Derby point a daylight heist but satisfying nonetheless

By Lyndon Lloyd 10/12/2017 73comments  |  Jump to last

Before the season started, many an Evertonian might have been eyeing this fixture as the one where the Blues would finally end their wait for a first derby victory since 1999. Back in August, with £100m on new players spent and the promise of more to come, 2017-18 felt like it could be the one where we could travel to Anfield as equals and with genuine prospects of winning.

15 League games and four months of the ruinous Ronald Koeman reign later and those expectations had been radically scaled down. Avoiding a Martinez-scale 4-0 humiliation was, perhaps, top of mind and, let's be honest, if we'd been offered a point before kick-off, we'd have taken it; if ever a performance needed to be viewed in its proper context, this was it.

Retaining the perspective of that context and the eventual reward of a point was important because this was a horrible match to watch from the Blue perspective. The 79% of possession ceded to Liverpool was, apparently, a Premier League record, which is not surprising.

Everton probably couldn't have given the ball away more if they had tried; even Sam Allardyce, a manager given to direct, back-to-basics football, was critical afterwards of his side's inability to keep possession at even the most basic level. And yet, the Blues escaped Anfield with a point, extended their unbeaten run to four games and took another step on the road to stability in a season that was spiralling into chaos just a fortnight ago. Again, context.

That Allardyce somewhat surprisingly fielded two strikers in Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was an indication that his game plan was based on more than just defending. Unfortunately, the two spent so much time chasing wayward balls forward from Jordan Pickford that they were never able to get close enough to form any kind of partnership.

It meant that the ball kept coming back at Everton time after time but two dogged banks of four bolstered by gritty performances from Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny and the workrate of Idrissa Gueye meant that it would take a special piece of individual play for Liverpool to get their noses in front by half time.

For all the crowing about Jurgen Klopp's attacking quarter — he had the hubris to leave two of the four, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino on the bench — they had really only threatened on one occasion prior to the 42nd minute when Mohamed Salah had skinned Cuco Martina down Liverpool's right flank and crossed to James Milner at the back post but Kenny did well to block the shot.

The reds generally struggled to play their way through the Blues' back line but Salah took matters into his own hands when he shoved Martina away from a challenge just inside the box, dribbled past Gueye and bent a shot around Pickford and inside the far post.

What should have been 2-0 and, effectively, game over came in first-half stoppage time. Sadio Mané easily side-stepped Ashley Williams as he committed himself to a sliding tackle he had no hope of winning and raced into a four-on-one situation with just Martina and Pickford in front of him but rather than squaring it for Salah, the Senegalese international went it alone and screwed his shot across goal and wide.

Salah himself would also missed a gilt-edged chance to render his manager's post-match tantrum moot two minutes on the other side of the break when he headed narrowly wide with a free header from Milner's cross.

Niasse had been withdrawn by Allardyce at half time in favour or Aaron Lennon — the winger with his industry was a positive addition — and Calvert-Lewin remained on the field to provide the outlet that eventually won Everton only their second penalty at Anfield in 80 years.

In between, it was something akin to a training-ground exercise of attack-versus-defence; it was one-way traffic towards the Everton goal but apart from an overhead kick from Mané, Pickford had nothing to do. That established the platform from which Everton could remain in the game until it entered the final quarter of an hour to then grab the equaliser.

Rooney raked a ball over the top and behind the home side's defence for Calvert-Lewin who knocked it on into the Liverpool box with his thigh with Dejan Lovren on the chase. The defender ended up shoving the striker in the back and seeming to make contact with his right leg sending him crashing to the turf and prompting referee Craig Pawson to point to the spot.

Rooney smashed the resulting penalty straight down the middle with Mignolet diving in vain to his left and it was 1-1.

Again, Liverpool's much-vaunted forward line, with Firmino now on for Salah and Coutinho having replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, couldn't find their way past Everton's resolute defence. Coutinho would have one chance from a direct free-kick after Morgan Schneiderlin had scythed Milner down in a dangerous area but Pickford read the Brazilian's intent and saved the ball from flying into the top corner.

Everton will hopefully not play this ineffectively in an attacking sense again this season but there is no question that while no Blue will have enjoyed the performance, it yielded a satisfying result, particularly given how worked up Klopp and Lovren were at the final whistle.

The point ensured a share of the spoils, avoided another painful derby defeat and keeps us in 10th place with two games against teams below us up next. And all the while, Allardyce and his team are learning about the players they inherited and what they need when the January transfer window opens in three weeks' time. It will be interesting to see how things look at the end of January.

Reader Comments (73)

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Steve Hopkins
1 Posted 11/12/2017 at 07:05:25
Horrible to watch but produced a fairly satisfying result that almost all of us would have settled for pre-match, in fact I'd convinced myself at one stage in the second half that a 1-0 defeat wasn't so bad, particularly when compared with the Martinez derby that easily could have been 10-0 and where John Stones literally deserted us.
Jer Kiernan
2 Posted 11/12/2017 at 07:48:15
In some ways that fact we played so poorly and still took a point has hurt the shite and their buffoon of a manager even more.

And is psychologically a great victory it also showed the "lovable" Klopp for what he really is a buffoon who tries to use his child like antics to influence and intimidate referees.

I think even their fans will look at him differently after the post-match spectacle. Also I thought the Sky interviewer was excellent in keeping his calm when Klopp tried to use the same tactics to bully him and facilitated his breakdown nicely.

Saying that, I am glad Allardyce called out how poor we were with the ball and hoped never to see us play in such a manner again.

I think what happened off the pitch was more significant than on it today (says with a smile).

Les Warham
3 Posted 11/12/2017 at 08:36:18
Terrible to see an Everton team so under the cosh for so long against the old enemy, but a fantastic result and a measure of Sam's influence on the spirit and organisation of the side.

