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Fans Comment
Jim Potter


End of the world?
26 July 2005

I feel a dose of healthy realism needs to be splashed in the faces of all the pessimists I keep hearing. Can we just cast our minds back a mere 12 months - Rooney waving us farewell (but obviously not with an open hand as some of his cash would have been dropped) and relegation looking a racing certainty. It felt like an impending death in the family. But low and behold the surname must have been Lazarus - because despite all our woes we didn't sign up to the fate that everyone had us down for and decided to fight, show some pride and surprise everyone (including ourselves) in finishing a magnificent 4th. Have the Uriah Heaps amongst us forgotten that already?! So, here we are awaiting the new season and I for one am quietly optimistic. Is anyone out there seriously contemplating relegation this year? No. How long is it since we've been that confident? 10 years? 15? Yes, our immediate past has been that bad.

We commence this season with a stronger squad and an inner confidence that is born out of knowing we can be successful (having achieved a top four finish last year). Football is like anything in life - success breeds confidence and confidence makes you more relaxed and happy and able to express yourself better. With the fear factor out of the equation and a knowledge of what it takes to get into the Champions League we have something tangible to build upon.

Sustaining this growth and confidence is a big challenge but with Moyes at the helm we have a distinct advantage on the other wannabes. We need to concentrate on a sound youth policy to produce home grown talent as, until our Russian billionaire appears, we are not going to be able to compete with the megabucks clubs. Mr Wyness needs to continue his search for investment in a prudent manner. Forget Fortress (there was an edifice built on shifting, or should that be shifty, sands) and realise that we are not the weak giant we were when vulnerable to their approaches. This club is too great and too loved to be sold off to the first spiv with a bit of cash and a limp handshake.

The existing squad is sound but needs those last few acquisitions to make us a competitive force that can continue to do us justice. Goalkeeper - no problem. Defence - ok until injury hits. Krldrup looks a great purchase. Yobo needs to reassert himself as the force of 2 years ago. Midfield - we need another playmaker, as Arteta and Cahill can be a bit lightweight. A left-sided player would be welcome. And up front - someone with pace and finishing to go alongside a rejuvenated and fit Beattie. Well, let's see ...

The important thing is that we don't get too distracted by Europe (Champions League or the Uefa Cup) as we need consistency in the Premiership. We need to progress to the level where we are dispatching the bottom and midtable teams and not just raising our game for the movers and shakers at the top. We'll be a hunted scalp following last seasons success and need to develop a ruthless streak. Another good season will bring more money, a higher profile and subsequently better players will want to come to The People's Club. Success is self perpetuating; lets build on this positive momentum, shake the cobwebs off and show everyone that this giant is back for good.

The top 3 realistically are still out of reach (if only financially) but, with the determination and unbeatable team spirit of last season, coupled with a few class newcomers, the garden is looking rosy and the pessimists amongst you should wake up and inhale the sweet bouquet coming from Goodison!

So, let's get behind them and enjoy what's coming. Here's to a great season and a great future. Come on you Blues!!! 'Pessimism never won any battle'. Dwight D Eisenhower.

Jim  Potter


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©2005 ToffeeWeb

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