André Gomes is back training with the first team but is not expected to start
Once it became clear that Rafael Benitez was Farhad Moshiri's choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as manager, this fixture, the first Merseyside derby of 2021-22, was the one Everton fans were dreading the most. Having already sullied the club's name with the hiring in 2018 of Sam Allardyce, the appointment of a Liverpool FC hero was always a tough ask of Evertonian patience and grace; that the Toffees go into this fixture at such a low ebb and with the reds in such good form makes the whole build-up to the game incredibly difficult to take.
Sunday's depressingly limp defeat at Brentford means that Everton begin a daunting run of five matches against Liverpool, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Leicester nervously looking over their collective shoulder at the relegation zone just six points below them. Benitez badly needed three points from West London this past weekend to both arrest a worrying six-game sequence without a win and give some hope to an increasingly concerned fanbase heading into this difficult-looking December.
Instead, the Spaniard presided over what was the Blues' fifth defeat in six matches — relegation form no matter which way you slice it — and his players were left under no illusions at the final whistle about what their committed travelling fans thought of what was another dreadful, toothless performance. It's difficult to think of worse circumstances under which to prepare for the visit of your local rivals.
Yet prepare Benitez must, hopefully with the knowledge that Abdoulaye Doucouré and Demarai Gray, two players rushed back from injury for Sunday, will be fit enough to start. Gray was particularly missed at the Brentford Community Stadium until he stepped off the bench with 20 minutes to go and did his best to fashion an equaliser for a desperately blunt Everton attack. His pace and invention combined with Richarlison's return from a one-match suspension should provide a huge lift in quality over what was on show from the likes of Salomon Rondon and Alex Iwobi.
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The further addition of one or both of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Yerry Mina would have been a massive psychological boost as well but neither will be able to make it for Wednesday evening. Calvert-Lewin only returned to light training last week as he works his way back from a serious thigh injury and will need more time as will the Colombian.
Much will be made of how Benitez approaches an opposition team with one of the most prolific attacks in the Premier League and which has scored two or more goals in each of their last 17 games in all competitions. Given that Everton scored just once in the month of November, it feels like a harrowing mis-match — Everton have opened as 13/2 underdogs for this game, according to Sports Betting Dime and a draw is 17/4.
It's a match-up that could prompt the manager into a more defensive posture than normal, though. Benitez has been pretty stubborn about his chosen formation but he has used Andros Townsend in a more central role to protect the central midfield pairing and it could be that for this game that he drafts Fabian Delph in alongside Allan and Doucouré to simultaneously provide greater cover for the defence and give the latter license to push forward in a way that he didn't against Brentford, perhaps due to a lack of match fitness.
In that instance, Anthony Gordon might be the one from Sunday's starting XI deemed expendable, with Townsend and Gray tasked with providing the width either side of Richarlison and Rondon dropping back to the substitutes' bench. André Gomes is back in full training but is not expected to be in the starting XI but Tom Davies continues to be sidelined with a knock.
For his part, Jürgen Klopp will have the same five players missing as he did at the weekend, including defender Joe Gomez, midfielder Naby Keita, forward Roberto Firmino and longer-term absentees Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones but the depth of his squad means that he has plenty of alternatives at his disposal.
While Everton broke a 22-year hoodoo back in February by beating Liverpool at Anfield, their winless run in home derbies is itself over a decade old and there are few Evertonians expecting it to end on Wednesday evening. Indeed, most Blues are just hoping to avoid the kind of massacre that would turn Goodison Park into a seething cauldron of ire aimed not at the dark horde from across Stanley Park but the dugout and Directors Box.
This being a derby, though, strange things can happen. This Everton side showed against Tottenham that they can be spirited, determined and difficult to break down and if the fans' frustrations are channelled into turning the Grand Old Lady into a bear pit, the possibility for a competitive encounter and a positive result will always be there. But, boy, it's hard to shake the feeling that damage-limitation will be the order of the day.
Kick-off: 8:15pm, Wednesday 1 December 2021 on Ammazon Prime in the UK
Referee: Paul Tierney
VAR: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Everton 2 - 2 Liverpool
Predicted Line-up: Pickford., Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Delph, Doucouré, Townsend, Gray, Richarlison
Reader Comments (151)
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1 Posted 30/11/2021 at 19:59:17
2 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:02:24
3 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:05:45
"His pace and invention combined with Richarlison's return from a one-match suspension should provide a huge lift in quality over what was on show from the likes of Salomon Rondon and Alex Iwobi."
I was going to question this statement until I read the last five words "Salomon Rondon and Alex Iwobi." I guess everything is relative so even with his limitations his return does offer a "huge lift" relatively speaking.
4 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:08:16
5 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:17:31
6 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:24:11
7 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:28:38
Oh for such a problem at Everton.