Klopp's arrogance and child-like interview was there for all to see and I think in the eyes of even the most ardent Liverpool fans, this will reflect very badly.

A few reinforcements for Everton in January and we can look forward to a decent second half of the season. COYB

Sam Morrison
4 Posted 11/12/2017 at 08:59:18
That was depressing to watch, and I had to keep reminding myself of the context also. The most heartening thing of the day for me was Allardyce being worried about how we looked after the ball, because we basically didn't.

Defending well is one thing, but I hope to Christ that's the last time I see an Everton performance like that, offensively speaking. Martina was absolutely awful. I've never seen such a bad individual performance. He really looked like he didn't want to be there.

Stan Schofield
5 Posted 11/12/2017 at 09:27:47
It wasn't nice to watch, but I remember plenty of derbies where we've played most of the good football but failed to get anything. On this occasion, needs must, and it was a 'professional job'. Good management from Allardyce, both good game management and good mentally with his post-match comments.

The fact that he was a mature adult doing a professional job, whilst Klopp was a raging and illogical idiot (the Sky interview was frankly embarrassing, but also very funny for us), gives us a psychological boost.

James Lauwervine
6 Posted 11/12/2017 at 10:15:24
As usual, absolutely no class shown by the RS players and their manager. I would be embarrassed if my team acted like that. Two penalties there in 80 years is a staggering statistic.

For once I actually enjoyed the MotD discussion, though I see the RS-biased BBC website has all the usual crap this morning about 'controversial penalty' and "Pawson ruled Dejan Lovren's push on Dominic Calvert-Lewin was worthy of a penalty". They should listen to the pundits – all on Sky and BBC said it was definite, because it was.

I thought we were defensively outstanding given the amount of possession they had, but it was painful to watch. 79% may be a record, but with only three shots on target – that's another record in itself.

Rick Tarleton
7 Posted 11/12/2017 at 10:23:42
I took a great pleasure in the result as it was blatantly obvious Liverpool were the better team on the day. However, so often after a derby game, I've felt we didn't get a break or a fair result.

To be awarded only our second penalty at Anfield since 1937, and that a very dubious decision, was ironically satisfying. I'm just glad Mignolet did not stand tall. For a change, my Liverpool supporting friends and family were the ones feeling hard done by.

A superb result, but not I hope a blueprint for our future tactics.

Ian Burns
8 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:03:14
Before the game, I had a feeling we would nick it 1-0 but as Lyndon quite rightly points out in context 1-1 is not to be sniffed at!

As Sam (#4) and Rick (#7) have quite rightly pointed out, Sam's criticism of the manner in which we looked after the ball (or didn't look after the ball more to the point) and gave away possession was certainly not part of the defensive plan so I'm heartened to see he intends to put that right, hopefully by the time we play Newcastle on Wednesday.

Yes, it was painful to watch but the memory will be the two interviews – Klopp's implosion and Sam's professional response – the point was nice too!

Kevin Tully
9 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:20:18
I find it very strange that a lot of Blues can take any solace from that performance. We were absolutely dire.Yes, we may have gotten under the skin of their manager, but really, have we fallen so far now that many just want to ignore the 'football' we produced?

So what if Klopp was upset? We were given a lesson after blowing a fortune. Klaassen, Keane, Sandro, Vlasic, all not deemed worthy of a start. Sigurdsson, looking like a distinctly average 㿙m midfielder.

I would be sacking every man and his dog if I were Moshiri. What a shambles.

Brent Stephens
10 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:27:45
Kevin (#9) – You'd sack Sam now?!

If yes, why, after so few games?

If no, that suggests you are making allowances for yesterday.

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:29:38
You have some good points Kevin, but two weeks ago, I thought we looked like the Aston Villa team, that went down a couple of seasons ago, whereas now I think we have got a foundation to build on.

It's not great; it's not the Everton I want to see long term, and if you just look past what you also really want for a minute, it's possible that yesterday might have been a good day for one significant reason: because the opposition were Liverpool – the team we usually lie-down for?

Alan McGuffog
12 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:35:21
Kevin, we have been more or less dire for thirty years and I don't see any immediate change to this situation. However I would much rather be dire in the Premier League with the possibility of a new stadium in a year or two, than being dire in the Championship playing in a tin shed in Gillmoss.
Kevin Tully
13 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:37:18
Sorry, lads, I should have pointed out this performance has nothing to do with the latest coaching set up. Koeman has gone, but others should be held to account.
Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:44:49
That's why I wrote what I did in post #11, Kevin. You love Everton, but you also think that they should play a certain way?

I do myself, and it's the reason I'm prepared to give Allardyce some time because, as far as I'm concerned, Koeman made David Moyes seem like Arsene Wenger, and that's not even an exaggeration!

Steve Ferns
15 Posted 11/12/2017 at 12:56:41
Kevin, so you mean Steve Walsh? Or Kenwright?

If Steve Walsh, then forget it. He's best mates with Allardyce and has his feet securely under the table now. He's going nowhere.

I said it before, but the real test for Walsh is the next two windows. If it really was Koeman saying no to all these great finds Walsh suggested, then Allardyce should let them come in. Maybe January is a difficult window, but there'd be no excuse for the summer.

if we have another couple of windows of overpaying for average players, then sure, he should be booted out.

That said, if Troy Deeney for 㿔m is one of his suggestions, then he should be sacked immediately!

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 11/12/2017 at 13:03:42
Kevin #13 - noted. Thanks.
Rahman Talib
17 Posted 11/12/2017 at 13:04:43
We should never have let Rooney go. He would have formed the most lethal partnership with Tim Cahill while enjoying services from Arteta, the Baines - Pienaar axis, Lee Carsley each time he breaks up play and even the crosses from Hibbert or Coleman. We would have gone all the way.

