The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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FA Cup Fever... Friday Night Football... Well, I must admit I’m still a big fan of the FA Cup (with Budweiser of course!) and I’m not averse to playing football on a Friday evening as opposed to a solemn Sunday afternoon!
I’m sure it won’t become a regular occurrence for us but I hope that this Friday yields a decent enough atmosphere at Goodison and more importantly, the right result and progress to the fifth round of the competition. At this stage last year, we were preparing for Chelsea of course and fearing the worst. Great replay drama was soon replaced by fifth round heartache at the hands of Reading! We really know how to bring our fans down to earth don’t we?!!
Fulham will provide stiff opposition, no question, but my confidence is such that we WILL be in that fifth round draw on Sunday afternoon (Let’s hope we don’t have to go down to West London though and go through similar dramatics as last year!).
You may ask why the confidence given our poor form of late? Well, Fulham may have had a good result last weekend against Newcastle but they remain a side that don’t travel well. They have just the one win on the road this season at Wigan and they’ve failed to score in five of their away league games. It will be tight and if we can keep a clean sheet(!), we can nick it.
Additionally - and I know history counts for nothing in these games, but it gives me something to grasp onto - we’ve won all ten Premier League meetings against Fulham at Goodison. They’ve never won at our place in the league. And yes, I do remember the last cup meeting where we went out after a replay AND the fact they won at Goodison in the FA Cup back in 1975 and 1948. Well, now it’s our turn in the Cup and if the lads are up for it, as I expect them to be, we’ll win this one.
I’m sure David Moyes has delivered his verdict on last week’s rather dismal showing against Blackburn and that’s why I feel we’ll get a response. Rarely do we put in two or three poor performances on the trot and I’m hoping that the players are wanting an FA Cup run as much as the fans.
At the time of writing, it appears that Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is on his way out of Everton and heading back to Russia. I think it’s always a little sad when we lose a player and I’m sure the majority of fans will wish him the best of luck back in his homeland. He never quite delivered as we really anticipated at Goodison. Hopes were certainly high on his arrival but save for a sensational goal or two, he always seemed to come up just short of our expectations and could never command that regular first team place despite being able to perform adequately on the international stage for his country. It hasn’t worked out and we’ve had to cut our losses, but his career isn’t over and I’m sure we’ll hear of him again in the future! Hopefully not coming back to haunt us on the European front though.
Get behind the lads on Friday night... It’s our one chance of silverware for another season!
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