Realising the size of the Merseyside derby and the extent of the rivalry between the two teams is vital to a player understanding what it takes to be a success at Liverpool.
With that in mind, Georginio Wijnaldum is off to a good start.
The Dutch midfielder has been speaking about discovering just how important beating Everton is to Reds fans as he prepares for Monday night’s game at Goodison Park.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “When I’m in the city centre and I see supporters, they always say they really want us to beat Everton – even when the game was so far ahead. You can see it that it’s a big game for them.”
“When I joined Liverpool, [the derby] was not my first thought. But when you’re here you realise that Everton is also in this city, and it is a big game.”
“I can imagine this is bigger [than Newcastle v Sunderland] because it’s the same city.”
The fans matter and the sooner a Liverpool player realises that, as Wijnaldum has, the quicker they will settle down at the club.
Monday night is pivotal, not only because of the bearing it could have on the league table but also because of the impact it can have in schools or in work the next day. Bragging rights are at stake.
Wijnaldum’s acknowledgement of the game’s stature is sure to give him the motivation to do everything he can to give Reds fans what they want.