No wonder Kenwright cried when Rooney left. Rooney is our new Barry except he can score goals

Clive Rogers
18 Posted 11/12/2017 at 13:12:53
Rahman, Rooney leaving when he did was down to him and Moyes. They didn't get on and Kenwright wasn't wise enough to sort it out.
Clive Rogers
19 Posted 11/12/2017 at 13:21:13
Sam has learnt two lessons from the first half, firstly that Davies is not playing well and needs a good rest and secondly that Niasse cannot play in a game like that. Niasse has not got the technique to hold the ball up and lay it off to a team mate.

The service was poor, but on the occasions when he did get the ball, it was like taking candy off a baby for their defenders.

Frank Crewe
20 Posted 11/12/2017 at 14:08:54
It's amazing how many still cling on to this "School of Science" nonsense. It's just a phrase. it doesn't actually mean anything. Like Royle's "Dogs of War" or Moyse's "People's Club".

The style of football we play is dependent on the players we have. As much as we would all like to see expansive attacking football we simply don't have the players to do it. We are not Blue shirt Barca.

It's funny how people lauded the Dogs of War when old blue Royle was manager but moan when Allardyce plays virtually the same style they claim it's not "us". Well as far as I'm concerned what is "us" is whatever gets results. If we have to play dogged defence against the attacking sides then so be it. We are still the only side to take any points off Man City this season and we didn't do it by attacking them.

Now maybe if our last nitwit manager had invested the 𧶀 million he was given in the likes of Salah, Iheanacho, Lindelof etc. Bournemouth got Defoe on a free, instead of stuffing the squad with midfielders and obsessing over Giroud we could have been playing a more attacking style, but he didn't and we don't.

That draw was a great result for us. We are now unbeaten in our last three Premier League games and have only conceded one goal. I've have no doubt it will have boosted the confidence of the squad and hopefully we can be a more attacking against the lesser sides. It's amazing what proper defending can do. It's what you build a good side on.

All we need now is a good left back and centre-back (Kone maybe) in January and a decent forward and we should be good until the summer. Hopefully then Allardyce can set about pruning some of the surplus midfield players and rebalancing the squad for next season.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 11/12/2017 at 14:33:03
Some good points, Frank. Steve Fearns says on another thread, that we have got quality, and I agree (nowhere near enough though) but it's funny you mention the Dogs of War team, because it was just very solid, with only one or two that could really play, and it's possibly why we nearly went down once Royle left?

What will Allardyce do, is this possibly why people say that most clubs go backwards once he leaves them?

The left back from Palace, might tell us he likes his fullbacks to attack, because he signed him from Sunderland, and going forward seems to,be his strength?

It's going to be interesting to see what becomes Allardyce's system or overall plan. Will he carry on playing the way he has always done or does he have another couple of gears he's never been allowed to go,into?

Kevin's right – Everton have wasted an absolute fortune, with the overall picture looking even worse, now the man who was responsible has gone.

I'll take the fight for now and hope it never leaves us again, but it's quality that wins the big games, and considering we don't win many of those, it's quality that we need!

John McFarlane [Snr]
22 Posted 11/12/2017 at 14:38:42
Hi Kevin [9], I won't be so personal as to ask what age you are, but if you have experienced relegation from the top flight, then you should know how some people can take "Solace" from such a disappointing performance.

The "School of Science" name was bestowed on Everton long before I was born, which was 1938, and to be truthful my first glimpse of a really decent side was in the early 60s, when Johnny Carey laid the foundations on which Harry Catterick built his championship and cup winning sides.

There followed a drop of standards until Howard Kendall produced the great side in the 80s, and it's fair to say that Everton for one reason or another, have never sustained a winning spell that has lasted for more than three seasons.

I'm sure that all Evertonians would love to see their team playing like Barcelona, but you can't make a 'silk purse out of a pigs ear'.

We as supporters cannot apportion blame to any individuals, because we don't know where the blame lies. The remedy lies in the hands of the Board and the management, and we can only hope that the right decisions are made, our job is to support whatever team is selected.

Terry Underwood
23 Posted 11/12/2017 at 14:46:42
5 weeks ago we would have been stuffed 5,6, 7 or maybe more by the RS. The manager is starting to sort things out, starting with our erstwhile leaky defence. If we don't concede, we don't lose and like it or not, that is the basis to grow from. We must fight a rearguard action till reinforcements in the shape of a top class striker arrives.

We also need to get this "Everton Way" and "School Of Science" rubbish out of our heads. They were nice tags to have but right now they are an unaffordable luxury. Maybe we can earn them again, but let's get the basics sorted first.

Kevin O'Regan
24 Posted 11/12/2017 at 14:56:58
I thought we were very well organised at the back. This is a big step forward. I would take this over a loss after an attacking display all day long – especially if the RS are pissed off for once. The Goodison return should be interesting as I don't think the lads will be allowed to go a home game without attacking. But at least we're getting a few result and out of the bottom half. One day at a time..
Kevin Tully
25 Posted 11/12/2017 at 15:18:19
Fellas, it's not a binary choice here. When you point out that we played like an alehouse team yesterday, hoofing it down the channels, then you have nearly every poster calling you out for wanting to knock it around like Barcelona on steroids. What about being able to pass the ball to someone in a blue shirt? Too much to ask? It's not Allardyce's fault either, he's only been here 5 minutes, and didn't waste our golden opportunity to finally compete with the big boys.

You're completely missing the point. We couldn't string two passes together before we lost possession. Players earning over £100k a week couldn't pass the ball and move FFS. That is all I ask. Play football, or something like it. Talk about setting the bar low, my word.

Steve Barr
26 Posted 11/12/2017 at 15:36:47
I understand and agree with Kevin's desire for us to be playing much better football than what was dished up on Sunday.

Another inept performance as far as playing passing football. But as far as digging in and grinding out a result, showing some team spirit and a spine for once, this performance was reassuring as far as I'm concerned.

