Next up it's the 203rd derby as Everton take the short trip across Stanley Park for an early Saturday kick off. And there's also the football to look forward to. The Reds are in prime form after scoring fifteen in the last three games with the strikers finally realising it's the bit between the posts that counts on the goal front. Everton are in excellent form themselves and would be pushing for a repeat Champions League return if it hadn't been such a calamitous start to the season.
For this Spyin' Kop we've taken a trip to The People's Forum, an inner sanctum on Toffeeweb
, and home of erudite Blues and the odd Red interloper. Thanks to all who answered.How has the season been shaping up for the Blues?
PabloMc2: As everyone else has said - awful before Xmas, fantastic after it. The European exit to Villareal (and the manner of it) was a blow, but nowhere near as bad as the UEFA. Some bad Premiership results also dented a lot of confidence.
top balcony: If it was a January to January season we would be well on course for the title (of the Championship).
Yellmic Wigwawa: It started much worse than our most pessimistic fears, but we seem to be getting closer to what we expected now.
Dirty Harry: Since the turn of the year it's been great after a truly nightmarish start.
Billericay Blue: A start of nightmarish proportions (3 points after 8 games!), picked up for 6-7 games, disastrous December, excellent since 31/12.
PaulSan: Obviously much better than it was looking at the end of December. If you'd have said then, come the end of March we'd be in 9th and in with a chance of a Top 6 place I'd have laughed.
MikeH: Suprisingly well given our start.
BillyBullens: Obvious poor start, but we're starting to look half decent now.What were your expectations for this season after the 4th place finish and what are they now?
PabloMc2: I HOPED for a strengthening of the squad and a top 10 finish, however I EXPECTED nothing more than what has happened - penny-pinching and virtually no activity in the transfer market combined with yet more lies about why.
top balcony: Euro qualifiers, 6th to 9th in league.
Yellmic Wigwawa: I feared we'd be eliminated from the CL fairly early on but I fancied we'd have a decent run in the UEFA, which might well, I thought, have an adverse effect on our league form.
Dirty Harry: I thought we'd finish 7th, I think we'll finish 7th or 8th now.
Billericay Blue: I thought anywhere between 6th and 9th. Probably 8th.
PaulSan: I was hoping for progression into the Champions League Group Stages, a top 8 finish in the league and a domestic cup run. Obvioulsy out of the four the league position is the only one achievable now.
MikeH: Expected to consolidate a top six position after last season, but Kenwright & Moyes fucked that up.
BillyBullens: 5th or 6th before the seaon started, I reckon we can get 7th if we keep the current form, but more likely 8th or 9th.Who do you think is your most important player(s)?
PabloMc2: Arteta makes us tick, but Cahill is also very important, and obviously Beattie finding his scoring boots has been crucial for the second half of the season.
top balcony: Tim Cahill, he's the weather vein for the others.
Yellmic Wigwawa: Right now, Arteta and Beattie.
Dirty Harry: Arteta and Beattie.
Billericay Blue: Arteta - a true 'School of Science' player.
PaulSan: Mikel Arteta. He makes the side tick and is arguably the best crosser of the ball we've had since Andy Hinchcliffe.
MikeH: Arteta & Beattie, without their current input were fucked.
BillyBullens: Arteta and Beattie.Your worst player(s)?
PabloMc2: Richard Wright - appalling. I've been disappointed with Simon Davies, but probably haven't seen enough of him to judge him fairly.
top balcony: Richard Wright on current form.
Yellmic Wigwawa: Wright and Weir.
Dirty Harry: Simon Davies hasn't done it for us yet but a winner in the derby could change my mind.
Billericay Blue: Wretched Wright.
PaulSan: Sander Westerveld
MikeH: Without question Kevin Kilbane.
BillyBullens: Kilbane and Wright and Weir (without Stubbs alongside him).Your favourite derby memory?
PabloMc2: Duncan Ferguson turning on the edge of the area and scoring past David James at the Gwladys Street End.
top balcony: Alan Ball 1-0 cup game, first time they put up a screen.
Yellmic Wigwawa: Any one we win.
Dirty Harry: Sharp's wonder strike.
Billericay Blue: Andy King, '78.
PaulSan: Kanchelskis' double at Anfield in the 95/96 season.
MikeH: Your former hero Beardsley scoring against you was particulary pleasurable.
BillyBullens: Imre Varadi '81.Your worst derby memory?
PabloMc2: Pick any one of several bullshit refereeing decisions, but the one that always makes my blood boil is the last minute goal that Graham Poll disallowed and then blatantly lied about. I admit that Hutchison was being canny/cheeky, and knew what he was doing by walking across the path of where Westerveld was going to kick it but I STILL insist that Westerveld didn't HAVE to kick it there and then - it was a perfectly good goal. Poll's blatant lying made it 10 times worse, irrespective of the oppponents. Oh, and Gary McAllister cheating to score a 30-yarder from a free-kick given at about 45 yards was also something of a downer.
top balcony: I don't like any of them anymore. Too much tension on the pitch, too much aggresion off it.
Yellmic Wigwawa: Any one we lose.
Dirty Harry: 0-5, say no more.
Billericay Blue: Glen Keeley 0-5, though the FA Cup Final '86 was also horrendous.
