Actually, Everton don't play like Stoke - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard backtracks after stats prove him wrong

 

In the aftermath of the Merseyside derby, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hit out at his opponents with a criticism which went just about as low as it is possible to go in football.

Gerrard accused Everton of playing like Stoke - a team which would likely come last if football fans were asked to rate teams from the most glamorous to the most 'effective'.

Gerrard said following the 2-2 draw on Sunday: "There was only one team who came into the derby trying to play football. Everton are effective because they have some big physical lads in the team and are very direct. They are effective. But the only team who tried to play football was us."

He went on: "I thought we stood up to a team that are very similar to Stoke. Every single time they get the ball at the goalkeeper it comes in long."

It was that last line which caused the biggest stir. No team wants to be similar to Stoke, a side that turned the throw-in into an offensive weapon. And it would seem Gerrard agrees his comments overstepped the mark. The Liverpool captain has moved to clarify his comments, saying they were made in the heat of the moment and he meant no disrespect.

"Just to clarify I've watched the game again, and I've seen some of Everton's matches this season, and what I said in relation to their style of play went too far," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I was frustrated by the disallowed goal from Luis when I spoke and also some of the things (diving allegations) that have been said about Luis in recent weeks which haven't been fair in my opinion.

"As captain I have a duty to stand up for our players when I feel they are unfairly singled out.

"But it wasn't my intention to disrespect Everton or Stoke for that matter and I certainly didn't intend any disrespect to their manager or players.

"I have the utmost respect for David Moyes and Tony Pulis and the job they have done at their respective clubs.

"My main issue was with the goal that wasn't given and that Liverpool did not get the three points I felt we deserved in what was a fantastic derby match."

The apology of sorts from Gerrard followed clear evidence that the facts didn't back up his claims about the Toffees.

Statisticians pointed out after the match that Everton had managed 359 accurate passes to Liverpool's 257 and produced twice as many crosses (34 to 17), most of them low, driven balls from the left by Kevin Mirallas or Leighton Baines. They also had more possession, more chances and committed fewer fouls.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers also made reference to Everton's perceived direct style before the derby, claiming they were a side that "smashed the ball up to two tall strikers". But he has also become more conciliatory.

"Analytically, if you look at Everton and a number of other teams they are more direct and play off the front players," he said.

"But they (Everton) have players of finesse, players like Leighton Baines and Leon Osman who are terrific footballers.

"There would be a difference in relation to the style (compared with Liverpool) but ultimately for teams it is about performing and getting that winning formula."

 

Sunday's Merseyside derby statistics

Everton Liverpool

17 Fouls committed 19

0 Headed goals 1

47 Long passes attempted 47

19 Long passes completed 21

100 Passes in final third 63

34 Total crosses 17

57% Possession 43%

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair