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Losing can be a good thing

By Andrew James :  30/05/2009 :  Comments (5) :
Yes, yes, losing is never good. In the short term. Tim Cahill already had his dose in Cardiff 5 years ago so certainly would not see it this way. But the fact remains that we played Chelsea in the infinitely poorer League Cup Semi Final last year and this year we faced them at Wembley in the FA Cup Final watched by millions around the world. Knocking out the Premier League Runners up, a team who sat third in the league at the time and the Champions League finalists, Premier League winners and World Champions ? it was an amazing run.

When you think of the options, we simply lost through injury; we should be very, very proud of what has been achieved. Two seasons ago, Everton became adept at finishing in the top six. Last season they got used to cup runs under David Moyes. This season they combined the pair against all the odds.

I was an ecstatic 16-year-old when we won in 1995. Yet that set of players was a motley crew. A mish mash of wild cards, seasoned professionals and veterans had their day. But it was a false dawn. I knew at the time that defeat would be horrible because the future was still very uncertain. However, today defeat is much easier to take. I know this will be a massive learning curve for the manager and that tight unit of players who have so much more to show.

I thought it was ominous as the camera captured the back of three Everton players watching Chelsea lifting the cup. The names on the back of those shirts? Baxter, Rodwell and Vaughan. Those talented youngsters will have learned a lot today and they will be back one day to lift trophies. Perhaps the look on Neville?s face spoke volumes. He knows this might have been his last chance, but the rest have an awful lot to look forward to.

I watched them at Fulham last week and they always tried to play in the correct way. They often tried to today as well and matched Chelsea for long periods. With big names returning and a few decent signings, we can become a force not just in the Premier League but in Europe. David Moyes was desperate to win some silverware and, of course, we all wanted to.

However, all Evertonians should be deeply proud, hopeful and extremely enthusiastic about the future. After all, many of the great sides had to experience high profile defeat before going on a run. Manchester United lost the league to Leeds after their first big challenge. Chelsea themselves were humbled by the same team in 1994 before returning to win the competition twice in the next six years. Didn?t we suffer a Milk Cup Final defeat shortly before lifting the major trophies in 1984 and 1985?

After the final whistle was blown, the only noise I could hear was from the Everton fans. We are a tremendous club with a great history (that was the sixth final in my lifetime only), a wonderful set of fans and we have a fabulous future to look forward to.

Hopefully the disappointment will be swiftly forgotten and then the players can realise their worth and that they are able to go toe to toe with the big boys now. Rodwell and Fellaini are just starting out as are Gosling and Baxter. These are guys who wouldn?t have featured so heavily if others had not been injured. Imagine the damage we can do with a full contingent!

So be proud and applaud a fantastic season. We will definitely learn from this. In Moyes we Trust.

Reader Comments

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Matthew Lovekin
1   Posted 30/05/2009 at 16:08:02

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Ok, today's defeat was disappointing. We all wanted to win our first silverware in 14 years. However, it was not to be.

Firstly, let's not start criticising everyone and everything in sight. We were at the Cup Final because of the way the club has been run recently. We have finished in the top 6 for the last three seasons because of the way the club has been run recently. We are in Europe again next season because of the way the club has been run recently.

Despite this, an article has already been published two hours after the final whistle slating Blue Bill. How long before the articles criticising Moyes' tactics come in? The reason we are where we are is because Kenwright has stood by Moyes and found the finances for him. The reason we are where we are is because of the managerial expertise of Moyes.

Next season we will have Yakubu, Arteta and eventually Jagielka back. Three certain starters. Three new signings. If Moyes can pull off another big name signing such as Moutinho or Wagner Love and a few loan signings such as Quaresma, Nani, Mancienne we are on a level playing field with the top 4.

After following Barcelona all season, I don't subscribe to the 'we need more money' theory. From their Champions League winning side they had Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Puyol and Valdes came through their youth team.

Everton are clearly the fifth best team in England. We are not far away from the top 4. We beat Liverpool and Man Utd on the way to the cup final. We drew with Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea twice and Man Utd in the Premier League.

