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The Arse
The Arse
Wednesday 21st March 2012 8:00 PM
Referee: Lee 'Perry' Mason
Attendance: 30,330
Everton Team: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Drenthe (Anichebe), Cahill (Stracqualursi), Osman (Gueye), Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic
Subs: Mucha, Jagielka, Neville, McFadden, Gueye(77m), Stracqualursi(85m), Anichebe(77m)
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We asked Dave, aka 'holic from the goonerholic website some question in the lead up to game on Wednesday.

How's Arsene doing?

You could ask two Arsenal supporters that question and get two very different answers. I think what he is achieving, given the limited investment in players, is quite astonishing. The club is not yet, for one reason or another, reaping the anticipated financial benefit of the new stadium, and Arsene delivering uninterrupted Champions League football since that move is impressive when one considers the new money that has come into the game at Chelsea and Manchester City. He is not without his faults, but I have maintained until we lose that top four status then he deserves a crack at building another great side.

What are your hopes for the rest of the season?

 Very different from what they were before we battered Tottenham at the end of February, if I'm honest. Until then I think the general mood was this side would have over-achieved if they finished fourth. Getting the first-choice back four back in tandem has set up a chain of scores that have raised the bar as far as expectations go. It would be very disappointing not to go on and take third place off the neighbours now. With Chelsea and Liverpool so inconsistent, despite massive investment, I think North London is disputing that third spot that avoids a Champions League qualifying round in August.

How do you think Everton will finish this season?

It seems to me Everton finish most seasons strongly of late. David Moyes seem to have developed the admirable habit of getting the most out of his players at the pointed end of the season. You have too many teams to overtake for fifth place now, but you'll carry a lot of goodwill from supporters of clubs no longer in the FA Cup to go all the way in that. The alternatives for Arsenal supporters are none too attractive.

How do you rate David Moyes?

I think Arsenal supporters, more than most, will appreciate what he has achieved for a decade with empty pockets. I can pay him no higher compliment than to say I hope rumours of him replacing the accused at Riot Hart Lane are wide of the mark.

How has Mikel Arteta been doing for you?

I thought we should have bought him years ago. What I have seen this season has only gone to confirm that, but you may not recognise the job he is doing. He very much shares defensive duties with Alex Song, and usually only one or other of them gets forward to support the attack. He just passes, and passes, and passes, and rarely wastes a ball. I'm so looking forward to seeing him play with Jack Wilshere. That could be very special. He still talks fondly of Everton. I hope he gets a good reception.

Who do you see as Everton's danger man?

Every recent season the answer to that would have been Tim Cahill, another I thought we might have looked at a year or two ago. He seems to be having a quieter time this time around, although it was good to see him score at the weekend. I suppose right now I would have to say Royston Drenthe, because he seems to be that infuriating sort who can produce anything from the sublime to the ridiculous, and that makes him dangerous. Nikica Jelavic looks a shrewd signing too.

Who is your favourite all time Everton player?

I know I should say either Alan Ball or Anders Limpar, but I have to plump for Bally's team-mate, Colin Harvey. A super footballer who played with a lot of style, if memory serves he only played once for England, which was a crime, but then I would argue the same about Charlie George too. Harvey would be perfect in an Arsene Wenger team. That's how good he was.

What do you think the score will be on Wednesday?

That depends very much on what the sides are. I will wait until the sides are announced before punting the infamous 'holic pound. If both teams are pretty much at full strength I think I have to favour us to pinch a 2-1 if we show the same commitment and energy that has been evident of late. If we don't have that back four out I'll be very worried. If you put out the side you did at Anfield it could be another painful one for you.

What is your personal favourite cheese?

You want me to say something French and creamy, don't you? I hope none of my lot are reading this. It has to be blue! A chunk of stilton, a bottle of port, a packet of Cornish Wafers, and I'm happy as a porker in the brown and sticky stuff. Although if the good Lord Dennis is watching, I am also partial to a bit of Edam.

Comments about Away Team
 
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I've got a soft spot for Everton. The New York supporters club at Mr. Dennehy's are a class bunch. And anyone who doesn't like that red bunch of Scousers is going to find an ally in an Arsenal fan (at least, 50 weeks out of the year). As you might guess, my favorite Everton player ever is Tim Howard. I actually saw him play forward in high school, for North Brunswick against my alma mater, East Brunswick, with the County Tournament Final ending in a draw and a shared title.
Uncle Mike, Central Jersey, USA, 12:33 AM 21/03/2012
 
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Will, I hope he gets four against them. Hope you get two trips to Wembley this year.
'holic, Wiltshire, 11:30 PM 20/03/2012
 
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Has anyone else noticed every away fan says they would have said Tim Cahill is the danger man. However recent form has meant they do not. I hope Cahill will change this-hopefully with a hat-rick against the shite at Wembley
Will, Staffordshire, 11:17 AM 20/03/2012
 
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Holic classy as ever. I have to agree to every point said by Holic here and add that all credit should go to Moyes for what he has achieved with what little he has at his disposal. Hats off to him like Wenger he's been very consistent and punching above there weight. Hope you guys win against Sunderland and then your cheating, diving and racist neighbors! ;) And lastly Gunners for the win if they play like they have been playing recently :D
Gunner, Pakistan, 10:35 PM 19/03/2012
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