I don't understand how professional footballers cannot string two passes together, but at least Sam recognized this deficiency in his post match comments, so I'm hopeful that this will be addressed.

Surely they can't all have forgotten how to do the basics!?

On another note, a mate of mine was an apprentice to Sam when he was captain of Huddersfield Town and he said he was great at leading the team and developing and fostering a fantastic team spirit. Something we need based on the spineless, leadership-less performances of late.

Let's get back to being competitive and hopefully playing good entertaining football might follow.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 11/12/2017 at 15:50:11
What's all this nonesense about long balls? Rooney on the right wing put in a long inch perfect pass. Calvert-Lewin was able to bring easily under control, beating Lovren. Lovern panicked under pressure , realising he was beaten, and bluntly pushed Calvert-Lewin in the back, preventing a imminent goal. The resulting penalty was scored by Rooney, the result of his initial great pass. Well played and well done.
Steve Brown
28 Posted 11/12/2017 at 15:54:55
We have to look at performance in the context of the season, poor management by Koeman, disastrous recruitment and a collapse in motivation and confidence by the players. We have conceded 16 goals conceded in 5 games during November and now 1 goal conceded in 4 games. So he has got the team organised defensively and motivated them to put a shift in.

His gameplan was actually a dud because he abandoned it at half time and if he is serving that dross in 6 month's he'll get the same treatment as Koeman. Can't stand the bloke, but in his first 10 days he has actually got us beginning to look like a team i.e. having a plan, being organised and working hard.

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 11/12/2017 at 16:02:48
Yes the result has cheered us up but we are not stupid enough to believe that the style is anywhere near what we want. We know that Allardyce is good at organising a backs-to-the-wall performance in fact its his hallmark. But while willing to accept he has only been here a couple of weeks I will be extremely interested to see who he buys in the January window, as I think that will tell us a lot about the style he wants to play.

Now if we end up with a Troy Deeney then we know that, despite his words, Sam is reverting back to type. Yes, because of the ineptitude of the former regime we need a striker, and a left back which will see us through till the end of the season.

He said a few weeks back the best advice he was given was make sure your first signing is all that you think he is because, if he isn't, the fans and players and the board will quickly lose confidence in you. So I wait in expectation for Sam's first signing.

Jay Woods
30 Posted 11/12/2017 at 16:05:00
They're so upset about it that it looks like a de facto derby defeat for them, morale wise.

Now I'm not one for, nor an advocate of, schadenfreude, so I prefer to look at it from a purely "Everton first" perspective. And I can say, it felt the nearest thing to a win there since, well, the last time we actually won there.

Alan J Thompson
32 Posted 11/12/2017 at 16:18:12
As soon as you say that we played poorly in this game there are those ready to jump out asking if it was expected that we would go there and play all out attack and probably get hammered.

What I expected was for the midfield to occasionally play in that part of the pitch. On at least three occasions, Rooney played horrible balls to Kenny, Davies and Gana and stood and watched as they were closed down by two or three of the nearby opposition without making any attempt to get in a position for a return.

Similarly, we had a free-kick near the halfway line which Schneiderlin took quickly and passed, let's be generous, sideways to Kenny who had absolutely nobody to give it to as nobody expected a quick free. This from "senior" players while Sigurdsson and Rooney spent an awfully long time playing fullback.

The problem eased a little after halftime with the introduction of Lennon and Rooney moved forward but again, he only stuck at it for the first part of the half. I don't blame anyone for putting his boot through the ball when pressed in our own penalty box but I do expect some sort of controlled football at some time during a game.

Darren Hind
33 Posted 11/12/2017 at 16:22:10
That can sometimes be a problem on here, KT. Make an observation such as yours and you can be certain that you will be swamped by posters accusing you of wanting the moon.

We follow a professional football team and we are entitled to see these players do stuff we cant/couldn't do ourselves. It is absolutely legitimate to call out this performance, just as its correct to exonerate the current coaching staff of the blame.

After three years of slow-paced possession obsession these players were asked to play a soulless passionless game for a soulless passionless manager. They were quite clearly incapable of living with the pace, slick passing and seemingly boundless energy. Playing the Red Shite yesterday was like trying to get a ford focus over to the outside lane from a standing start on the slip road.

Allardyce had a clear cut decision to make yesterday, he could have a go and be murdered (and he surely would have been murdered) or he could sacrifice a little of the clubs integrity and dare I say it pride in an attempt to get a result.

As a football lover, I can take no pleasure in our performance, but I can understand why the manager, chose to fight another day – and I do believe he did make a conscious decision to fight another day.

I expect better when we face them at Goodison Park, if we play well and beat them, yesterday's performance will be forgotten, but the record books will say we took four points from them.

If we'd have been murdered yesterday, we would have got murdered in the cup game too... but despite our performance and despite their dominance, I sensed panic in the Red Shite ranks after we scored.

The seed of doubt has been planted...

John G Davies
34 Posted 11/12/2017 at 16:57:06
Would you have taken a draw yesterday morning, Kevin?
Darren Hind
35 Posted 11/12/2017 at 17:02:08
Look Guys, we may have been disappointed, but none of us could have been really surprised by what we saw yesterday. There are still plenty of reasons to be cheerful today.

The thought of all those 'orrible fuckers twisting and turning in their beds last night, because the frustration just won't subside.

The thought of Klopp watching his own interview today. Better still, listening to the pundits putting the blame firmly on his shoulders.

Jordan Hendersons face etched in pain as he puts both of his feet in buckets of ice.

The inner rage we are witnessing from the fuckers who have been denied victory in what they always try to claim is "just another game for us" – The Gobshite across the road couldn't even look at me when I bid him a hearty good morning – HeHe.

We have damaged their Champions League aspirations while securing another point for ourselves.

And I've finished work for the year.

All this and Alfie Solomons is back on our screens...

