No rest for the wicked, or for Moneybags League finalists. (Moneybags you say? We’ll take some of that thank you. Thus far, by my calculations, we’ve earned at least €69,450,000 in prize money from UEFA, there’s a few new Naan and Noodles franchises right there!).
Everton come to the new WHL on Sunday ready to spoil the Cup Hangover party. Theirs has largely been a ‘meh’ of a season, with Silva under pressure for much of it – especially around the time we gubbed them at Goodison in December – but they have finished the season strongly and are very much the form side of the two teams going in to the game, relative league position and European competition progress notwithstanding.
Everton have 16 points from their last 8 games, we have 9. Five losses and 3 wins, a record that would have ‘crisis’ written all over it in other circumstances.
The Toffees are in 8th place but could drop to 9th on Sunday if Leicester win and they lose. They’ve lost their chance of winning the so-called Everton Cup which is on its way to the Wanderers of Wolverhampton who lie 7th.
More pertinent to us of course is the avoidance of the nightmare scenario of the Gooners making up three points and 8 goals and denying a fourth consecutive top four finish. Paddy Power puts this prospect at 125/1 which I think is quite generous given certain last day events of the past few seasons and the physical and emotional cost of this week. It still shouldn’t happen though…
The last day of a campaign used to be about new kits, sunshine, getting a look at a couple of youngsters maybe, saying goodbye to departing players and then shaking hands and saying “see you in August” and if the nine men had managed to hold on at the Vitality last weekend that’s what this one would be about. Instead though, there will be tension in the air until it becomes clear that Everton aren’t going to avenge the 6-2 defeat and Burnley aren’t going to buckle under at Turf Moor.
What this week has taught us if anything though is to expect the unexpected.
No complacency should be enough to ensure a pleasant end to the league season.
Andre Marriner is the referee.
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