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      Four Minutes in March
      After a successful March (I’m talking Premier League, not FA Cup), the chase for Europe was still on and Everton’s next three games were all against opposition from the nation’s capital.

      First up was a trip to Spurs who were without, amongst others, player of the season candidate Gareth Bale. Pitying their predicament, we decided to give them a goal start after just 34 seconds.

      Everton then turned the game around with a Jagielka header and another fine individual goal from Mirallas only to concede an equaliser with just three minutes left – sound familiar?

      It was back to Goodison Park next for the visit of QPR. Now I must confess I’m not keen on QPR. Why? Well in a time where loyalty in football is as common as rocking horse excreta, QPR’s set of mercenaries set the bar at a new level, a prime example of money not buying success.

      Most relegated teams, and QPR will soon be one, go down fighting but not these journeymen millionaires.

      Without a single player in their starting line up from the corresponding fixture last season, they did as expected - turned up, rolled over, conceded two goals and three points then went home to count the contents of their not inconsiderable pay packets.

      Paint drying, grass growing, take you pick but that’s what the game was reduced to. No heart, no fight, and no inclination - no doubt they’ll all be staying to fight it out in the Championship next season. No? No - me neither!

      Old London Town beckoned again and it was off to take on the slick passing, free scoring Gunners. Moyes took the Corporal Jones approach and it seems it is true - “they don’t like it up ‘em!” Everton played a tough tackling, pressing game that prevented Arsenal from establishing their rhythm.

      Apparently this is considered unsporting in that part of North London and to listen to the usually myopic Monsieur Wenger (who on this occasion saw everything) you’d think the Everton players took to the pitch armed with cosh and knuckleduster.

      The statistics, however, show we committed twelve fouls to their eleven and received three yellow cards to their two and, whereas there was a case for Gibson receiving a second yellow, worse offences by Giroud on Coleman and “the best little Spaniard we used to know” on Pienaar went similarly unpunished. I can’t help thinking the Arsenal players would be better suited directing their energy towards their undoubted footballing abilities rather than their insidious bleating and pleading towards the referee!

      It was especially sad to see that Señor Arteta has now added this tactic to his “arsenal”. After our own half time Watergate, some fine defending meant the game remained goalless and we left The Smoke with another hard earned point.

      So unbeaten again and five points from the three games but will it be enough to achieve European football next season? We’re certainly underdogs but that’s a title Everton seem to relish. With five games remaining it’s making for an interesting season’s end and we still await Moyes decision regarding his future. For now, it’s still “should I stay or should I go?”


      DAVE BULLEN ||

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