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You Gotta Ask Yourself One Question?

By Martin Wallace :  10/10/2007 :  Comments (31) :
All teams need a bit of luck to win anything and anyone who doesn?t accept that we?ve had more than our fair share so far in this Uefa Cup campaign, is kidding themselves. The draw could hardly have been any kinder. But just ask yourself this ? Are Everton as good as Middlesbrough?

Tally up the history of the Premiership and the stats say ?yes?: total points for Everton 745 v Boro 567. Focusing on the league in more recent times, they?ve only finished above us once in the last five years (03-04, 9 pts ahead)

Middlesbrough got to the Uefa Cup Final in 2005-06 ? OK, they got thrashed 4:0 by Sevilla and they finished 14th in the Premiership (with 10 pts less than the season before) but on the way :

  • they beat Steau 4:3 in semis,
  • they beat Basel 4:3 in quarters,
  • went through on goal difference to Roma and Stuttgart, in two, twin-leg knockout rounds.
  • But, most importantly, they won their group with 3 wins and a draw, without conceding a goal. (AZ Alkmaar were joint top on points but conceded a single goal ? beware.)
Meanwhile, Dinamo Bucharest, after beating Everton (who eventually finished with 11 points less in the Premiership than the season before), didn?t even get out their group ? though Heerenveen did, following a 0:0 draw in Bucharest.

So, are Everton better than Boro? Of course they are. Does that mean we?ll reach the final?

Sadly not, but, given the group and fixtures, I don?t believe we should be aiming to do anything less than win both home games and get a point at Nurnberg. This would undoubtedly be enough to progress and should be achievable without recourse to ye old spawn.

Reader Comments

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Neil Styles
1   Posted 11/10/2007 at 15:16:01

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We could analyse stats until the cows come home, I certainly think we’re of the standard of the teams that fought out the all Spanish final last year- Espanol and Seville (although I’m sure the cynics are gonna be on here saying Seville are light years ahead of Everton) and as the season wears on I genuinley think we will be more than capable of turning anyone over at Goodison - including Munich. We did it before afterall.
I dont know about anyone else but I’m a wee bit disapointed that the final (should we make it) is to be played at Eastlands. I know its in Lancashire etc etc but to me, playing in a stadium like that takes some of the glamor away from the event. However, it might give us an edge considering we’re almost certainly going to be playing foriegn opposition.
Im getting ahead of myself here but I dont see any reason why we cant at least get to the 1/4 finals. If we do, I wouldnt mind a rematch with Villerreal. We owe them one.

Brian Waring
2   Posted 11/10/2007 at 15:41:04

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I think there is one thing Boro seem to be better than us at.I couldn’t believe since 1997 they have been in 5 finals,and 2 fa cup semis.
Graham Holliday
3   Posted 11/10/2007 at 15:59:55

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Seville ARE light years ahead of Everton. Well, they’re a significantly better side than we are at present anyway.

However, as you rightly point out we are CAPABLE of beating any team in the competition, so we could in theory do just as well in it. But let’s not get ideas above our station, Seville are a Champions League quality side and we, sadly, are not.
glen strachan
4   Posted 11/10/2007 at 16:20:57

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Last season FOUR teams qualified from these sections in the UEFA by winning just one game.

The knockout stages come next year and our progress depends on one simple thing...............LUCK !

Some nice soft ’Liverpool style’ soft draws , lots of balls coming back out off our posts and bar and a string of refs willing to give us two penalties in matches where Arteta plays and we can get over our lack of tactical know how and go ’all the way to Manchester’.
Stuart Goddard
5   Posted 11/10/2007 at 16:33:44

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I read earlier today on teletext (channel 3. your views page 401) someone from liverpool writing in about how we were well beaten by a "poor army side" in bucharest and that our european adventure is effectively over before its even underway. he also stated that our cup final will be against his own shite in our next fixture. of course total grade A dickheads like that are entitled to their opinions but it riled me enough to comment. in any event we are better than middlesborough, even though the recent win flattered us no end. With a full sqaud all pulling their weight it is within our possibiities to beat the most teams in europe and certainly in the uefa cup.
Trouble is some players on our roster seem to have too many days off, and with key players missing its too easy to get frustrated and irked when things do not go as planned. Just a thought. By the way its going the red shite are going all out for the wooden spoon in their group so will they then go into the uefa cup. we could meet them in the latter stages or indeed the final itself. At manchester city, a very neutral venue for such a tie of magnitude.
But dont quote me on that.
Tony Marsh
6   Posted 11/10/2007 at 18:00:35

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If Moyes cant get the team playing well enough to get out of this group in the top 3 then he doesnt deserve to be a football manager.We are talking about the absolute minnows of European football here.Talk them up all you like but any decent English club should waltz through this lot.Fuck St Petersburg and AZ Wankmar they are no bodies.If we dont piss all over these jokers then Moyes must go.
Jimmy Last
7   Posted 11/10/2007 at 19:40:19

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Aahh Tony, you do crack me up mate! this has been a pretty calm thread until now, and out of nowhere you come out with such fury and venom! you always do.....not that i dont like it mind, u just had me in stitches!!
Under the f-ing and blinding though, i agree with your point....
John Owens
8   Posted 11/10/2007 at 19:52:37

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Just thought I would remind Tony Marsh that AZ reached the UEFA qtr final last season and Larissa have just knocked out Blackburn over two legs. This group will not be easy!!
glen strachan
9   Posted 11/10/2007 at 20:18:07

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So agree Mr Marsh although we both know.........just as every other Evertonian does that Moyes will not be sacked by BK.