Michael Kenrick
36 Posted 11/12/2017 at 17:30:25
Kevin, agree with you completely. That same reaction and puzzlement was behind the "embarrassing poor" label in my match report that a few disagreed with.

Yes, I understand the need to defend deep and all that, but it's about what you do when you get the ball. Surely retaining possession denies them the chance to attack, again, and again, and again... And, sure as eggs is eggs, it only takes a moment of skill from Salah and that game plan is ruined – you then have to rely on a heavy slice of luck/stupidity to get a nice penalty.

I can only imagine the instructions from Big Sam were "When we get the ball, pump it forward, over their heads. If it gets near Dom or Om, all well and good... but don't run forward to support them. Do not, under any circumstances, lose your shape!"

Peter Warren
37 Posted 11/12/2017 at 17:48:54
I think it's hard to string two passes together when you have little in front of you and opposition pressing so high and quickly. That's the problem with our defensive tactics / shape against how Klopp plays.

That said, you would ordinarily get a couple of chances for breakaways – difficulty is we had Niasse and Calvert-Lewin who are not (at least yet in Calvert-Lewin's case) that good.

Very happy with the result but I think 9 times out of 10 we lose that game.

Gary Leonard
38 Posted 11/12/2017 at 17:52:13
The highlights for me were Rooney's penalty and Klopp's interview.

I can't understand why our players are so nervous. I still hope that Ashley Williams will come good, but I'm not sure that he will. I like Sam's suggestion of a sports psychologist to try to improve their confidence.

I had high hopes with Koeman, but his ego seems to have been too big, and he certainly didn't motivate the players. The impression that he gave was that if something went well, it was down to his tactics, but if it went wrong, it was the fault of the players.

I was not at all positive about Sam being our manager, but now I feel quite optimistic. we have some good players. All we need now is for them to gel as a team.

Stan Schofield
39 Posted 11/12/2017 at 17:58:39
Kevin @25: I agree with what you say, in that what we saw wouldn't be acceptable if it reflected our overall playing style. But it doesn't, imo.

Even under Koeman, when the hoofball was dreadful, we could, when playing well, put together intricate flowing football. Trouble was, it happened too rarely, especially away from home. But it showed, at least to me, the skill of the players, which is way above what some posts on here would suggest.

The fact that we can play fancy football is a frustration, because it suggests that the skills of the players have been squandered. Which of course they had under Koeman (and Martinez after his first season). Whether they will be again under Allardyce is yet to be seen. His record might suggest they will, but then again we could be surprised. Let's see.

Jay Woods
40 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:05:11
Klopp said something in his post-match meltdown that I found very revealing.

In brief, we didn't change our essential gameplan when we fell behind, whereas he clearly expected we should have.

He was annoyed that we didn't go gung-ho and have a rattle at them, because he knew what his attack – even firing on only half of its normal 4 cylinders – would have done to our enfeebled defence.

That's why we couldn't venture forward in numbers to support Calvert-Lewin; that made-of-meringue defence of ours would have caved in without a full-width-of-pitch midfield shield in front of it. But it was risky keeping it thus while trailing for so long and I sense even Sam, from his post-match comments, didn't call for that.

Brian Williams
41 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:23:20
I wonder how those that don't seem able to take the positive from the game, ie, the result, would feel had we tried from the start and continued after going two down to play free flowing attacking football until the score was the four, five, six that people were fearing a couple of weeks ago?

To my mind a heavy defeat, even after playing some great football, would damage the very fragile recovery road we appear to be on.

I'd be the first to admit that I dread the thought of playing like that week-in & week-out, but come on we know that's not going to happen.

We were poor and we could have been better. But we could have been a lot better and got twatted anyway.

We got a point none of us thought remotely possible a couple of weeks ago. We also managed to almost make Herr Klopp's head explode so all in all, although a poor performance, a decent outcome all things considered.

Onwards to Wednesday when I hope we continue the recovery with a win.

John Keating
42 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:27:36
I agree that we have to view this game in "context". A few weeks ago we were in a situation that most people saw as dire. No form , no plan, no confidence, no wins or goals and no sign of things changing.

Woy came in at Palace and Moyes at West Ham. It was obvious that both teams would slowly get organised and start getting the odd result to slowly climb the table.

Allardyce comes to us. Most would have preferred he didn't but he did.

Like him or not we suspected/hoped he would at least get some sort of system whereby we also could get away from the oncoming bottom dogfight.

Unsworth's victory over West Ham, Allardyce's over Huddersfield, both with crucial clean sheets were hopefully the catalyst to kick-start the season.

Second league game in we play the RS away. I suspect most. including myself, saw only one outcome.

The result in any derby is everything and for us in our situation points are also critical. So for us to come away from Mordor with a point, however we achieved it, is fantastic.

Yes, we should have kept possession better, yes we should have played a better brand of footy; yes, players were still shite, but right now, in my opinion the result is far more important than the way we achieve them.

Hopefully, after the transfer window closes we will be in a far better and safer position whereby we can play a more expansive game.

Allardyce is only just in the door, we still need to get points on the board. His first matter should be to ensure safety and, only after that, should we start to judge him. He will have to rectify the disasters of the past 2 managers.

Shit performance, fantastic result!!

Kevin Tully
43 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:32:58
There is never an excuse for some of the highest-paid players in world football looking like they are a part of a poor under-12s side who haven't played together before. I don't care who we are up against.

I'm not talking about free-flowing, skilful, breathtaking footy here, I would just hope the least we can expect of any Everton team is to compete, even if it's just for an odd spell in a game. If we can't, what's the point, guys?

I've a new motto we can use: “Come to Everton, you'll be paid Champions League wages for Championship football.”'

Jay Harris
44 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:48:57
The good news is that Allardyce agrees we were poor in possession and did not attack what he saw as a poor defense in Liverpool's case so hopefully we will see a remedy to that in the coming weeks/months.

What I see as a real positive is we are building on solid foundations now. Even without Coleman, Keane, Jagielka and Baines we are looking solid at the back and at least now have some shape.

Stan Schofield
45 Posted 11/12/2017 at 18:59:05
Kevin, yes, there's no excuse not to compete. But we must have competed, surely, to restrict the supposed best attack in the Premier League to three shots on target and one goal, and us to score a goal.

You've said that we're nowhere near as good as them. If you're correct in that, then we must have competed, otherwise we would have been hammered. You can't have it both ways.

Darren Hind
46 Posted 11/12/2017 at 19:05:37

We have been playing Zombie football for a year. You surely must have noticed?

Not sure why you choose to complain now, maybe finishing above 13 very poor teams masked it, but I guess its because the embarrassment is now becoming too great to accept.

You say there is no excuse for Sunday? Maybe not, but there is a reason. These players have done everything at a snail'space for three seasons now, that is why they have. been so comprehensively outplayed so often by the bigger boys.

Get used to it, mate. there will be no magical cure. The road back to playing football is going to be a long one.

You really should have voiced your anger at those who got us to where we are when they were here. I doubt they will be listening now.

Raymond Fox
47 Posted 11/12/2017 at 19:22:05
Spot on Darren (both 33 and 35), I've lost count the amount of times that I've posted when we have players that are as good as the usual top sixes, then we will be able to play attractive winning football.

If we had gone to Anfield and played an open game, we would have been murdered. At this time, the truth is we haven't a player that the aforementioned 'big clubs' want, with possible exception of maybe Barkley.

We can't blame Sam for our player quality. I do agree though that its ridiculous that players who are paid small fortunes each week, should at least be able to do the basics well.

Stan Schofield
48 Posted 11/12/2017 at 19:45:30
Raymond, not again! We had all that about none of the top-6 sides would want any of ours, including Stones, Lukaku and Barkley. Look what happened.

So, no it's not just Barkley. There's also Coleman, Davies and Lookman, according to reports last season. And no doubt there'll be others gong onto that list, possibly Calvert-Lewin and Kenny.

Andy Crooks
49 Posted 11/12/2017 at 19:52:22
Good posts, Darren and Kevin. We were poor and had we played like that and fluked a point at Old Trafford, I would be much less forgiving. However, we hurt them, we hurt Klopp and we hurt their media influencing pundits. Context is everything here.

I expect much better at Newcastle; we have be to be patient, because there is monumental damage to be undone. A start has been made and I am glad it was made in a way that hurt a manager I despise.

John McFarlane [Snr]
50 Posted 11/12/2017 at 20:12:41
Hi Michael, [36] you say I can only imagine the instructions from Big Sam were "When you get the ball, pump it forward over their heads. If it gets near Dom or Om, all well and good but don't run forward to support them. Do not under any circumstances, lose your shape"

I must admit that I struggle to come to terms with some opinions, and I appreciate that others may have difficulty in understanding my viewpoints.

I'm a firm believer in facts, so let's keep it real, we don't know where it will lead us if we introduce imagination, quite possibly 'Fantasy Football'.

Tony Hill
51 Posted 11/12/2017 at 20:44:39
As part of Allardyce reshaping the defence (no doubt helped by Unsworth) he is getting the best out of Holgate who in my view is going to be a great central defender. That is a major plus of the last couple of weeks – we've got a future world class player starting to bed in.

We have Lookman, Vlasic and Onyekuru (whom we must keep) waiting to break fully into the team over coming months and next season. Calvert-Lewin is promising, so is Kenny. We have in Gueye another world class player in my opinion (I appreciate others disagree). Rooney looks as though he might be entering a real Indian summer, proving people like me wrong. We will buy well from now on I expect.

I have always thought there was a good side struggling to get out over the last couple of years. I think we'll see it emerge more quickly than some on here are fearing.

Don Alexander
52 Posted 11/12/2017 at 20:58:02
To me it's way too simplistic to lay all the blame on Koeman unless he was the one wholly responsible for the failure to sign in the three positions he said we needed. Those failures massively hamper our squad regardless of who plays.

Given their personal qualities it pains me to say it but if you put Jags or Williams, and Baines or Martinez, and Niasse or Calvert-Lewin en masse into City's team they'd not be running away with the league as they are. They'd be doing what we have do, sitting way deeper in defence, far more limited in losing any real momentum from the left and nowhere close to the threat they really are up front. Somebody really failed our club in the summer and, until those positions, minimum, are reinforced the failure will continue.

That said, Kevin Tully is absolutely right in taking the players and coaches to task for such repeatedly visible failures in the basics of control, pass & move. I'd be embarrassed to be publicly exposed as so inept on any one occasion, never mind repeatedly, but the modern 㿞k per week footballer is a millionaire, net, every season so why should they bother, I suppose?

Paul Kelly
53 Posted 11/12/2017 at 21:10:46
Tony Hill, I'm with you on Rooney. Not for a minute did I think it would work out and I'll happily hold my hand up and admit I was wrong, as many will, proper underestimated just how much class the lad has-Which has shone through playing the deeper role and that pass against the RS was inch perfect!

Kenny – I watched the lad in the U20 World Cup (don't think I've mentioned it) and have been waiting his inclusion ever since, he ain't disappointed either. Lookman will get his chance, once we're more settled.

Drew O'Neall
54 Posted 11/12/2017 at 22:04:46
To those calling for a better brand of football: managers are paid to win football games, nothing else.

If Man Utd (as the team I seem to hear most about having to play a certain way) were to play hoofball and win every game then the manager would be safe as houses and revered as a golden god. It's only when the wins stop that it becomes a problem and the critics and doom mongers are given any airtime.

Most of the time, a manager's objective is, upon inheriting his squad, to spend the least possible amount of money in order to make that team successful, ie, win more points.

