Steven Gerrard's groin is in the news again, Jonjo Shelvey's already made an impact on loan for his new club, and your nearest Evertonian is still pissed about Jack Rodwell's red card on Saturday. Plus we've got a bit of catching up to do, so we should probably get to it. Just watch out for abuse and improvised missiles raining down from the peanut gallery…
* Lost in the shuffle with the derby taking center stage over the weekend, not only has Jonjo Shelvey officially completed his move to Blackpool on a short-term loan, but he's already made his debut for the Seasiders and scored a goal from a free kick.
He's only there for three months to start, but if he remains a part of Ian Holloway's plans moving forward and Liverpool isn't hit by a rash of injuries in midfield, it wouldn't be surprising to see that loan extended to the end of the season. No matter how long he ends up staying there in the end, it's noteworthy that he claims to have approached Kenny Dalglish about the loan in an effort to get himself more playing time, as previously there had been rumours that both Shelvey and the still with Liverpool Danny Wilson had instead been the ones approached by the coaching staff and told to seek out new homes for the remainder of the season.
As for the goal he scored, whether one is inclined to hop on the bandwagon dubbing it a wonderstrike or if it seems more a fortuitous skip and some questionable 'keeping, it's good to see Shelvey getting off to a good start. Hopefully it leads to plenty of playing time for a young player who has himself become lost in the shuffle in recent months.
* It didn't get as much initial coverage as Martin Atkinson's erroneous red card on Saturday, but in the days since the derby the actions of some Everton supporters towards the end of the match have come in for their fair share, with the club releasing a statement (HT: Geza27) regarding the fans who threw empty bottles, coins, and bits of refuse at Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy:
We are fully aware of the incidents which occurred during Saturday's derby game.
We are currently working with Merseyside Police on collating and analysing all available CCTV footage of the incidents.
If we can identify any supporter who threw anything—and we mean anything—on to the pitch on Saturday we will take immediate firm and far-reaching action.
Given how little their actions appeared to effect Bellamy in particular, the biggest shame might be that Everton didn't manage to work in the word "incidents" a few more times when talking about the incidents that took place. Incidents.
* For England, a draw when they visit Montenegro on Friday will be enough to guarantee a spot in next Summer's European Championships, but Liverpool fans will have been looking ahead to the game with a greater concern for Steven Gerrard and his newly recovered groin than England's prospects. And on that front, it will be a huge sigh of relief today as, after the player stated he wasn't yet fit enough to take part, Fabio Capello has this time left Liverpool's captain off the squad after a rather spotty history of dragging a half-fit Gerrard along on international duty. No word on whether Capello woke up with a bloody horse groin in his bed, but no matter the reason it's good to see him showing more caution than in the past when it comes to Gerrard's long-term fitness.
* And elsewhere in catching up with things that got lost in the shuffle of the derby over the weekend, the Anfield Wrap recently cast their gaze towards the past to make their picks for the club's five best central defenders of all time, a discussion that seems fitting with all the talk of Jamie Carragher and Liverpool's uncertain future at center back in recent weeks.
They start things off with Phil Thompson, a Red from his days on the Kop to the European Cup to coaching under Hollier, before moving on to Sami Hyypia anchoring the treble winning side before playing 57 games in a row in Europe—including Istanbul in 2005—in fourth. Who did they pick at number one? And does Jamie Carragher make it into one of the three remaining spots? No matter how long you've been following the club, it's worth the time to give it a read and find out if you haven't already.
We'll be back with more later on, but in the meantime, while you consider that even if Everton's one red card was undeserved they might well have deserved three others, try not to let it—and the prospect of another extended international break—leave you feeling too bitter…