Monday, 17 January 2011

More questions than answers for Everton and Liverpool

Considering they have only won at Anfield twice in 19 Premier League visits and three times in over 25 years Everton would probably be the happier of the two teams following Sunday’s 2-2 draw.

But looking at the game the lack of form, confidence and in some cases quality is there for all to see across both sides.

One of David Moyes’ main criticisms is his negative tactics, especially away from home. Many feel that Liverpool are a side with a soft centre this season and by attacking them – like Blackpool have done twice – you can reap the rewards.

But once against the Toffees were far too timid. Slow and laboured in possession and all too often withdrawing onto the edge of their own penalty area, grimly hanging on.

But the one thing Everton do have is team spirit and although it took going a goal down and a half-time grilling for it to return, the rewards were instant.

It may sound strange to say it but Everton may have scored the second too early for their liking, as they then sat back, wasting time as if it was in the final ten.

For Liverpool, with no Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher, manager Kenny Dalglish opted for local youngster Jay Spearing in midfield, ahead of the likes of Christian Poulsen and Milan Jovanovic.

It was clearly a ploy to try and get some local passion for the game infused into his side, as well as a poor reflection on the form of Poulsen and Jovanovic.

But after promising first half that saw Liverpool not only take the lead but create a flurry of chances, the Reds
fell away in the second half – just like they did at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday – and barely mustered as shot on goal aside from Dirk Kuyt’s penalty.

With the game at 2-2 neither side showed the ambition to try and win the game, meekly accepting a draw.

There was plenty in this game for the viewer – passion, commitment, excitement. But for the fans of each side it also highlighted their deficiencies and the scale of the task facing the two managers if they are to lift their sides up the table.

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