Derby Goal Fit For A King
Former Blues star on THAT goal against Liverpool.
On Sunday it will be 34 years since Andy King's exquisite volley ended seven years of derby hurt.
On October 28th, 1978 Everton welcomed their nearest rivals to Goodison Park having not tasted derby success since the start of the decade.
Talking to evertonfc.com, King, now assistant boss at Northampton Town, insisted he wasn't aware of the anniversary and went on to discuss Sunday's game in depth.
There's plenty more on that goal in Sunday's match programme. Here, we get King's thoughts on how derbies have changed, who the favourites are and Everton's start to the season.
Were you aware of the upcoming landmark?
I never realised it was 34 years. That's another reason to feel old as well as my sore back!
How well do you remember that day?
It is still clear in my mind. What is also clear is that it meant so much to people. For me at the time, it was just beating Liverpool. As the years have gone by I have realised that it was so important to people that they can remember where they were at the time. It had been so long since we had beaten Liverpool; seven years, 15 games and so many other things with it.
Nowadays, it doesn't happen. Everton or Liverpool don't go 15 games without a win against each other. Unfortunately for me at my time at Everton, Liverpool were in a period of being the best team in Europe.
Was there pressure on the players because of that?
There wasn't pressure - you only realise there are pressures as a manager. Players don't understand the meaning of the word. They know the importance of the game when they are playing football but the pressure comes to the coaches and the managers.
You also have to remember the landscape of football has changed; when I came to the club there were 23 Evertonians here who had grown up with it. Terry Darracott, Mike Lyons, George Telfer, Westy (Gordon West), I could go on and on. They were Scousers, some may have been raised as Liverpool fans but switched to being Blues because all they have ever known is Everton and Liverpool.
Now, and this is no disrespect to the current crop, you have Jelavic, Mirallas, Fellaini, Pienaar and so on. They don't have as full an understanding of the history. I am not saying winning doesn't mean as much to them but it is a different sort of game.
When I scored my goal, I ran straight to Lyonsy (Mike Lyons) not Gordon Lee as Mike had never been on the winning side against Liverpool. He was my best mate, best man at my wedding and it meant more to him as he was the boy that grew up and had never played on the winning side against Liverpool.
Have you been impressed with Everton's start to the season?
Everton are doing fantastically well at the moment and need to continue that and to continue their quest for a top-six finish or maybe more. I would love to see David Moyes win something, which is one of my wishes as an Evertonian, it would be great if he could achieve that.
Which team will be favourites on Sunday?
It's an old cliché that no one goes into a derby game as a favourite, but I think on paper Everton do. Liverpool are finding times a bit difficult now, they are going through the period I had to go through at Everton. They are inconsistent, can't get the results or the success they want, they change the system and their plans. The Liverpool of old would lose a player and then replace him without fuss.
Everton have had a great start, I watched the game against QPR on Sunday and if they hadn't had gone down to 10 men they may well have won the game.
How important will discipline be this weekend?
The atmosphere and pressures of derby games are totally different; it is more intense than normal. The tempo starts at 100 miles an hour. There is passion, fouls, which in this day and age presents the managers with another headache, with players getting booked and sent off - which wasn't something you had to worry about in my day. I was at the derby last season at Goodison and saw Jack Rodwell sent off. In the old days Tommy Smith would go through four people and then go through you! And Roger Kenyon and Mick Lyons were just as bad.
How do you think the game will pan out?
I think, in terms of where we are and our start, we will start as favourites. If Felliani is back, that will be huge as I think he is so important at the moment. He not only brings a lot to the table, he inspires