8 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:32:31
9 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:32:51
12 Posted 30/11/2021 at 20:59:39
13 Posted 30/11/2021 at 21:02:50
I would go with that team also. My worry is that in the presser Rafael Benitez is talking about being strong defensively. That's obviously important but I hope it doesn't equate to parking two busses. I watched the RS at Brentford, and not for the first time the RS ran into trouble when their opponents actually attacked them. With Rich, Gray, Townsend and Docuore we could do likewise. If we sit back and try to quell the storm it's a bit like the Battle of Britain. You might survive through the night if their bombs are misdirected but you can't win the battle if the Luftwaffe are overhead and you're hankered in the Elephant and Castle underground station. Best case a few mortars knock out some of their flyers (e.g. Pickford on VVD) but if you want to win, you have to get bomber Harris airborne and take the fight over to Dresden.
14 Posted 30/11/2021 at 21:15:21
Feel sorry for me though fellas. Im currently off work with Covid. So is my wife, who is a Liverpool season ticket holder. Which means tomorrow is just me and her, watching it together at home. Oh the joys.
15 Posted 30/11/2021 at 21:34:05
17 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:15:33
18 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:16:22
19 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:17:43
20 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:39:07
If there is a god, a Liverpool player gets a red card, we get a deflected goal, we fight like lions, the woodwork is on our side, and the crowd scream the boys home to a desperate and famous narrowest of wins.
🙏 COYBlues, do us proud, us Evertonians deserve it.
21 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:54:52
Phil (4) is spot on. Unless Mina or Calvert-Lewin were to make a miraculous, last-moment return tomorrow, there's no other lineup Rafa should even think about putting out there.
22 Posted 30/11/2021 at 22:55:10
23 Posted 30/11/2021 at 23:07:06
24 Posted 30/11/2021 at 23:07:21
25 Posted 30/11/2021 at 23:07:44
26 Posted 30/11/2021 at 23:52:08
And the same Aldridge, even in an emotional FA Cup semi-final in 89 replayed, ruffled and took the piss out of Brian Laws after scoring an own goal, shithouse.
28 Posted 30/11/2021 at 00:01:18
Mike @ 18; He ran the show then, he was on loan playing for a contract though.
My rs bro in law, who is one of the very few semi sensible ones, said at the time...if you don't buy him - we should.
Imagine him on (alleged) Klopps east german 'magic juice' and an inhaler.
29 Posted 01/12/2021 at 00:42:27
I can imagine a few of their sprogs starting, with a very potent bench having a rest.
It's what he does after all, to good effect from his point of view, and why not – given the crippling inadequacy pervading our club under the owner/boardroom we've been cursed with for decades?
30 Posted 01/12/2021 at 01:34:11
He will never, ever have the confidence or assertiveness to match his natural skills.
31 Posted 01/12/2021 at 05:36:15
The defence don't worry about playing out. Go direct and early to the pace up top and force the opposition back that way. No-one wants to see our centre backs and Doucoure trying to pass the ball in the face of their pressing.
Townsend and Gray behind Richarlison. Richarlison causes hell and the other two plus Doucoure get close and support him at every opportunity. Win the second ball.
A fitting 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree.
But I don't know what to actually expect. Can Benitez get any kind of positivity into this club for one day? I'd suggest not and he wouldn't have been the one preparing for this fixture if it was up to me.
32 Posted 01/12/2021 at 05:44:32
33 Posted 01/12/2021 at 06:04:16
Okay, we have been unfortunate with injuries, and the loss of a player many on here said was 'Championship at best', seems to have totally left us devoid of any vestige of attacking threat.
No matter how good a player is, no team should be dependent on one player. Again, they will be missed, but this should be where someone gets a chance to stake a claim of being under serious consideration, or a reserve, if they ever get a chance from the bench, to do so.
Right time for the others, if they can muster a backbone between them, to start playing like professional footballers and not like a bunch of pensioners who have just taken up 'walking football'. Nothing wrong with being a pensioner by the way, I am one myself, but hopefully most will get the analogy.
If we can start on the right foot and take the game to Liverpool, we are the home side after all, like Corporal Jones used to say to Captain Mainwaring "They don't like it up 'em, Sir" in Dad's Army.
34 Posted 01/12/2021 at 06:30:06
Gomes will not be anywhere near the pitch because, again, he's another one who's never fit, even when he actually is available.
Our midfield will likely be swarmed, Doucouré not fully up to speed and Allan just not in games at the moment to have any real impact.
Sad thing about it though is another manager will get sacked if we lose heavily tonight in all probability and another new victim will be chosen by the bungling owner of the club and be expected to take charge of these same meek disinterested players and produce different results.
It's naive for us to think that the return of Calvert-Lewin will make any real difference; both he and Richarlison played in home games that were lost last season to the likes of Sheffield United, Newcastle and Fulham and eventually finished in 11th.
