David Prentice: Everton FC could do with an FA Cup silver lining
IT was a legitimate query from an ardent Evertonian. Why does Hodgson get so much stick when no-one says a word about Moyes? Now you ought to be aware that my interrogator does like a moan. But with Liverpool currently three points and five league places ahead of their neighbours, in a supposedly slack season, his moans were not misplaced. I delivered a two-word reply. Expectation and imagination. First imagination. Such has been the quality of Everton's passing and possession this season, it's easy to imagine a second half of the season revival. The Blues don't appear to be too far away from garnering the results their performances deserve. Liverpool, however, veer wildly from the sublime (Chelsea at Anfield) to the ridiculous (Wigan and Stoke City away). Then there's the expectations. Liverpool fans have become conditioned to expect silverware, whether those expectations are realistic or not. It might be 20 years since the league title last landed at Anfield. But in that time the Reds have still celebrated three FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA cup and perhaps the greatest Champions League triumph of modern times. After 15 years with barely one sniff of a trophy (two if you count the Carling Cup semi-final of 2008) Evertonians are not. And it's why this weekend's FA Cup draw is so important to the Toffees. Joe Royle, the last manager to bring silverware to Goodison Park, joked this week: 'I was negotiating a new contract with Peter Johnson when he told me 'Anyone can win a Cup. It's only six matches'!' Tongue in cheek, perhaps - although with PJ you could never be sure - but he had a point.
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