EVERTON this week announced a ban on supporters bringing a bottle into the seated areas at Goodison.
But David Moyes doesn’t want to see his players following suit on Sunday.
The 218th Merseyside derby represents the ideal opportunity for Everton to emphasise their position as the dominant footballing force in the city right now.
Liverpool’s visit was always going to be a pivotal point in the season, the first in a series of fixtures that will put Everton’s impressive start to the test.
Phil Neville insisted last week that Moyes’s men now have the mental strength to cope with the added expectation their uncharacteristically fruitful opening two months of the season has generated.
We’ll find out at the weekend.
Everton have been too guilty in the past of hiding behind the sofa when opportunity has come knocking at their door against their neighbours.
It hasn’t always been their fault – witness Martin Atkinson’s ridiculous game-changing dismissal of Jack Rodwell in last year’s Goodison derby – but more often than not, they have only had themselves to blame.
Needless red cards. Daft own goals. Stupid mistakes. Managerial dithering. Their collective bottle disappearing just when it was required most.
This happens too often for it to be misfortune. It is something that has been deeply ingrained into Everton and, you could argue, their supporters; an inferiority complex concerning Liverpool.
The FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in April is perhaps the most glaring example of that failing, Everton a goal up and on course for the final until being slowed down by the leaden steps that betrayed a team having shot themselves in the foot too many times.