I don't know what the answer is to solving Everton anymore because there are too many questions to begin asking and issues to be resolved just to expect a new manager to change the club's ethos and dynamic.
35 Posted 01/12/2021 at 06:58:01
It will depend on our fight and determination though, along with a strong ref. They will scream, moan and dive all over the park.
I fully expect Van Dijk to try and exact some revenge, he's an arrogant self-centred bastard and I hate him.
36 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:12:06
I really worry about 0-5.
37 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:32:41
38 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:33:50
That's so worrying it's unreal, because Rafa has already stated “defend as a unit and counter” as the strategy. The problem is though, like with Man City, you just won't stop that many goalscorers. The only way to beat them is to be brave and go at them (like Brentford and Brighton did). Make sure they are cautious of throwing too many forward and playing with their high line.
It's not in the Rafa's DNA to do it.
Personally, I'd go 4-3-3 with pace and goal threat – and, if Gomes genuinely fit, I'd have him in ahead of Delph, but too big a risk for his first game back.
Coleman Godfrey Keane Digne
Allan Doucouré Delph
Dobbin Richarlison Gray
39 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:50:16
Thats not to say we should be passive. We need to be intense, compact, determined and to make the right decisions as to when to counter with speed and men. We also need to be excellent at set pieces which has been an issue all season.
We often do our best when people expect the worse and I would not be that surprised by a valiant draw.
40 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:54:58
A red in my pub has offered a bet that, if they win, I wear a shoite shirt to the next home game (can cover it up), and if Everton win, he will get an Everton tattoo.
41 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:56:08
42 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:58:45
As surfer Mick Fanning will tell you, you have to punch the shark to stop it attacking you
That would be my approach. Not for one second am I suggesting we attack, attack, attack. I'm saying we have to land a punch to even be in the game. Be horrible, give them something to worry about. The cliches work sometimes, that's why they're cliches.
43 Posted 01/12/2021 at 07:59:18
I am optimistic that Everton will put on a show tonight. They will be motivated and at least have a defence with defenders with some games under their belt. I just hope there is not a tendency to play too deep, they need to push up into midfield and hopefully get lucky.
Hopefully Rondon will give them some problems but I don't think he will score.
I was talking to a friend that just watches football. He said, "I never liked Rondon, he never looked like scoring for Newcastle. "
That's probably why we got him for nothing. Though he is good at giving Everton shape, which is what is needed this evening.
44 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:01:28
45 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:02:19
Benitez said early doors, when we were getting a couple of wins, that he knew what the supporters wanted: 100% effort and commitment. Well we haven't seen much of that the last few weeks.
We are in freefall and the rot has to stop very soon or we really will be in the shit.
Only another 25 points!
46 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:04:11
I can understand Gary's frustration with Benitez, but he himself is the one who points out how many goal scorers Liverpool have got throughout their team compared to Everton, so to go toe to toe would be folly in my opinion.
Fight, defend as a unit (we have only done this really well against Spurs), stay in the game, get the crowd going, and then start getting after them a bit more once we have got these basics right, is my own view, because I don't think we can afford to lose an early goal tonight.
47 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:06:39
An open game will suit them more than us but, as I said, we have to counter quickly and aggressively at the right time. As always, a lot will come to good decision-making.
48 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:09:10
49 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:13:49
50 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:25:16
Prediction. A bit more effort than in recent matches, buoyed by a rabid crowd. We may even still be in touch at half-time. But an inevitable loss. I'm going with 1-3.
51 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:29:52
I'm not picking out Coleman here either but it's the clubs fault for keeping him on as first-choice right-back when he's 3 years past his best.
52 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:31:07
My only hope is that over the years we have been underdogs as they have lorded it in the Premier League, but we have come away with draws.
If this lot have anything about them, this is the game to show some professional pride.
53 Posted 01/12/2021 at 08:48:22
54 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:02:11
Regardless of the result and or performance, judging by two articles in the Echo this morning, I can't see Benitez being removed from his seat of power at Goodison in the near future, as it looks increasingly certain to be the case that Moshiri has hired the Spaniard to oversee a period of austerity due to FFP and that star players will be sold as and when required.
Rafa Benitez insists Everton must 'learn' from other clubs who have sold players and improved their squad with the proceeds. In answering a question about Farhad Moshiri's backing, Benitez said the club needed to manage their transfer budget better by 'selling some players at a profit'. Asked to then expand on his comments, the Everton manager said financial fair play regulations have to show the club that player sales must become a more important way of generating cash if they are to find the money to improve their squad.
In answering a question about Farhad Moshiri's backing, Benitez said the club needed to manage their transfer budget better by 'selling some players at a profit'.
Asked to then expand on his comments, the Everton manager said financial fair play regulations have to show the club that player sales must become a more important way of generating cash if they are to find the money to improve their squad.
