There’s nothing like beating Everton to put a little starch in your collar. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
I consider myself a reasonable chap, yet when it comes to ‘them’ (far more than United), the obnoxiousness reaches Brexiter levels.
A father’s legacy, perhaps.
He had to stomach them during the eight years Liverpool dropped into the second division and spent the rest of his life giving it back as often and as poisonously as possible.
He’d show this column to his blue mates while impersonating the dog in Tom & Jerry; “dat’s ma boy!”
It’s my only nod to sadism. Spend 50 weeks of the year telling somebody they don’t matter and in the other two watch them wind themselves up in knots about a game they can’t win while laughing in their faces.
Thanks to our little collapse in 2017 they’d closed the gap a tad. We needed something to be able to pull away again and along it comes; a home game against them. Just the ticket.
Koeman tried a new tack of claiming Everton have nothing to fear. Playing on a ground where you haven’t won for 18 years with at least four of your first-choice team missing? Way to roll those dice straight into the gutter…
They’d also spent the week crying their arse off about the Coleman tackle, then tried doing exactly the same to every Liverpool player they could lay their studs on. Everton in miniature.
He then had the nerve to complain about Klopp protesting about Barkley’s tackling.
It hasn’t taken Koeman long to become as bitter and bewildered as the rest of them. Getting savaged over a red Christmas tree can do that to a man.
He went to war with O’Neill over James McCarthy too. Curiouser and curiouser. What was it Borges said about the Falklands?
“Two bald men fighting over a comb,” wasn’t it?
O’Neill threw in a blame game crack, reminding us of our own quibble with England over Lallana. Riiiiight, like we need help damaging our own players. We’re more than capable of screwing ourselves without Southgate’s help.
Of the football itself, it was good to see Coutinho show signs of his best. People were beginning to give the Barcelona rumours credence. Liverpool have been there before with Sterling, someone who let form drift and eventually made fans grateful he was leaving.
It never fails.
We’re at our worst after international breaks so for once, thank God for Everton. They’d tried a small deception in the first half by pretending to be awful. You know how Klopp struggles with these weaker sides.
Everton made the mistake of actually equalising, showing their hand early that they’re actually not that bad. Liverpool visibly went back up a notch and never let it slip after that.
Evertonians at least got to sing United’s ‘20 times’ song at Anfield. You must be so proud. ‘Always the victim’, too.
“We do it to get under your skin.”
Where’s the line, though? When you’re that pathetic and desperate, while your own team can’t even summon up a semi-performance in the biggest game of your season; what then?
They can go back to talking about their bright future and new ground. It’s all been said before, of course. King’s Dock, Kirkby, now Bramley Moor. We’ll see.
Meanwhile we’ve just got to try and keep going to the end, while seemingly dropping like flies.
This was supposed to be the season Liverpool got the drop on everybody else but City, Arsenal, and Spurs managed to wangle their way out of European studies early (a note from their mums?) while we can’t even stay fit on one game a week.
It was nice to beat Everton, to see Lucas Leiva’s last great performance and watch everyone else drop points. As weekends go, we’ve had a lot worse.