Allardyce will look at what he's got and decide where he needs to add to it in order to get the most points for the fewest pounds.

If we had a team full of ball-players and just needed a keeper then we'd begin to play good football; if we had a long throw specialist, no midfield and a beanpole striker then we'd probably be more direct. This can't, or shouldn't, be changed in a single phase and was Roberto Martinez's un-doing. He had a predisposition to play a certain type of football and didn't have the players to do it.

In order to become more effective immediately, since demonstrating the defence can be shored up by organisation rather than additional playing resources, the next player we need is obviously a striker. Assuming we buy a striker next, we still don't have any consistent wide payers (for example) of the required standard and our full backs currently carry little attacking threat, so I don't think we can expect to see that style of football in the near term. More likely we will see a phase of ‘winning ugly' which will get us safe and give us a platform to consistently play with confidence so, in a second phase, Allardyce can gradually reintroduce the ‘ballplaying' types in the squad Koeman assembled at great expense.

Then you might see a ‘better' brand of football, maybe with a narrow diamond 4-4-2 formation, for example.

After that phase the next phase might be to add more width, I'd suggest some young fullbacks, so we have another way of attacking when teams have worked us out.

I might be miles off but the point is you can't just come in and start playing ‘better' football.

You have to move one piece at a time and work towards something, managing the squad age and the unforeseen losses to injury and transfer you will inevitably have to overcome along the way.

I personally hope, if Allardyce demonstrates effective execution of phase one and two, he is given the time and resources required for phase three, four and five.

Jack Convery
55 Posted 11/12/2017 at 22:41:57
Jafar and Iago done the business,
Terry Underwood
56 Posted 11/12/2017 at 23:58:21
I get the feeling that the real benefit of the draw will be when the players suddenly realise "Hey we just took a point at Anfield" – confidence cannot be bought or coached.

This result could be much bigger than a point and the satisfaction of watching Klopp in meltdown.

Tom Bowers
57 Posted 12/12/2017 at 00:19:59
It is a puzzle that will take time.

Offensively they cannot compete with many teams as yet so getting some good defence is the priority.

With other players getting fit and hopefully some class additions in January, they may be able to become a better team to watch, but we fans have to show a little more patience with what they are producing.

Derek Thomas
58 Posted 12/12/2017 at 00:46:40
...I can only imagine the instructions from Big Sam were "When we get the ball, pump it forward, over their heads. If it gets near Dom or Om, all well and good... but don't run forward to support them. Do not, under any circumstances, lose your shape!"...

I think the whole point is, if the above is a very necessary decent start point, which I hope it is, then all well and good.

If it's basically the be-all and end-all of Allardyce's range of competency, then we can kiss any hope of getting into the mix up the sharp end... and backs-to-the-wall 1-1s away at the big guys will be as good as it gets.

As always with Everton; more questions than answers...

Billy Dawber
59 Posted 12/12/2017 at 05:00:02
I suspect it will be more of the same at Newcastle. Try the long ball and hope it goes to a blue. Nothing wrong with these tactics away from home as long as we preserve our goals against tally.

On home soil is a different matter and I for one thinks Sam knows the fans won't put up with it for too long so will change a few things to give us a more entertaining look. We've definitely got the players to damage teams but we must do it gradually and not get carried away in thinking we are much better than we really are.

Patience is the key for us all but i'm sure we will have a much better second half of the season and get up that table where we belong.

Steven Jones
60 Posted 11/12/2017 at 08:38:51
Drew (#54) – Great post.

The one thing we have fixed since Moyes left is balancing the average age of the squad.

Let alone the trip to Cyprus in the week we had Kenny, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Davies and Lookman involved on Saturday – with Keane, Pickford, Baningime and a number of the other U23s and loanees we do have a solid long-term base from which to build.

In Sam we trust to get the best from them; his expression of admiration of a great young man in Jonjoe Kenny is promising on that front.

Raymond Fox
61 Posted 12/12/2017 at 09:31:28
Stan (#48), I think you're massaging the truth when naming Lukaku, Stones and Barkley. During Roberto's first season all three were playing well and were linked with top 6 clubs, I wasn't saying then we didn't have any top 6 players. That was then, this is now.

I stand by previous post by saying who have we got that would be a starter in any of the top 6 teams, would Barkley be a starter? I doubt it. Most probably on the bench.

I don't take any pleasure in stating that they're not top 6 standard Stan, but it becomes pretty obvious when we play the best teams. Until we have players on par with the top clubs we will always be in limbo I'm afraid.

Barry Pearce
62 Posted 12/12/2017 at 10:11:12
I think at this stage, it's let's suck it, and see. Far too early to pass judgement on Sam's ability to get us playing more offensive football. Let's see what the January window brings, but like Steve (#15) above mentioned if we sign Deeney, he would be reverting to to type, long balls all game. He would be– he's Kevin Davies Mk 2.
Stan Schofield
63 Posted 12/12/2017 at 10:18:34
Raymond @61: During Martinez' last season many people on here said that nobody would get into the top-6 sides, including Stones, Lukaku and Barkley. People said Stones was a shit defender, Lukaku a useless lump, and Barkley so inconsistent he'd end up at West Brom. < A year later they are all being pursued by top-6 sides.

Now that Stones and Lukaku have gone, and Barkley is injured (but perhaps going), the mantra of our players not being good enough for top-6 sides is coming out again. Quite frankly, it doesn't wash, it's become very tedious, and it just looks like Evertonians spitting their dummies out because they're frustrated at our bad performances.

Stan Schofield
64 Posted 12/12/2017 at 10:31:52
Raymond, just to add, to be robust in your view about individual players, you have to see them perform within a well organised and settled set-up. You know as well as I do that we have been anything but settled over the last few seasons, hence the changes in manager.

It will be interesting to see our players performing under a manager who gets them well organised and motivated (and motivation is helped by good organisation), who can actually use their skills to good effect. Let's see if Allardyce is the man for this.