Benitez believes that "stability" is at the forefront of Moshiri's thinking. "I am in constant communication with the board and Mr Moshiri so I have this feeling that that they realise that they were changing managers in the past - even changing the profile of the managers in the past - and it was not working," Benitez said. "So they know that we need stability and they know that is really important for changing things in the future so you can't blame the owner for spending a lot of money. "It is just that we have to be sure we do things right in the future and the reason why we can't spend now is because the Premier League rules don't allow us to do that. "So hopefully we can manage in a better way, we can sell some players at a profit and we can use this money to improve the squad and to ensure we are stronger. "I think they [the board] realise the over the years that changing managers, changing the way to do things is not right, it is not productive, and hopefully we can keep this stability."
"I am in constant communication with the board and Mr Moshiri so I have this feeling that that they realise that they were changing managers in the past - even changing the profile of the managers in the past - and it was not working," Benitez said.
"So they know that we need stability and they know that is really important for changing things in the future so you can't blame the owner for spending a lot of money.
"It is just that we have to be sure we do things right in the future and the reason why we can't spend now is because the Premier League rules don't allow us to do that.
"So hopefully we can manage in a better way, we can sell some players at a profit and we can use this money to improve the squad and to ensure we are stronger.
"I think they [the board] realise the over the years that changing managers, changing the way to do things is not right, it is not productive, and hopefully we can keep this stability."
Benitez is either a very arrogant person who has misread the runes or he is in the most powerful position as Everton manager since David Moyes left Goodison. If it is the latter, we can only hope that he manages to get more out of his team in the coming months than he has in the last couple.
55 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:14:04
Be gone, you dull kopite.
56 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:18:33
57 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:21:24
How can we expect our weak-willed players to show the necessary bottle and fight in this game when they have performed so abysmally up to now?
We need Mike Lyons, Joe Royle and the ghosts of Dave Hickson and Howard Kendall to give the pre-match team talk as none of our pussies even know or care what this game (or any game, it would seem) means to the fans. Seamus Coleman is an exception but sadly he is past his best.
Reidy and Cahill were not natural Evertonians but they were professional with a high degree of personal integrity. They took to the pitch and played for us! This bunch of pussies cannot even do it for their own reputations. They are a collective joke.
If we get anything out of tonight's game, I will be amazed. In fact, I will be amazed if it is less than 0-4. I am just going on the available evidence of our games up to now!
I expect Rafa's name to be shouted to the rafters at Goodison tonight – but it won't be by Evertonians!
How has it come to this, Bill?!
Yours, from behind the sofa.
58 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:21:31
59 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:28:45
60 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:31:52
We all know there are many faults running right through the club, but the first job of a manager is to sort out the team. If he wants to fight other battles, then at least wait till you have the team winning games and away from a relegation battle.
Seems like the rumours about Mina moving to Italy in January could be true. Seems ironic he played the full 90 minutes for Colombia 3 times in a week but comes back and has a hamstring problem that's kept him out for a couple of months.
I also found Benitez comment about there being a better connection this season between players and fans than there was last season – really?
Judging by his comments, it seems he feels very confident that Moshiri won't pull the plug on him despite us being in 14th place. Normally, Moshiri has sacked his previous managers if the team has been in 13th spot.
Unless we can get something from tonight or a win against Arsenal, we may find ourselves even further down the Premier League table before our trip to Crystal Palace.
61 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:45:51
Please prove me wrong. Benitez's "better connection between fans and players than last season comment" – for fuck's sake, we weren't in the ground!
62 Posted 01/12/2021 at 09:45:53
63 Posted 01/12/2021 at 10:24:58
Every team we face will be fancy their chances and Newcastle have ominously yet to win a single game. Still, expectations have been lowered so far by the combined forces in play that not losing will be deemed success by most of us.
64 Posted 01/12/2021 at 10:39:23
I think we are pretty much all agreed on the team and they really must get out there and fight like never before. They will be after Pickford at corners and we need a very strong unbiased referee.
The crowd has a huge part to play in this game and really can be the 12th man. Richiarlison – everyone else, for that matter – is due a goal.
We can't go out and attack them because our attack is not good enough and we would leave too many holes for them to break which plays into their hands as their front three would have a field day. This is a game for dogs of war – Ebbrell, Horne and Parkinson were no great shakes individually but, as a unit all revved up by Joe, they gave anyone a game and not even Roy Keane enjoyed playing against them.
At the very least, we deserve a flat-out performance of fight, grit, determination and guts and any player who does not crawl off the pitch absolutely shattered should never play for us again.
Get stuck in boys!!
65 Posted 01/12/2021 at 10:41:51
Benitez may get away with a defensive performance tonight. If we go after them, I think they'll cut us apart, far too much pace of passing and movement up top for the Shite.
66 Posted 01/12/2021 at 10:53:17
But, I'm an optimistic blue and will be cheering my team onto a hopeful 3 points.
