Tag Archives: Derby

Number 200: is this the biggest Merseyside derby yet ?

Everton have won only 2 of their last 7 games in all competitions and manager Marco Silva is already said to be under pressure in his first season with the toffees. Despite the poor form, Everton are still in 9th place and outside of the ‘big 6’ only Wolves and surprise package Watford are ahead of them.

The Blues won their last game 3-0 against Cardiff City so come into the 200th Merseyside derby with confidence. Last time out only a 96th minute winner from Divock Origi separated the two teams in December, and this time Everton would love nothing more than to get the victory and derail Liverpool’s title hopes.

The Toffees have no fresh injury worries, with defenders Kurt Zouma and Phil Jagielka both included in the squad last time out, Leighton Baines is also back in training and could be in contention.

Liverpool’s race for their first Premier League title is in the final furlong, the Anfield club has wobbled recently winning only 3 of their last 7 games, drawing 4 and allowing Manchester City to cut the gap down to just 1 point. Now any slip up could see Guardiola’s side swap places at the top of the league.

The reds smashed 5 past Watford on Wednesday in a fantastic display, showing their doubters that the pressure won’t hold them back. They will also be buoyed by the fact that it’s now 8 years since Everton last won against them, also no club has won more games at Goodison Park than Liverpool.

The Reds defence has been vital to their form this season and in arguably the world’s best defender Virgil Van Dijk they have a threat at both ends of the field with the Dutchman scoring twice last time out, this is ominous for an Everton side top among the teams that have conceded the most goals from set pieces.

Liverpool will be without defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez, forward Roberto Firmino should return after his injury in the Manchester United game.

With all these stats in mind it looks like a hard day at the office for Everton but keep this in mind that 5 of the last 10 Merseyside derbies have ended in a draw, couple this with a chance to potentially knock their City rivals off the premier league summit the old cliche rings true, all form goes out the window in a derby.

Wayne Edge @oasis1711

Should Steve McClaren be shown the door at Loftus Road?

Go back to end of last season and QPR had just announced that English hero Steve McClaren would be taking over as manager at Loftus Road. I wasn’t too impressed with the decision and thought that the club were asking for trouble by appointing the former England manager. 

QPR started this season in dismal form by losing their opening five matches in the league including a 7-1 thrashing at home to West Brom. Many called for McClarens head but to be fair to the boss he turned things around with a run of fine performances that saw the London side in 7thplace at the end of October just one point off the play-off places. 

That’s about as good as it got for the Loftus Road faithful this season as they have only picked up 13 points since then and find themselves just nine points off the relegation places. To make matters worse they have failed to win since boxing day and have beaten a club record with a run of seven league losses in a row following their defeat at Middlesbrough at the weekend. Questions are being asked of Steve McClaren.

Should QPR sack Steve McClaren

At this moment in time I would have to say no. QPR for me are too good to go down and Steve is more than capable of keeping them up regardless of the current run of form. However, do I think that McClaren should be kept on for next season? The short answer again is no. Steve McClaren has had limited success since his ill-fated tenure as England manager and has struggled to shake off the stigma surrounding that and it’s been eleven years since we crashed out of the Euro qualifying to Croatia. 

For stability the club could stick with their gaffer until the end of the season and then opt to get rid and start again in order to lay fresh foundations and have a summer of planning. To get in a new manager now without a transfer window could have the wrong effect on the club and with QPR relatively safe from relegation they are in no rush to jump into an appointment. 

That being said who could QPR go for if they were to sack Steve McClaren and do you think they should? Let us know in the comments below.

The Best Fans in the Championship

It is always going to be a long winded and hotly debated topic when any kind of ‘best fans’ argument is in place. Here we will be taking a look at what we think the best fans are in the Championship. There are some big clubs in the Championship, plenty of whom have all been in the Premier League in recent years. This list is in no particular order and not ranked in anyway. 

Leeds United

Leeds are a big club and Elland Road creates a sensational atmosphere when they get going.  Leeds have had a very good start to the season but the truth is, even when they were mid-table mediocrity, they still consistently had the highest numbers away from home selling out everywhere they go, including a massive 7,000 to Fulham away on a Tuesday night last season.

Sheffield Wednesday 

Hillsborough can always be an intimidating place to go and a great atmosphere. Despite their failed attempts to get to the Premier League and a disappointing  start to this campaign, they still take large numbers wherever they go. A big, former Premier League club themselves, they are a club like Leeds that the Premier League needs back.

Sheffield United

Wednesday’s bitter rivals Sheffield United have had a real time of it in recent years with year after year of disappointment at getting out of League One. Despite this the Blades have stayed loyal and faithful to their side and were rewarded with promotion finally last season. They haven’t had the best reputation so far this season in terms of causing trouble but they take consistent numbers away from home and get Bramall Lane.

Aston Villa 

After a very disappointing start to life in the Championships and generally a terrible last few seasons, the Villans really have a passion for the club and still travel in huge numbers and make a big noise going away and at their proud home at Villa park in the famous Holte End.

Wolves

On to Villa’s West Midland rivals. Over the years Wolves have taken big numbers away from home, even when they surfaced to League One. Whilst they aren’t the most consistent in terms of numbers their famous south bank at Mollineux with creates a fantastic noise for away fans to compete with.

I will take this opportunity to apologise to every other club in the league that unfortunately aren’t here! I will give a special mention to Derby, Forest, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sunderland who could all arguably be on this list. Derby especially who get great numbers. 

Let us know in the comments below who would be in your top five!