It´s strange how a short time in football can change everything.
When we bent over for Wigan in the FA Cup, the patience of even the most optimistic Everton fan was tested. For the umpteenth time, a talented Everton side seemingly on a roll had failed when it mattered most, and with the reigning champions of England up next at Goodison Park it looked like it was a definite case of “season over”.
Then, of course, we went and put City to the sword with a 2-0 win.
It really is the “Everton Way” under David Moyes – a manager who has made his name on such results. For every unremembered Wigan type of defeat, there´s always a Man City type of win soon after to wipe the minds of the fans clean and renew optimism with the club.
Whilst the Man City result didn´t quite make up for the FA Cup debacle, it has restored a sense of pride to the fanbase; a belief that the run in actually means something, an opportunity to dare to dream of Europa League qualification or – heaven forbid – a top four finish.
Whilst it´s not “on”, it´s certainly no longer “off”, and with injury concerns for Arsenal in Diaby, Wilshere and Walcott, and a European campaign to distract Spurs, a solid finish from Everton could see us upset the odds once again on what may be David Moyes´ swansong season.
But to do so, we can´t rely on just edging over the finish line against stubborn teams. We can´t play for the 1-0, because we can no longer afford the late equalisers and dropped points.
In short, it´s time to just go for it. We have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. At worst, we collapse and finish around seventh or eighth. But if we attack, we keep our talented attacking players like Mirallas and Fellaini fit, and Nikica Jelavic finds his shooting boots consistently, then there´s every chance we can upset the upper echelons yet again.
It´s easy to become pessimistic about Everton; but ultimately, we´ve lost only once at home in the league this season – a record only matched by Man United and Man City. Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have all lost more league games than us this season. That attests to our quality.
Keep your fingers, toes and everything else crossed – because if everything clicks together, we´re in for a rollercoaster end to the season.