Jamie O'Rourke...
A Change of Attitude
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What was the biggest plus point of last weekend's derby?

Naismith's first league goal for the club? Kevin Mirallas causing havoc? A commanding performance from Ossie in the middle of the park? 

All pleasing but for me, the best part to come out of the weekend was Sylvain Distin's comments on Twitter in the aftermath. Strange you may think but for me, it signalled a seismic shift in the attitude at the club.

For those who didn't see it, the big man likened the mood in the home dressing to room to that of a defeat. No celebrations but a feeling of points lost.

Last time I penned an article following a derby, it was following the Semi-Final and was headed "Bottled It". I feared in the week preceding the derby, I may have a similar view come Sunday evening. Thankfully I didn't.

It was by no means a fantastic performance by the blues. In fact at times, I felt we were distinctly average against a poor Liverpool side. They were there for the taking and we failed to capitalise. 

But there were mitigating circumstances.

More and more Darren Gibson is showing himself to be the type of player you only realise how good they are, when they're not available. Fellaini looked nowhere near fit and the ridiculous loss of Pienaar, meant we were missing our most potent threat.

Add those three to the mix and I fully believe we'd have enjoyed a comfortable victory on Sunday. But that's what football is about and injuries and suspensions hit us all and how you cope with those absentees, normally dictates where you finish in the league.

Not so long ago, I think the players would have celebrated Sunday. 2-0 down to that lot and a point rescued. Not any more. From January onwards, the self-belief around the club is immense.

We no longer expect to get beat. When goals are conceded, we expect to respond. It's case of when we will score rather than if.

It's a bolshy attitude I don't think we've seen since the last time the club qualified for the Champions League and whilst I still believe that's beyond us, the club are right to target that finish.

The comments from those across the park, since the match, have shown the strides Everton have made. Gerrard saying the Blues being "Stoke-Esque" are as laughable as his pitch length celebration of a disallowed goal. Well nearly anyway.

If that's what he really believes, he is entitled to his opinion (even if the stats don't bear that out) but their will be few outside of Anfield who will agree with him.

The Blues have been many things this season - Stoke isn't one of them.

What his comments do show, is we've hit a nerve. They like us to believe we don't matter. They like us to believe United is their derby now. I don't believe either.

We matter alright and the direction of our football club is making them nervous.

His comments that "Everton are not better than us" reminded me of those couples you see on Facebook and the like, declaring their undying love to each other, each and every day.

I wonder who he was he trying to convince?

It's premature and foolhardy to predict Merseyside dominance for Everton. It's premature and foolhardy to predict a change of fortunes for our club overall. But we're moving in the right direction. Attitudes are changing at Goodison and few can argue it's for the better.

Hopefully the inferiority complex we've previously had at times is lifting.

Keeping key players from the vulchers of the transfer windows will always be key and is, warding off interest in the manager. But if we can do both, there is no denying the air of optimism at Goodison is infectious and can be a springboard.

So onwards and upwards we go

Injured players are on their way back and suspensions complete. With three league draws in succession it's important that we get back to winning ways, sooner rather than later but I've every confidence that we will.

The weekend didn't bring the result we hoped for but the importance of the change in attitude was undeniable. Jamie O'Rourke

Comments about A Change of Attitude
Moysie said "Lets see how we are doing after ten games". Okay. Team, Club, Supporters; we are all feeling better this year. Fulham this weekend. Lets hope we`re "Ful" of happiness after 10.
Mice Take The Elevator, Ross-on-Wye, 9:10 AM 1/11/2012
There is no doubt we are on the verge of being a top four side, the players are there, all positions covered, bar another strong midfielder, and we are capable of beating anyone in the prem. The added bonus is that this team hasn't shown its best yet because Mirallas and Naismith are still finding their feet. We are in for a great season, bar major injuries i think come January we will be a team transformed
LES, PHUKET, 7:35 AM 1/11/2012
Agreed with all of that Jamie. Just hope we can sustain the improvements we are making by taking strides off the pitch also - i.e. improving our financial position and addressing the stadium issue.
Ronnie Mukherjee, Liverpool, 7:08 PM 31/10/2012
Other things sprang to mind after the game. In the pre-match press conference, I wished Moyes hadn't mentioned Suarez because I knew it would come back in some way. However, when it did his response was perfect. When he said pre-match that if any of his players dived, he would make sure they knew it wasn't right. When he was given that opportunity so quickly - from the unlikeliest of sources! - he stayed true to his word, refused to defend his captain, and Phil Neville apologised for one of the poorest attempts at a dive I have ever seen. I'm not going to try and claim self-righteous highground for the club and pretend to be better than anyone else, but this weekend they got it right.
Grongy, Salford, 6:25 PM 31/10/2012
Well said.
David, Liverpool, 2:49 PM 31/10/2012
Sort of agree - nice to see us kick off the hex we were living under. But for me the way Mirallas played dispelled any lingering doubts about this lad being the real deal. I just hope (still not fully convinced) that Naysmith is too. We need a proper right back and to hasten Ross into midfield.
Brian, Waterloo, 1:48 PM 31/10/2012
Nice thoughtful article Jamie. Agree with every word.
Spectator, Crosby, 1:16 PM 31/10/2012
Good Shout. Thought we played the more confident and better football without Gibson and Pienaar, two of our better footballers. The comments from Stevie Me La smack of a guy frustrated and nursing a bruised ego. Whilst he was sniping at our small club, we were bemoaning advances into the top 4. A definite change and most warming of all the changes was a controversial ref's decision in our favour. Everton and Stoke similar? Well there both above the reds!
Pablo, Office, 1:03 PM 31/10/2012
That very nicely sums us up Jamie. Our optimism stems from the fact that our team will only get better, while the ORC XI from across the great divide will not improve. Kop!tes are just like Creationists, there are parts of Walton Breck road & Kensington where they fervently believe that the Earth is flat and that the "Prophet Shankly" invented football in the 60's. These Red Taliban Fundamentalists are quite content to dwell their own state of denial, they will never admit anything and to attempt to engage with them in a sensible debate or even enlighten them about sporting ethics is both futile and tantamount to heresy. My advice is let us continue to keep our sights on our own bright future... we have a lot to look forward to and forget all about Kapitan gobshite, the racist cheat and King Brennys myopic views et al, the Redshite do not understand logic or maths and this much has already been proved.
kev, walton, 12:32 PM 31/10/2012
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