Today was merely a stepping stone to the top 4. Semi-finalists and top five last year. Finalists and top five this year. Next year we can push on. With Jags, Arteta and Yakubu back and another big name signing, we can push on next season. Next season is the big one. We can break the top 4 and win a trophy.

We will do it next year because WE ARE EVERTON!!!

Ian Tod
2   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:02:13

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Finally some positive and more realistic posts. people who think it’s just going to be a downward spiral from now on are dead wrong. yeah we lost against a world class team on a very hot day but this is the same chelsea team that we outplayed twice this season and we werent embarassed by them on cup final day itself. If we had Arteta playing i’m confident we would have won that game because there were parts of that match where Chelsea looked like they were for the taking and all we needed was Artetas presence in the centre. I also believe we are only 2 players short of finishing in the top 4. I think we need a decent attacking right-back who is affordable(Kyle Naughton of Sheffield United) and a creative/wide right midfielder(Joao Moutinho) as our right side is our weak point but I think Moyes will adress that in the Summer. We are very close to something very special happening and I absolutely can’t wait till next season when we finally show everyone you don’t need craploads of money to finish in the top 4 and win trophies!!!!
Robert Ashcroft
3   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:17:45

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Two very, very good posts. The point that the FA Cup final was shown around the world too is a very valid one. Real football fans all over England no matter what team they support have a tremendous respect already for this Everton side. I want the world to know that as well.

I love the blues. Always have, always will. And at 22 this is the strongest team I have seen wear those blue jerseys, Enthusiasm is the best word that springs to mind when thinking about our club at the moment. Any silverware will be fanastic next year obviously but if one trophy matters most of all its the league, and with a little more nurturing this Everton - David Moyes’ hard working family that he has loved ever since he joined us - will get what they deserve in the not too distant future.

Keep believing.
Alexander O'Brien
4   Posted 31/05/2009 at 14:43:46

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I'm bloody sick to the back teeth of all this 'Chelsea deserved to win' and 'we lost to a better side' rubbish. If anyone deserved to win yesterday, it was us end of.

Take a look at our route to the final: Man Utd, Liverpool, and Villa all beaten whilst Chelsea just had to face Arsenal. The injuries: Arteta, Jags, The Yak? That's the spine of our team gone.... take Lampard, Drogba and Terry out of Chelsea's and we may have had a more even contest.

I mean, we didn't even have a striker for 2 months or so and couldn't rest players due to our tiny squad. Would that mob from London have been able to cope if they where in our shoes?? So before we all say 'well done Chelsea' if anyone deserved to win the cup it was our boys ? not theirs!

Don't even get me started on foreign investment either, complete and utter non-level playing field and it makes me sick! Anyway, rant over...our boys are heroes!

Rob Teo
5   Posted 02/06/2009 at 07:00:16

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I agree that losing the cup final, whilst painful in the short term, will be a good thing in the long run - if only because it may force Moyes to realise that we really need to shore up our right side (at the very least) with genuinely good players before we start next season.

Imagine if we had won? Moyes might then have been lulled into continuing to think that a player like Osman could continue to hold his own on the right against Europe’s better teams. The fact that Chelsea’s win was due in part to the way they continually attacked us on the right with almost a nonchalant ease must surely, finally cause Moyes to realise that Osman and Hibbert (and Gosling for that matter) just aren’t good enough to play against top quality sides. Not only that, it may also finally force Moyes to realise that sentimentality must take a back seat to tactical necessity when deciding whom to field.

Finally, the loss - and the manner in which we lost - will galvanise the board into (hopefully) stumping up the cash to support Moyes into getting the quality players that he needs. As Martin Tyler commented during the match, Chelsea was able to bring on Germany’s captain as a sub, while Everton was only able to bring on two youngsters. To be sure, we probably couldn’t afford (nor would it be wise) to go down the Man City path, and Moyes’ bargain shopping has served us extremely well thus far, but the idea of being able to call on a Ballack or Ashravin from the bench when needed - now that would be extremely useful.

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