67 Posted 01/12/2021 at 10:56:40
You would always want local players playing against them but unfortunately, Tom Davies and Anthony Gordon are nowhere near good enough for us and both are very lightweight.
We just need to compete but I'm not looking forward to it.
68 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:08:29
I feel more miserable about the prospects tonite than I felt when Dave Hickson went to Anfield.
69 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:17:30
Get into these fucking melts... Come On!!!!!!!!!!!
70 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:19:10
With the addition of Gray and Townsend and young Gordon getting game time, it also opens the exit door for Richarlison. This would enable us to hang on to Calvert-Lewin.
As for tonight, I expect reprisals on Richarlison after he put Thiago out last season. The thug Van Dijk looks to me to be jogging about, and despite the plaudits from the red media, I don't think he has recovered fully from the injury.
Their team is full of snakes, Robertson, Mane, Salah, Henderson and Milner. Jota and Arnold are also up there in the echelons of fuckwittery.
Please let us get stuck-in and leave them bloodied and bruised even if we don't get the result. Also, I hope we have some restraint towards Benitez. To turn on him would just make the Koppites even happier.
71 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:22:02
72 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:25:14
73 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:43:30
I fully expect us to get one bad injury and/or a sending off. Richarlison and Pickford are likely to get special treatment with no obvious errors spotted. Van Dijk and Robertson will (as usual) be allowed to get away with murder and we will get carded for going anywhere near Salah and Mane (who will both be in full-on diving mode).
I hope that we have a real bear pit atmosphere for tonight's match, but I fear nothing can save us. An especially warm Goodison welcome needs to be given to the fourth official; namely fatty Jon Moss, who will intervene at any given opportunity on behalf of Herr Klopp and the RS to emulate his 'no obvious error' interventions on Sunday. He is there to ensure that Tierney referees the match 'fairly'.
Referee: Paul Tierney. Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Adam Nunn. Fourth official: Jonathan Moss. VAR: Michael Oliver. Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
I think I'm gonna need a bigger settee to hide behind, but COYB and deliver one of the biggest shocks in donkey's (Rondon) years.
74 Posted 01/12/2021 at 11:49:54
Norwich picked up their eighth point in four games to move within two wins of us with a draw against the battling Barcodes.
The Geordies look to be trying to build a foundation for a second-half escape act. The point against Norwich was a credible one, they played 70 minutes with 10 men, and really battled hard.
With results going against us, our recent form line, the gaffers personal history – it's all pointing one way tonight isn't it. Pains me to predict it, but Liverpool by plenty.
75 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:00:26
I could go through the team and pick most of them to pieces but, when I realised that I was booing players on (Iwobi against Watford), I've decided to stay away for the good of my mental health. I realise that you should get behind our team but feel that it's all take and very little in return.
I've given my Rednose son my ticket for tonight so that at least one of us can enjoy a game at Goodison, obviously nothing is set in stone and should the 1% chance of us actually turning up and putting a performance in, I will be the first to ''eat a massive humble pie''. COYBS
76 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:04:12
Ignorance is bliss.
77 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:11:01
Anyway, at least until kick off, I'll be dreaming of a 3-2 to the Mighty Blues, last minute winner from Rondon, the roof comes off.
78 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:18:00
I notice he never mentions the Dutch gobshite's assault on Rodriguez (who was flying and was never the same after) or his players flopping to the ground under minimal contact, and the way he constantly berates and screams in the 4th official's face if the referee dares give a free-kick or foul against his holier-than-thou players.
The way he runs on the pitch, I can't stand the two-faced bastard. Please, Blues, do us proud tonight and give us a performance to be proud of. The fans will back you to the hilt tonight if you are aggressive. Goodison is brilliant under the lights. COYBs!!!
79 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:18:48
Have to credit Klopp though for turning a pretty average bunch into serial contenders… and that's what football is really all about; having a plan which gives players that confidence and belief (coupled with some dodgy nutrition on their part, lol). UTFT
80 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:22:58
I believe the RS have a chance of making history tonight and eclipsing Sunderland's record of scoring at least 2 goals in all of their first 14 league games. This was set in 1927 by Sunderland; what's the odds that the RS will overtake Sunderland's record tonight?
Even worse Everton teams in the 1990s had a decent record against the RS. I was thinking about the derby that Carsley scored the winner in 2004-05, Benitez was in charge of the RS that day. That was a poor enough squad on paper that defied the odds on that day and that season.
I don't think the current crop have the character to get a result tonight. Hoping to be proven wrong.
81 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:34:46
(Actually, any blue scoring, we riot!!) :)
82 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:40:29
Hail Richy, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among players,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Rondon
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us ToffeeWebbers,
now and particularly at 2015 tonight,
83 Posted 01/12/2021 at 12:54:45
84 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:04:08
Dick van Dijk should have been yellow-carded for the double assault on Rodriguez. If he had, he probably would never have injured himself with his high-foot challenge on Pickford.
