Usually at this point the league is somewhat decided between two charges, the battle for a top 4 finish revolves around a further 5 and those playing chicken with the relegation zone are someway off mid-table obscurity. However, this year the margin between a "good work" and a "must do better" in the end of term report is smaller than, something that's really small, Dennis Wise? We have no clear winners and even less clear losers, which means there is plenty to play for in every position on the table come May.
It's easy to dismiss Everton's progress so far in this Championship, there have been some dire performances, but there have also been some outstanding. After both the Newcastle and Wigan matches, I was half expecting a Police cordon around Goodison Park with a Constable on a megaphone bellowing "move on, nothing to see". In stark contrast to euphoria of results against Liverpool and Manchester United, where we had the open top bus booked and County Road would come to a stand still. The two sentences above speak volumes about Everton's lack of consistency, the teams we should be beating, those below and around us, we are not, the teams who we should, perhaps, be struggling against, based on current form, we are beating or at the very least drawing with. I read recently that Everton appear to have a big game mentality, we seem to be up for the higher profile matches and less so for the so-called lesser games. I have also heard that we prefer the position of the underdog rather than the favourite due to the pressure of expectancy.
This is something that needs to be addressed, if you want to win silverware you require the belief you can beat everyone, whether favourite or not, pressure is part and parcel of competitive sports and should act as motivator at all times, I'm sure Lloyd Honeyghan would have liked to enter the ring as underdog in every fight, but if you win you're the champ, that's something you have to deal with. I think a problem faced by David Moyes and his management team is that belief has been confused with arrogance. Everton should be winning Football matches against the Wigan's of this league, but there is a big difference between should and actually doing it. If Everton want walk up the Wembley staircase 2nd or even rejoice in a top 4 place again it's imperative they regain the will to win, not just to expect they will.
The next 10 days offers a possible further 6 points in the league and a route to the 4th round of the FA Cup, a win against Spurs could be the start of putting to bed the 1st half of the season, and building towards another successful campaign both in our division and the World's greatest cup competition.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Eric Howell and Ped McPartland from Followtonians.com, on New Years Eve the Followtonians podcast reached new echelons with an interview from none other than Landon Donovan. With over 10,000 downloads to date and the piece being picked up on news reels worldwide, it's a real triumph and just rewards for their efforts, well done boys. For the Donovan interview and to listen to the entire back catalogue of pod casts click on the link below:
Thanks again for reading
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