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Any Given Sunday

Liverpool football club

Written by Alex Corrigan.

The off field difficulties Liverpool are facing at the moment have resulted in nearly every piece of news generated on the club being with regards to it’s future and the pending court case. With hardly an article published about it, the most fiercely contested English derby is creeping up on us. As football is such a short sighted game, this weekends clash with Everton is just as important as anything else going on in the world right now. If Liverpool fans’ nightmares come true, and Hicks and Gillett are successful in destroying their beloved club, the outcome of the 214th Merseyside derby will pail into insignificance. This coming Sunday however, for the fans, very little else matters.

With both clubs stuck near the bottom of the premier league, playing football far from the best of their capabilities, this game promises to be one of the most brutal ‘non-footballing’ ties of the season, particularly as an added air of resentment is present as both teams are the closest they’ve been to a level playing field for many years. There is a genuine optimism amongst Everton fans that this is their first chance of a Premier League victory against Liverpool since Jack Rodwell was receiving his SAT results.

A paradoxical pessimism accompanies Liverpool fans, and I would imagine, the players. The pessimism is not being created by the results so much, but the performances; Blackpool taught Liverpool a lesson in how to play football last week. At Anfield. All credit to Blackpool for the performance they gave, though nothing can take away from just how bad Hodgson’s team was. You would think Liverpool went down all guns blazing, peppering the opposition’s goal with shots until the final whistle had blown. The depressing reality for Liverpool fans was that Blackpool’s goalkeeper made one good save. If Liverpool go into Sunday’s game with anything like that negative mentality Hodgson has instilled, it could end in humiliation. Liverpool’s first eleven undoubtedly boasts more class, just a manager that seems unable, so far, to make any use of that class. He has to this Sunday if Liverpool fans are to keep what little faith they have left in him.

For Hodgson’s sake, even if Everton get their long overdue three points in a Merseyside derby, Liverpool must put in a performance which suggests the board appointed the right man to take the club forward. If not, Hodgson may be out of a job by Christmas. But hey, Liverpool could be doomed to lower league football by then.

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