Everton 0 Liverpool 0: Three talking points
Three talking points as Everton and Liverpool share the spoils
Ibe shows the effectiveness of the loan system
A surprise inclusion for this highly-anticipated game, 19-year-old Jordon Ibe did not look out of place on Liverpool’s right-hand side. Having impressed in the Championship at Derby, the former Wycombe player had the best chance of the first-half when his fierce shot slammed against the home side’s upright. The fact is, though, that Ibe offered more threat than £20m summer signing Lazar Markovic has provided in recent weeks. Ibe has benefitted from the exposure to the more physical lower leagues and providing he continues to develop, he could offer another wide option if Raheem Sterling is to play more centrally. The hierarchy at Liverpool have a different option to their current players and by sending him on-loan to Birmingham and Derby in the past two seasons, the red half of Merseyside may have turned a rough diamond into a future first-team star.
Everton need Barkley in their side
When Steven Naismith appeared to injury himself in the first-half, Ross Barkley limbered up and prepared to enter the fray. The England international was not brought on until the 85th minute but showed his talent straight away by setting up Seamus Coleman for the best chance of the second half. The Liverpool native is already one of the central players at the club and clearly has all the attributes to become the Toffees’ equivalent to the outgoing Steven Gerrard. Why Roberto Martinez did not bring him on at half-time is a baffling decision. Naismith was carrying an injury and Barkley would have offered a much fresher option. Martinez will need to keep his prize asset happy as he has a long list of suitors.
Stubborn managers need to learn to change
The two Liverpool sides appointed managers who are well-respected among the footballing community. Martinez won the FA Cup spectacularly with unfashionable Wigan, while Brendan Rodgers has reinvigorated the notion of passing football from the back – something which is counterpart also believes in too. But therein lies the detriment. Both managers seem reluctant to change their tactics, even in games which peter out into obscurity. Martinez knows how he wants his side to play, but at present he cannot integrate record signing Romelu Lukaku into his side. The Belgian cut an isolated figure at Goodison Park and struggled to get into the game. The Spaniard needs to work out his best defence and his team did look more solid in the derby. Rodgers, on the other hand, has taken his side from title challengers to top-four fodder in less than 12 months. His signings from the summer have yet to look like the players he hoped to have bought. More importantly for the Northern Irishman, he has the unenviable task of replacing Gerrard at the end of the season. His track record with signings does not bode well and if he gets it wrong, it may be the end of his reign at Anfield.