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Awards Night So Special

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 22nd May 2009 - 09:29

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Alan Irwin is the Voice of Everton for Liverpool's Radio City 96.7. An experienced radio journalist, Alan commentates on all of the Blues' matches and is well placed to provide insightful blogs on the progress of the team.

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Hopefully you've had the chance by now to reflect on this website the events of Monday evening at St George's Hall.

The end of season awards bash has always been a thoroughly enjoyable occasion but this year's was most definitely different for the obvious reason that our season is by no means over.

This was succinctly summed up by our host for the night, Sky Sports' Richard Keys, who's opening line endeared him to all inside the hall and I quote: "When I received an invite to present an end of season awards dinner in Liverpool I never imagined it would be here with Everton..........I expected to be with that other lot from across the park......because their season really did end yesterday!!!!!!" Brilliant.

The perfect introduction and the prelude to a great night. With an Everton legend alongside him in Andy Gray it was never going to be anything but entertaining.

The highlight of the evening was obviously the award to Phil Jagielka, fully deserved too and by no means a surprise although we've had performers all over the park this season. Who knows, someone may yet pop up with a moment of magic to win us the Cup and lay claim to being our real hero of the season or even the decade!!!

Bill Kenwright delivered an excellent speech which chronicled each member of the squad. The fact that he was allocated five minutes to do so didn't deter him one iota. Thirty five minutes later he was still on his feet hailing the achievements of one and all and categorically stating David Moyes was going nowhere. I really do wonder what he'll be like should we actually lift that trophy at the end of this month!!

All in all it was the perfect rallying call ahead of the FA Cup final. Not that we need one of course, preparation has been spot on and I'm sure the lads will continue their focus on the final league game before all the attention really does turn to Wembley.

Onto matters on the pitch and a quick reflection of last week's win over West Ham. Louis Saha laid claim to a starting place at Wembley courtesy of his two goals, simplistic though they were. However, for me, he's doing far too much of his work outside of the penalty area where he doesn't really hurt the opposition. I don't think Chelsea would be unduly concerned by that. They've got two big lads at the back who need bullying. The more I see of Saha the more I'm leaning towards Tim Cahill leading our attack in the FA Cup final. He'll upset John Terry and Alex at the heart of Chelsea's defence. He'll put himself about, make a nuisance of himself and generally create havoc for them through sheer persistence.

The next question then, is can we afford to lose Tim from our midfield? Well it wasn't too long ago this season that many pundits and fans were of the belief that he couldn't do a job in a four man midfield. I think he can, but it does take that edge away from his game in exactly the place where we'll need it most at Wembley..........inside the Chelsea penalty area. They're a difficult enough side to score against and we have to at least be able to pose a threat. Tim Cahill is that man.

Do we have an adequate replacement for Tim in the heart of midfield then? The answer now is yes. Jack Rodwell has shown maturity beyond his years and I'd be prepared to start the final with him in central midfield. He'd have his captain alongside him to give him all the help and advice needed on the day.

Sometimes in life there are big decisions that have to be taken. I'm sure David Moyes is considering it. He's not one for making rash decisions, this is one he'll deliberate over for a while and I'm putting my trust in him!

PS.... David Moyes has been in our studios this week at Radio City to record an hour's special with us ahead of the FA Cup final. It's a great listen and you can catch it on Radio City 96.7 at 6pm next Thursday (28th May). I'll also play it in full again for you on my sports show on City Talk 105.9 between 7 and 10 on the same night. Don't miss it!!

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