A 1-0 win, a penalty in the 94th minute converted by Richarlison would suffice, and show Klopp's true colours and sicken Aldridge!
85 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:07:00
"But, boy, it's hard to shake the feeling that damage-limitation will be the order of the day."
The sad thing for this derby the "Bear-pit", "Dogs of War" mentality is damage limitation, if we turn up hyped for this, we might get a draw or 0-1 if Lady Luck feels pity on us.
"Dogs of War" is the only way we can approach this – and that's just to keep it respectable.
86 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:08:18
As for tonight... the Brentford defeat told me everything, another huff-and-puff display tonight with little end product, I fear. The RS won't need to get out of second gear.
0-3... followed by another search for a new gaffer methinks. Sigh, the joys of being a Blue!
87 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:12:35
88 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:21:30
Much has been written about possible change of manager again. From my perspective, it is hard to see where our next points will come from. Unless there is a dramatic and unexpected upturn in performances and results, we are heading directly to the Championship.
Hence, if tonight does produce the expected outcome, I really cannot see what further detriment there will be by disposing of Benitez. Whether it be Lampard, or Ferguson, or some other manager who will get his team organised and scrapping, it cannot be any worse and hopefully, it will improve.
Yes, we need reform from the core but that is not going to happen any time soon, but trundling miserably down the Premier League with no ounce of true grit and fight, is just not an acceptable option.
89 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:23:09
90 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:31:05
Rorke's Rift comes to mind for this one.
This time around though, none of the Zulus will be carrying spears, they'll all have Martini-Henry rifles...
Also, they won't be charging head-on into a hail of bullets, they'll be very cunning in their approach.
Over the hills ... I can hear that train approaching!
91 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:34:46
Rafa is a stubborn bastard but he's not entirely clueless.
92 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:42:12
How much things have changed with a potential disaster ahead of us this evening. Rafa needs to earn his money tonight, we have picked the team for him and he needs 100% commitment from the 11 on the pitch. To a man, they all need to stick together, no histrionics and keep it simple by getting the ball into their half quickly and as often as possible.
If we keep our heads and, with fans supporting, we might just sneak a surprise. The 1st of December has always been my lucky day, so no worries!!!
93 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:50:24
Good luck if Marcel Brands and Rafael Benítez hope for reinvestment money by selling any of the above!
94 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:50:56
95 Posted 01/12/2021 at 13:55:01
I think we should just go long every time we can and hope Richarlison, Gray or Townsend can pick up any bits. Desperate tactics, I know but, let's face it, we are unable to play constructive football and there's no way our players have the bottle or ability to play through the RS press.
Excuse the language but please could the officials just let us get stuck into these cunts without blowing up every time we go near them.
96 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:05:53
I have always thought that things will get worse before they get better, it's not the fault of the current manager, just a sign of how poor this squad is. I hope I am proved massively wrong. COYB
97 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:06:47
On Sunday, Remo needed to win their final Division 2 game of the season to avoid relegation, at home to the already-relegated penultimate team in the league on a dreadful run themselves.
With 12 games left, Remo had been comfortably mid-table, but could only win one of those games. They could only manage a tepid 0-0 draw. The only other team that could overhaul them did so with a win. Remo relegated.
The teams got off the pitch under a barrage of thrown objects. Bottles, cups - and this is where it gets very Brazilian - trainers (aka sneakers), flip-flops and...a crutch. An adult-sized aluminium crutch. I'm intrigued to know how some of them limped home.
Video evidence here:
98 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:09:21
99 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:10:13
100 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:14:59
101 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:16:44
(Here's hoping I don't have to defend my remark tomorrow morning)
102 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:19:28
104 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:23:52
Hopefully given that it's a derby, form will go out of the window and we can scrape something.
I shall be watching it on Amazon Prime in the warm.
105 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:30:18
The problems are that Liverpool are in form, we've very little on the bench to chase the game and it would appear that Benitez knows that.
We need Doucouré and Richarlison to have big games and Keane, Godfrey and Digne to have their balls front and centre. Also, Pickford could do with a set of headphones, à la Steve Collins.
I'm going for 3-3.
106 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:30:20
The squad is appalling, but a manager / coach of his alleged status should be capable of constructing a well-drilled and organised unit out of what he has available. What is clear is this squad is not only well below that, but has become unable to play basic football when they have the ball and function at all when they don't.
This was always going to pan out this way with Benitez becoming the villain. The real culprits are hiding behind him. No problem for Benitez: just collect the fat pay-off on the way out.
So, as Toffees, what do you do?
1. Get angry and rant on forums.
2. Get behind your team no matter what.
3. Stop caring.
How long do you really need to be taken for a mug before you wake up? It's time to go into hibernation, hope we don't get relegated because of even worse teams than us exist.
