Pienaar (if he plays) and Leightin Baines down their right, let Arteta and Fellaini control the midfield and let John Heitinga and Sylvain Distin keep it tight at the back.

Their Scouse axis of Gerrard and Jamie Carragher will be missing and with their recent frailties in mind, an early onslaught, an early breakthrough and sustained pressure could set them reeling and land Moyes with his first League double over Liverpool.

Kevin Keegan returned to Newcastle as the returning hero a few seasons back and left a few months later having utterly failed to fulfil the Messianic turnaround he promised. Nothing would be sweeter for Evertonians who have been forced to live in the shadow of Liverpool for so long because of a chronic inequality in financial resources than to see "King Kenny" go the same way as "King Kev," back to the footballing wilderness. Moyes's Everton can help him get there, but they have to have the right mindset and the belief that right now, despite their parity in Premier League points, Everton are the better team.

Come on, you Blues!

Reader Comments

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Mike Prendergast
1   Posted 15/01/2011 at 01:45:27

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Christopher McCullough
2   Posted 15/01/2011 at 02:40:06

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Good article. It's never wise to be cocky before a derby. But Everton are, indeed, the better team (and club). Good luck, Blues!
Ciarán McGlone
3   Posted 15/01/2011 at 02:41:56

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King Kenny... what a pathetic piece of sentiment. I'd lovde to shove it down their cretinous throats.

Let it be.
Robbie Shields
4   Posted 15/01/2011 at 02:43:46

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Absolutely 100%! No excuses this time.

Moyes must send the mighty blues out from the off to be up for it, positive, attacking, relentless and merciless.

Saha and Beckford up front from the off and take the game to them, if anyone is not up for it, then drag em off, no passengers.

COYB, stuff em! I want 5.
Chandra Kumar
5   Posted 15/01/2011 at 04:51:45

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Messiah will triumph over King.
Michael Coville
6   Posted 15/01/2011 at 04:49:55

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If Moyes plays Saha and Beckford up front it will be 4-0 for us, if he only plays one striker it will be a draw.
Eamonn Turner
7   Posted 15/01/2011 at 05:02:39

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Spot on Lyndon, the rs jugular should be savaged with no room for pity. Nothing would be sweeter than seeing the camera on Gerrard and Hilda Carragher in the 90th minute with us leading by 3 goals. Hopefully the two games they had against manure and Blackpool have taken the sting out of the queens return slightly. Surely even the "completely" out of topuch rs fans can now see it wasn't all Roy Hodgsons fault and there squad is shite.
Dermot Ryan
8   Posted 15/01/2011 at 05:43:58

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A mouth watering prospect. Kopites will be absolutely desperate for a victory. Anfield will be an absolute cauldron. Our lads must be up for it but keep calm and go about their business. Do not get dragged into the usual kicking war. Having Carragher out will help in that department. We are the better side in the sense that I would genuinely prefer our squad were I a neutral. I guess I can thank the FSW for that. But we have lost to worse teams. We need leaders on Sunday. How will we step up? And what Everton will show up?
Martin Mason
9   Posted 15/01/2011 at 06:31:11

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Lyndon, I completely agree with your sentiment and that it will be 3 points lost if we don't win this time. Why do I feel so apprehensive though? Derby games can be chaotic which will level the skill differential and I worry that Moyes will somehow revert to negativity when the win is there by positivity. I think the key is maintaining 4-4-2 and the pace of Beckford and pure skill of Saha running their defence ragged. Is Coleman out? That will be a real shame because he adds such a creative force that will always destroy inferior sides like Liverpool and worry even the best.
Kevin Fitzsimons
10   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:21:38

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Sitting here in Brisbane, just got power back after 4 days... Counting ourselves so lucky compared to others .... a double over the RS would really raise the spirits in this house and is nothing more than the recent form deserves.... COYB
Brian Lloyd
11   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:37:48

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Agree with every word. As I see it, if we play our game we win, if we get drawn into a niggly battle we'll come away thinking of what should have been, again! Let's hope for the former.
Mike Green
12   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:47:03

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Good luck Kevin, I've got family in Aus and a mate in Brisbane so thoughts with you.

As for Sunday PLEEEEASE can we PLEEEEASE beat this lot. When we beat them at Goodison it was the first time in years where Ive sat there completely confident that we should beat them and we actually did. Usually they spawn something off us usually with the help of the ref. Talking of that I can see Phil Dowd totally losing the plot. Any way, they were shit then and they're shit now, the only thing that's in our way tomorrow is belief, get that sorted and I think we will
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:35:15

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All we (and the RS) have to keep in mind is the numbers, they don't lie.

a) do our version of 442, put in the effort and let them worry about us, their centrebacks looked very shakey Vs Blackpool.

b) Dalglish: just remember, he's 59 and on the line, not 36 and on the pitch, ( thank God )

c) Their squad won't have improved over night.

d) In as much as there is mega pressure in a Derby, there is more on them than us.

e) I am quietly confident that we will do it, buoyed up by the lack of bombast coming, supposedly from the players, on the O.S.

f) With the proviso that I am slightly worried that Saha, in his ever so slightly withdrawn role, (75% attacker, 25% semi midfielder ) has a tendency to give away suicide balls.

g) All will be null and void if, i) Moyes bottles it or, ii) they haven't recieved their copy of the script
Mike Green
14   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:00:46

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Wait for it... Wait for it...... Put them to the sword.

