If you were to conduct a poll to discover which Merseyside club the public thought was currently undergoing the biggest moment of crisis, then eight out of 10 cats would probably say Liverpool.
But David Moyes' Everton are having a far from happy time themselves.
Everton go into tomorrow's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park sat just one place above the Reds in 17th spot in the Premier League, with financial and stadium problems of their own.
Having seen Phil Jagielka limp out with a hamstring injury while on international duty with England, life for Moyes got just a little more complicated this week when midfielder Marouane Fellaini was ruled out for up to six weeks, also with a hamstring injury. The 22-year-old was hurt playing in Belgium's Euro 2012 qualifier against Austria in midweek. The injury is a fresh setback for Fellaini, who missed the final three months of last season after damaging ankle ligaments in the last Merseyside derby in February.
Moyes said of Fellaini: "I thought he should have come off immediately [when playing for Belgium] and he didn't. It's probably made his injury worse. I'll write a letter of disappointment to the Belgian FA. We lost Phil Jagielka [on international duty] but by the end of the three or four days there was another couple that I lost. Certainly Jagielka's was a hamstring but not as bad as we first thought. We'd been told he'd be out for four to six weeks but we don't think it's quite as bad as that."
However, when asked about Liverpool, Moyes' gloom regarding his own club appeared to lift when compared with the travails at Anfield. "I go into the game knowing I have got a good team," he said. "We're missing a host of players at the moment but I do feel we go in with a good team. Liverpool have got some fantastic individual players who can win games at any moment. You have to say Liverpool's record against us has been very good. But if you're going to mention Liverpool's record then you have to mention similar things that are happening.
"Our debts are far, far less than Liverpool's. That's why it's always been very difficult to get results. Maybe it will become really unfashionable to be in debt. At Everton we've always tried to manage it, although I've always tried to squeeze every penny out of the chairman. That's what you have to do.
"Maybe soon it will become unfashionable to be so heavily in debt. You can see several clubs who have already gone into administration or gone out of business. Some of them have been really successful and won trophies. I'd have done anything to be at the top but what I couldn't do is spend outrageous money that would put the club in jeopardy. Have we learnt since Leeds? I think most people have."
While some Everton fans took delight in seeing Liverpool's dirty laundry dragged through the High Court this week, Moyes' relationship with his counterpart at Anfield, Roy Hodgson, couldn't be more cordial, dating back to when the Scot was studying for his coaching badges. "When you do your Pro Licence you have to do a week's foreign visit at a club," Moyes said. "When I was doing it Roy was manager of Udinese and I went there to watch Roy.
"I'd seen him coach a couple of times and I'd only known him slightly. I wrote and asked if I could come and he was really, really obliging. Roy and his wife took me out to dinner a couple of nights, I watched all the training. It was good. I enjoyed it and Roy really looked after me."
Asked if he thought either club were in danger of relegation, he said: "I have been surprised by Liverpool's results because they are a good side. But I don't think anyone would expect Liverpool to be in this position come the end of the season, just like I don't think anyone expects Everton to be in this position. We are because we have not played well enough and not won the opening games. We have to try to do better."
Everton's South African playmaker Steven Pienaar is still out with a groin injury and striker Louis Saha (calf) is rated as unlikely to return by Moyes. Jack Rodwell (ankle) is a long-term absentee while young midfielder Ross Barkley, on the bench for the last four games, suffered a broken leg this week.Reuse content