March 30, 1907
Retrospective v Prospective champions.
Saturday proved a great day in more ways than one for Everton, seeing that Liverpool put the great Newcastle United team to rout at Anfield, and thereby opened out the Championship question. The attractiveness of the fixture was shown by the large number who stayed to witness it in preference to making the journey to Bolton, and for this I was very glad, remembering Liverpool’s need for money.
It has often been said that Liveprool are either a very good or a very bad team, and this is borne out by a glance at the Reds’ League table positions for years past. But they usually believe in being on their best behaviour when facing the classy Tynesiders at Anfield – just to show as it were that Mr. Tom Watson’s birthplace is still sweetly remembered.
Liverpool’s startling first half form has frequently been commented on this season, but never had it been so assertive as in this game, where United’s defence was four times penetrated by the effective attacks brought to bear upon it, the close-passing game alternating very profitably with that of a good long swinging nature, which frequently threw the visiting backs on their haunches.
The Anfield defenders met the United’s aggressive tactics spiritedly; and with the familiar half-back form of Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, and James Bradley again on duty there seemed more cohesion and general defensive smartness all round.
The defence of Sam Hardy and his backs left very few loopholes for the League leaders’ sharpshooters. Billy Dunlop never had any pretensions to pose as a stylist, but he has saved a few goals and stopped a few forward advances during a dozen years’ residence on Merseyside. Dunlop was good enough for Scotland last year, and he is good enough for Liverpool this.
Percy Saul is another who failed to impress one critic on the score of “class.” As a matter of fact one learns from most reliable sources that Saul played about his finest game in the Anfield colours! The ex-Pilgrim should prove a veritable tower of strength to the Reds a season hence.
The winning halves were very satisfactory; Parry, Raisbeck and Bradley in form are an education. There is little of the stereo about any one of them. Captain Raisbeck resumed like a giant refreshed with two months’ holiday.
(Cricket and Football Field: April 30, 1907)