The morning after the night before leaves Blues in a state of disbelief as they try to make sense of the mauling we took from our neighbours whilst putting up with jibes that would try the patience of a saint.

We arrived with such hopes and, on hearing the team, were pleased that a few key players were back; on paper a good line up but on grass the outcome was anything but good.

The first 15 minutes was all the helter skelter and hell-for-leather of a typical derby. Barkley had one just fizz over and Howard saved from Suarez.

On 20 minutes the game took a dramatic turn when Liverpool gained a corner which Suarez took after getting dog's abuse from those near enough to converse with him. The ball came in, a pile up of bodies and the ball in the net passed a startled Barkley on the line.

The aftermath was a disaster for us as Lukaku lay prone and after treatment both on and off the pitch was stretchered away and Naismith took his place. From that moment on we looked a match in effort but our form went AWOL, giving the ball away or losing it through slowness of thought as Liverpool players nipped in and away like robbers' dogs.

We did have attacks and chances like on the half hour a good run and dribble from Mirallas saw Jags shoot and the keeper parry to Barry who hit wide. A minute later Mirallas cut in again and hit one that beat the keeper but shaved the wrong side of the post. Reading that back it doesn’t look too bad yet within seconds of the Mirallas shot once again we just give the ball away, Barry of all people dawdling on the ball while the lively Sterling spirited it away and two passes later Sturridge was wheeling away after netting.

Galling for those assembled I mean 2-0 down to that lot! But hey it got worse within two minutes as our back line had not learned a thing about the pace of the Reds front three and were caught almost on the half way line as Toure hit a long one over the top and the chase that took place was embarrassing for Blues watching as Sturridge left Jags and Alcaraz in his wake and, as you saw Howard racing out into no-man’s land, the outcome was obvious. A delightful chip over the stranded keeper and, hell, we are 3-0 down. Still 10 minutes to the break plus a further 3 for injuries left us wondering what else might happen, but although in disarray we saw it out.

H/T and we were shell-shocked, 3-0 down, Lukaku injured and a defence like a colander. Not the best use of 48 minutes. Is this the Everton we have been watching since August or was it, as some Reds thought, Tranmere in disguise?

Second half and Osman replaced the out-of-sorts Pienaar and for about five minutes it was all Everton with Osman prominent as a playmaker. But then we did it again, gave a goal away. Jags from just inside our half passed to Suarez instead of Alcaraz and he was through on goal. Now whatever your opinion of Suarez is, you have to concede he is quite a goal taker and he didn’t disappoint here as he held off a labouring Jags, left behind Alcaraz and slotted expertly past Howard leaving me with that feeling of ‘I am going to be sick’.

We were giving goals away as readily as the Toffee lady gives toffee’s. The Kop rubbing it in now suggesting in full voice that Roberto was Moyes in disguise.

Liverpool now were virtually inviting us on in the hope we may get a consolation just so they could break at pace and with Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge they did to good effect. This was highlighted as we approached the hour mark when another ball give-away saw Sterling race into the box, Howard race out and a collision take place. Penalty! Sturridge tookit to claim a hat trick. He shot over the bar. My eyes went to the heavens as I thanked the good Lord for answering my prayer for mercy.

The half continued in this manner, we put some decent moves together without a hint of end product and they wait to break and out-sprint us. This was well illustrated when for us McCarthy burst into the box and hit one across goal which Naismith missed by inches and then... another mistake and Sturridge powered away again and, but for him being greedy and allowing Stones to get back and usher him wide, it could have got much worse.

The not-yet-fit McGeady replaced the shattered Barkley which seemed to sum up our injury woes and the quality depth of squad. Still, let’s try to get to full time at four down as it could easily have been six by now. Three minutes of time added went up and I conceded it would be difficult to draw level in that time, but I didn’t leave and stuck it out to the bitter disappointing end.

M.o.t.M – Mirallas, He seemed the only one fully fit and on form.

Overall one to forget but you just don’t, do you? Fans and players are affected by maulings from neighbours in the derby even if we think we are not and how long it takes to get back at it will be crucial.

Tonight I thought we blew 4th place and when you consider our injuries and how long it might take those who are almost ready to come back to fire on all cylinders and then look at the depths of squad of Liverpool, Spurs and Man U then, sad to say, 7th looks likely. But, hey, this is footy after all and who knows what can happen?

Come Saturday against Villa a win would be a good start to our recovery but we must be mindful that they have some speed merchants up front too and they will be well aware of our performance last night.

