Liverpool is a proud city boasting over 23 championships between its two main clubs Liverpool and Everton, that is more than all the London clubs put together.
Usually the Merseyside derby is a battle between two top 5 teams but this year it is a relegation battle though it is early in the season.
The battle for Liverpool has now moved to the courts with various judge’s ruling this way and that for various sides. The losers in all this are the fans who watch factions of foreigners scrapping over the control of a once great club.
For Everton it is different, years of 5th place finishes under David Moyes has paralysed the club and they have reached as far as they will go.
True that they have both had a bad start but this is the product of years of decay with the illusion of progress. Everton are dogged, self-motivating (usually) with some flair when necessary but this year has seen them flop.
Tottenham made the breakthrough that Everton failed to make but could find themselves back with the rest.
It is obvious that Liverpool will have to make a huge improvement just to qualify for the champion’s league.
They failed to invest under Benitez, he preferred to scout for overpriced Spanish players while relying on a handful of overworked players.
These players have now hit the wall, Gerrard is tired and passed it physically, Torres is battered and bruised, Carragher is exhausted, and rest is a bunch of under-motivated players. “Woy” Hodgson is a brilliant coach but cannot do miracles.
Everton is suffering from fatigue as well, Cahill is tired, the frontline is not firing and the usual solid defence is creaking. In Mikel Arteta you have probably the second best playmaker behind Fabregas, and to think he has never played for his native Spain.
Everton’s best game was against Man U when they were 3-1 down and came back to draw 3-3, that is the spirit they need to capture in order to mount a comeback. The 5-man midfield is hard to breakdown with Tim Cahill sneaking in behind the defenders. The strikers need a good game to test a weak Liverpool defence.
Liverpool are battling to get Torres fit, he is their best chance of winning as he offers so much in his game, heading, both feet can shoot, dribbling, good movement but he is looking for a move. If Liverpool have to play Ngog then they have no chance.
Lucas has actually become a crucial player with Poulsen still to adapt to the speed of the English game. The Steven Gerrard of old is gone, like Paul Scholes adapted his game to be a passing playmaker, Stev-o needs a new game too.
Joe Cole has drifted since his move, he no longer has the disciplined players of Chelsea around him to allow him improvisation.