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Saturday lunchtime's FA Cup fourth round tie against Chelsea gives us a chance to shift the focus elsewhere from the current league campaign.
The West Ham game summed up the season perfectly. In the past few years, our strength has been beating the teams around and below us, while we have tended to struggle against the so called big four. This season has been the complete opposite and it is becoming a worry.
There seemed to be an awful lot of tension in the stands on Saturday, which is totally understandable and I felt it made it's way to the players. Too many seemed to have an off day and when that happens, no matter who you are playing in the Premier League, it is going to be a long afternoon. Credit to West Ham though, I though they played some really good football at times and with a bit of luck could easily have been out of sight at half time!
One big plus for me was the impact Diniyar Bilyaletdinov had once he came on. Bily gives us something slightly different in that he can get a goal from absolutely nothing, as he did on Saturday. He has a wonderful strike on him, with both feet, and I would really like to see him get a decent run of games under his belt.
As for Chelsea, we have a pretty decent record against them in the past couple of years, with our only defeat in six coming in the 2009 FA Cup Final and I honestly don't see any reason why that can not continue on Saturday.
I don't think David Moyes will have to do an awful lot to motivate the players. A simple reminder of how they felt at 5pm that glorious day in May two years ago should be all the motivation they need! That horrible feeling of how close we came still irks me and i'm sure a few of the players would like to right that wrong and this game gives them the perfect opportunity to do so.
Chelsea had a very good result at Bolton on Monday and in typical fashion, could their bad run be coming to an end as they are about to head to Goodison?
For me, the crowd have a massive part to play in this game. Chelsea have only taken half of their allocation, which is no great surprise, so we won't have that much noise coming from the away end. Goodison can be a horrible place to play your football when the home crowd have the bit between their teeth and I hope all those inside the Old Lady turn it into that kind of atmosphere on Saturday.
This game could make or break our season, it is absolutely massive for us! I hope those eleven lads go out there without fear, with calm heads and let their football do the talking. They've shown recently that Chelsea give us no reason to be fearful, if anything, i'm quite sure they are not looking forward to coming here. I hope each and everyone of you play your part on Saturday lunchtime and we get the result we require.
"Onwards Evertonians, don't let your pride be moved, remember our song for Wembley is we shall not be moved..."
Up the Toffees!
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