So, I wanted to get some thoughts on my thoughts. Most of us, if we are deeply honest with ourselves, would have settled for 6 points from the whole of February, in one form or another. At the same time, most of us are mightily pissed off at THAT defeat, and more importantly, the manner of it. What can't be ignored is that since the beginning of 2010, Everton have played 7 games, 5 of them against 5 of the current top 6 in the league, and taken 16 points from the 21 available.
Some have gotten excited, some haven't, and that's fine — we've all watched Everton enough to know we will ALWAYS do things the hard way. Some have asked if 4th is possible — well of course it is, mathematically. But is it realistic?
Well, we've only 12 games to go, so that is a hindrance. We're 8 points behind City & Spurs, 7 behind the Shite and the Villa. I was quite surprised to learn that since the turn of the year, we've actually made up 7 points on Spurs, 6 on the Shite, 5 on City and 4 on the Villa. Those figures suggest that it is possible.
First things first — we have to take care of our end of the bargain. After recent results, I think it is only right that we EXPECT to take another 13 points minimum from the next 5 (Spurs, HULL, Birmingham, BOLTON, Wolves) — anything less and it will be time to accept a bridge too far. A lot of people have questioned our ability to 'win ugly' following the debacle at Anfield and the footballing victories that followed — have they forgot Wigan & Sunderland, both in the afore-named category.
After that, it's a case of IF (a massive if certainly) we can manage that, where are we likely to be as we head into the final straight? Still 8th is the simple answer as no way will we catch anyone by that time. A look at their fixtures might suggest we'll be much closer though:
Spurs: EVERTON, Man City, BLACKBURN, Stoke, PORTSMOUTH (= 8??)
Man City: Chelsea, SPURS, Sunderland, Fulham, WIGAN (= 8??)
Shite: BLACKBURN, Wigan, PORTSMOUTH, United, SUNDERLAND (= 10??)
Villa: SUNDERLAND, Stoke, Wigan, WOLVES, Chelsea (= 8??)
A lot of conjecture I know, but a scenario like the above would leave us still 8th, 4 points behind the Shite, 3 behind Spurs & City, and 2 behind the Villa, with that all important game in hand to play against City (Villa would also still have a game in hand).
With 6 games to play as well as the GIH at Eastlands, I would take that scenario now, and if we got there, would be confident of securing 4th from there on in. And that is why I now officially christen March the month of hope — where none existed before, the glimmer gets brighter.
Good luck to all the Blues travelling to Portugal and please ensure we do our club and city proud in the expected respects that will be paid to the tragic victims in Madeira. COYB!
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1 Posted 22/02/2010 at 18:31:58
The make or break is the fact that we have Tottenham, Birmingham, Aston Villa and Man City all to play away. If we leave Birmingham aside as I don’t think they’re in the running, it becomes three huge away games. Win them all and fourth does not seem ridiculous, and even without winning them all, getting decent results means qualifying for Europe through league position, again, is definitely realistic. Our run in is not difficult.
2 Posted 22/02/2010 at 18:49:01
Expecting to get 13 points from the next five games? Maybe... though realistically I think it’ll be more like 10. Birmingham away will be tough.
3 Posted 22/02/2010 at 18:54:46
4 Posted 22/02/2010 at 19:14:52
I think it’s going to be difficult. We are going to have to rely on the the teams finnishing 1-4 picking up both cups, so 6th and 7th are also Europa qualifing places.
I would like to see us get 5th, but realisticly see us getting 6th, but get the feeling we will end of with 7th.
5 Posted 22/02/2010 at 19:52:57
Also the position of Pompey will throw up a wild card as if they go belly up, we’ll loose the points we won against them.
6 Posted 22/02/2010 at 20:12:24
7 Posted 22/02/2010 at 20:12:47
Hope all who are heading to Portugal have a better time than the Benfica disaster.
I think we might need to think about giving Arteta a rest on Thursday. He won't be able to play Thursday then Sunday and Spurs is the tougher game... we’ll need him there.
8 Posted 22/02/2010 at 20:51:24
I think only City and maybe Villa will struggle from now in and out of our remaining 12 games we should expect about 25 points giving us a total of about 63 and good enough for 6th — but at least back in Europe.
9 Posted 22/02/2010 at 21:14:10
The only so-called top team that have lost to them so far. Fatty’s lot.
10 Posted 22/02/2010 at 21:39:42
Is it to be expected? No, but it is realistic and we should be able to see just how realistic in the coming months.
11 Posted 22/02/2010 at 21:45:03
12 Posted 22/02/2010 at 21:57:24
I reckon 6th is the best we can hope for...
13 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:02:52
14 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:09:04
To expect us to win 10 games out of 12 or whatever we have left is unrelalistic, even the team that wins the title will not do that. If we win 7 I’ll be made up.
15 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:08:49
16 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:46:51
17 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:48:02
Spurs ,Villa & us will be on goal difference
Don't like it but that's what my match predictor says.
18 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:47:10
I am really looking forward to the possibility of some of the top four imploding. I am praying it will be the RS first but they have made a pact with the devil in the past.
