Wednesday night was Merseyside derby night and Liverpool beat Everton 4-0. These affairs are always a highly charged occasion and this was no exception. The trouble with this game is it was, in reality, all over very early in the second half. The teams came out for the second half with Liverpool in the lead by two goals to nil having looked the superior team for most of the first half. Both teams started the second half in pretty much the same attitude as they ended the first. Everton would need to show some self-belief in the same manner Liverpool did against Dortmund and the way Leicester have played all season. Then, still very early in the second half Mori took out Origi in a manner that could have easily broke his ankle. Origi was stretchered off and will be out for a while. For this Mori received a straight red card and Everton where down to 10 men. Now ten men have beaten 11 before but that requires belief, it requires the ten men to adjust the way they play and put in a lot of effort. Everton appeared not to have the first and failed to show the latter. Liverpool had a nasty habit in the recent past of getting a one goal lead and sitting back, often losing that lead. That habit appears to have been turned around and they push forward now looking for more goals. This game was no exception and so two became three became four and could have been more with 13 shots on target.
So Everton now face Man’ Utd on Saturday in an FA Cup Semi-Final. This competition is the last chance for both clubs to win silverware this season so Man U are not going to give it up easily but the way they’ve been playing this season they can be beaten. Everton go into this game with a defensive problem due to Mori’s ban and four defenders out injured. Things are going to be hard. Not just for this Saturday but for the rest of the season. Everton need those injured players back as soon as possible but they also need to regain their belief. Regular readers will know a self-fulfilling prophecy works for or against you and it’s late in the season. If I were Roberto Martinez I would be working on the mental attitude of my players now. As a hypnotherapist I know hypnosis works quicker than the usual methods used by psychologist and Everton just don’t have the time to waste. Somebody needs to install belief in Everton’s players now or things could be much, much worse. Everton need to build their confidence and replace the negative self-fulfilling prophecy with a positive one. They can’t afford to coast to the end of the season and hope it will be better next season.
Here is why. At the time of writing Everton are on 41 points. Their next league game is against Bournemouth, also on 41 points and they play with belief. These where championship players last season and have pulled off some surprising victories this season. This game could go either way. Next game is against Leicester away. At the top of the league, hitting teams on the break against a team in Everton’s position with four defenders out, this game is likely going to go bad for Everton. Next Sunderland away, currently in a relegation position on 30 points, just 11 behind Everton with 15 points up for grabs, having a game in hand. Sunderland have hit much better form in the last couple of weeks. Admittedly, Sunderland have to play away at Arsenal and Chelsea but they are fighting to get out of a relegation place and seem to believe they can do it.
So in short, Sunderland have 15 points to play for and are only 11 points behind Everton who only have 12 points to fight for. If the game against Liverpool has knocked Everton’s confidence so badly they don’t pick up 4 or more points on their run in and Sunderland pick up all 15 we may not have a Merseyside derby next year. The table is that tight at the moment that 11th place Everton has only 3 more points than 16th place Crystal Palace. Between Palace and Sunderland is Norwich with 31 so if Everton don’t improve their confidence and start playing better they have the potential to go down. Now, this is a hypnotherapist’s blog so this is the time I remind you I can help improve your sporting performance regardless of your sport or standard. I can do that. So whatever you play, if you want to get better give me a call.