The manager tried to get his best players available through a game last night but when you saw them it was plain they were not top hole so he will have some thinking to do before Saturday as its obvious fully-fit players are a must in the EPL. Many of us wondered whether we will see any activity on the transfer front now. It may not be about money but recent events shows without doubt that to challenge for anything you need enough money to sustain at least 22 quality players.

After the game we did wonder about going to our usual watering hole as it’s a shared Blue/Red house but hell we are Everton so of course we did, took the stick and vowed it would be different next season and we would whup Villa on Saturdat. See you there to see what really happens. The line- up will be worth seeing.

UP THE BLUES

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Adam Baig
613 Posted 29/01/2014 at 16:57:57
Good point about Villa, Ken. If Jags and Distin aren't 100% fit we need to have a tactical re-think for Saturday
Paul Holden
616 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:02:15
Sorry to say this but game over as far as a Euro slot is concerned. I’ve never seen Pienaar have such a bad game, and he wasn’t alone. Barry let Gerrard get away from him for the first and took out Lukaku at the same time. Right hand side of defence a shambles. Stones a young lad so forgiven but he needs to learn quick. Who’s going to play up front for next few weeks? We’ve got nobody with class. If I was Roberto, I’d be trying to sign Bony from Swansea!
Ben Dyke
623 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:03:47
Looking at this more soberly (and after avoiding friends and family today) it doesnt really tell us what we didnt already know. It hurts that its them that reminded us but hey thats life - "wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses" and all that.

We knew Liverpool have a great, pacy, forward line, with a world class player (Suarez), a kid on form and who is not exactly a mug either (Sturridge) and a very good central midfield of Gerrard and Coutinho.

We also know we have a small squad, with key injuries, a core of lads working back from injury and a back four that can be troubled by pace when not at its best.

To me, it hurts badly to lose to them even when its 1-0, but its life. A more important thing will be whether we react, not how bad was the actual suffering of a beating by your neighbours but whether we can put it to bed quickly. It will be mostly forgotten until we go there next year if we manage to put together a good run and push for 4th/5th for the rest of the season.

Right I'm drained of optimism now and I'm off to have a lie down as it took a lot of effort!

Si Mar
631 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:20:56
I've never been so relieved to lose a game 4-0 because it could have been much much worse!!

Typical of being an Evertonian — the worst defensive performance I can recall for quite sometime was in a fucking Derby!

Fingers crossed we can move on quickly and a win Saturday against Villa.

COYB

John Boon
633 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:16:10
I agree with Ben. We were awful, so it is not too difficult to find all sorts of people to blame. However most fans overact. It is just because it was THEM. Best response is to play well against villa, We needed an early goal. With a bit of luck it could have happened. EVERY prem team has had a really bad result at some time this season. We have always been a roller-coaster team and I have watched my beloved and frustrating Blues since 1946.

Christopher Timmins
647 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:27:34
Ken, my heart went out to you last night. I arrived home late from work and it was still 0 - 0. Had a cup a tea and went back to see what was going on and Paul Merson was telling all and sundry that we were being cleaned out.

Not easy being a blue and it is a remarkable achievement to be where we are in the league given the budget, or should I say lack of a budget. The budget is down to the board and they have failed us again and again over the past 5 years,

Hopefully, some of the wounded will be strip fitter on Saturday, we have just ran out of players at this point in time. When was the last time we completed 90 minutes without sustaining an injury:

West Brom - Coleman
Stevenage - Oviedo
Liverpool - Lukaku
Norwich - Peanuts
QPR - Barkley

We need a boost ahead of the weekend and we need a reaction in line with the FA Cup defeat to Wigan last year!

Andy Amey
648 Posted 29/01/2014 at 17:41:34
I hate football now ......and beer......official
Ray Roche
660 Posted 29/01/2014 at 18:07:40
Ken, I usually enjoy your reports, however, I just can't bring myself to read this one....Maybe you could just have written "From My Seat, we were shite"
Brian Burns
667 Posted 29/01/2014 at 18:12:48
In the cold light of the day, as they say, I have now given up on derby games. The club folds like a pack of cards when we come up against them. I had a sleepless night and wonder what went wrong. In the end I couldn't come up with a conclusion other than, we bottled it again. However, I still haven't got over the semi defeat so I've dusted myself down and now look forward to Villa and hopefully a new signing!!!!
Danny Broderick
747 Posted 29/01/2014 at 20:02:59
I may be alone here, but I actually felt worse after the derby at Goodison. In this game, I never really got my hopes up. We had a reasonably good start, but then we got blitzed for 15/20 minutes and the game was all over. I was gutted last night, but 24 hours later, I can honestly say we had a depleted team, and absolutely nothing went our way. If you look at the first goal, not only did Barry slip and give Gerrard a free header, he wiped out Lukaku while doing so. I was shell shocked at half time, but the game was all over.

