Listening Report: Derbies – Two fans’ views
Which player from Everton would you like in your team?
Of course, the easy answer is none. This is a derby and to admit that you admire a player from your rival on match day is unthinkable. But beyond the knee jerk reaction, I’d probably say Besic the Bosnian midfielder. He brings a bit of bite in Everton’s midfield, something Liverpool perhaps lack – he would of course only be understudy to Lucas Leiva though. Stones at right back would be good, but at the moment, Liverpool are playing three central midfielders so he’s not a natural fit. But he has attacking flair and defensive discipline, and may be a better option than Marcovic is at the moment for Liverpool.
Which player from Liverpool will be key?
A difficult question, but I think Coutinho will be influential now he has Sturridge and Sterling’s pace and movement around him. he can unlock most defences given the chance. I also think Marković will need to be fully focused on his defensive duties to shackle the runs of Leighton Baines, a local lad who will certainly be up for this match.
Which team is the next biggest rival after Everton?
To be honest, I think Everton is not the biggest rivalry anymore. There are several reasons for this: Since the 1980s, Everton haven’t really threatened the top of the league and therefore rarely finish above Liverpool; secondly, the fan base of most big clubs is much wider now, drawn from different regions and countries. Liverpool certainly has a huge national and international following, so the importance of this local rivalry is a bit diluted; and a bigger focus on European competitions means clubs that meet, say, in the Champions League are taken more seriously. So, who is our biggest rival? For me, it’s Man United. I’d much rather lose to Everton than to the Red Devils. A close second is Chelsea.
Which player from Arsenal would you like in your team?
It would have to be Chilean striker Alexis Sánchez who has really hit the ground running after his arrival to English football. He has scored 12 times already this season and has really helped the Gunners become a much more potent force thanks to his hard work, good teamwork and bags of skill and technique. Luckily for Spurs fans he will not play this weekend as he is injured.
Which team is the next biggest rival after Arsenal?
I suppose it would have to be London rivals Chelsea who we play in the League Final on March 1st and West Ham who we play in the League in a couple of weeks time. There is no love lost with any of these three London sides: Arsenal, Chelsea or West Ham – in that order.
Which player from Tottenham will be key?
All eyes are on young England striker Harry Kane who has managed to score 20 goals this season in all competitions. Like Sánchez he works incredibly hard for the team and he brings other players into the game, while he’s also helped Spurs fans forget the fact that one of their record signings – Roberto Soldado – has yet again failed to show the form that earned him Spanish caps. There is, of course, also Christian Eriksen – deadly from free kicks and someone who has popped up with important late goals for the club all season.
knee jerk reaction: An automatic response without thought
understudy: a student of; someone who learns from another
attacking flair: attacking talent and skill
unlock: (in this context) pass through; get past; beat
shackle: keep from moving; prevent from doing a job
(be) up for: be motivated for; be ready for
hit the ground running: Started really well; adapted well
potent force: A strong player
threaten the top: challenge for the title
bags of skill: Lots of skill
no love lost: Neither side likes the other
All eyes are on: Everyone is looking at
deadly: Usually scores
popped up with : Appear; manages to score goals is the meaning here