Coming off the back of a lacklustre game against Sunderland, and a defeat to Arsenal, most of us would have been looking at a trip to the Liberty Stadium with a bit of trepidation.
The Premier League newcomers have impressed one and all with their passing verve and audacity at home this season, and Everton are, well, Everton – a side that consistently disappoints despite an array of talent dotted throughout the squad.
But lo and behold, we took three points, and suddenly we´re only a couple of points off the Shi… I mean, Liverpool in the league, and we´re still in the FA Cup.
Ahhh the FA Cup… something that suddenly means a lot more than it usually would, and under normal circumstances we´re desperate to do well in it anyway.
But with the capitulation to Liverpool recently, the FA Cup has essentially become our entire season. Each game from here on in is essentially a cup final.
Which brings us to our Quarter Final replay against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Before yesterdays great win, I was pessimistic to say the least. However, suddenly I have a newly found belief that we can turn them over and book a place at Wembley in the Semi Finals.
Where, of course, we will meet Liverpool.
And, again, the mere thought of a third derby with the old enemy makes my stomach turn. The two this season have been soul destroying in differing way.
But you know what? The more I think about it, the more I wouldn´t want it any other way.
If we get past Sunderland, we suddenly have a chance at redemption that we would not have otherwise. A chance to put ourselves in a major cup final at the expense of them, with nothing to lose.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
And I mean “nothing to lose” as well. Despite Moyes putting pressure on the side to do well in the cup with his derby selection recently, having had a few weeks to cool down I realise it can be looked at a different way. The lads now have a chance to do what we do best – play the underdog.
The media, even most of our own fans, have written off a Stadium of Light victory. You´ll get good odds on us turning over Liverpool at Wembley. And even greater odds on putting away one of the London “giants” in the final.
But despite that, you can literally taste the hunger that Moyes has to finally put an end to his trophy drought after ten years at the club. Added to that, we have great players like Fellaini and Baines who desperately want something on their CV by the end of their career at Everton.
It feels like 1995 to me. Our league form was lacklustre. People wrote us off against Spurs, before Amokachi and co. put that right. Then we didn´t have a prayer against United, but Paul Rideout and Neville Southall thought otherwise.
Basically, back then, we had a bunch of players who wanted it at all costs. And I firmly believe we have a similar attitude now.
It´s time to believe in those players. We need a bit of luck, of course we do, but the talent and desire is there.
The first hurdle is Sunderland. If we get past them and book a place at Wembley, then the opposition is going to have to play a blinder to stop us getting over the finishing line. And I think it´ll be a case of third time lucky against “those lot”.
So on to the Stadium of Light! Come on you blue boys!