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Reasons to be cheerful..... ?

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Just having a mild moment of trepidation here and wondering if anyone else is feeling the same? Whereas I am sure that we will do just fine against Brann in the second leg at Goodison on Thursday, my focus has been pulled back to the league.

Perish the thought that we should lose against Man City but, should it happen, we could find ourselves in 7th position only just ahead of Portsmouth on goal difference with the same points (44). Am I being negative but right now I would bite a hand off for a guaranteed draw right now!

I shan't ramble on about the 2 key "refereeing" decisions that have cost a probable 4 points. However, how much better things would look if we were sitting on 51 points now and with a 2 goal better goal difference and of course Liverpool on 2 points fewer (42) and in 8th place! The blue blood has started to boil again so I shall leave that point aside as it is over, but I pray that we get a dodgy decision or two that go our way in this "run in".

Yes, I know we are currently "riding high" but how quickly (in 2 matches) that could all change. So anyway, back to my point can anyone out there give me reasons to be cheerful? Perhaps by saying that from now until the end of the season (somehow), we will start playing some encouraging football again and find some of the style we had in late 2007, and have lost in 2008?
Steve Woods, Scotland     Posted 19/02/2008 at 18:11:16

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Michael Kenrick
I'm tempted to introduce a rule: One Game at a Time! ? that would mean premature fretting about the next-but-one game would be curtailed (publicly at least) until after we have actually played the next game. We still have to complete the second leg of a massively important two-legged European fixture against SK Brann. We have a fantastic advantage going in to the game, and it is all ours to win. Don't you think we should focus all our energies on that right now...
Rob Jones
1   Posted 19/02/2008 at 20:07:27

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Knee.... Jerk, Here's a reason, were 4th, another - were pretty much through to the next round in Uefa Cup, another - we got to a semi final, another - two of the best teen strikers in the prem, I?ll stop now before I get too carried away.
Keith Glazzard
2   Posted 19/02/2008 at 20:08:22

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Quite right - one game at a time, particularly as player availability for one reason or another may be so important as the points situation could shift to and fro in this very long run-in.

Its hardly ’dogs of war’, but we will have to scrap for everything. We should be able to gain many a point from the quality of our skillful players and their excellent team play, but if they don’t dig in too, we’ll get nothing. And they haven’t all come this far to give up now.
Erik Dols
3   Posted 19/02/2008 at 20:27:57

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Geez... would you even complain if we were top of the league in stead of Arsenal? "We’re only five points ahead of Man Utd and with the tough run-in we have..."

We’re fourth and we’re most likely still in Europe in March. That’s not some devastatingly knock-me-of-my-feet type of greatness, but it’s a good position to be in. If the season fizzles out and we finish 8th or something like that, please come back to complain about it.
David Smith
4   Posted 19/02/2008 at 20:34:09

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I’ve got another reason for you to be not cheerful : you can’t count !
We’re on 47 points already so we cannot drop below Man City or Villa.

Now then, maybe your mistkae is enough to cheer you up, lad ?
Jimmy Crack
5   Posted 19/02/2008 at 22:30:35

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Apparently I?m the only one but I?m with you, Steve. I?m pretty worried about the run-in... if injuries pile up we could regret not strengthening over January like our rivals have.

On the other hand, I think Fernandes will come good and will be a big boost as well as Vaughan (just like last year).

Hopefully there?s not too much to worry about. Especially if the shite continue to implode (not likely... just beat Inter 2-0)
Karl Masters
6   Posted 19/02/2008 at 22:42:02

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You couldn’t make it up could you?

I wonder if Wenger & Ferguson lie awake at night worrying whether or not they’ll win everything? The point is: This is football and without the lows you don’t appreciate the highs. We might lose next Monday, but we might win. However, we cannot win every game - no team can or does and that’s why we follow football.

Just worry about one game at a time and bear in mind that the teams behind us may slip up too and would happily swap their position with ours. Ya big ninny!! :)
Peter Bourke
7   Posted 19/02/2008 at 22:47:15

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Am i missing something here????
If we lose to Man City and Portsmouth win, how will we be in front on goal difference when they will be on 44 and we will be on 47. OOHH I see, know I know why we should have no reason to be cheerful because if we lose to City they will actually take points off us.
Yes I agree, its doom and gloom.
Steve Woods
8   Posted 19/02/2008 at 22:18:10

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Rob and Keith, thanks for the boost. Yes Michael, I know we should try not to look ahead (publicly) to more than the game in hand, my apologies. It’s hard not to though....

I didn’t think I was complaining. Like everyone I am delighted with the position so far. I was just trying to ask how everyone else’s feelings were if they to did choose look ahead a little?

For what it’s worth I believe the return of the Yak and shortly Stevie P and a fit Arteta, will see a return to the football (in style and results) of late 2007 and that we shall also continue to dig out and scrap for some other results as needed.