Let's see if we are still in the Premier League when the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock opens, I don't think we will be. What a stadium for the Championship.
107 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:30:24
I don't know what will be more painful: that or watching the game?
108 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:31:46
Great story by the way.
109 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:33:20
You'd think that the team kind of picks itself. Although l wouldn't be surprised at all if Rondon was up top with Richarlison and Gray either side. He would offer a presence, allow an out-ball. Richarlison comes too deep looking for the ball sometimes leaving, a big hole.
Let's face it, if Rondon and lwobi hadn't been so bad, maybe more eyes would be on the contribution of Gordon.
110 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:35:08
I'm firmly in the ‘nostalgic for protest by cushion' group. As I recall, all the cushions were identical thus looked impressive as a group when in flight. Similar to a flock of Canadian geese taking off and moving in formation.
( Plus I'm sure the consistency of branding would appeal to the marketing specialists on the forum.)
111 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:39:19
112 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:46:15
113 Posted 01/12/2021 at 14:56:56
114 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:00:11
The problem is, Rondon comes so deep when we are defending – he can't get into the box in time.
We need aggression in midfield and pace up-front, together with 100% concentration from the back 4.
That's it then, game over.
115 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:02:59
If we sell the players for the proposed price or more, then the Icelandic pensioners get the money; if we don't, then they have to pay us the proposed price. We would clean up.
It worked brilliantly for Goldman Sachs and Co in 2007.
116 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:03:14
Them, Man City and Chelsea are more than capable of spanking the best teams in the world.
The few times we have had a better team for the derby and outplayed them, we often failed to win. So I don't let the derby affect me, just another game that I'll be gutted to lose.
This isn't Rafa's fault, it's a multi-decade-long mess that will take a few seasons minimum to fix – if we are brave enough to stick together and back a manager long enough to progress rather than hit the panic button and restart the whole project again.
Good luck, Blues, it's a funny old game.
117 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:07:53
If again the players look uninspired and the basics are not there, something will have to change.
118 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:21:48
119 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:22:14
How much is he taking out of our club a year? Even if he was any good at his job, he couldn't even do it properly. As far as I can tell, he should be laid off due to lack of demand for his apparent ‘skills'.
120 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:23:37
Watching the Blues at the moment is like getting teeth pulled, painful!
121 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:32:19
Tonight is enough of a foregone conclusion as it is. He might well keep Rondon and Iwobi in reserve for when we have to lose against lesser outfits like Brentford.
If he starts either tonight, then they'll need extra digits on the scoreboard – and a P45 for the manager.
122 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:42:08
But how he must rue the signing of Iwobi. We still had some cash at that point and how much might our fortunes be different now if they had brought in an attacking player of real quality?
Can't win em all, COYB – let's have a miracle tonight!
123 Posted 01/12/2021 at 15:42:16
I personally don't think he'll be fully fit until Spring in terms of the level he reached early last season.
124 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:03:36
Score 3 in 95 mins?... you're having a laff.
0-0 and a whining, whinging Klopp at full time... à la Pep: "If only one team wants to play... blah blah" – even if we do get up and at 'em. That would suit me.
125 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:03:42
Today is not a test of where Everton are as we are well aware of the state we are in, and there is no need to turn a blind eye to it; we are one of the worst teams in the Premier League, and playing against a team that turned over Man Utd – a team that most of our players wouldn't get a game in.
I am going to hope for the best but expecting the worst today and seriously thinking of watching Man City v Aston Villa instead, and just watch minute by minute on my laptop to avoid getting my blood pressure too high.
I don't expect to get much more of an effort from our players just because of who we are playing but, if they do, they should be fined for not putting the same desire and energy in previous games.
126 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:07:15
But I thought I'd have a punt on Rondon first goalscorer. The coupon said 10-1. The slip said 9-1... the price is coming down!
Made me smile.
127 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:07:21
1: Don't cut the grass so the ball doesn't roll.
2: Flood the pitch so that everyone without the right studs slips.
3: Reduce the length and width of the pitch to the legal minimum.
4: Turn on the air conditioning to the maximum in the away dressing room, make the floor polished and slippery.
5: Start a melee at the beginning of the game and sneak on a 12th player and hope nobody notices.
6: Install hydraulic goalposts that can instantly reduce in size with the incoming shots from the opponents.
Or: Just go out and be fearless, fight for everything, never give up, don't hold back and create your own luck and story.
129 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:07:37
I'm a marketing specialist. I totally agreed on the cushions.
The first cushion I bought was 2s/6d!
Are we the only club that ever did cushions?
130 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:09:56
131 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:11:34
It kind of makes you think of his commitment to Everton.
132 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:25:01
133 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:26:33
134 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:29:41
It's not just Colombia. I think a lot of Blues have great antipathy to all national teams that feature our players.
