Date: 31st October 2012 at 9:11am
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After the 219th Merseyside derby on Sunday, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has quite cleverly managed to take the spotlight away from his team-mate Luis Suarez.

Suarez was at the centre of the majority of flash points during the game, the opening goal with that diving celebration. Liverpool’s second, the injury to Mirallas, the missed sending off for the tackle on Distin and the disallowed winner in the final minute.

All the talk centred around Suarez, until of course his captain Steven Gerrard managed to shift the focus away from Suarez and on to Everton.

The England captain labelled Everton as a long ball side similar in style to Stoke.

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. Gerrard told The Independent.

He added: ‘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.’

The comment of course is a bit preposterous, the stats for the game against Liverpool showed that we completed over one hundred more passes during the game and attempted more than double the amount of crosses that Liverpool.

But proving that statistics can prove anything, talksport analysis ranked West Ham and Reading as the biggest long ball merchants in the Premier League.

However Everton and Southampton were ranked equal third with 252 long balls attempted so far this season.

So perhaps he has a point, perhaps we are direct in comparison to some, but playing devils advocate, Everton defender Phil Jagielka doesn’t actually think there’s anything wrong with that.

“It does make you chuckle, but Stevie is saying things like that then there must be a reason behind it which must be that we are doing something well,” said Jagielka to the Daily Post.

He added: “If Stevie says we are a long ball team then I`m not going to deny the fact that we play long balls.

“Do we play long balls for the full 90 minutes? No. But we play quite direct.

“Who wouldn`t when you have someone in form like Felli who can bring the ball down from fun and we start creating things from there? Why wouldn`t you do that?”


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