So, no worries then, only next game posts from now on. Here is to the second half of the job being well and truly finished off on Thursday night.
COYB!
Eric Holland
9   Posted 19/02/2008 at 23:28:48

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City would have to beat us 7-0 to go above us on goal difference.
Mark Pendleton
10   Posted 19/02/2008 at 23:36:49

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Don?t fear the Redshite. Their 2-0 win this evening was very much influenced by VERY poor refereeing. Although I thought the script had been written before the game for Materazzi (who since he?s been made public enemy No 1 seems to increase the "ex of Everton" references) it still took one harsh and one ridiculous flashing of the yellow card to end his evening prematurely. Even then it took a lucky deflection for the first goal. It?s Villa and City I fear right now. But, having said that, they probably fear us.
Santosh Benjamin
11   Posted 19/02/2008 at 23:44:07

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Any news on Arteta, Pienaar? Are they fit for the 2nd leg of the Uefa Cup-tie?
I hope that Moyes plays Vaughan up top with the Yak... we should put the game beyond Brann early on and avoid and nervous moments for us edgy fans.... COYB
murf
12   Posted 20/02/2008 at 08:55:01

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With Arteta & Pienaar back in the team we are top four quality easy! To be honest, its ours for the taking and I can see us finishing at least fourth.
Only injuries and referees can stop us now!

Relax and enjoy the best Everton team for 20+ years!
gary obrien
13   Posted 20/02/2008 at 09:10:09

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coyb 4th place is here for the taking ! win our home games & a few wins & draws away happy days.just as long as we get a few decent referees in our run in !!!
Arthur Vickery
14   Posted 20/02/2008 at 10:02:20

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Realistically,I do not expect Everton to finish in fourth position,that will go to RS as usual.Sixth again would be a massive achievement but even that may prove a bridge too far.To me our main hope of glory lies in the EUFA competition where the standard of opposition has been decidedly average throughout.
All I hope is that if we fail,we shall not be subjected to the knee-jerk ’Moyes must go’ lobby yet again!
David Whitwell
15   Posted 20/02/2008 at 10:02:24

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Reasons to be cheerful?

1)Almost through to last 16 in UEFA barring a miracle according to the Brann manager, also given how poor Inter were last night, i’m now not half as worried about the prospect of Fiorentina being 4th best in Serie A, therefore QF a real possibility.

2)League only 2 defeats in last 16 those against Man U & Arsenal. Bad results for us would be losses against both Man City & Portsmouth, can’t quite see that happening.

3)Defence, only 5 conceeded in last 10 games, 3 of those coming against Chelsea.

4)Availability, on the run we had prior to Man U, I thought we were playing some really good stuff, it would appear most of those players should be back available for the next 2 league games which I believe will give us a real edge, add to that a hope of Fernandes returning to last season form and I believe we have what it takes to be ruthless in the coming weeks.

4 points from the next 2 league games will be a superb result, if we can be 3-6 ahead of RS come the derby then we have a real chance.

Hopefully thats enough to cheer about!
Allan Hobbs
16   Posted 20/02/2008 at 10:13:44

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Arthur - the ’decidedly average’ opposition in the UEFA Cup is about to get decidedly better in the shape of ’4th in Serie A’ Fiorentina. There are also teams like Villareal and Bayern Munich still in the competition so I somehow don’t think its in anyway a foregone conclusion.

I don’t think we’ll finish 4th purely because to do that we’re going to need to get a few results against teams in the top-half of the league - something we’ve failed to do this season. If we can sneek a draw here & there (another thing we’ve not achieved often enough this season) and grab some homes wins against the top-half teams then we’ll have a chance. More likely though, we’ll finish 5th or 6th in my opinion.
Stefan Tosev
17   Posted 20/02/2008 at 10:36:09

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Allan,

"we?re going to need to get a few results against teams in the top-half of the league - something we?ve failed to do this season."

As our editor says:"One Game at a Time!" whats the point of this defiatist thinking, we can only beat the teams we are facing and a win at City will do it for me :-)
Paul Lenehan
18   Posted 20/02/2008 at 10:49:36

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I don’t see any reason why we can’t go to City and win. What I have seen of them in the cups (west ham game springs to mind) and league in recent months have not been overly impressive. Yes they beat Utd but thats derbys for you. If we have a healthy squad and defend the way we been doing so I would be pretty optimistic of getting a result.
Andy Callan
19   Posted 20/02/2008 at 11:08:01

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Reason to be cheerful: you don’t live somewhere like Kenya.

Job done.
Allan Hobbs
20   Posted 20/02/2008 at 11:30:20

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Stefan - I don’t see myself as having a defeatest attitude, I prefer to think of myself as an optimistic realist; by that I mean that when we actually play these teams (any team) I think we can beat them, its just that realistically we rarely do beat them - a few draws would be handy, I think I’m right in saying we’ve had fewer draws than any of the teams around us in the league at present.

