Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has stoked the derby fire once again by categorizing Everton as a ‘small club.’ It’s a good thing David Moyes brought his ammunition, because he had more than enough to say about Liverpool to make it a fair fight!
Before the kick-off Everton’s most creative outlet, Mikel Arteta, had joined the suspended Marouane Fellaini plus the injured Yakubu Ayegbeni, James Vaughan and Louis Saha on Moyes’ absentee list with a rib problem. When asked if he appreciated the Everton manager’s position, or had ever employed similar tactics himself, Benítez added: “It was more or less the same on Monday night [when Arteta played]. I am the Liverpool football club manager so I can only think about to win. It doesn’t matter what they do. I never used those tactics at Valencia but sometimes I did with Extremadura.”
Moyes’ retort was equally loaded. “This [Liverpool] is a great football club but Everton do things with dignity and style.” The Everton manager, who claimed his side merited a penalty for Alvaro Arbeloa’s innocuous collision with Steven Pienaar, added: “We have been here twice this week and drawn twice. I didn’t come looking for a draw, although I would have taken one in the end. We look after our own business at Everton. We do things with a bit of dignity at Everton.” (The Guardian)
Benitez calling Everton small; Moyes calling his club the classier of the two. It will only add to the intense build-up to the match. Jamie Carragher has already stated that Everton will have the advantage when they head back to Goodison Park; but do Evertonians feel the same way?
What do both sides think about their manager’s comments? Are you predicting a football classic when Liverpool and Everton face each other?