Derek Thomas
15   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:00:55

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And yes...

Craig Wilson
16   Posted 15/01/2011 at 10:11:51

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Am hoping King Kenny does a Shearer and takes them down were they belong!!

Come Sunday there will be only one king "KING LOUIS"
Jim Hourigan
17   Posted 15/01/2011 at 10:17:50

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My great fear is that with Pienaar gone (apparently), he will pick Osman and any semblance of pace and attacking creativity on the left will be lost. Osman has no pace, no strength, cannot hit a ball further than 20yds with accuracy, never performs in big matches and will be a liability as he always is against Liverpool. Moyes will pick his 'love child' and we will lose the impetus that was achieved with the win against Spurs. I hope I'm wrong and he picks Billy or Gueye but somehow I doubt it
Stephen Sullivan
18   Posted 15/01/2011 at 10:35:19

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What is it with LFC fans? They are stoking this up big time, sending out request for their fans to bring the banners labelled "King Kenny" etc.

I have long believed that their fans don't watch the match but look at the tv cameras and the photographers. They are obsessed with creating a myth that they are the best supported club in the world. This "King Kenny" lark is putting them in dreamland. They even believe there are "fields" on Anfield road such are their delusions?

So come on let's really give it to them.
We can do it.

Heavy rain is forecast, the pitch will be heavy and sticky, they have played twice since our last game so they will be running on empty for the last 30mins. So, go at them them first 30mins, silence the crowd and a sweet victory is there for the taking.

God used to play for them. Now they have a "King" and "Queen" on their team so lets hope Jack can come up trumps?
Stephen Kenny
19   Posted 15/01/2011 at 10:56:07

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While Osman would get nowhere near my first 11, to say he never performs in big games is untrue. He was the best player on the pitch last derby until he went off injured, he was also the MOM against both Chelski and Man Utd in both wins last season.

From the first until the last we have got to give it to them, both barrels. The better players, manager and fans will all be in blue tomorrow and I cant wait to be singing round their empty ground.

I think a convincing win for us could see them in freefall for the rest of the season. A humiliating win for the blues tomorrow wil see their fans start to turn and their chairmans arse start to twitch after bringing back a has-been with previous for flapping when the going gets tough.

Throw in a few bad buys by Commoli who signed shite after shite for Spurs and we could be set for a long period of dominance on Merseyside at least.

Peter Webster
20   Posted 15/01/2011 at 11:36:08

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We need to take 6 points from the horribles and help push them towards the oblivion they so richly deserve. All you read in the papers is King fucking Kenny. I can't stand this media love-in.
I was playing the game on Fifa 11 last night and Andy Gray, the twat, was saying "Oh, Liverpool are used to playing bigger teams!" Shove it down their throats tomorrow lads. Right down, right to the bottom.

Excrementa delenda fucking est!
David Hallwood
21   Posted 15/01/2011 at 12:19:38

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King Kenny, the worst caretaker since Ian Huntley.
Tony Hennessy
22   Posted 15/01/2011 at 13:03:01

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Spot on ? we need to go for it from the off but in the correct manner. I worry about certain players in the derby that try to play the crowd, launching themselves in to stupid tackles, picking up stupid yellow and eventual red cards.

Hard work, tackling should be the minimum for every footballer every game, the real courage in these games is to play your football: good, quick, incisive passing ? don't be scared to try things, go for the throat and believe.

This has to come from the manager, if we play like we can in a committed intelligent manner, we can win it comfortably; if we get drawn in to niggle, I fear for us. Let's face it, they're better at that nonsense: they dive, they stay down, they spend the 90 in the ear of the ref...

We need to be clever. I especially worry about Heitinga who seems to mistake commitment with violence at times. Come on, Everton.

John Daley
23   Posted 15/01/2011 at 13:46:32

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"... I worry about certain players in the derby that try to play the crowd launching themselves in to stupid tackles picking up stupid yellow and eventual red cards.."

I hope Fellaini can keep his cool tomorrow and avoid getting wound up by grocks like Kuyt and that Greek fairground worker. With Stevie G Laa missing he has the chance to dominate the midfield and hopefully won't waste it. A big performance from him in a derby game is long overdue.
Jon Cox
24   Posted 15/01/2011 at 13:56:15

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It's Kuyt we have to keep an eye on. He is the only player in that side that can make things happen.

If Pienaar doesn't play i'd go got Gueye on the left. Much more pace than Billy and much more direct in his attacking play.

we need Arteta high up the pitch as well in a supporting role behind the strikers. If Arteta fails to produce then take him off and replace with Billyikickabolokoff.

As already said go for the juggs from the first minute to the last and they will surely tire in the last 20 mins.

Mr Moyes, 4-4-2 get our drift?