PaulSan: The 89 Cup Final which was my first visit to Wembley as an 11 year old.
MikeH: McAllister's last minute piss take.
BillyBullens: Clive Thomas '77.Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?
PabloMc2: Not in the squad no (and any that do will be sold to keep the wolves from the door, so don't hold your breath)
top balcony: No.
Yellmic Wigwawa: There might be one or two in a year's time but no-one at present.
Dirty Harry: Couple of decent kids in the reserves with a lad called John Paul Kissock catching the eye.
Billericay Blue: No one that I have seen yet.
PaulSan: I know he's been mentioned before, but Kissock and also a younger lad (I think he's only 13) by the name of Joey Baxter.
MikeH: Havent got a clue.
BillyBullens: No. When they're good enough they'll see me.Don't you wish you'd paid the rent at Anfield in the 1890s?
PabloMc2: I've never set foot inside the place and I never will. Quite happy with the way things turned out thanks.
top balcony: Yes, because there'd be no Liverpool now.
Yellmic Wigwawa: If Liverpool F. C. didn't exist they would have to be invented.
Dirty Harry: We should have bought it and turned it into a lake and still moved to Goodison/Mere Green.
Billericay Blue: Absolutely!
MikeH: Quite frankly, I wish you would disappear off the face of the earth.
BillyBullens: Anfield is a dump, that's why YOU want to move.What sort of line-up will Moyes put out against LFC?
PabloMc2: Probably fairly defensive given that we are away from home - Beattie up front on his own probably - maybe with McFadden supporting in a 4-4-1-1.
top balcony: Unchanged from last game if all are fit. Kilbane for Arteta if he's out and god knows if Naysmith is out too. I hope it's not Neville to left back.
Yellmic Wigwawa: As close to the last game, against Villa, as he can, IMHO.
Dirty Harry: We've been playing well, so I don't think there'll be any changes, barring injuries.
Billericay Blue: Valente in for the 'Nodding Donkey' should be the only change from the Villa game, assuming Arteta is fit.
PaulSan: If everyone is available, think he'll start with the same side that started last week againsy Villa.
MikeH: As of recent weeks...
BillyBullens: Same as last week although I'd prefer Yobo for Weir and Valente before Naysmith if he's fit.Are any of you planning to see Bill "working 24/7 on finance" Kenwright's production of Whistle Down the Wind?
PabloMc2: The one and only Kenwright production I went to see was the opening night of "The Female Odd Couple" (starring his missus !) and the only reason we went was because it was free. It was so appalling that we left at half-time and went for a meal in Chinatown instead. In short - No.
top balcony: Should be called "Pissing in the Dark".
Yellmic Wigwawa: Not me.
Dirty Harry: I want to star in it.
Billericay Blue: Err, no.
BillyBullens: I'd rather have shit thrown on me tomorrow.Where do you expect Everton and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?
PabloMc2: Expect ? Everton 8th/9th, Liverpool 2nd/3rd. Hope ? Everton 6th, Liverpool 4th (and Arsenal 5th and Champions League Winners
top balcony: Liverpool 3rd, Everton 8th.
Yellmic Wigwawa: RS = 3rd. Us = 8th.
Dirty Harry: Us 7th or 8th, you 3rd.
Billericay Blue: 8th and 3rd.
PaulSan: Everton 8th Liverpool 3rd.
MikeH: Everton 11th, Liverpool 4th.
BillyBullens: 3rd and 8th repectively.Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?
PabloMc2: Gerrard of course - he makes you tick, and without him I think you've looked fairly ordinary. If we can keep him quiet we stand a good chance of getting something.
top balcony: Gerrard. It's still Gerrard, nine donkeys and a giraffe.
Yellmic Wigwawa: Gerrard.
Dirty Harry: Djimi Traore.
Billericay Blue: Steven Gerrard M.B.E. and Fowler.
MikeH: That Norwegian bastard Riise with his shooting boots on.
BillyBullens: Only Gerrard.Should Beattie go to the World Cup ahead of Crouch?
PabloMc2: After our recent record with England internationals (Rooney/Barmby) I'd be happy if no Everton player was ever selected for England again.
top balcony: Neither should go - Kevin Davies is better than both of them if you are looking for a physical and aerial threat. He has been exceptional for Bolton for two years.
Yellmic Wigwawa: No. I don't want our players playing internationals.
Dirty Harry: I think Beattie deserves a chance, just like Bent had a chance. Maybe they could both go.
Billericay Blue: Yes, but then again I don't think either of them are international class.
PaulSan: Maybe not instead of, but if his recent form continues until the end of the season he'll be difficult to ignore.
MikeH: Marcus Bent should go before that freak Crouch.
BillyBullens: I hope not I fucking hate England. But I think Beattie is better than Crouch in every way if that's what you mean.Care to predict the score? Go on!
PabloMc2: I think it will be 1-0 one way or the other - I'd like to think we can pinch it, but I never predict derby wins so....Liverpool will win 1-0.
top balcony: 1-1. Beattie first with a Garcia equaliser after Wright fails to deal with a Gerrard piledriver. Cahill to be sent off in 85th minute for breathing within six feet of Sissoko.
Yellmic Wigwawa: 2-1.
Dirty Harry: I never predict!
Billericay Blue: 1-1.
BillyBullens: 0-0.© Rushian 2006