Nothing actually happened in the derby. Jordon Ibe had his moments and showed promise on the right wing of Brendan Rodgers’ 3-4-3. Liverpool have a lot of players that their best days are ahead of them, but some of those that are in a different stage of their careers might be dragging them down.
In this current formation, tactic and style, Steven Gerrard only got in the way for Liverpool. The team needed speed. Maybe Lazar Markovic in the starting lineup. More than possibly Daniel Sturridge. There was also the case of throwing Joe Allen, who seems almost washed up before his 25th birthday, into the match instead of the injured Lucas.
A better option might have been giving Dejan Lovren a chance in the back three while moving Emre Can, a player who continues to improve with every match that goes by, to the defensive midfielder position. But when trying to explain why Rodgers did what he did, it makes more sense to realize he’s probably lacking any kind of confidence and faith in the ability of Lovren to contribute this season, unless he’s forced to turn to him.
But digging into the Liverpool spending spree this summer and what it yielded isn’t for this time and place. Despite their complete dominance against the semi-broken team Roberto Martinez has under his hands, Liverpool can’t be pleased with an away draw at Goodison Park. Not because Everton are far inferior to them at this point, and also because of Tottenham winning in the North London derby, making that dream of finishing fourth a bit more difficult to achieve.
As for Gerrard? He’ll have good and bad days. Playing a bit further up the pitch has done wonders for his aging body and for the team, not having to depend on his slow reactions in a more crucial position. But for those expecting some magic and sparks from Gerrard in the remaining matches he has in Liverpool uniform, it’s better to give their expectations a little adjustment. On some nights and even most of them, Liverpool just might be better without him on the pitch.