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The Domino Effect

By Robin Byrne :  24/09/2007 :  Comments (1) :
Running the risk of accusation of being negative or a doom-and-gloom merchant, I believe that our next 3 games are massively important for our season. I know there are many on here who don?t like to discuss what has not yet taken place, but after some of the football served up to us in the last few games I?d much rather look forwards than backwards. At present, our season is heading the same way as 2005-06; lose the next 3 games and in my opinion its going to take something massive to avoid a similarly rubbish season.

First up is Sheffield Wednesday away in the Carling Cup. They?re struggling at the moment but they?ll be right up for this match, as a Premier League scalp in the Cup could be just the tonic their season needs. We need a Cup run, but more importantly, right now we need a win.

The quality of football we?ve been playing in the last 3 games has been rubbish, but I?ll settle for a scrappy hoofball 1-0 victory during the week. Our defence badly needs the confidence of keeping a clean sheet, and our whole team needs the confidence-booster of seeing one of our strikers scoring a goal. Beat the Owls and it?s a small step in the right direction; lose and we?ll be right down in the dumps for the weekend's visit of Middlesboro.

At the start of the season, this looked like a handy 3 points before a second leg in Europe. With our current slump, it's impossible to predict what will happen but I think we?ll be in the right frame of mind to get a good win if we have some momentum from our midweek Carling Cup game. If we?ve lost away to Sheffield Wednesday though, heads will be down and I?m not convinced we have the characters in the dressing room or the manager to bring them up again in the space of a few days.

Of course, I?ve never been in the Goodison dressing room and I could very well be talking total balls, but I?m only giving my opinion on what I?ve seen and I don?t think Phil Neville is a great captain for motivating players ? he seems to shout a lot but I?m not sure anyone is listening. I?ve always felt that Moyes isn?t one of those man-managers who can put an arm around a player and reassure them, as well as give a good kick up the backside when its required ? he always comes across to me as focussing on the kicking aspect. As I said, that might all be total bollocks but it's my opinion.

Losing at home to Boro would mean us travelling to Metallist in completely the wrong frame of mind, but a win, especially a back-to-back one after the Carling Cup game, and I?d be confident of a result.

Away to Metallist is a trip into the unknown in many ways, but in the most important way it's very clear ? we have to beat them. Right now, that just doesn?t look likely, but after the next couple of games we could be going there after a couple of wins and that could make all the difference.

These three games are like dominos really, as the result from the first will knock on to the second and then onto the third, and the third result is massive for our season. Look at our last 3 games: narrow loss to Man Utd, followed by crap performance against Metallist, followed by Villa. The impact of losing all three of our next games, or even two of them, would be disastrous in my opinion.

If in early October we were in the bottom half of the league and out of two Cup competitions, one of them being an early but eerily familiar end to a European adventure, and even the most positive Everton fan would be haunted by memories of 2005-06. Win the next three games though and the players, manager, and us fans will be in a much more positive frame of mind about our prospects this season.

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 24/09/2007 at 22:15:17

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So, looking back for a moment... if we’d beaten Man Utd, we’d have been in a better frame of mind and more confident facing the Metalists, whom we would have therefore beaten. Villa would then have been a walk in the Park and we’d all be in a very positive frame of mind... easy this lark, init?

But then we lost the first, effectively lost the second, and convincingly lost the thrid. And now we are all sitting in the doldrums looking decidedly glum. It’s a funny old game, init?

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