I can remember hearing lots of moaning in the early 60s when it was more or less only Home Internationals. Club or Country has always been an issue – especially when we lose players to injury. Remember all that shit from Roy Keane regarding Coleman?
Personally I'd only be interested in England if we got to a final. For me, the less players we lose to national teams, the better.
135 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:35:38
Let's form a square and not let anything past us – Rorke's Drift it'll be!! COYB!!!
136 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:35:47
1. Rotation fouling on Van Dijk from the kick-off. Iwobi could become a hero tonight. The objective is to end his season (again).
2. Same on Henderson.
The only RS I don't want to see leaving on a stretcher is Salah, who seems like a nice enough lad.
137 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:36:48
Sky 4 teams regularly have their players not available with a slight strain. Club has to come first.
138 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:39:41
If we rough them up, we will end up with 8 or 9 players. The best option would be for Rafa himself to run onto the pitch and knock a few of them out. That would put a stop to their fans singing about him and win him some support among the Blues while sparing our players from being sent off.
139 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:43:38
As long as it's 0-0 any whining to the referee by Red Shiters will be taken as a lead. Get in on them early and make it difficult for the ref to show cards. UTMFGDT!!!!!
140 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:44:17
141 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:47:19
The worry is down our left side. Double-up on Salah, don't give him any room and don't let him dive.
Please, no red cards!
142 Posted 01/12/2021 at 16:49:20
143 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:07:04
144 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:21:34
We won't out-play them and truth be known we won't out-fight them. We have to out-psych tem.
They have convinced themselves that St Virgil's injury was deliberate. So why not play on it? Sow the seeds of doubt. Let them know that we don't care if any of their players' season ends tonight. In fact, let them know in the tunnel that we are intent on it!
The South African Rugby team have been doing it for decades... Unlike us. They have a title to contend realistic chance of competing in cup finals.
Some of their players will be prepared to risk that for the sake of three points, but not all of them. Virgil won't. Let's find the chinks in their armour. Let them know we don't care what action the ref takes - he will probably red card someone in Blue for a minor offence anyway. Sow the seeds of doubt!
They know our players are not hard enough to outfight them fairly. So let's make them know we are crazy and spiteful enough to put in career-threatening tackles. They have spent the last 12 months claiming as much anyway.
Yeah the RS Media will scream their outrage but they will do that if they don't win anyway.
I'm sick of seeing our players getting sent-off against these twats for minor offences. Let's at least make sure someone gets hurt. Fight them, bite them. Stamp on the fuckers. Leave no dirty stone unturned.
I'm a football lover and I can't believe I feel this way. I would love to see us play this crew off the park and beat them, but the chances of beating them fairly and squarely are slim.
If we are telling the story of the Blues, we are rapidly approaching the point where we have nothing left to lose. Let's bully the bullies. Let's overstep the mark (because they will). Let's employ the dark arts (because they definitely will). The fucking last thing we need to see tonight is "nice" Everton.
Do whatever it takes to ensure they leave Goodison tonight with nothing more than pain and further amo to fuel their permanent and ridiculous sense of injustice.
145 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:26:46
146 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:40:44
We have two, DCL injured and Richarlison who is useless at present.
Those on the bench are very poor and the midfield have no firepower except Doucoure who will be overworked as an extra defender.
If we had a fully fit DCL and Mina we may have had a shot at something as they could have been invaluable at both ends of the pitch.
RS fans can be forgiven for thinking this is another whitewash given Everton's current form and injury predicament.
Our back four is very shaky and the tackling from those in front of them is not good enough.
A miracle would be very welcome at this time but Everton never get them.
147 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:50:07
Make sure that afterwards, they physically feel damaged in some form or another. And I mean every tosser in red.
If I see that, then I will be OK with any result.
No holds barred approach please.
Good luck Blues!
148 Posted 01/12/2021 at 17:59:20
149 Posted 01/12/2021 at 18:01:27
So...there is always someone worse off than you..
150 Posted 01/12/2021 at 18:12:08
If you can remember 2s/6d for cushions you must be the same age as our 2 x reserve goalkeepers (okay, slightly younger).
151 Posted 01/12/2021 at 18:23:48
152 Posted 01/12/2021 at 18:46:35
On the other hand, concede early and I hate to think what could happen.
154 Posted 01/12/2021 at 19:08:57
I would do the opposite, at least in public, to simply show that win, lose or draw, there's plenty of games left to play.
155 Posted 01/12/2021 at 19:11:08
The season has turned into a mess already and like last season we started half-decent, results wise at least. We may have to wait until the new year to see any change in our fortunes.
156 Posted 01/12/2021 at 19:16:02
157 Posted 01/12/2021 at 19:55:09
And Virgil should have been sent off for his double fouls on James before his injury. I wish every player and manager would just keep repeating this. Robertson also got away with an awful challenge, just hope we turn up tonight.
158 Posted 01/12/2021 at 19:59:32
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