One game at a time I agree with, I was just giving my view of the rest of the season as I see it - generally I agree with our editor.
Anj Stamos
21   Posted 20/02/2008 at 11:16:24

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One question. Lets say everything implodes for us come end of season ie not making it to the final of UEFA, missing out on 4th/ 7th Uefa cup spot for next season. Will BK still hand out Moyesy $millions like he said to further strengthen the squad or is it only intended on Everton finishing 4th? If its based on the latter, I fear Moyesy might get fed up and move on. I?m not being pessimistic, I do wish the boys the very best for this season, but if this scenario pans out and DM doesnt get the appropriate funds he requires to get Everton to the ?next level?, then how much can he tolerate before making a stand?
Patty Beesley
22   Posted 20/02/2008 at 12:02:32

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Reasons to be cheerful?? We have a fully fit squad ahead of tomorrow?s night?s game even down to Anthony Gardener who, of course, is cup-tied. That?s only the second time that?s happened this season.
Damian Wilde
23   Posted 20/02/2008 at 12:17:42

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Steve Woods,

I agree that it is a tough run-in and I agree that the game against City will be tough and is very important. A draw would not be an awful result, but to say that you would def. take a draw now, is negative and not showing much ambition. We should be like ’we’re a good team, better than City and if we have any ambition of finishing 4th, then a win here would be very important’. We should be def. aimaing for a win, none of this ’a draw would be great’ rubbish. If the manager and players thought like this, then we’d probably be 13th. Aim high and you might get fairly high!

Here’s hoping that we have a good run in and finish 4th. Let’s just hope the RS don’t win the EC because if they did and we finished 4th, then no CL for us!

COYB.
Patty Beesley
24   Posted 20/02/2008 at 12:05:18

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Allan Hobbs - Never mind a few draws - a few penalties would be nice!! We have only had one this season, I believe, and that was miskicked by Arteta.
Erik Dols
25   Posted 20/02/2008 at 12:52:01

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Patty, we had a dozen of penalties against Methalist Karkiv (or however it is spelled correctly?)!
Chris Briddon
26   Posted 20/02/2008 at 13:00:43

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I don’t think we’ve had one penalty in the league yet have we?

Allan - no results against teams in the top half.

Does beating Man City not count then & away at West Ham & Spurs (not sure if they are top half at the moment but they probably will be come end of season) Also creditable draws at Blackburn, (should have been a win)Portsmouth & Chelsea
Gai Roberts
27   Posted 20/02/2008 at 14:34:15

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The fact that we have a fully fit squad to choose from again means we can get back to playing the kind of football we were playing around the time we went to West Ham twice within a week and played some excellent stuff with Arteta and Stevie P back in the starting line up ? I really think we have missed these two!

Anyway can' wait to be at City to see another 3 points for the blues!
Nick Entwistle
28   Posted 20/02/2008 at 15:41:14

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Isn’t the fear of losing out on certain places and finals what makes competition a competition?
Of course you’re worried, but then confidence should be part of your outlook too...
I have belief we can take 4th, maybe even reach Manchester come May, but I also know missing on 4th means at least another year of my life waiting for some possible sunshine.
good to know you don’t actually play for Everton ’cos you would have bottled it long ago!
Baloo Johnson
29   Posted 20/02/2008 at 19:01:59

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Reason to be cheerful - Macca is a blue and maybe has plans to invest heavely in the club as long as the Heather divorce doesn’t cost him too much.
Matthew Lovekin
30   Posted 20/02/2008 at 19:04:22

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You’re glass half empty aren’t you.

Maybe we should have more points than what we have due to referring decisions, but hey, shit happens, get over it!

You’ll never hear David Moyes moan about decisions weeks after the events, just concentrate on the next game.

You can’t change what’s happened so get on with it. We’re still fourth at the moment, in the UEFA Cup in February, got to a semi-final this season, have the best squad in years, a new training facility, new stadium in the pipeline, excellent young players coming through, anything else?
Mark Greenhouse
31   Posted 20/02/2008 at 19:44:06

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Steve, having been a blue for 30 years I can see your point, it was only really in the spring of 85 that I confidently felt we could go to games and win, 2-0 with 5 to go and I?m still nervous.

However on the back of Liverpools win last night, they may have done us a massive favour.

IF they get through then their run over three weeks at the end of March is 23/3 - Man U (a), 30/3 - Everton (h), 2/4 - CL Q/F, 5/4 - Arsenal (a), 9/4 CL QF, 12/4 - Blackburn (h). So they will have to be looking to do well in six games, in three weeks, when all the teams they face have something to look forward to, either Euro qualification, Premier League or CL Semi (assuming Blackburn are in for Uefa Cup spot).
Rafa can?t get a team together to play well twice within four days.

Second point - Rafa has been widely praised for his tactical nous in European games as opposed to his lack of ability in the Premiership. If things go the way they could tonight it is feasible that Liverpool will face a Premier League side in the QF, making it actually six Premier League games in three weeks - now, how is he going to get through these unscathed?. Those three weeks could seem very long for the guys across the Park!

Yes we still have some big games to come but our run-in isn?t quite as tight and big games don?t come as thick and fast.

Can we do 4th? Yes and in the end the different run-ins won?t make a difference, we?ll be there because we?ve been better over the 38 games!
Gerry Sheppard
32   Posted 21/02/2008 at 12:57:17

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Reason to be cheerful. You don’t support the redshite.

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