New owner? Davie won’t last ten minutes !

Why are so many people talking up these UEFA Cup teams who just like as were nowhere close to good enough to get to compete in the real cup ?

We are all crap sides is just that some of these teams are crapper than others.

How many of these teams can afford to leave £20 million worth of striker sitting on the bench ?

This is a second rate competition for second rate teams who in some fantasy world hope one day to compete in the Champions League.................can so many Evertonians really be lining up to tell us that they are scared we can’t get one of three places out of five ?
Ray Robinson
10   Posted 11/10/2007 at 20:27:48

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I really think that we can do well in the UEFA and am dreaming of the final in Manchester. Why not?

However, I can’t ever see Everton coming back TWICE from a 0-3 aggregate score to win 4-3 like ’Boro did. It’s not the Moyes way is it?
Alex May
11   Posted 11/10/2007 at 22:58:43

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Everton of the standard of Sevilla? The team who, last season, were easily the best team from the strongest league in europe? Amazing!

We’re not even Espanyol standard. I witnessed in person their impressive display that (unfortunately) cost Barcelona the title last year. They are an extremely good passing side and lethal on the break as their 3 away wins in La Liga already this season would show.

Until we play with half the style of these teams then it is merely a pipe dream to suggest that we could make the final of this competition.
Blue Swede
12   Posted 11/10/2007 at 23:22:02

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One thing they can do better than us is sell players of limited ability for more than £10m!!!
Karl Masters
13   Posted 11/10/2007 at 23:49:04

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Blue Swede:

We aint done so bad in offloading players for inflated fees.... Jeffers, Ball, Barmby, over £20m for those 3 at atime when £20m was equivalent to £40m now.

Even Rooney for all the exultation has only scored 3 goals for England in over 3 years and 22 appearance for England since he left us. And none of those goals werein competitie matches. Maybe £25m wasn’t such bad business after all.

For all that though, I’m still concerned at Yakubu although I don’t think he has ever pretended to be anything other than a Latchford-esque goal hanger. ’’Feed the Yak & he will score’’ ... we’ve fed him scraps so far.
Blue Swede
14   Posted 12/10/2007 at 00:06:46

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Karl.No one awaits the arrival of a proper winger in the Dave Thomas/Anders LImpar or even Johnny Morrissey mould more than I (Gary Jones had tooooo much of an attitude problem to go with his talent)and maybe our previous No 9.Yes,only thenwill Yak score regulally.
Derek Thomas
15   Posted 12/10/2007 at 05:08:09

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’ I never believe statistics I havn’t made up myself ’
Winston Churchill
Bob Parrington
16   Posted 12/10/2007 at 08:15:56

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It’s not as if we haven’t done it before. I really enjoyed being in Rotterdam for the Cup Winners Cup final vs Rapid Vienna. It’s just a long time between drinks!!!
Of course we’re better than Middlesboro’!!
Arthur jones
17   Posted 12/10/2007 at 09:14:48

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Why use Boro as a yardstick to guage our chance in the uefa cup ? It’s a cup competition , it’s all down to luck , It’s only a couple of seasns ago the RS won the champions league when they were’nt even the best team on merseyside at the time , Greece are the current european champions , Even Millwall got to the final of the FA cup a few seasons ago , If the luck goes our way we could win this cup , if it doesn’t then it’ll give all you whingers more ammo to have a go at DM .
Raymond Stantz
18   Posted 12/10/2007 at 09:59:34

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Will Everton reach the final. of course not- Such pessimistic negativity. Did denmark say in 1992. Oh blow this - theres no chance in hell we can win this tournament. Same goes for Greece in the last tourney. Why is it this club cannot win this years uefa cup. No need to be scared of the bigger clubs. We are a well respected team throughout europe, and although we may not be as familiar or indeed popular as bigger clubs in the premiership there are many a country that are aware of us. No team from serie A, the bundesliga or la liga would really fancy coming to goodison for a knockout game. With the gwladys behind the team and the noise generated by the fans as a whole we are able to make home games pivotal to our intended progression.
Terry marsbar maddock
19   Posted 12/10/2007 at 11:57:08

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TONY MARSH....RE: your statement above...If we cant qualify from that group then moyes does not deserve to be a football manager?

