Friday, September 30 – 1910
Ever since the year 1894, when the Mersey clubs came into opposition for the first time in the premier League, the annual contests between the famous organisations which represent this great seaport in the football world have stirred up the enthusiasm of the sport-loving public to a really remarkable pitch, and those who do not take an interest in the game wonder what on earth the people get excited about.
Such individuals do not know the pleasure which the average “Red” or “Blue” supporter derive from watching these contests, particularly if their favourites happen to win. But it has often happened that an enthusiast has prevailed upon an acquaintance who did not care a jot for football – chiefly because he had never troubled to go to see a match – to accompany the enthusiast to witness an Everton and Liverpool contest.
What is the result? Well, the chances are that that individual, who could not condescend, previously, to cross the road to see a football match, gets a bad attack of the football fever, and would not miss one of these contests for anything.
Each club has its thousands of admirers, and even the most lukewarm of these turn out on a day such as to-morrow to see yet another trial of skill between the representatives of the rival Red and Blue.
In times gone by there was much bitter feeling, but in these days, although both players and spectators are as keen as mustard, there is not that antagonistic demeanour as that which prevailed in the days of old.
They argue over the “points” of their favourite team, but generally in good sporting spirit, and at the finish the average onlooker likes to see the best team win.
These healthy contests have been going on for some years now, but there does not seem to be any abatement in the interest – indeed it seems to be increasing – for no matter how the rivals may have fared immediately prior to “the” match, the event is always looked forward to with pleasurable anticipation, and the attendances is invariably large.
It seems but yesterday that the clubs crossed swords at Anfield, but much water has flowed pas the Landing Stage since then, and here we are again ready an anxious for the fray once more. Tomorrow’s encounter promises to be a very keen one, and the players may be depended on to put their best efforts forward.
True, the teams have not, up to now, realised expectations, but the sides have been largely in the constructing stage, and it is hoped that now the right combination have been hit upon.
Everton have gained five points and Liverpool four, so that on form there is nothing in it. But Everton have so well in these contests that it seems almost impossible for the “Reds” to win at Anfield, and for that reason many are pinning their faith to the Goodison-road team to-morrow. But it is a long lane, etc.
Let us first look at the teams. The Everton side was chosen earlier in the week, but it was not until last evening that the directors of the Liverpool club decided on the side to represent the Reds.
It is always well to leave a winning team alone, and, as I anticipated, the same side which did duty last Saturday has been called upon to uphold the honour of the red flag.
At the present time I do not think the Reds could have done better. Harrop is not too well, and I fancy Peake can be depended on to deputise in his usual accomplished style. Beeby, of course, retains his place, the full sides being: –
Liverpool: Beeby; Longworth and Chorlton; Robinson, Peake, and McConnell; Goddard, Brough, Parkinson, Gilligan, and Macdonald.
Everton: Will Scott; Balmer and Maconnachie; Harris, R. Young, and Makepeace; A. Berry, Gourlay, Freeman, Young, and Turner.
They look very evenly matched, do they not? Several of the players will be making their debuts in these local games, notably Longworth, Peake, R. Young, Gilligan, A. Berry, and Gourlay, and additional interest is centred in the appearance of Longworth and Gilligan for the first time in the Liverpool League team at Anfield.
Then Arthur Berry is to oppose his old club. But there are so many attractive features. The questions everyone is asking is, “Who’s going to win?”
Personally I think it is a very difficult question to answer, believing as I do that the game is a very open one indeed. If you come to weigh up the form of the teams this season you will find that there is little in the sides. Both the Reds and Blues have been rather erratic so far, but I believe they will be seen at their best to-morrow.
When one comes to weigh the sides in the balance the high quality of the Everton defence stands out. There is little that one can find fault with, unless it be that R. Young has not thoroughly settled down to the Everton style as yet, so that much depends on whether the defence keeps up its high reputation.
The forward line is the part of the team which is causing uneasiness, but there are those who believe that the present line will prove the best at the command of the club. It certainly looks strong on paper, and they should be tested to the full tomorrow.
The Reds, too, are rather at the experimental stage, both at the front and in the rear. It has to be thoroughly proved that the forward line is capable of combining effectively. Individually the players are of the best, and they showed promise last week, but against ??? a line as Makepeace, Young, and Harris they will be thoroughly tried.
The defence looks to be good enough, for Longworth is coming on apace, and Chorlton seems to have got over his slackness, whilst the halves are all triers.
In these elevens there is material for a stirring contest, and, as I said before, I do not anticipate that there will be a great deal in it at the finish. However, it is difficult to get away from old associations, and the Blues have been in the habit of winning at Anfield – the Reds have not won at home since 1899 – but they cannot go on winning all the time.
It is bound to be a very spirited game, and I trust the better side will win. Personally I like to see a good hard struggle, with the spoils going to the better side, be that side Red or Blue, but in answer to the question, “Who’s going to win?” I take a chance and give my vote to the Blues, believing that their defence is stronger.
I may point out that the gates will be opened at 1.30, and the kick-off is timed for 3.30. there is room for 47,000, so Mr. Watson informs me, and there is every likelihood of the space being fully taxed, especially as the weather promises to be favourable.
The prices of admission are 3s., 2s., 1s., 6d. 1s., and 6d, the 3s. and 2s. places being reserved.
The players are all reported fit and well. The Everton men are enjoying an outing in the country to-day.
(Evening Express, 30-09-1910)