Larry Boner
25   Posted 15/01/2011 at 15:19:27

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There will only be one person reffing the game on Sunday, instead of the usual trio of a petrified official and Gerrard and Carragher (who I now see has got his place in the Sky Sports studio, alongside Nosenstein). Everton will also be missing 2 main players in Pienaar and Jagielka, so that makes up for their two.

I see they have called for a flag day, how can this happen when flags, poles banners are banned from every other ground?

David Moyes, this your chance to go down in history as being the manager of one of Evertons most famous victories. Carpe Deum for fucks sake !

Dave Wilson
26   Posted 15/01/2011 at 16:34:25

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The Liverpool players will come out and fight as if their lives depend upon it .
Anfield will be no place for suicidal cavalry attacks. BOTH teams will defend with eleven and given the circumstances the fight for that extra inch will be even greater than ever.
Every one of our players needs to concentrate on winning his own personal battle.

Forget formations, this`ll be high octane crash bang wallop, I expect with people like Fella and Seamus in our camp, our boys will be up for this.

I also expect our superior ability to tell as fatigue sets in and the game gets stretched.

Kevin Hudson
27   Posted 15/01/2011 at 17:32:12

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Our boys need only recall the ease at which we defeated them at Goodison to know how we match up against them. Caution will play into Red hands; Let's be sensible,yes,but if we play with authority & confidence we have to know we can do it.
Brian Waring
28   Posted 15/01/2011 at 18:27:36

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The shite had to play against Man Utd with 10 men, and they did put a shift in, they had a midweek game against Blackpool, who gave them the run around, they will be fucked, so we have to get at them from the start, and put them on the back foot.

Got to start the game with the 11 that started (Depending on Pienaar) against Spurs. Knowing Moyes though, he will probalby start with Hibbert right -- back, Osman on the right side of midfield, Fellaini playing just in front of the back four, with Neville moving to centre-mid, and Saha as the lone striker. Beckford and Coleman both get benched.
Brian Hill
29   Posted 15/01/2011 at 18:34:13

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David Hallwood @ 20

"King Kenny, the worst caretaker since Ian Huntley".

Humorous, child murder, isn't it? Just ask Michael Kenrick. Easily worth comparison with a football club manager.
Jon Cox
30   Posted 15/01/2011 at 19:21:08

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Brian, (26) thanks for the nightmare scenario.
Kieran Kinsella
31   Posted 15/01/2011 at 20:41:07

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I remember back in the 94-95 season we were at the bottom of the league and in Joe Royle's first game we had to play the red evil-doers. Kenny Dalglish was one of the "analysts" for the game and, when the teams were announced, Richard Keys asked Kenny what he thought about the Everton team.

Kenny noted that Royle had picked Andy Hinchcliffe, a left back to play on the left wing. Keys suggested it was to stop Rob Jones's marauding runs down the left. Kenny agreed that Hinchcliffe was there to stop Jones and then started laughing and mokcingly said "Everton have got bigger problems than Rob Jones."

The other analysts joined in his mocking laughter and all present agreed that Everton would obviously lose. Unbeknown to the so called "King Kenny," Joe Royle had turned Hinchcliffe into a toe-punting corner-taking machine. We all know what happened next...

Anyway I was just wondering if Kenny Dalglish, having learnt his lesson, will field Daniel Agger on the right wing to stop Leighton Baines's maurauding runs ? Either way I will "love it, love it" to see the smile taking off his face once again.

John Talbot
32   Posted 15/01/2011 at 21:20:29

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Using a comment from the other week.

Attack Attack Attack !!!!
Chris Hockenhull
33   Posted 16/01/2011 at 00:12:28

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As Lewis Armistead said as he led his battallion over the Emmitsburg Road on the illfamed 'Pickets Charge' at Gettysburg......'Come on boys. What will you think of yourselves tomorrow?. Give them the cold steel'. COYB
David Booth
34   Posted 16/01/2011 at 00:38:12

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No 'Stevie G'... no Carragher and his 'passion-filled' intimidatory tackles... a defence that is truly awful... the poorest Liverpool side I have ever known... so why am I worried?

Because last season they were there for the taking too and we bottled it.

I'm terrified David Moyes will play Hibbert at right back, put Neville in a five-man midfield and the body language of the team from kick-off will be 'a draw will do'.

So an one of his supportive 'apologists', I pray with all my heart as an Evertonian that he'll keep the team that's showed so much spirit in the last two games.

What possible need is there to change it?

After all, there is no reason whatsoever to be afraid of this Liverpool team.

They are abysmal and completely there for the taking - Dalglish or no Dalglish.

It really would be the ultimate derby triumph wouldn't it: derailing this ridiculous Kop/King Kenny bandwagon on his glorious return to Anfield?

What will the media say? Indeed, what would Shanks have said...

Get into them from the kick-off blues. They're shite.
Denis Richardson
35   Posted 16/01/2011 at 11:06:22

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On a completely different note, I see the Yak scored on his debut for Leicester.........still think it was a bad move to let him go, he's still a quality finisher. Either way, thanks for the memories Mr Yakubu.
John Andrews
36   Posted 17/01/2011 at 07:25:11

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I was convinced that we would beat the shite but unfortunately we had to settle for a draw. Such is life.

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