Here’s what I want to happen: Everton win tonight, preferably by means of penalties or a dodgy goal. Liverpool, who are toss at the minute, continue to perform to the standard of a clumpy slipper on Sunday against Newcastle and get thrashed, opening up an 11 point gap. However, Kenny’s Reds then recover well enough to get the better of the Toffees at Wembley. The cup final is played between teams who have already qualified for Europe so Newcastle get in, preferably by coming above Chelsea or Spurs.
Then the summer sees no one leave as a top 6 finish is a more than reasonable return and promise for the season ahead. However, the lure of Europe and the incredible scouting abilities we have benefitted from so much, see us buy a centre-half and a couple of right-sided players.
Pardew then uses the early rounds of Europe to bed his team in and we get off to a flyer. Pardew then wisely uses the pointless group stage of the Europa League to give fringe players game time and bring on some of the youngsters, thus adding depth to the squad for the awkward period around Christmas when injuries and suspensions kick in. For crunch European games the manager is not afraid to beef the team up with first teamers, as the Europa is a realistic chance of silverware.
We win that and some other cups and qualify for the Champions League. Etcetera etcetera etcetera.
Now can somebody tell me; is that really that much to ask?
The reality of the situation though, is that if sunderland win tonight they will freeze when faced with Liverpool at Wembley. Despite their awful league form, the Anfield mob will revert to type and display their historical knack for winning big games, while the inexperienced mackems wilt hilariously before them. Everton might give Liverpool a game, it being a derby and everything, and this we don’t want. But can I bring myself to see beyond the loathing of the mackems to allow this logic to prevail? No. The most important thing is that their hopes are extinguished and the ghastly spectre of them stealing our European slot via a spawny cup place is removed.
Nikica Jelavic has just put Everton in the lead. He’s now officially welcome round my house, as long as its not on Thursday night next year because I might well be at the match….