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On A High

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 21st February 2009 - 10:35

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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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It's been difficult to come down from Sunday's high really. One of those weeks when a midweek game wouldn't have gone a miss, just to meet up with Blues fans and staff and reminisce following the win over Villa. Another excellent performance from a very committed set of players.
 
At last we've made it to the FA Cup quarter finals, but please, let it not stop there! Our reward for despatching Villa was that home draw, all you can ask for at this stage. It may be Premier League opponents but at least the draw was a little kinder as we avoided United, Arsenal and Chelsea - about time too I say!
 
Although I'm delighted we've made it this far and quite obviously hope we go on to win the competition, there is one major bugbear should we make it to the semi finals. Wembley. For a semi final. No Thank You!
 
The FA have only one goal, and it's purely commercial. Those that claim the FA Cup has lost it's glamour and sparkle, and been de-valued over recent years have even more right to voice their concerns with the decision to play the semi's at Wembley. Great for the FA in terms of revenue of course, but as a fan is it really what you want? Okay, the scramble for tickets may not be as intense and there's more opportunity to see your team live at the event itself, but should progress to the final ensue, won't you feel a little cheated?  Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned traditionalist but give me Villa Park or Old Trafford for a semi final any time. Leave Wembley for the great spectacle that a final should be.
 
Anyway, we're off to another decent looking stadium on Sunday, despite the travel time (and recent results!) I always enjoy my trips up to Newcastle. It's one of those places that really feels like a football hotbed. I'll also enjoy the banter on the way up from the loyal Evertonian lads that will cram into the back of my car! (The return journey may be a little less enjoyable though as the beer fumes permeate towards me!)

I appreciate that as visiting fans you're obviously a considerable distance from the action at St James' Park but rest assured Sharpy and I will be able to hear you loud and clear from our commentary vantage point which is positioned not too far away from the two benches. Crucial support it'll be too as we attempt a league win there for the first time in over 8 years.
 
If we continue our current form I firmly believe we'll return home with the points despite our suspensions and injuries. Tim Cahill will be a big loss but Jo has the opportunity to follow up his excellent debut and leave a lasting impression on those making the trip to Tyneside. Tony Hibbert too will be a major miss, our defence has been exceptional since he returned to the starting eleven. I expect we'll see a debut for Lars Jacobsen - if it's anything like as good as Jo's that'll give the Manager a real headache. I suspect that's exactly what the boss wants!

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