I might be in need of some strong coffee this morning, but I’m nevertheless very happy with my decision to stay up into the small hours to watch Everton secure their place in the FA Cup Final early this morning. When I made the decision to stay up for what was a 1AM kick off here in Australia, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of the game going into extra time and penalties, and thus depriving me of an additional hour of sleep, but it was all worth it in the end. Roll on the 30th May, when I’ll have to find myself a pub somewhere in Melbourne to watch the final (it’ll be a midnight start for us, but at least this time on a Saturday night…)
Earlier in the day I’d heard a news report on one of the main Aussie channels describing it as a clash between Manchester United and “Tim Cahill’s Everton”, as if the Australian midfielder is manager and owner as well as being just one of eleven players. I wonder if they’ll be playing down his involvement when they cover the game on tonight’s news, given that he was the only Everton player to miss his penalty…
After the final penalty had gone in, and after I’d finally finished (quietly so as not to wake anyone) jumping around the living room, I noticed that the cameras had picked out a despondent young United fan–maybe about 10 years old–still sitting in his seat next to his dad.
For a second, I wondered what it must feel like to be a United fan when they lose a big game like that. As an Evertonian I’m well acquainted with what it feels like to watch the team I support lose–they’ve been doing it to me for years–but for a young United fan it must be a strange new sensation. Perhaps for the first time that young lad in the crowd would be coming to realise that life isn’t quite the way he’d thought; that your team doesn’t always win; that you can’t always get what you want; that life is full of small disappointments.
But then I remembered that, in the words of the BBC:
For United and manager Ferguson, there was only disappointment and they must now turn their attentions back to the pursuit of the Premier League and Champions League.
Oh yeah. They’re only top of the league, having already won two trophies this season and with a Champions League semi final coming up. They must be gutted.