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The Past Has Passed...The Future Is Blue

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 3rd February 2010 - 16:13

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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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Over my many years of watching and commentating on football, I quickly learned that no matter how down you may feel after one particular game and performance, there’s always another to look forward to - invariably in a very short space of time.

If like me, you were so desperately disappointed at going out of the FA Cup, you probably consoled yourself with a quick reminder there was still European football ahead of us. Along with some enticing league games, including a Merseyside Derby; which is almost upon us.

It’s come around fairly quickly following the Goodison defeat in late November in the first meeting. If I’d been told then that we wouldn’t lose another league game prior to heading to Anfield for the return game, I’d have probably doubted the sanity of the provider of that information!

However that is the case, and I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s lunchtime kick off.

Our nine-game unbeaten league run has fired me with tremendous confidence and I’ve already stated to a number of colleagues that I believe the Blues will win at Anfield. It’s been 11 years now since we achieved that feat, so it’s certainly well overdue. Liverpool are not a great side this season, particularly when compared with Chelsea and Arsenal who we’ve visited recently and come away with draws - although we should have departed from the Emirates with all three points.

Liverpool themselves may have gone 6 league games unbeaten, but from what I’ve seen of them they’re still vulnerable at the back and struggling to score goals without their main man, Fernando Torres.

Let’s face it, we weren’t exactly outplayed in the first game at Goodison when we were certainly below full-strength. And although we’re still minus a couple of players, we’re now much better equipped to stand toe-to-toe with Liverpool.

In fact, Ian Snodin opened up a great debate on Radio City’s Terrace Talk programme last weekend when he stated that if you were to pick a current Merseyside XI from Everton and Liverpool players, then for the first time in a long time, the side would contain more Blues than Reds.

I had to agree with him and I’m sure you will too. There are players in Blue who you’d definitely want in your starting line up. For example:  Jagielka, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar and currently Fellaini would all command a spot in my eleven.

Who’d be certainties for Liverpool?

Well Torres, Gerrard, Carragher, Mascherano and Reina possibly.

It’s a good talking point.

But at present, despite our league position (although we are on the rise up that table) I feel we do have a number of better players.

Maybe the proof of the pudding will be in the eating come Saturday - but if we do win, we’ll be 6 points behind them with a game in hand too.

I’m not yet giving up on European qualification via our final league placing; David Moyes certainly isn’t and I’m sure you’re not either!

We may have what appears to be a difficult run of games ahead of us, but it’s around this time of the season that we generally perform well. And with the vast majority of our squad virtually fit now, we’ve a lot to look forward to indeed...

Starting with three points at Anfield on Saturday.

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