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It was prior to the Birmingham match at St Andrews that I stated we’d need to win seven of our remaining ten games to qualify for a Europa League place. We’ve won only three of the seven played so far ahead of Sunday’s game at Goodison against Fulham, although we have remained unbeaten. So the aim now is three more wins for a six out of ten finish.
Europe therefore now seems beyond us and it’s the drawn games we’ll obviously look back on as costly. Late goals conceded against West Ham and Aston Villa and letting a two goal lead slip at Birmingham, not to mention a host of chances missed at Wolves. All a case of ifs buts and maybes!! However all clubs can look back on moments throughout the course of a season and tell us how different it might have been.
It looks like a case of so close, yet so far, should we finish in eighth place. Looking back over the whole season though, maybe this should be viewed as considerable success. I certainly wouldn’t have put money on us finishing that high around the end of November. I can recall being at a pretty low ebb on the drive back from Hull on a miserable November evening wondering whether our season could get any worse.........it did of course as we lost to Liverpool (rather unfortunately it has to be said) in the next game!! But that was the turning point, since then only 2 league defeats in 21 games and some big wins in that period too.
Without doubt having our most important players fit again has been pivotal in our revival. The manager now has the task of ensuring the squad stays intact during the summer and increasing the size and strength prior to next seasons big kick off. I’m sure you’ve all got views on who and what we need in certain positions but what we all know is wholesale changes are not required. Two or three additions in my view could well propel us towards a top four challenge.
Lets’ face it, are Aston Villa, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool that much better than us? My answer would clearly be NO, provided we maintain a fully fit squad. And that’s where we may fall slightly short, that’s why additions are required, quality additions too because it’s impossible for any Premier League side to negotiate a whole season with their perceived first choice eleven remaining completely fit. If that was the case our first eleven would have a very good chance of breaking into the top four! In the current game it really is size and strength in depth that matters.
Anyway there’s plenty of time for debate during the close season (and throughout the World Cup) as to who we’d like to see at Goodison. In the meantime we’ve still got business to attend to, most notably finishing on a high with three more wins. Under David Moyes we’ve never recorded six victories from the final ten league games and we’ve always lost a minimum of two from the final ten. So there’s still plenty to play for, fresh achievements to strive for, plus, and it really is an optimistic shout, a possible Europa league place still up for grabs...............well I can dream can’t I? We’ve had such horrendous luck this season that maybe, just maybe, all will go our way from now until that whistle finally blows on May 9th !!!
Cheers all.......see you Sunday......
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