Folks go on about Liverpool, but if they lost Coutinho, things could change rapidly. Apart from their forward line, not many of theirs would get into top-6 sides. People criticise Williams, but I'd rather have him than Lovren for example. So I don't think they have significant superiority player-for-player.

I'm not saying all on here who criticise our players are spitting their dummies out, and I understand your argument, but it has become a bit of a mantra that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Rahman Talib
65 Posted 12/12/2017 at 10:52:38
Well, Clive Rogers...

Can we say that was Moyes's biggest blunder in his career?

Jason Wilkinson
66 Posted 12/12/2017 at 10:55:52
Q. Can we compete with the current top six? A. NO.

Why? Because the players we need to do this play for them. How can we break this never ending perpetuation of their dominance?

Well it's difficult and takes time. We need to buy players who will mature into the type that would be snapped up by the Sky six.

Pickford, a young and talented keeper. He probably wouldn't get in Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal or Chelsea's 1st eleven but I bet they're watching and plotting to make a bid in the summer.

Coleman, the most talented player we have. Would have walked into any of their first teams prior to breaking his leg.

Jagielka, Williams and Baines. Sadly their best years are behind them.

Holgate and Keane, need the above to learn their craft. Will they ever be good enough? Time will tell.

Tom Davies, needs to be playing in a more confident and settled side to show his talent. He needs options to pass the ball, play one-two's and create space for him to be effective.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a very young and raw talent who given time will be very decent indeed.

I'm not going to go through our entire squad but you might understand what I'm getting at. We need to get young players to mature into the likes of Harry Kane and Eden Hazard. Buy buying the likes of Rooney and Sigurdsson we can show these youngsters what is required. Ring craft if you like.

We have more than our fair share of the countries top talent at 20-23 years of age. With some tweaks in the ranks of the older pro's and time we will have a mouthwatering group to put into battle in the same way Man Utd had in '92.

We have an incredible group of young players and football people who watch us, write about us or are pundits on TV recognise the fact. Patience, fellow blues, incredible times are not light-years away.

Rahman Talib
67 Posted 12/12/2017 at 11:00:15
What really struck me is not that we conceded 79% possession to Liverpool.

What struck me is, despite the overwhelming and record-breaking possession of RS, they only managed 3 shots at goal throughout the game.

And they scored from a moment of magic from Salah.

Plus, they were coming into the game on the back of a 12 goals in two scoring momentum.

It proves that we are capable of defending against any team in the world – never mind the Premier League.

We may create some upsets when we meet the big boys later down the road.

Raymond Fox
68 Posted 12/12/2017 at 13:53:53
Stan, I hope you are correct and I am wrong, but I think we shall have to differ.

It's the two or three very special players that can change the result of a match that we lack. The usual top 6 clubs have them and we don't.

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 12/12/2017 at 14:06:59
Ray, I understand, and I sometimes view it like that myself. But then, when I come to think about it, for example Stones is turning out not too badly at City (despite a stuttering start last season), and Barkley is brilliant when he shines, so it would be interesting to see how he might shine more frequently under a regime that's well organised.

And Rooney, despite being past his best, can still turn a game (like on Sunday), and Sigurdsson could become some player, especially with set pieces, which we've been lacking in.

I would agree that all this is not up to the standards of Man City or Chelsea, but it's damp close to Liverpool's standards. Plus the younger players showing tremendous development.

Neville Jones
70 Posted 12/12/2017 at 14:08:42
I don't know about everybody else but I was made up and have been buzzing over this result since Sunday. The only criticism I have is that Rooney should have started in central midfield where he can get back and assist so it might have prevented their goal which was a bit dubious – certainly a lot more so more so than our penalty which only "Kloppites" could argue with.

I was in Liverpool city centre shopping on Monday and some bloke said to me in an obviously foreign accent,

"What did you think of the match?"

I replied somewhat jokingly, "Where are you from, Norway?"

"Yes", was the answer, but his mate back home supports the Blues.

He said "Oh yes, we all come from Norway" and "Yes, a definite penalty".

Raymond Fox
72 Posted 12/12/2017 at 16:02:46
Stan, we will become better organised under Allardyce and Co. I'm confident they will improve our performances and narrow the gap at the top of the Premier League.

I suspect Sam cant believe his luck in becoming our manager at this time. I don't for a minute think that he is a one-trick pony, give him the right players and he will produce a good all-round footballing team.

I agree with your comment about the younger players, there's some very likely lads coming though the ranks for the near future.

Jay Harris
73 Posted 12/12/2017 at 16:18:54
I agree with you about the impact of a special player.

If only we had a Hazard, Silva, De Bruyne, Sanchez.

All game changers in their own way but building an effective cohesive team will give us a chance at top 4.

As Moyes proved, harmony and team spirit allied to a common purpose gets you right up the ladder. Introduce some quality gets you top 4.

We have that challenge in front of us now.

Raymond Fox
74 Posted 12/12/2017 at 17:50:38
Jay we as a club have barrel loads of potential. If we get a new stadium and the owner/s make more money available, allied to shrewd player acquisitions that excel themselves and, as you say, in a team that really plays as a unit, we will progress.

Getting into the top 4 is the key isn't it; it allows us to attract better players to the club and away you go.

Lee Brownlie
75 Posted 15/12/2017 at 07:47:39
'a daylight heist..'??? No... No... No... and absolutely not!!!

(= Bullshit!!!)

We played a game of football, eleven v eleven, and using quite normal and within-the-rules footballing tactics and play, we stopped an apparently free-scoring side from, well,scoring freely!!,

And then, guess what? All within the rules an that... yeah! We won and scored a penalty... yes, a legit goal of our own, to even up on the one solitary goal they did manage to put past us!! So one-one all day, a point apiece.

No robberies or heists... it's simply all that it comes to, geddit?

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