Liverpool Vs Everton Preview: David Moyes' Last Chance For Anfield Success?

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Walter Smith may have proved to be nearly as unpopular at Goodison Park as Nick Barmby if he ever returned, however he remains the last manager to have overseen an Everton victory at Anfield.

Eiffel 65's monotonous drivel "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" topped the charts and the appalling The Haunting remake was number one at the box office on 27 September 1999. What was a grim week for the arts was a great week for Evertonians, as Kevin Campbell hit the winner in the days when Blues sat on the Kop would erupt and wildly celebrate a goal.

David Moyes, Smith's successor, saw his winning instinct questioned after Everton's demoralising 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Wigan in March, when it had actually been a bugbear for a growing faction of Evertonians for a number of years. The spectacular nature of Wigan's three-goals-in-four-minutes merely sensationalised an ongoing concern, one which is pertinent as Everton cross Stanley Park this weekend.

In Moyes' 11 years at Goodison Park, Everton have never beaten one of the old "big four" away from home, let alone won at Liverpool. Their only success came at Stamford Bridge in the 2011 FA Cup via a penalty shootout, while they came close at Arsenal during a mini blizzard back in January 2010.

david moyes anfield

Moyes has never won at Anfield in 11 years

At Anfield, they have drawn six and lost five under Moyes. The undoubted high was Tim Cahill's 87th-minute equaliser in January 2009, a fixture which denied Liverpool of regaining top spot from Manchester United. After the away section in the Anfield Road End had composed themselves, they crowed "United, United, top of the league."

Liverpool fans find such opportunistic schadenfreude flattering. Everton are not regarded as an irrelevant rival, since they finished above their neighbours last season and a much-coveted win on Sunday will seal the bragging rights for another year, but they are ostensibly defined by their loathing of Liverpool.

Moyes, who has enjoyed victory only four times against Liverpool, may be managing his last Merseyside derby at the weekend, hasn't helped Liverpool fans' patronising disregard of Everton. The cup defeat to Wigan has also damaged his credibility in the eyes of even his most loyal defendants, as those Everton fans who once reminded cynical Blues of "where they were" when he took charge in March 2002 are not quite as preachy. Few are likely to be gutted should he exit this summer.

Yet the week after Wigan eviscerated them Everton produced one of the finest displays of the Moyes era to beat Manchester City, despite playing with 10 men for over half-an-hour. Moyes' reaction, bursting onto the pitch in delight at Nikica Jelavić's clincher, looked decisive. The sun was shining and the crowd were singing seven days after the teeming rain and furious booing in what was a persuasive environment.

Moyes has put his future on hold until the season ends, with his contract due to expire in June, but the brutal truth is he is unlikely to advance in his managerial career post-Goodison. He was overlooked by Tottenham last summer and the boat may have passed well into the distance.

Everton are arguably a stagnant club under his management, which comes with a top 10 guarantee and possible European football the following campaign, but with too negative a mentality against the big boys. It's time for the shackles to come off on Sunday.

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