The semi-final is being billed as a David versus Goliath contest, the sorcerer against the sorcerer's apprentice, fashionable against unfashionable, two Clubs steeped in history and tradition but at opposite ends of the financial spectrum. Add into the mix an Everton side stripped through injury to it's threadbare bones, a United side boasting an Everton academy product in the form of the loathsome Wayne Rooney, and two Glaswegian Managers renowned for their motivational methods, then the tie has all of the ingredients of being a classic Cup encounter.
However, the purpose of this piece is not to analyze how Everton may plot to bring about Manchester United's downfall but to question how Everton may reach the top table of European football in the form of the Champions League.
Real Madrid's recent capitulation is symbolic of how the mighty have fallen; 9 times previous winners but a team devoid of all character and headed up by a second rate coach. The Galactico's may have gone but Madrid are clearly in danger of being seriously upstaged this season by the less fashionable Villarreal. Such a scenario smacks of comparison with the tale of the emperor's new clothes.
The strength of the English Premier League cannot be questioned by Europe's elite; five out of the last European finalists have been English teams and with the match-fixing scandal in Italy, the lack of appetite for club football in France, and the apparent financial crisis of clubs in La Liga have only served to promote the status of the Premier League.
With such a scenario, the Sky 4 are likely to continue to prosper and breaking into this cartel will therefore become harder given the current status quo. David Moyes's most recent comments would reiterate this notion, a notion that one would have to argue is impenetrable without a seriously wealthy benefactor greasing the wheels. Manchester City may undoubtedly have a cash cow but they have all the footballing charisma and credentials of a second-rate and spivvery-ridden phoney used-car salesman.
Bill Kenwright is clearly enjoying his day in the sun in respect of the FA Cup semi-final and who could blame him? Combine the Cup anticipation and Everton's current form, the attitude of the manager and the unity and spirit shown by the players, then the good times that we have savoured in recent seasons feel like they could become permanent.
Speaking personally, it would be great to progress to the next phase of our development in the same methodical manner of recent seasons under the stewardship of David Moyes. Moyes has clearly now served his apprenticeship and, given a little more power with the chequebook, would continue to work wonders with Everton. The progress we have made is remarkable, done the Everton way with class and dignity, hard-work and endeavour, the lows will always be low but the high's are always so much better.
I'm not looking for a Russian ogilarch, sheikh billionaire or American tycoon, given his 24/7 search for investment is Bill Kenwright also waiting for that special, if not mythical investor who bleeds blue blood?
This season, we have shown that we can overcome the odds, that Everton are once again great and our pride has been restored. As always there is room for improvement, we are 2-3 player's short of being Champions League contenders. The next step up is how do we achieve this without sacrificing our principles?
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