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Wembley Buzz Hard To Ignore

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 8th May 2009 - 11:07

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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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Got your application in.....tentatively waiting for the response.........even though you know you'll qualify for a cup final ticket it's still a nervous wait isn't it??? Until that Wembley ticket is in the palm of your hand the doubts will remain!! Once received there's no better feeling. Wembley here we come and look after that ticket as if your life depends on it!

It may be another 3 weeks away but it's hard to ignore isn't it!! The buzz from the fans about the trip itself is fantastic.....have you booked your minibus?.......your hotel?.......coming back Sunday?.......what time do we set off?......which pub do we frequent on arrival?......all questions that I'm continually overhearing in the many conversations around our local public houses..........and I love it !!!

Given all the debate around the cup final I think we should give an enormous amount of credit to our players, who seem to be responding now in just the way the manager has requested. Concentrating on one game at a time and with real focus too. That win over Sunderland was fully deserved and was achieved with a number of our regulars missing. In fact we made it look easy and that is something we've failed to do against poorer sides in previous years. Maybe it's a sign that we're really maturing into a top side and can continue to challenge in future years.

How far away are we from the likes of United, Arsenal and Chelsea? Personally I feel we've bridged the gap this season. Not just us but Villa too. In recent times you really haven't been able to afford to lose more than a couple of games to still be in with a shout of the title. This season United have lost four while Arsenal and Chelsea have lost five apiece. It wasn't too long ago that Arsenal went a whole season unbeaten. I can't see that being repeated. If we can strengthen with a couple of quality players come the summer then I'm confident we can close the gap further and continue to challenge in future years.

Although ourselves and Villa have lost nine each we've given a much better account of ourselves, particularly against the so-called better sides. And in our case we've achieved that with a threadbare squad, littered with youngsters and subsequently decimated by injuries as the season progressed. After our dreadful start that saw us lose the first three home games, most punters had written us off, predicting mid table obscurity at best. Some were more pessimistic. I doubt too many other clubs would have coped the way Everton and David Moyes have.

All credit then to those that have stuck with the boss. Particularly through our rather inglorious years. Continuity is the key, and although working within the financial constraints of a very tight budget creates it's own problems, we are proof it can be done. Everton are a club that set an example to others. Far too often nowadays the boardrooms of football clubs are pressing the self destruct button. In some instances boards are dismissing the very man they appointed within a matter of months. Surely that's an indication that the problem must lie elsewhere?

I'm more than happy with our manager and more than happy with our season so far. And I say so far because I still believe it will improve. Irrespective of Chelsea's Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona, we'll still be playing the same club that many fans hoped would be exhausted from a final three days prior to Wembley. They'd have been up for it no matter what. Just as we will be. Just as we will be for Saturday too when I'm confident we can address a pretty dismal recent record against Tottenham at Goodison Park. See you there!!! 

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