Surely then .Mark Hughes ..( much championed by you as a successer to DM) should be in the dole queue now as he was knocked out by the mighty Lrissa... or are you just talking rubbish again..,,any predictions Tony..?
20   Posted 12/10/2007 at 13:48:24

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Bayrn Munich some day home to compete in the Champions league??
21   Posted 12/10/2007 at 13:47:00

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Glenn Strachan......
Does that mean that if we DO get to the final, then you wouldnt be interested in going along to this " Second rate competition?"
George White
22   Posted 12/10/2007 at 14:26:06

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Why is it I enjoyed the 1994 and 98 last day escapes more than I did beating Manchester United in an FA cup final. Anyone who was at Goodison on those last above days will testify it was a day of epic proportions and probably generated more glee and self satisfaction than the final win itself. Maybe its just me but there must be other fans out there with similar sentiments.
Kevin Sparke
23   Posted 12/10/2007 at 16:03:33

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Tony Marsh - you mean you DONT trust in Moyes...????

... Well I never
karl masters
24   Posted 12/10/2007 at 17:34:28

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George: You’re right it was an amazing feeling at the time, especially the Wimbledon game when we stared into oblivion ( I really think we may have done a QPR or Oldham and disappeared for a very long time the mess we were in at the time ) , but afterwards you look round and realise that nobody else’s fans think it’s anything to aspire to. They want to win trophies and nobody dreams of just staying up with Barmby missing a penalty or intimidating the ’mighty Wimbledon’ by burning out their coach the night before a match!

Winning that Cup Final was a fantastic experience, partly because we won it, turned a terrible season into an historic one etc, but also we rubbed shoulders with the best team at the time and beat ’em fair and square. Even Alex Ferguson couldn’t come up with an excuse... it was boss!!!
Dave wilson
25   Posted 12/10/2007 at 18:36:23

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Everton will qualify from the group, with luck we could go quite far in the competition, but as sure as night follows day we will meet someone who will be just too classy for us.
Depressing ? well yes, surprising ? hardly

The fact is, the same fate will befall the Mancs, RS, Chelsea,Spurs, Bolton, Blackburn - already gone
Why is it , that with the exception RS’s logic defying luck - in virtually every round - two years ago, that no prem side has looked remotely like winning a European trophy for a decade ?

The Moyes haters will no doubt be calling for his head if we dont do the impossible and win it
The fact is, with the exception of Wengers kids, the rest of them are hardly playing edge of the seat stuff with the sort of devilment that conquers Eurpope are they ?
Manure + Chelsea will grind their way into the top three in the prem
The rest will struggle for crumbs,

The question is do we back Moyes, to gradually take us to the next level - the one that entertains ?
or do we take one of the other Managers and jump from frying pan to fire
Or do we be bold and take an almighty gamble and give an oportunity to an untried ambitious novice who wants to play "the right way"

John Collins anyone ?

Brian Waring
26   Posted 12/10/2007 at 19:35:01

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Raymond,how do you know we are a well respected team throughout europe?If the clubs in our group have seen us play,I can imagine they are confident of beating us.
dave t
27   Posted 13/10/2007 at 10:58:13

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dave wilson
arsenal were in the final in 2006 and
boro were
man utd won the cl in 1999 which although 8 years ago is still within a decade
Dave wilson
28   Posted 13/10/2007 at 12:42:47

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Dave t
10 men Arsenal were always going to buckle
Borough were hammered at what stage did you feel either would win it ?

I mentioned the logic defying luck of RS 2 years ago and like I said they didnt remotely look like they would win it this year - when your 2 down you need to produce more than one effort on target to do that -

If you think thats crap then your in a minortiy of one Bobby Brown . . . .buts thats your perogative
29   Posted 15/10/2007 at 12:48:46

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Luck plays a huge role in Cup competitions, as does momentum. Winning emphatically against Larisa is crucial to get on a roll. Mind you, they’re not a mickey-mouse side : they’re fairly good in midfield and attack and can play the counter attacking game very well but they’re weak in defence (their most experienced player, NIkos Dabizas, used to play for Newcastle a few years back) and their goalkeeper is really erratic (used to be reserve at my other team, Panathinaikos). Tricky tactical choice for us : go out guns blazing and try to bury the match when they’ll still be nervous (it’s their first european campaign in years) or bide our time to avoid any counter attack mishap that may put us off balance. Last point re: UEFA Cup : I think that, Sevilla aside, the teams that have done well are the ones that have considered this Cup their top priority for the season. Not sure this is the case with us.
Louis Tully
30   Posted 16/10/2007 at 13:45:52

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Suppose for an instant this club wins the UEFA cup in manchester next may. Great. A fantastic achievement. Full credit to all involved. but- it still wont paper over the cracks of over fifty years of virtually non achievement in european competiton. One solitary cup winners cup to show for half a century. Its not as if the club has not been able to qualify for tournaments. Finishing even fifth in past years would at least have secured a uefa cup berth. This is not a bitch or rant but our record against the other half of the city makes desperate reading. Make no mistake about it, I am a dyed in the wool evertonian of nearly thirty years but when i look at the shites european accolades it makes cringeworthy reading. There must be other supporters who share this emotion.
John C
31   Posted 18/10/2007 at 21:19:15

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What drugs are you on! they are the most sucessful English club in Europe by a mile, and amongst the top 5 most sucessful of all European clubs, so by your reconning, almost every club in Europe’s record compared to Liverpool makes desperate reading.
Talk about being negative! I was there for the solitary win in Europe and if I get one more chance to repeat that night I will take it and not be bothered a bit if Liverpool or any of the others win the CL.

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