Liverpool and Everton are like two peas in a pod.
Well, two peas in a very angry pod. The rivalries don’t come much greater than Liverpool versus Everton, it’s one of those clashes everyone wants to watch and players dream of playing in.
Players do crazy things when they face each other and managers make ill-informed comments, its always box office entertainment. The football is fast-flowing, the rivalry is bitter and the crowds are rabid, what more could you want?
Off the field, however, it’s a different story. The two clubs have both underachieved massively over the last few years and both are now turning to new managers to lift them out of their respective doldrums. It’s an exciting time potentially, yet it’s also a time to learn from mistakes and build.
Liverpool, most of all, have fallen far short of where they would like to be for many years now. The longer they under-perform, the more painful it becomes.
Maybe, just maybe, they could learn a bit from Everton…
Everton are beginning to show the sort of resolute approach when it comes to keeping players that can really help to build a strong squad.
The risk of this is that you force players to remain when they don’t want to be at the club, but, thus far, it has worked out relatively well for Everton.
Liverpool may need to summon similar resilience if/when stronger sides come calling for Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Emre Can.
Everton may’ve broken their transfer record to land Romelu Lukaku, but the investment in a player of his age and ability will likely have strong financial returns as well.
Liverpool seem to be improving their transfer policy, but the impression that they occasionally rush in to big money transfers is continuing to concern.
Patience really is a virtue in the modern game.
Well, it’s a virtue in life. Patience is needed more than ever when it comes to negotiating transfers now.
As players push for yet more money and clubs can push transfer fees higher and higher, the ability to say no to a player who is taking the club for a ride is key.
It can save face, restrict spending and avoid the club becoming the go-to place for clubs looking to make a quick buck.
After the furore over ticket prices, there was a sense that Liverpool’s board were having some acknowledgement of the fans. Despite this, there was some unsurprising backtracking.
Everton have had similar issues with a disillusioned fan base over the last few seasons, no more so than under the stewardship of Roberto Martinez last season.
One time when the fans have been listened to was during the tedious John Stones transfer saga last summer.
This summer has been – and will continue to be – extremely hectic in the transfer market.
Clubs have an extraordinary amount of money at their disposal and we are seeing various different approaches. Liverpool, for one, have spent quickly as they look to assemble a squad for Klopp to mould how he desires.
This approach can work well, it is actually a very sensible way of doing things, but perhaps in the past they have been guilty of rushing in to transfers.