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Liverpool Offside Talks FA Cup and Other Nonsense

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Since it is a derby match we decided to go all out and give everyone the special treatment for this match. you get 2, yes that's right 2 Q&A's this week. Yesterday we talked to Sam from Anfield Asylum, and today we got some answers from Noel of the Liverpool Offside. If you haven't been over to the site, I recommend checking it out for some thoughtful Liverpool insight. Now onto the questions

RBM: If you were awarding marks out of 10, how many would you give Andy Carroll’s dive against Newcastle?

LO: Sadly, I can't see my way to giving him more than 6/10, and that's mostly for the audaciousness of it. Much as modern masters like Sergio Busquets and Robinho would have appreciated that aspect, they also would have been shaking their heads at the rather workmanlike nature of the dive itself. I mean, where was the flair? Where was the theatricality?

In the end, then, like most everything Carroll has done since arriving at Liverpool it was far from horrible yet still you can't help but wonder if he'll ever manage the kind of quality one would expect from a player who came in on his fee.

RBM: I get the sense that Dalglish is a few bad results away from a sacking. Do you think he will be prowling the sideline in his crown, or will we be seeing someone new on the touchline next year?

LO: I wouldn't be surprised if the result against Everton on Saturday plays some role in deciding his fate come the summer, though in the end whether he's still managing the club next season is going to be heavily dependent on off-field issues those looking in from the outside have no real insight into. Who was the driving force behind Liverpool's failed transfer policy, Dalglish or director of football Damien Comolli? Has Dalglish marginalised proven senior players for his own tactical reasons, or because the owners have pushed for it as part of a desire to move towards the Arsenal model? And no matter which person or persons is at the root of the larger failings of the season, can Dalglish sell the owners on a plan to get things back on track?

Certainly there have been problems with things as basic as tactics, substitutions, and an ongoing lack of anything resembling an identity on the pitch that Dalglish will have to answer for regardless of what's been going on behind the scenes, but in the end whether he stays or goes is likely to come down to lots of messy stuff nobody outside the club has much of a handle on.

RBM: A lot is being made at Goodison of the fact that Everton are above Liverpool in the table. Is there the same amount of chatter about it at Anfield or is everyone in such a panic there are bigger things to worry about?

LO: In the league, I think the concern isn't so much that Liverpool have fallen behind Everton as that in the second half of the season they've had a worse record than Newcastle, Fulham, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea, Chelsea, Tottenham, Bolton, Stoke, Blackburn, West Brom, Wigan, QPR, Aston Villa, and Everton. Being behind Everton in the league certainly doesn't help matters, but right now the issue is very much bigger than that. Besides, with a win on Saturday we'll have three wins over the blue half this season and a chance at a second trophy, while finishing a spot ahead of Liverpool won't get Everton any closer Europe.

RBM: Pepe Reina, describe in one adjective.

LO: Bald. Also, one adjective to describe me is lazy.

RBM: We have won 1 out of the last 6 derby matches. What is Liverpool doing differently against Everton that it isn’t doing against everyone else?

LO: Giving a shit? Liverpool are generally not completely horrible when they give a shit, while generally they haven't given a shit against sides they're supposed to be able to beat. Which mostly reflects that at present Liverpool is very much a mid-table side filled with players able to raise their game in the so-called big games but prone to stumbling against similarly middling competition.

RBM: Everton are having a fantastic run of form right now, how much does that concern you, and what does Liverpool need to do to knock Everton off their stride?

LO: I'd be far more concerned if Everton were in poor form or were Swansea or Norwich instead of Everton because, well, see above.

RBM: What will be the biggest key to fans about how well Liverpool will do in this match?

LO: Giving a shit? And also keeping the few bright spots of late like Maxi Rodriguez, Jonjo Shelvey, and Sebastian Coates involved rather than shoving them aside completely to accommodate the under-performing regulars.

RBM: What is your prediction for the match?

LO: Pain, anguish, hope, fear, and joy. Not necessarily in that order.

RBM: And finally the most important question, frosting or whipped cream?

LO: Jelly Babies.