Three Questions with Royal Blue Mersey

Michael Regan

Today, I sit down with Royal Blue Mersey to talk about Everton's chances for Europe, David Moyes, and why a Fulham fan might root for them if Fulham are in the Championship.

CC: This has been a pretty amazing season for Everton. Do you realistically think the club can manage the top four? Would you rather finish out of the Europa league than in it?

Royal Blue Mersey: The season started off much better than that middle part around the holidays. With the limited squad size, Everton were always going to struggle once injuries and loss of form kicked in. They might have left themselves a tad bit too much to do to qualify for the Champions League, but you never know, that's why we play the games!

Everton are six points behind Arsenal with a game in hand - an Arsenal loss against Manchester City and an Everton win at your boys this weekend closes that gap to three points, and to add to the drama, Everton host Arsenal the weekend after that, where theoretically that gap could vanish with a Blues win, and they'll still have that game in hand! We might be getting ahead of ourselves here, but we have to dare to dream.

Much has been said about the Europa League, most of it negative. The way I see it, if we make the EL and don't invest heavily (and intelligently) in the squad, we'll end up being next season's Swansea City. But, the road to becoming a perennial contender for European football definitely goes through the EL, and we just have to prepare ourselves better for it.

CC: Being honest, how do you love Roberto Martinez and how much are you enjoying Manchester United under Moyes?

RBM: What a sea change it's been with Martinez at the helm. From his positive demeanor to his tactical acumen, we've really had very little to complain about with the Spaniard. His limitless optimism is such a breath of fresh air at Finch Farm, and the youngsters in the squad have thrived under him. Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu are all barely out of their teens but command starting positions in the team, while John Stones has filled in for Phil Jagielka and is also the same age. James McCarthy is only 23, Seamus Coleman 25 and Aiden McGeady is 27. While the team has some veterans, Martinez has the squad well-balanced with youth too.

In all honesty, the manner of Moyes departure still rankles. We were made to believe that he would extend his contract and it was only a matter of formalities that needed to be completed. Later on, we found out that Sir Alex Ferguson and he had already made arrangements and Moyes was never going to stay on, which smacks of deception. To that end any Everton fan would be lying if he said that he had not taken some sadistic pleasure in seeing the Scotsman struggle at Old Trafford - besides, seeing United behind us means we're one spot closer to the Champions League, which is the ultimate prize for us.

CC: Fulham probably won't be in the premier league next year. I'll still be a Fulham fan above all else, but it's nice to have a rooting interest in EPL games. Convince me I should root for Everton next year.

RBM: I for one will be sad to hear it if Fulham are not part of the Premier League setup next year. Everton and Fulham have often competed on level footing as mid-to-upper tier clubs over the years, and that will be missed. I just found out that the two clubs were started within a year of each other! Plus, you lot actually attempt to play football no matter who the manager, unlike some other clubs who wear red and white stripes. Besides, who else will give the other London clubs a run for their money?!

Everton were once called 'The Peoples Club', by David Moyes no less. That has not changed over the years. Our stadium at Goodison Park is not filled with the prawn-sandwich-eating and dry-martini-sipping types, look around and you'll see honest, down-to-earth who live by their team. Your Hammersmith end at Craven Cottage is not unlike our Gwladys Street end. We cheer lustily when we win, and we console our boys heartily when we lose. We also occasionally set off blue flares in the stands when away from home but we mean no harm. We hate the money-driven, big-mouthed teams and share allegiances with fellow hardworking clubs.

So if your boys do unfortunately make the drop, we would be glad and honored to have your support as we take the fight to the so-called 'big boys' of the Premier League!
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