Compare that to the 3-3 at Goodison, I went through every emotion that day, and I even believed we had won...and then we know what happened. That took me ages to get over, because I couldn't believe they had got out of jail again.

They may have battered us last night, but they didn't beat us at our best. We were under strength and played shite on top of that. Under Martinez and at full strength, we will give anyone a game, and they know that.

David Hallwood
750 Posted 29/01/2014 at 20:11:24
Thanks for the report Ken, as grim as it was. I was down south and watched in a grotty pub with more obstructed views than the lower Bullens, so I didn't get very good views on the goals.

But their 2nd looked to me like Barry and McCarthy went AWOL, after all it is their job to hold the middle, and the 3rd was a Sunday league ball that should be meat and drink to centre backs and once the 3rd went in it was damage limitation time.

But the RS were playing almost in away mode by hitting us on the break, and Martinez should have made the team play 10 yards back to stop the runs.

Apparently we had over 60% of possession which just goes ti show that the only worthwhile stat is the score.

Ian Bennett
806 Posted 29/01/2014 at 22:13:51
From my seat, I watched it behind my hands / sofa. It was like watching a car crash on repeat.

Tactically a shambles. We got done good and proper. Stones was always left with space and possession, with Liverpool knowing he could do fuck all with it.

Trevor Lynes
832 Posted 29/01/2014 at 22:26:27
Every team in the league has had a battering, Spurs a few times and even Liverpool have had a mauling more than once. This is a strange season for high scoring losses for top sides. Now we have had ours and if we can get the team reasonably fit we should be able to recover and go on another run of unbeaten games. We were really exposed for pace but Man City and Liverpool are very fast counter attackers and we played too high defensively and were punished. But Liverpool finished really well apart from the penalty miss and that happens every so often. We have not lost a place in the league by this defeat and Spurs also suffered a heavy reverse at home.

Our last few games are against the top teams but now we have a run of games against lesser sides so we need to get back on track. I just hope that Gomis is a genuine target as Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs were all interested in him. He is a frequent scorer and is also good in the air. Our board need to dig deep and release the purse strings so that Roberto can use some of the profits accumulated of late otherwise our campaign is in danger of petering out.

We need Distin and Jags back together and our defensive midfield need to protect the back four more efficiently.

Jim Harrison
933 Posted 30/01/2014 at 02:58:09
Problem is, without playing the injured players, who would have been the replacements? Pienaar could have given way to Osman, Barkley to McGeady who isn't fully fit himself, but who then? Jags, Alcaraz. Who could come in for them? I think it just shows how bad the injury issues are, and how badly they affect our small squad.

Prime example, Lukaku goes off, Naismith comes on. Liverpool could have easily lost a striker and a wide player and still have more attacking threat than our starting line up in its current state.

That doesn't defend the defensive issues. I think that just boiled down to misadventure. Take the game to them. In hindsight not a great move, but in fairness it is what we have been asking for.

Hopefully a couple of the players will be in better shape for Villa. Barkley will have had some time, Pienaar and Jags too. The Rock could sit this one out and bring Hibbert back in on the right if Coleman is not ready. Is it time for Vellios to get a chance? Big young land up front seems a better option to Nais to me? Or have Nais out wide with Super Kev up top?

Paul Holmes
952 Posted 30/01/2014 at 06:46:09
After watching the match against Liverpool and reading all the comments by our fans on ToffeeWeb, I would like to comment on the mindset of both teams.

What struck me was how much arguing went on amongst the Liverpool players and manager (as reported and printed in the press, plus the interviews on BT Sport after the match). Liverpool were 4-0 up when this happened, and Rodgers immediately took Sturridge off, who said some cross words to his manager coming off the pitch.

Now if a team can fall out that much when they are winning 4-0 then they must have a very strong winning mentality, especially against us. Our players are not like this; if we were winning 2-0 and Barkley missed a chance instead of giving it to Lukaku to tap in for another goal, our players would just accept it. We need stronger characters, winners like it kills me to say it Liverpool.

