Frank Stubbs: The Run In

Frank Stubbs

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Run In

Heading away from games where we have been beaten, I often ponder as to losing  when you have played well is more or less frustrating than when your victors have been comfortably better on the day. Overall I guess, whatever way we look at it, neither is particularly welcome or satisfying!

Extremely busy times both personally and workwise have meant there has been quite a gap between my ramblings and I can only apologise for that. Some of your e-mails have suggested I really should look at my time management skills so I will attempt to improve in the future! :-)

Considering this is usually a time when the fixture schedule is bulging, March is devoid of games this year. Everton's progression in the FA Cup has added a second free weekend to the month, with the upcoming international break giving us club followers a week with only things away from the beautiful game to entertain us.

Three matches have come and gone since I last penned my thoughts, each one so very different.

Bayern Munich are arguably one of the best three or four club sides in Europe at the moment. Their incredible run in the Bundesliga and two appearances in the Champions League final over the last three years are evidence for just how strong they are.

We can beat anyone on our day, but the better sides do tend to punish you when you are not at your very best. For me, that was extremely evident against Jupp Heynckes’ men at the Emirates. I walked away admitting we were beaten by an extremely good side who were better than us on the night.

Villa on the other hand was a game where anything less than a win would not only have been disappointing, but also extremely harsh. Fortunately our constant wave of attacks after the visitors’ equaliser paid off when Santi netted a late winner to ensure a precious three points, setting us up nicely for the trip down the Seven Sisters Road.

For the first half an hour or so, we hardly lost the ball and with a little bit more composure in the final third, we could and should have taken the lead.

Unfortunately for us, the five minutes in which the hosts had a good spell at the end of the first half proved devastating, although for me there was a definite foul on Santi in the build up to the second. That's football I guess.

Our goal not only gave us hope but plenty of time to try and grab the equaliser our overall performance probably deserved. Ultimately though, we weren't able to level the scores.

So where does that leave us now? Well there’s 10 games and 30 points to play for, starting with the tough trip to Swansea on Saturday week. We need to be positive, stick together and look forward while all those around look to put us down.

Before any Premier League action takes place, we have to attempt to achieve what would arguably be one of the greatest European victories in history by going to Munich and turning round our first leg deficit.

Like all our European jollies, I am thoroughly looking forward to it.

Victoria Concordia Crescit


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