Everton or Liverpool: Who Will Get the Upper Hand in 2013?
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But the important facts speak for themselves.
Everton are currently five points ahead of their local rivals in the EPL table, and already hold the accolade of finishing higher than Liverpool in the 2011/12 season.
From my perspective, the power has shifted from red to blue on Merseyside.
Liverpool are a club in transition after years of mismanagement and upheaval. Current Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez believes that Tom Hicks and George Gillett are to blame for Liverpool’s failure to win the EPL title. Everything was set for Liverpool to challenge Manchester United after winning the Champions League in 2005.
Since then, the club has slid into crisis and embarrassment. 2013 is the year that Liverpool need stability, which plays nicely into the hands of Everton.
As Hicks, Gillett and Kenny Dalglish were tarnishing Liverpool’s image and setting the club back years, David Moyes was implementing his own shrewd plan of stability at Everton.
This season has seen the fruition of that plan, and the club has finally established themselves alongside the EPL elite.
Recent games highlight Everton's current position at the top of the Merseyside football tree.
Whilst Liverpool cruised to victories over QPR and Sunderland, the capitulation at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City laid bare their current predicament. After scoring early, Stoke hassled, harried and bullied them into submission—eventually winning 3-1. Liverpool clearly lack leadership and consistency—two things that Brendan Rodgers has to address during the next two transfer windows.
Everton have no such problem. They are extremely organized, determined, and have been moulded very much in the image and likeness of their manager. Everton demonstrated no signs of panic after falling behind against Newcastle United in their last EPL outing, keeping their composure to pick up a crucial victory.
In fact, Everton are quickly becoming one of the most durable sides in England, collecting 20 points from losing positions, with only league leaders Manchester United gaining more.
Of course, there are problems at Goodison Park that could rock this steady ship.
Manager Moyes has his own issues to resolve, with his contract expiring at the end of the season and with a new one not yet in the offing. He said he will examine the situation more closely at the end of January, but he will be as keen as Everton not to allow this to become a distraction at such a crucial time.
Rival fans will be overjoyed if Everton lose Moyes, because he is the centrepiece that the club is built around. The Goodison Park faithful will hope that situation is resolved sooner rather than later, with unrest allowing clubs like Liverpool to bypass Everton in the EPL.
Merseyside has always been a hotbed of football debate, discussion and passion. So without wanting to stoke that fire, I firmly believe blue is the dominant colour in the city of Liverpool.
Situations in football change quickly, but for now, Everton fans should revel in the glory of knowing they have the upper hand over Liverpool in 2013.
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