I am fed up of reading the ridiculous stuff that’s been in the media this week following the derby.
There have been many false dawns over the last few decades and as a born pessimist, I never get my hopes up too high. I was skeptical about Martinez, Koeman, Silva (who wasn’t skeptical about him?) and even Mr.Ancelotti. We have had glimpses over the years, of the dreams that all of us have as Evertonians – to be great again. Somehow, the dreams never turned into reality and they faded at various stages. However, I see something in the way that we are playing this year which I haven’t seen over the last couple of decades – the skill and grit that we love but also the belief that we are capable of winning every match which we play. We did seem to temporarily forget at the beginning of the derby and looked like deer in the headlights but thankfully that was short-lived. And this confidence is, what I think has really gotten under the skin of our resentful red neighbours and their ex-players in the media. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to see any player get injured; neither our team nor the opposition and I wish VvD a speedy and complete recovery.
I will not, however, just sit here and listen to the vitriol that has been directed at us by the media. In the last few years alone I can think of a long list of horrific tackles made by Liverpool players during derby games. Dirk Kuyt and his martial art kick, Gerrard and the sickening two-footed scything of Naismith are the two that stand out clearest in my memory. It seems like just yesterday when Gerrard and Carragher were standing eye to eye with the ref and convincing him to send off one of our players or award them a penalty. Last year, when Son cynically took down Gomes and broke his leg(I am in the medical professional and that image of Gomes still makes me sick), the media immediately sided with him because he wasn’t that kind of guy…really because you could have fooled me! Going a little further back to when Neil Taylor broke Coleman’s leg on international duty, I didn’t hear that much about him being a raving lunatic. I think you get the point – nasty injuries do happen in contact sports and although we pray that it never happens, the law of averages says that it will happen again and again.
Souness, Bosnich and many others have decided that after years of dishing out the pain (and cocaine in some cases) themselves, they will castigate someone who made a rash but non-malicious tackle. Others in the media (who I will not name and give them any publicity which they crave so desperately) have equated it with assault. I would have had no objection if the referee had decided to book Pickford for the challenge as it was clumsy. We cannot, however, start dishing out penalties based on the extent of injury to the opposing player. It is the intent to harm or maim your opponent that needs to be punished severely and weeded out from the game and this was not in that category at all. Even Richarlison made a rash tackle and was rightly punished for the same. His approach to social media in this case was less than satisfactory and that is an area that he needs to work on, in general (along with his diving and his hair!).
I am not sure how Pickford will respond to all the criticism – he might feed off it or it might be his kryptonite…only time will tell. Either way, we have reasonable back up in the form of Olsen or Lossl but I would be on the lookout for an upcoming young keeper as a long-term replacement pretty soon.
Why the double standards? Why do the media have a selective memory loss when it comes to teams other than us? They are trying to undermine what we building.
My heart hopes that we keep on winning and win the league and a cup but my head says that our squad lacks depth and a few injuries and bad calls (they are coming, just you wait…the “Big 6”will not enjoy watching us play confidently and will look to sabotage us) will prevent us from sailing through the season unscathed. Long may our positive attitude and great football continue… COYB
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