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Neville Southall exclusive: Evertonians could handle anyone but Liverpool as Premier League champions

Big Nev was never afraid to call it as he saw it. The Reds may ruin things but Everton's end-of-season form can deliver the blue half of Merseyside a top-four finish.

by Neville Southall | March 27, 2014

It’s very tight at the top now and to be honest the feeling among Evertonians is ‘anyone but Liverpool’ in the title race.

Ok, there may be a grudging respect – for five minutes – if they win it.

Secretly people will go ‘fair play you’ve won it, you’ve proved you’re the best team’.  But really it’ll be, f****** hell, not them.

It’s been the most open Premier League in years and that’s a good thing. I still fancy Manchester City to win it but if Chelsea weren’t Southeners – that would be the ideal result. You’d sooner keep the title up North.

But most fans just want their own side to win it and then it’s a question of who annoys you less.

Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers deserves a lot of respect for the job he’s done across Stanley Park. It was a major piece of business – or a huge stroke of luck – to get the two front men of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Take them out of the team and ….

The best striker I ever faced was Ian Rush. He was different class.

Ian Rush 840

No one could touch Rushie as an out-and-out striker but he gave me more injuries than anyone else I’ve ever known.  Done my knee, elbow, eye …

I’m not saying they were deliberate but there were a few late tackles for a guy who was meant to be quick!

He was going for his team and I was going for mine – especially in the Merseyside derbies.

You could never hold anything against him when we were with Wales – we’d just defended like mad and he’d score a goal!

Suarez should get Player of the Year though now and after all the bother earlier in the season he could go on to be an  absolute legend at Liverpool.

Craven a win at the Cottagers

Everton are on a roll and a fast start can help blast Fulham off the pitch (1.30pm) like we did in the 3-0 win against Newcastle last Tuesday night.

That was probably our best performance of the season and a top-four finish is still worth aiming for.

Why shouldn’t we – what else is there to aim at?

Fulham are having a horrendous season but they do try and play football – albeit not too well this year.

 You need brave people to get you points at this time of the season when you’re down the bottom. Relegated clubs are full of ‘if onlys’.

I was at the 2-1 win over Cardiff and it’s great to see the young players developing and getting better as the season progresses.
Irish international James McCarthy was outstanding. What an engine! Aiden McGeady made a few people sit up and take notice too.

  • Shoot over here to all the latests Fulham v Everton odds DESKTOP | MOBILE 

James McCarthy 840

But John Stones composure on the ball was superb. If he’s not an England international in a few year’s time – there’s something wrong. And Ross Barkley should be on the plane to Brazil in June for his performances.

I’ll take Everton to win 3-1 at 13/1 with Paddy Power. Hopefully it’ll prove lucky for some.

Red could spell danger for Spurs

Spurs boss Tim Sherwood has his critics but he’s making sure the players give everything. He can’t win really.

If he shows too much passion and they lose, he’s lost the plot. If he does nothing and they get beat, he’s not passionate enough.

I’d sooner a manager who’s animated – it shows he’s feeling it. A lot of managers avoid telling their players the truth. But he says “pull the finger out and show a bit of guts and character”.  Look where Andre Villas-Boas got them?

Sherwood reflects what fans think. If he goes in at half-time gives them a proper bollocking and it makes a difference –that’s good – he’s made an impact.

Sir Alex Ferguson was never shy in getting the hair-dryer out. And it didn’t do United much harm.

But Tottenham need to be careful against Liverpool on Sunday (4pm).

If they play the same high line at Anfield as they did against Southampton, they could get hammered. They ‘SAS’ will tare them to shreds and Liverpool already did them 5-0 at White Hart Lane this season.

The Londoners should have learned from that though. There should be goals in it and I’ll go for a 3-2 win for Liverpool.

 

 

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