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Best Of The Rest

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 17th April 2009 - 09:53

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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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So, at long last the time has come......the weekend we've waited on for 14 years! I can't believe it's that long really, the memories of that Elland Road thrashing of Tottenham are still vivid.

Sitting at Villa Park on Sunday was perfect preparation for a semi-final of course, because that's exactly where we should be this weekend. A great stadium that can produce an excellent atmosphere, more than decent facilities and far less travel. That debate though has been endless and I don't intend to re-ignite that fire. Suffice is to say Sunday certainly got us in the mood!!!

What a thriller it was at the Villa! At least we know we're in goalscoring form! However defensively all was not well........Tim Howard didn't have one of his better days, let's hope it's out of his system, and I do forgive him a rare poor performance given his otherwise briliant form this season.

So, onto Wembley........no sooner will you have finished reading this than the exodus to London will be underway. I'm sure many are going on Saturday to make a weekend of it, determined to enjoy it and rightly so. One thing's for certain on Sunday and that's the fact we'll make more noise inside Wembley than United fans will. The away support in particular has been outstanding this season and as this is a fixture we've waited so long for I get the feeling United won't know what's hit them!! I sense it will be an atmosphere to remember, but hopefully one we can re-create come the end of May!!

The players though are not travelling to Wembley for a party. This is a semi-final remember. Having spoken to David Moyes and his staff over the course of the last few weeeks I know that they'll display precisely the right atittude. Wembley will only be enjoyed if we win on Sunday.

Our approach recently in all areas has been spot on. Outsiders are looking in singing the praises of Everton Football Club. A club to copy in terms of approach, continuity and professionalism. David Moyes again being touted as a contender for manager of the year.

I know there are still issues that need to be dealt with but we are an example to be followed. I don't necessarily like the term "best of the rest" but we clearly are.

Our aim now is to remove the word "rest" and become one of the "best" (again!)

If our recent progress is anything to go by I'm convinced this can be achieved.

In doing so there's no way we'll have to wait another 14 years for an FA Cup semi final to come around!

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