Tonight’s match against City is our biggest game domestically for a number of years, with a potential Wembley date with our lovable neighbours on the horizon. Make no bones about it, tonight will be incredibly tough. However we have been up against it before in Semi Final’s and have beaten all odds and progressed. So why not tonight?!
Turn your minds back to 9th April 1995, We were pitted against a then fashionable Tottenham side featuring Sheringham, Anderton, Popescu and a certain Jurgen Klinsmann. We were given literally no chance whatsoever, the press already writing about their dream final between Manchester United and Spurs. Unfortunately Spurs and the press forgot about one small detail, we had a certain Nigerian Centre forward who was about to write himself into Everton folk law.
As the saying goes “cometh the hour, cometh the man”.
The game itself was going to plan, going 2-0 up with goals from Matthew Jackson and Graham Stuart either side of half time. Spurs pulled one back through a very dubiously awarded penalty from Jurgen Klinsmann. Then the moment of the game, Paul Rideout went down clutching his knee, shortly to be stretchered off. Our Nigerian World Cup Star man Daniel Amokachi substituted himself on the pitch. Apparently Joe Royle sent him up the touchline to warm up but before Joe could do anything the fourth official had subbed him on. To this day Joe Royle claims its the best substitute he’s never made!
Spurs were coming on strong, hitting the bar and a brilliant save from Big Nev started a counter attack, a flowing move between Anders Limpar, Stuart and Barry Horne led to the ball finding the big Nigerian unmarked at the back post to to head home past Walker for 3-1. With Spurs piling forwards we picked them off again. This time Limpar had Gary Ablett on the overlap and who was unmarked in the box but our favourite Nigerian son to make it 4-1 to the Blues. I can remember John Motson’s commentary like it was yesterday. “Amokachi surely? It’s another one, and that’s it it’s all over, Wembley here come Everton!”
Fast forward to 2016 and tonight’s second leg of the League Cup Semi against City, it marks our biggest game domestically since the 2012 FA Cup Semi Final. We go into the game in dreadful form and after Sunday’s embarrassing performance against Swansea, tonight might just be what they need to get going again. We need everyone playing well, the rub of the green to go our way and for City to have an off day. If everything comes together we can come away with a positive result just like we did in ’95!
It’s time for us to stand up, be counted and to summon our inner Amokachi!
Come on you Blues!