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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It goes without saying I suppose that injuries are an accepted part of football, however when it happens to your main man, the pain is apparent to all. Mikel Arteta will be hurting physically and mentally. He has a long road ahead of him and how he handles it psychologically will determine his future to a certain extent. As fans we feel for him, yet we are also extremely selfish.
Hands up who, immediately upon Arteta's confirmed diagnosis, believed our season was over..........no chance of reaching the FA Cup final now and a fifth placed finish out of our reach?? I'm sure that debate has raged all week. My best wishes go to Mikel in his quest for a complete recovery.
Football can be a cruel game and often deals us unexpected cards. Personally I believed our dreadful run of injuries this season was over, surely even Everton couldn't have more ill luck heading their way? How wrong you can be. Who's next I now wonder? Just as we seemed to have turned the corner on the injury front too.
Arteta of course picked up his injury in an almost innocuous looking challenge with Peter Lovenkrands. Contrast that with Kevin Nolan's assault on Victor Anichebe. Our young striker's extremely lucky he doesn't face an absence longer than Arteta! It was a disgraceful challenge and Graeme Sharp, sat alongside me for commentary at St James Park, called it spot on in real time and rightly stated Nolan should be banned for six matches never mind three. I agree. Unbelievably there were Newcastle fans close to us booing Anichebe believing he had made a meal of it! I can understand the Everton fans maybe not being able to witness the challenge too well from their mile high vantage point at Newcastle, but those sat as close as Sharpy and I were should be ashamed of themselves. It was, quite simply, indefensible and no wonder Nolan was somewhat contrite afterwards.
Having stated then that injuries are very much a part of football, it has to also be accepted that we move on and deal with it, harsh as that might seem for Mikel Arteta. He'll be experiencing mixed emotions no doubt. Because of his love for Everton Football Club, like the rest of us he'll be desperately hoping we do reach the FA Cup Final, yet he'll be the player that will miss what would be one of the biggest occasions of his career. That will be when it really hits him hard. He'll be re-assured though by everyone at the Club (should we make it to that final of course) that he's more than played his part over the course of the season. Not just in terms of the Cup either, Arteta had started every league game this season, so he has completed two-thirds of the campaign.
In the face of adversity we can achieve. No one player is ever bigger than any football club and although we'll miss Arteta's brilliance, now is the time to prove we believe in ourselves, time for others to step upto the plate, time for us to rally behind the cause, time to deliver as one, because from now on through to the end of the campaign it must be: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - Nothing but the best is good enough.
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