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Is belief the key?

By James Boden :  21/05/2009 :  Comments (4) :

The days are ticking by and we are getting closer to the Final. A Wembley return and who would have thought that. The Semi-Final was quite the occasion and now we could potentially make history.

Now I have sometimes been quite critical of David Moyes. Usually his tactics would be incredibly negative and defeatist. It seemed he was quite happy to avoid defeat rather than to try and win a match. His safety first approach was downright irritating and could at times be like watching paint dry. As we had several cup humiliations and folded like a pack of cards to a good side on a regular basis, I just thought that the bloke had his work cut out when it mattered. His ability to succeed at a higher level could be questioned. I would wonder if we would ever win a trophy while he was at the helm.

However, one thing must be credited to Moyes in that he has provided us with stability. The League position has been an improvement and at least now we are more credible than we were several years back. On a limited budget you would have to say he has succeeded. This has brought the best out of Moyes as he has had to think carefully over who to and who not to buy and for the most part has succeeded. However, I still think perhaps when it comes to big money signings he could improve.

But Moyes is one match away from potential glory. Whether or not anyone likes his tactics, one thing which you cannot argue with is his motivational skills. When it comes to motivating Moyes is up there with the very best. The team spirit he has instilled cannot be faulted and that has been the key to us reaching the final.

There lays one problem, however: Moyes has never once defeated Chelsea. They are clearly his Achilles heal. He cracked in the League Cup Semi-Final but this season we have matched them in both league games so there is hope that maybe we can beat them. But I think come May 30th we will be in for the game of our lives. This may end up being backs to the wall stuff and the loss of Jagielka is without question a massive blow. We may have to play better than we ever had in Moyes's reign to win in the final.

For me, I believe playing Jack Rodwell could be a big factor. He is ever improving and his strength, positional sense and comfort on the ball means he could make a difference and would certainly be a better prospect in the game than a certain Mr Osman in my opinion. Put him in and put Neville on the right to combat their attacking influence up the left. Call me mad all you want... and, yes, I know I am not the manager and so on, but I believe this selection could be crucial.

Belief really could be a key and maybe, just maybe, our players really do want it more than Chelsea?s. They are a 2-bob club that have got by on location and bought on their success. Let us show them what a real football club is made of. The fact is that, despite being the 5th best team in the country, we are continually overlooked and maybe that has spurred us on. If we install the mindset that everyone believes Chelsea will walk all over us, then maybe we can show them what we are made of.

The Semi-Final was one to remember for ever and with that Phil Jagielka booked his place in Everton history. But that simply cannot be just that. This is a must-win game. This is the game to show the world what Everton is all about. The game that defines whether or not we really can step up to the next level. Let?s believe we can do it. Come on lads this it.


Reader Comments

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Mike McLean
1   Posted 23/05/2009 at 07:40:26

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If you’re one of those who takes a stats approach to football, we don’t have much of a chance. If you believe in the "Football Gods" ... "If your name’s written on the cup, you’ll win it" stuff, we’ll get it if they are on our side, no matter how superior on paper Chelsea may be. And let me pre empt the smart comeback, "Football’s layed on grass not paper!" Yeah, know that.

For what it’s worth, my line is simple: I’ve got no idea how it will end up. I just hope the Gods have got their blue tinted glasses on!

I think a measure of humility is required ... some of the hubris I’ve seen on Everton boards makes me shudder. "Pride comes before a fall"!
Richard Parker
2   Posted 23/05/2009 at 08:15:33

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I think it’s pretty simple. If Chelsea play their best then they’ll win. If we play our best then we have a decent chance of winning.

This is a cup final and the occasion and adrenaline could give us the edge, after all a cup final to Chelsea is a more regular feeling.

No-one can second guess how this will turn out and I have a feeling that we’ll be out to frustrate Chelsea. 1-0 Tim Cahill overhead kick in injury time. Again.
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 23/05/2009 at 14:44:34

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Barring injury, the chances of Rodwell supplanting Osman in the starting line-up at Wembley are somewhere between nil & zero.
Brian Fagan
4   Posted 25/05/2009 at 21:33:49

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Don?t be too analytical about the game. Just score one more goal than them and we win!! They are the team who have all the pressure.

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