I finally am beginning to believe Everton can do it next year. Sitteh will panic and change manager. Villa still need more investment and don’t look likely to get it. United are one injury away from mediocrity. Appy Arry will be in clink when the Portsmouth saga is revealed (he should be for selling us Bilic and Williamson — where is he now by the way?).
Liverpool will sell Gerrard and Torres and John Terry will be caught in bed with with Cheryl Cole, hopefully we will all get a glimpse on our mobiles. A brilliant footballing Everton, virtuous and free of debt will build a new superstadium in Skelmersdale and ride to the Champions League final. Oh! that spliff is really working its magic tonight!!
19 Posted 22/02/2010 at 22:40:00
C 1 Man United 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90
CL 2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
CL 3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83
CL 4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 +31 72
EL 5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 +18 63
EL 6 Ast Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 +6 62
EL 7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 +5 53
8 Tottenham 38 14 9 15 45 45 0 51
Being reasonably optimistic, I think we’ll finish with 61 which may get us 6th but I think it’s a bridge too far to expect Spurs, Villa, City and the RS to all fall away while we don't so I think 6th is as good as it can get but NOTHING’S CERTAIN.
20 Posted 22/02/2010 at 23:23:51
OK we can win 4 out of 5 at home, allowing for a slip-up draw.
But we’ve only won 3 away so far. So we’ve got to double that, or better, to get anywhere. It’s the away form that’s going to have to change dramatically to live up to our recent home form. If it does — 6th at worst. Well, we have to prove what we can do now, but it’s away from home that will tell.
21 Posted 22/02/2010 at 23:24:25
Over the years I have wondered about this, often finding him to be correct in his assertion.
Everton’s future is no more open than it is right now.
Two games from destiny? Wow!
22 Posted 23/02/2010 at 09:44:46
I also think going out of the Europa this week would be a huge blow to confidence and will affect results after. We must go there, score first, and get through that round. I love watching the boys in Europe, we’re becoming used to it as a regular thing and I would miss it hugely next season. Six Stella from the offy, the kids and me round the telly for the build up, my eldest coming out with bizarre stats about the opposition (he’s a bit of a statto), it’s all great stuff and long may it continue. And hats off to those of you who make the journey there, not an option for me unfortunately.
BTW, I do have a bet from the start of the season with a Spurs fan at work on who will finish highest which he tried to call in a month ago. He’s gone strangely quiet of late.
23 Posted 23/02/2010 at 12:26:38
24 Posted 23/02/2010 at 15:01:06
25 Posted 23/02/2010 at 15:24:33
I had a mentor who constantly said:
"The Only thing that IS certain is that NOTHING is certain".
I guess that kind of means the same thing.
However the future looks bright right now.
Let's enjoy the moment.
26 Posted 23/02/2010 at 20:18:17
My dad (SAFC diehard) always has me laughing with his ’Sunderland are persecuted/wronged by everyone and everything’ views and when he rolls them out its exactly the same as the one’s I hold about my beloved blues!!!!
If we lose the next two a lot of positive people now will be the one’s declaring its season over. Let’s enjoy the way were playing at the minute and the results, its been a long time coming this season!!
Anyone who’s off to Lisbon for Thurs, have its a great trip with the right result! COYB!
27 Posted 24/02/2010 at 10:49:07
28 Posted 24/02/2010 at 12:55:09
In my mind, the biggest game of season is tomorrow in Lisbon, and its a bigger priority than the PL, because there's no point busting a gut to come 6th, and only get back into the 1st round of the competition we’re well into right now.
29 Posted 24/02/2010 at 13:42:54
On the topic - there’s pretty much no way we’ll finish 4th, might as well accept it. Too much ground to make up, and we’re bound to lose points here and there. Next season looks bright though.
30 Posted 24/02/2010 at 14:20:19
31 Posted 24/02/2010 at 14:53:56
In terms of league placings, only the fifth place league finisher is actually guaranteed of playing in the Europa league. Sixth and seventh depend on both the cups being won by one of the teams in the top five league spots for getting into the Europa League.
Which means that if Villa win the League Cup but finish in eighth or worse, they would qualify for the Europa League at the expense of the seventh place league finisher.
32 Posted 24/02/2010 at 15:14:28
33 Posted 25/02/2010 at 17:57:57
If you look at the games all five still have to play City and Spurs play more teams who are in the top eight than us, Villa or LFC. The other thing to look at is games against teams desperate to stay up, but it’s impossible to identify who those might be in the last few games.
Sunderland feature widely for example.
So do Blackburn who won’t go down but Allardyce has turned them into, well, Bolton really ,so no easy points there then.
I see City and Spurs fading badly and Villa and LFC fighting it out for 4th. Villa could shade it but the FSW will send out teams which will be difficult to break down and will try and pinch a goal. Anyone disappointed with what they saw at Eastlands on Sunday was an idiot to expect anything otherwise.
I think we’ll finish sixth and we’d have taken that two months ago wouldn’t we? Villa could collapse quite spectacularly though, their squad is thin, so who knows. If we did get fourth the man should be voted manager of the epoch.
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