North v South, Rich v Poor, Old-fashion sleeping giants v new kids on the block. David v Goliath. Blue v Blue. Everton v Chelsea.
Some Everton fans would say its good v evil; but I would say that is taking too things a little too far, and anyway Everton is always the good one anyway (haha).
But the coming FA Cup final on 30th May 2009, is a clash of 2 teams in Blue, and who would end in blues at the end of match?
The contrast in the 2 teams cannot be more profound. Chelsea in London, South of England; and Everton at Merseyside, North of London.
There is little doubt who the ‘rich’ one when we compare the 2 teams. Whilst Everton had to ‘borrow’ Jo from Man City to deal with their striker crises, Chelsea just went out to buy Anelka form more than £11 million in January 2008 when Chelsea was short of strikers.
But Everton is backed by tradition dating more than 125 years. Winning more Top League title than Chelsea, Everton was known as the Big 5 in the 1980s (together with Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, & Spurs). Chelsea struggled for many decades, and at one time, the Stamford Bridge stadium in the 1980s did not even had the usual 4 Stand that most English clubs have.
All that was changed when the Russian you know who bought over Chelsea. The millions of Pounds poured into the club see Chelsea now, a true powerhouse in (not only) English football but European football too, the new kids on the block.
So it will be David v Goliath this Sunday, with Chelsea clearly the favourite to win. Everything points to the Blue London Club to win. They have the players, the pedigree & the coach.
But Everton in 2008/09 is not a team which any club can walk over. Everton had to beat Liverpool, Aston Villa, Boro & in the FA Cup semifinals, Man United, just to get to the final. That is no easy task.
People have been saying that Everton was lucky to beat Man U in that semifinals, seeing how Man U fielded a so-called 2nd team, but the same people probably forgot that Spurs could not beat that ‘2nd team’ in the Carling Cup & that the Man U FA Cup Semifinals team had Van De Sar, Rio, Vidic, Anderson & Tevez; and all these players are top class first 11 players of Man U. At the end of the day, a win is still a win. Of course it would be better to beat Man U 4-0 with them playing Rooney and Ronaldo together with the earlier names mentioned, but hey; if Man U chose that team and lose; too bad, I suppose.
Back to this classic clash; the game will be a massive contrast. Chelsea will be playing an industrious power attack with Lampard and Drogba leading the way. Everton will be the dogged unwavering opposition.
Everton, without the 3 injured stars of Yakubu, Arteta & Jagielka; will rely on sheer determination, great team spirit and super work ethics. The spark of brilliance will likely come from Pienaar; but Everton still have Cahill who can ghost into a penalty box to score. Also Saha would likely be Everton joker in the pack. He would probably want to prove that he can still win trophies even after leaving Man U, and I hope he will.
So, there you have it. 2 teams, 2 hopes, 1 destiny. My hope, my prayers & my desire is to see the Blue of Mersey bring back a trophy last won in 1995. To the Everton boys, I would say:-
“Take the step towards immortality!”