Quality Has To Shine With Anfield On The Horizon

Before I start, this is not a rallying call befitting of Phil Neville or more recently and equally as chilling, Leon Osman – why is it always the players you don’t wish to be playing that are issuing these war cries?


Quality Has To Shine With Anfield On The Horizon


Quality Has To Shine With Anfield On The Horizon

I respect Leon for his service to the club, I’m not his biggest fan admittedly but lets hope the time for sentiment in team selection, is over.

Pride, Organisation, Fight and Talent

Rarely have we been able to combine these factors into a 90 minute performance this season but there’s a first time for everything and that time has to be now. At our former address.

Rarely do we look comfortable on a ground that most blues wish we would never have to visit. We have to change this, our manager’s arrogance, his beliefs and confidence, have to come pouring out of the Everton side that takes to the field in a must win Derby on Saturday lunchtime.

Every player has to be prepared to fight for this. This is not just about tactics – they have to be right of course – we have got to want this like never before. Look at all the teams who have succeeded at Anfield in the time we have been happy just to get it over with.

Only recently Aston Villa, a team expected to be relegation cannon fodder prevailed there, not only that, they were the better the side on the day. It’s so important we play the team on Saturday and not the name. The mentality has to change.

I’ve been dreading this game all week, I’ve never liked derbies, personally it takes me back to when I was seven and saw Jaws for the first time. It’s the same level of hand over eyes when watching it. I’m not sure many fans enjoy the game, but it is played on the pitch, not in the stands.

The players have a golden chance to right a few wrongs on Saturday. Unlike me, we have got to be fearless and controlled in equal measure. We need Barry’s positional sense and McCarthy’s all action endurance test to be in full flow.

Of course, it goes without saying, we also need some kind of defensive competency so we can think about hurting this extremely vulnerable Liverpool defence with the quality we have in our forward areas.

Liverpool aren’t playing great. Losing to West Ham and Villa and scraping through cup ties against Ludogerets and Middlesbrough. Teams are going to Anfield and playing without fear, so why can’t we?.

Our squad has the quality to hurt Liverpool, we have the players to do it, we just have to believe it and above all else, want it.

Desire is something that sadly hasn’t been obvious this season. With something of a nadir being reached at Swansea this week. It was a Walter Smith at Middlesbrough moment frankly and cannot be repeated. Especially at Anfield.

We don’t want to give our younger generation nightmares. I’m still getting over being 6-0 down to Villa after an hour back in 89. So Everton, if nothing else, think of the children. Deliberately over dramatic but you get my point!

The anger at the League Cup exit midweek is still waiting in line behind the Palace debacle. It’s fair to say some kind of footballing apology is in order here and we can all get back to the love in with our club after a win at Anfield.

We’ve got to leave every inch of desire on the pitch on Saturday. It’s been a poor start to the season but a win here would be the perfect springboard for us.

Admittedly a huge ask given I was 20 the last time we won at Anfield. Now at 35, with more hair on my arms than on my head, surely above all else, the law of averages would suggest a win is due soon.

We are going to Anfield with close to zero expectation unlike last season we were über confident and look where that got us. This team has all the talent to make it a memorable day for us, we just have to  believe it and Roberto has to get his managerial mojo back and get his tactics spot on.

We’ve been to Anfield with some horrific teams before and got results. We’ve always had a talisman or a blood and guts type player such as Dave Watson or Duncan Ferguson to help us get results there. It’s clear somebody is going to have to stand up and be that man on Saturday.

I think that somebody could be Kevin Mirallas, a player who has improved immeasurably under Roberto but is missing that stellar performance. Something to be remembered by.

Like Duncan’s against Man Utd in 2005. Now could be the time Mirallas takes the first step to becoming an Everton legend. He certainly loves it here and has got his feet under the table. Maybe now is the time to make waves and truly announce himself.

A Kanchelskis Kop End performance is long overdue and with Mirallas fresh from being rested from the embarrassment at the Liberty, our Belgian star has the means and the quality to do it. Let’s hope our true bright spark this season catches fire at Anfield.

This is in essence the same group of players that destroyed Arsenal at home and in all fairness, owned them at the emirates. The same group who swatted United aside with disdain only a few months ago. This isn’t Claus Thomsen and Terry Phelan time, we are a good side with great players, who has lost its way defensively at the start of the season.

I’ve seen fans say others have overreacted to the start of the season and I’ve been accused of it myself. It’s the next two league fixtures at Anfield and Old Trafford that have made this start frankly awful and has got the majority of us on edge.

So we’re going to have to do it the hard way. Our lack of defensive reinforcements in the summer has hurt us, but the defenders in possession of the shirt have got to want this now They have to start the Everton revival and collectively the team has to do its job at both ends of the pitch.

Six points from our next two games and everything will be forgotten. Two defeats and the fumes will be enough to cancel flights in and out of John Lennon Airport. We have got to break the mould here blues.

It’s far from ideal but lets not have Liverpool beat us before we’ve even kicked a ball. Maybe some of our players could heed a message my missus will be muttering should we get beat while my face is tripping me up: “It’s only a game of football.”

Liverpool’s team is nothing special. We can do this.

Sin Miedo is a phrase I find synonymous with Martinez and we need it more than ever on Saturday. In our attacking but most importantly, our defending, Our ambitions this season seemed limitless but a dose of Mike Walker style results has seen us at the wrong end of the table. Albeit only 5 games in.

We can’t afford to be in this position after 7 games which may sound irrational but while points remain the ultimate goal, we simply have to lay down our own mark on this Premier League season. All we’ve done is take punches and flirt with our own potential and it’s time to hit back. Starting with the glass jaw of Liverpool’s defence.

Lesser teams than us have prospered, so it’s time we cashed in on our talent at one of our most detested away grounds. Our fantastic support home and especially away, have suffered this season so let’s hope everyone is feeling better about things come 2.40 pm on Saturday afternoon.

This is Roberto’s first real test as our manager and I believe he will come through it. He has a fierce ambition to return us to the top and fate offers up moments such as this in which great managers come into their own.

So let’s play to our strengths, let’s be ruthless, be the epitome of stubbornness and start putting smiles back on the faces of the greatest supporters in the world.

“I think the psychology is a very important point because if you look at the stats, 15 years without a win at Anfield, then it needs to be about a bit more than football.” Roberto Martinez

Let’s make it all about the football on Saturday Roberto, and wipe away this nightmare few weeks in one golden afternoon.

Sin Miedo

Mark Ellis


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Mark Ellis

34 year old Evertonian, BU Supporter, blogger, loving Roberto, busy with my beautiful son Kai who has made me & my fiancee Lyndsay's life complete.

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