Everton: 3 takeaways from 0-0 draw against Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Yannick Bolasie of Everton heads the ball away from Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on April 7, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Yannick Bolasie of Everton heads the ball away from Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on April 7, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /

We share our three takeaways from the stalemate at Goodison Park, which saw Everton go eight years without a derby victory.

Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill scored the goals in Everton’s last league win against Liverpool in 2010. The Reds started Paul Konchesky at left back. Seamus Coleman made his tenth league appearance for The Blues.

No matter which way you cut it, that victory is effectively ancient history.

At that point, the BBC reported “the scale of the task at Liverpool”, for new owner John Henry. And, in all fairness there was effective parity between the Merseyside teams at that point.

Both had some star talent, interspersed with more patchy performers. Now, the same can be said for Everton, but not for their Stanley Park neighbours. This was apparent at Goodison on Saturday.

Both teams played poorly in the much hyped early kickoff. However, whilst it was the biggest game of the season for Everton, for Liverpool it was an opportunity to rest star talent and test out the back-up.

Dominic Solanke was poor up front for Klopp’s men, but Wayne Rooney looked similarly pedestrian. The difference is that the former is a bit-part player at Anfield. The latter is a lynchpin at Goodison.

The game finished 0-0 but Everton could have won it at the death. However, this would have hardly been a vintage derby win, and I can’t help feel that a draw was the right result. Here are our three takeaways.

Pickford cements England Number One Case

It’s highly likely that Jordan Pickford will be the sole Everton representative in the England World Cup squad. The young goalkeeper was one of the better purchases the Blues made this summer, and has played solidly throughout the 2017-18 campaign.

At the moment, he is at deadlock with Stoke City keeper Jack Butland over the England starting position. However, the former Sunderland man’s derby performance will have done no harm to his international credentials.

Liverpool hardly turned the screw on Saturday, but Pickford was still busy. Most notably, he made a jaw-dropping reflex save from Solanke on the 15 minute mark, after the Liverpool striker found himself free from just seven yards out.

Gareth Southgate, watching on from the stands, will have surely been impressed.

I can’t help think that there isn’t much daylight between Pickford and Butland in terms of talent. Although Stoke’s poor form will likely tarnish Butland’s stock.

Nevertheless Everton’s number one still needs to look the part, and he continued to stake his case for a World Cup berth.

Streaky Bolasie should be subject to scrutiny

Yannick Bolasie has made a real impact for Everton in recent weeks. His goal against Manchester City last week was impeccable. His assist against Stoke was glorious. He couldn’t match these feats against Liverpool though. In fact, he didn’t do much at all.

Despite intermittent moments of astonishing incision, Bolasie fails to make any meaningful impact on a regular basis.

In the past three games, he has only completed 47% of his passes, and created just two chances.

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This underlying poor play is incredibly frustrating as he demonstrates real skill in flashes, shown yesterday by his excellent shot which was well saved by Loris Karius in the first half. It’s a shame he doesn’t do much else for the vast majority of his time on the pitch.

Everton purchased Bolasie for a hefty £25 million. This season, he has scored just once. His recent impact on the scoresheet disguises some rather torrid form. Surely he needs to be held to account for his inconsistent play.

Everton young guns feel Merseyside inferiority complex

Consensus is that Everton have an inferiority complex when it comes to Liverpool. The Times discussed it in the aftermath of David Moyes’ first Merseyside derby in 2003. Jamie Carragher mentioned it again in 2017. On yesterday’s performance, this verdict doesn’t seem too far from the truth.

The hope is that as the team progresses, and players move on, the psychology will change.

The Moyes team, featuring Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Coleman were emphatically bad against Liverpool, and it would not be surprising if Everton failed ad infinitum to beat the Reds with any one of these players on the pitch.

However, this mindset runs deep, and seems to be passing to the next generation of Everton stars.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce is quite right to point to a lack of luck against Liverpool. It’s also fair to hope that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will learn from his horrendous miss in the second half. At times though you need to make your own luck, and as this poor form passes into the next phase of Everton’s history, it’s very hard to see a change of fortune in the future.

Next: Everton Liverpool post match review

Like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku in seasons past, Everton’s new hopes, Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Cenk Tosun, failed to look the part in the Merseyside derby. Something radical needs to be done, or the Blues will continue to fail in this fixture.