Throughout the season, I have wondered where the turning point in our fortunes would come. Last season, the famous Phil Neville tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to spark the team into life; we went on to Wembley and to finish strongly in the league. However, this season it’s been stop-start.
After the 6-1 drubbing at home by Arsenal, many thought we had got rolling after the horrible start to the season with wins over Athens, Blackburn, Hull, Pompey and BATE away. We were to be mistaken; we went to what as become Evertonians’ most dreaded city... Lisbon, where we were humiliated by Benfica. Then we crashed out of the Carling cup and we were slowly crashing out of the Europa League. The fear of relegation was looming and the way the team was playing, some of us started to lose hope.
November proved to be a pivotal month for Blues; however we only picked up 1 win and conceded 4 losses. We went into December and salvaged our Europa League campaign with a win away to AEK Athens. Thanks to Billy and a strong Everton performance, we won, and again we all thought, here we go lads, onwards and upwards. It started looking upwards with the heroic comeback against Spurs, being the only team to take away points from Stamford Bridge.
We scraped past Carlisle and then harshly came away from the Emirates with just a point after it seemed we fully deserved all three. We then went and played City off the park with a 2-0 convincing win. The feel good feeling was once again back at Goodison. We had Europe in our sights and confidence was back. But then again, we suffered another kick in the teeth, dropping out of the cup on our own turf to Birmingham. The confidence came crashing down; when you just thought things were looking upwards, we were straight back down. It’s been the story of our season.
However, we picked up with wins over Sunderland and Wigan. Liverpool was next, arguably in their worst state for a few years now. They were for the taking. For the first time in a while, a sense of confidence filled Evertonians going into the game. But hey, another humiliating defeat. It depresses me talking about that game now. The fact that we created so little against 10 men, it was awful to watch. Our fantastic support went into the Chelsea game expecting to be defeated by an in-form Chelsea. However, Everton surprised us, like they have done so often this season with a 2-1 win against the possible champions-elect.
We welcomed Sporting to Goodison, not sure what to expect from them but we played fantastic for most of the game but stepped off the gas nearer the end letting Sporting dictate play. It gave us a one-goal advantage for the second leg. From Sporting’s performance at Goodison, most Evertonians’ were not too worried about the away goal they picked up.
Our Mancunian friends were next at Goodison. What a thrilling encounter, the atmosphere was electric at Goodison, it gave you a real good feeling. It certainly washed the humiliating defeat at Anfield out of the system. That was behind us we all thought. Everton showed that we could give anyone a game when we wanted to. We all thought; why we didn’t play like that in the Derby? We all went into the Sporting away tie with confidence, eagerly anticipating a nice trip to Atletico Madrid. How we were very wrong.
You can blame tactics, luck or the players. Everton, the club we support and love sent us crashing down, again. All season, we had talked about picking up the season after a convincing few good results, but it really hasn’t happened for us. It’s been stop start from the beginning. You can blame absences through injury or players settling in but Everton shouldn’t be finishing mid-table. And again, after a lovely Everton performance against relegation candidates Hull, we give away a two goal lead to Birmingham and draw 2-2. A game we needed to win. But it shouldn’t have come down to this, needing to win against Birmingham to salvage our season.
I may be mistaken, we may yet finish in a Europa League place, we all know Everton now don’t we. We don’t know what to expect, what team turns up on the day. We have seen sterling performances against the big boys of City, Arsenal, United and Chelsea while witnessing some shocking performances against the likes of Liverpool, Wolves, Hull and Sporting. It’s been that kind of the season, many ups and downs. But despite humiliating defeats, we still go back. We pack out nearly every away end, even if it’s the other side of the country. We sometimes wonder why after paying good money to watch dreadful performances like we have witnessed this season and many other seasons. Let’s just hope we have strong finish to the season, and just maybe there will be a slight chance of beating Liverpool to 7th. Now that would make up for some of the awful performances. The spirit seems to be there and we continue to bounce back after defeats, most teams would have crumbled under pressure by now. COYB!
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1 Posted 15/03/2010 at 12:07:23
2 Posted 15/03/2010 at 12:13:05
The most frustrating part of it all is the FA Cup and 4th place were there for the taking this year and we chucked our chances away.
I’ll be interested to see how we go on now that Donovans gone and just hope we can start next season with a bang and really make an impression.
3 Posted 15/03/2010 at 12:36:17
4 Posted 15/03/2010 at 11:39:10
Now I know every team’s supporters could say "If only..." but fuck me, my ’if only’ is not a lot to ask.
"If only we’d got all the points in HOME games against Wolves, Hull and Birmingham AND got a point away at say..er..Hull" - see?
Hardly expecting a Champions League Final win is it?
I mean without setting the world alight, or having to have a ’large cash injection’, we’d now be seven points better off (nb: above ’them’).
7-10 points better off if we could have just shown a tiny bit of guile against a bunch of hard-working but clueless puddins’.
7-10 points better off if we hadn’t reverted to the welly each time we conceded a goal.
7-10 points better off without having to beat the 1970 Brazil side or the 1962 Real Madrid.
That’s how easy it would have been (and that doesn’t include failing to hang on against Arsenal away).
As I said - VERY frustrating.
5 Posted 15/03/2010 at 12:59:15
I’d have settled for 1 (just one) of the derbies and, therefore, 6 points closer to the spawn
6 Posted 15/03/2010 at 13:33:14
Could someone please put me out of my misery and explain why the BBC Premiership table currently has fifth place bracketed by dotted lines?
Is this yet another hitherto hidden subterfuge to allow them lot in due to it not being a leap year or Easter being when it is?
Right now I’m a temporary Spurs, Villa and Citeh fan - anything to put a spanner in their arrogant works.
7 Posted 15/03/2010 at 13:42:15
8 Posted 15/03/2010 at 13:42:15
9 Posted 15/03/2010 at 13:55:16
I think they put 5th between dotted lines because that is a definate Europe league place.
10 Posted 15/03/2010 at 15:13:06
I get your point, but didn’t we just beat Hull 5-1 at home?
11 Posted 15/03/2010 at 15:37:51
12 Posted 15/03/2010 at 17:53:41
13 Posted 15/03/2010 at 22:54:10
14 Posted 16/03/2010 at 00:52:46
15 Posted 17/03/2010 at 09:01:01
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