The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
Lewis Owen, 16th April 2012 - 19:35
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The stark contrast between the jubilation of reaching Wembley and the heartache of returning home after defeat is difficult to stomach. When Wembley calls, departing with the bitter stench of a loss is the worst of its kind.
I am writing this as I head back home on what is mostly an Evertonian-filled train. A lot of what I can see is slumped and creased, bemused expressions on the faces of those who pre-match proudly showcased their Blue persona for all to see, but are now shunning the spotlight.
Most of us are staring into space; elided with the knowledge that what we have just witnessed was a case of ‘so close, yet so far’. Continuing a theme of utilising cliches, Saturday's was a 'game of two halves' that we 'should have put to bed'.
I thought we rattled and controlled Liverpool in the first period, but after the restart the story was largely different and our failure to find a second goal, plus the bad decisions, let us down. David Moyes had it spot-on after the game, stating the game was defined by mistakes.
We know the story. We followed the ever-adventurous Jelavic road and after 25 minutes it was a most enjoyable journey. But Sylvain Distin, one of the most consistent performers of the season, really did present a gift to cancel out the joy; a gift not delivered to birthday boy James McFadden but boo boy Luis Suarez. Then Seamus Coleman served up a similar scenario with an unnecessary challenge on Steven Gerrard for the free-kick from which the Reds wrapped it up.
All the recent form and results meant we were supposed to be high on confidence - there was little evidence of such a theory in the performance. In truth, we didn't play to anywhere near the standards of recent weeks. But then we were locking horns with Liverpool; the club who seemingly hold a psychological grip over us which we just cannot loosen. When 1-1 arrived, the Reds were full to the brim in mental credence that they could go on and win it.
And if I learned anything else from the game on Saturday, it is that Luis Suarez might be best to steer clear of hard-man Johnny Heitinga when roaming the city! I saw on Twitter this week somebody had quipped Ashley Young could partner Tom Daley at the Olympics after his plunge against QPR. I disagree. Suarez is a much better candidate.
In the bigger picture nobody else claimed a more apt right to the trophy than Moyes after 10 years at the helm. Yet, instead, his compatriot counterpart gets the chance to ease his apparent deterring managerial reputation.
Such is the world of a fickle football fan, those who regard the Kop as a second home will call Carroll ‘class’ and Kenny ‘King’ again. Across Stanley Park, Bluenoses will bemoan what could, and really what should, have been.
For Dalglish the pressure is relieved and eased. For Moyes the empty trophy cabinet and sense of doing all possible for the club remains.
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