Maybe Moyes did leave a legacy, a knife to a gunfight, and it affects how they think in derby matches. Because, let's face it, they always let our supporters down in the must-win games! 15 years is too long.

Craig Fletcher
963 Posted 30/01/2014 at 07:46:09
Interesting points Paul (952).

Just to expand on that, Rodgers came out in the media and said Liverpool should always beat Everton as, in his words, "they are the bigger club".

I won't go into the wrongs of what he said, but it reinforces the winning mentality and to an extent put pressure on his own players to live up to expectations and perform. RM's media sound bites by comparison were something along the lines of not going to Anfield feeling inferior. Now that's a helluva improvement on the "knife to a gunfight" remarks from the previous regime, but still it hardly installs belief in the players that they can go there and win; and using the word inferior obviously infers we weren't good enough previously.

I can't help but feel we seem to go to Anfield these days "hoping" for a result; Liverpool expect to win.

It's going to take RM a little while, unfortunately, to change our players mindset from the previous manager that we actually are good enough to compete and defeat any side, anywhere in the Premier League.

David Ellis
964 Posted 30/01/2014 at 08:03:25
Well Rogers is obviously correct - in terms of annual revenue Liverpool are the bigger club so can pay higher wages etc etc so other things being equal they should win, and unfortunately their revenue correlates with the results over us (i.e. they win). For us to match them requires us to "outperform" which we have managed in terms of league position 3 times in the last 10 years. Hopefully we will finish above them again this season as we all know that not all other things are equal ... I hope that we have a better manager then they do and we do seem to have picked up a couple of diamonds in Barkley, Stones & Coleman which can make all the difference.
Trevor Thompson
970 Posted 30/01/2014 at 08:13:33
I could be projecting my own feelings on the players but I just don't see them looking up for it when we go to Anfield. We always come across as the team that is hoping that this could be the day. Whereas I feel that they are very confident that they will beat us.

On a side note I'm sure if we were 1-0 up against them they'd put relentless pressure on us and end up winning. We did the same and end up getting battered. Maybe we weren't disciplined enough going forward and at the back.

Trevor Thompson
972 Posted 30/01/2014 at 08:23:59
We do lack someone that doesn't take prisoners. I think we're way to soft. Every winning team as at least one member that has that mentality. Arsenal; Viera, Man United; Keane, Liverpool; Gerrard. We don't have anyone like that.
Mike Hughes
036 Posted 30/01/2014 at 12:16:12
If we consider Cattermole, it will be a sure sign that we're really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I wouldn't want to see him in en Everton shirt.

I don't think steel is the issue as Barry and McCarthy have that. At the moment, the big issue for us is squad depth. Our first team is bordering on top 4 quality when fit. Our wider squad dilutes the quality we have and is mediocre unfortunately.

I'm hoping that RM can bring in one addition (striker) by tomorrow though it looks unlikely. I also hope he's got a few bargain aces up his sleeve in the summer via his European network.

Dick Fearon
512 Posted 31/01/2014 at 10:41:26
I do not agree that Barry let Gerrard get away from him for their first goal. Gerrard was unmarked toward the front post. Barry saw the danger and in his haste to reach Gerrard, he tripped over Lukaku. This indicates that Lukaku was nearest to Gerrard yet did not pick him up.

My RS nephew often says that Gerrard takes their corners because he is bloody useless at heading a ball. Another case of someone scoring a wonder goal against us that never before and never again repeat.

Shane Corcoran
517 Posted 31/01/2014 at 10:55:17
Dick, I think Barry did let him go but it seemed by his body language that it was zonal marking and Gerrard actually won the header against Alcaraz in Alcaraz's zone.
James Hodgson
716 Posted 31/01/2014 at 19:06:50
Yes, it was 4 nil but it wasn't that type of game was it? Normally that score means a battering but up to the third goal it could have gone either way. Barkley could have scored before Gerrard. Mirallas and Jagielka could have made it 1-1 or 2-1. Small margins.

Having said that, mindset is a concern. When LFC slipped up against Villa, Everton could have gone 4th with a win against WBA. But even after going a goal up the belief didn't seem to be there and you allowed them back in it. Same again on Tuesday night. Passing the ball with confidence and creating openings but it didn't feel like the belief was there to go on and win. Compare that to the game at the Emirates and Swansea recently. The belief was there to get the result despite going a goal down near the end (Arsenal) and being pegged back (Swansea).

I do think under RM that will change. Gradually. Time will tell.

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